Guide to cross-country moving with family

Relocating an entire family across the country is one of the most difficult challenges you have ever faced. There are literally hundreds of things that you need to sort out and you will be facing quite an amount of stress. But that is all perfectly normal when you are cross-country moving with family. However, you can make it easier. What you need to do to make it easier for everyone is to hire one of the best interstate moving companies for the occasion. That, and read this article where we will guide you through the process. In a nutshell, you will need to go through three “stages”: the Research stage, the Preparation stage, and the Relocation Process itself. But don’t worry, we will guide you through it all!

Cross-country moving with family – Research stage

The first thing you will want to do is to perform a bit of research on your new area. The more time you can spend on research the better, but you will want to focus your efforts on finding out more about the following:

  • Schools
  • Fun activities
  • Neighborhood
person doing research before cross-country moving with family
You can do all of your research online.

You might also want to spend a bit of your time finding ways to make the relocation smoother and more efficient. For example, you might want to read up on some of the moving hacks that will make your relocation easier, spend some time finding the best cross-country mover for the job, figure out where to get the cheapest moving supplies, etc. As you can see, there is quite a bit of ground to cover so it is very important that you start with your research as soon as you can. But one of the benefits of moving with family is that you can delegate tasks. Have one family member look into movers, while the other focuses on packing supplies, for example. What you want to do is involve every family member in the process from the “get-go” and the research stage is perfect for that.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most important things you will be researching.

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Researching schools for your kids

Finding a good school for your kids is paramount. In fact, making sure that your kids can attend a good school is one of the most important parts of planning a nationwide family relocation. You don’t necessarily want to simply send them to the closest school, you want to make sure that the school you choose is a good fit for your kids. And that means that you will need to spend some time reading about the schools in question. Take note of the school’s neighborhood as well, its safety ratings, and other important factors. Create a shortlist so you can visit the schools once you relocate. Sometimes, the best schools “on paper” are simply not good enough, after all. If you can visit the schools prior to the relocation, that is even better.

Finding fun activities

a theme ride
Every place has unique entertainment opportunities.

You might want to include the entire family in this research project. Finding new and interesting activities for the whole family is one of the many joys of moving to another place. Start by tasking each family member with finding several activities that they would like to do in the new area. After that is done, sit down with the rest of your family and figure out which activities you would like to do first.

By doing this, you are creating a feeling of excitement about the move, as everyone is going to be eager to partake in their favorite new activity. While fun activities might not be one of the most common reasons why people relocate, they are an integral part of making your new home feel like home. Starting a new chapter in your family’s life with something fun is the best way to approach cross-country moving with a family, after all.

Getting to know the neighborhood

You don’t have to wait until you relocate to start searching for local grocery stores, gyms, and all the other amenities that your family might need. You can find all that information online, from the comfort of your home. Exploring a new area can be exciting, yes, but you do want to acquaint yourself with your new neighborhood regardless. By knowing how safe the neighborhood is and where are the closest shops, parks, cafes, etc., you will be able to create plans for the whole family. When planning your long distance moving process, you want to have as much information as you can, after all. If you have the means, it would be great if you can take a small family vacation to your new neighborhood, just to see how it feels to live there. That trip may provide you with all the information you might require.

Cross-country moving with family – Preparation stage

After you finish with your research, it is time to start preparing for the relocation. In this stage, you will want to accomplish the following:

  • Prepare your family for the move
  • Create a family moving checklist
  • Declutter
  • Throw a party

Of course, you will also want to create a moving budget that can support cross-country moving with family. You may also want to read up on a few money-saving tips when hiring movers, get in-house estimates from several moving companies, plan for extra costs, etc. While going slightly over budget is almost to be expected, you should try to avoid it if you can. Having a budget that is “set in stone” will allow you to make easier choices when it comes to your expenditures. And trust us, there will be a lot of them over the course of the relocation.

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Preparing the family for the move

Even though you might have involved the entire family in the research stage, it does not necessarily mean that your family members have “come to grips” with the whole idea of relocation and what it entails. That is why you want to hold a family meeting where you will explain exactly what is going to happen. The more details you are able to provide, the better. At this point, you should have a set date for the relocation, as well as a set budget. Explain all the mental challenges of moving to every family member, and hear their thoughts and concerns. Then work together with your family to find the best solutions.

family picnic
Get the whole family together to plan for the relocation!

