So, we finally did it.
On Wednesday, January 11th, Tyler & I began the 2,400 mile trip across the country from Boca Raton, Florida to Phoenix, Arizona to set up our new home base. While we were packing and preparing, the move seemed like it could actually be kind of fun; We would be driving through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, AND Arizona – I had fantasies of stopping at each state line & taking photos in front of them, ideas for a ton of new Instagram content, and even planned to video the more *exciting* parts of our trip to make a cute highlight reel out of it.
And then, reality hit. By the time we got around to each state line, it was late at night and pitch black outside, so no pictures were taken. While daydreaming about the new cities we’d stop in, we didn’t take into consideration how massive the moving truck and car in tow would be, and therefore how we wouldn’t exactly be able to navigate crowded city streets because of this. And as for the “exciting” parts of our trip? Was it the hundreds of miles of cotton fields, seemingly endless creepy backroads, or many fast-food stops along the way? You take your pick.
No one told me that our dog, Bentley, would get so stressed from all the travel that he would stop eating and drinking altogether. Nor did they warn me that the interior of the truck would be hardly big enough for two people, let alone a 50-pound dog and a chinchilla cage (which, by the way, ended up on my lap the entire time). By the 2nd day of our trek, Tyler & I began to joke that whenever we decided to move again, we weren’t bringing anything. Selling both cars, donating all the furniture, and throwing out every item we owned sounded pretty darn good.
It took us 4 days of constant driving, but we’re here, we’re (mostly) settled, we’re loving this new state that we get to call home, and all of our efforts were worth it in the end. And I will say, no one, and I mean no one could possibly be a better road-trip partner than Tyler. <3
Without further ado, here are my tips for anyone considering or preparing to move across the US anytime soon:
- Keep all moving materials (ie; boxes, tape, Sharpies, bubblewrap, newspaper, etc) in one, easy to access spot: Mine was in the corner of my bedroom. Keeping everything orderly and in the same place makes life easier by not having to search around for these items. Your time is valuable, so don’t waste precious minutes trying to locate something that you know you’ll be needing a lot of for the next few weeks!
- Don’t spend money on buying boxes/packing material – Moving is already a pretty penny as it is. Many stores offer boxes for free, it’s just a matter of picking them up. I made a stop at my local Total Wine store, and they had tons of boxes, little and big, for the taking. This helped me out a lot. Also, as soon as you know that you’re going to be moving, start stocking up on bubblewrap and newspapers right away! At my previous work office, anytime a shipment would come in, I would save the boxes and packaging materials so that I could use them later on. Same goes for