There is a high possibility that your family may require a few of these meetings until everything will “click” into place. That is perfectly fine, the important thing is that the entire family is contributing to the process.

Creating a family moving checklist

Cross-country moving with family comes with a seemingly infinite number of tasks. That is why one of the most important topics in your family meetings is going to be the delegation of tasks. But before you can delegate, you need to figure out what the tasks are. And that is what creating a moving checklist is all about. Take a piece of paper, or have someone type the tasks down on their phone, tablet, or another device while you go. Again, allow everyone to contribute and make it a family affair. You can even set up a reward system for this part, giving rewards to the person who provides the most tasks. Sure, some of these tasks might end up being small and seemingly irrelevant, but they still need to be accomplished.

After the checklist is complete, you will want to print it and stick it in a prominent location, one which gets a lot of “traffic”. There’s a reason why the fridge doors are often times used for this purpose, after all. Update the checklist as necessary and don’t forget to have everyone check off the tasks as they complete them. This is a perfect time to introduce another reward system and perhaps a bit of competitiveness among your family members. The goal is for everyone to have as much fun as possible. Cross-country moving with family can be quite stressful, after all, so every bit of fun is welcome.


You will need to decide which toys to keep and which to leave behind.

The decluttering process can be a bit “tricky”, as it needs to involve all the family members. You can’t simply throw away something without knowing whether it is really important to another family member. Most of the time, you are going to run into problems with children’s toys. Toys can be quite bulky and might drastically increase the price of your move. If you choose not to declutter, packing your home for relocation will become a lot more difficult. That is why you need to work with your family members to figure out what they can donate, what you might want to sell, and what items need to be thrown away.

Throughout this process, it is quite common that emotions might get heated. Try to keep a calm head at all times and avoid shouting and ultimatums if you can.

Throwing a goodbye party

The fact of the matter is that the entire family might have a hard time leaving their previous home. One thing that you can do to make it a bit easier is to throw a goodbye party. It will allow everyone to say proper goodbyes to their old home in a fun way. You may also want to create some memorabilia of your old home and display it at the party. A fun way of doing it is to create a “treasure box” of sorts, where you will put things that will remind everyone of some of their favorite moments. You can find family treasure box ideas all over the internet, or you can make a unique one. Either way, you can be sure that creating such a box is going to be a lot of fun.

A goodbye party is also an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with people that you might not see again for quite some time. The more fun you have at the party, the easier it will be to relocate to a new home.

Cross-country moving with family – Relocation process

family having fun
Make sure to make the moving day as fun as it can be!

Once the relocation progresses to this point, you should already have a set plan of action. There are just a few more things that you need to iron out. If you are packing your home on your own, you may want to ensure that every family member knows what their tasks are. Everyone can contribute, and they should. Find something for each family member to do, whether it is coloring the boxes, sorting out packing supplies, or packing the boxes themselves.

But no matter what the tasks are, try to turn them into a “game”. Even the smallest children can help by coloring the boxes, for example. Provide a reward system for accomplishments and everyone will be eager to contribute to the best of their ability. In other words, what you want to do is make it fun for everyone involved.

Bonus tip – “Safe room”

There is a very real chance that the relocation effort might be too much to handle for a family member. That is why you may want to designate a single room in your home as a “safe room”. This room will not have any items except those that will be either making the trip with you or are necessary for daily life. Instruct your movers not to approach this room, as that will be the place where your family can “get away” from everything that the relocation entails. Your kids can watch movies there, you can get a cup of coffee or simply relax for a bit.

Cross-country moving with family comes with unique challenges but the most important part is that the entire family is included in the process and that you do everything you can to make the whole experience fun. That is why the most important tip that we can give you is to always stay positive, no matter what. Fill your home with smiles and laughter and you will have no problems.

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Having the help of experienced moving professionals will make the entire ordeal a lot easier. If you want to have an easy time finding the perfect mover, Consumer Opinion Guide is your go-to moving resource.

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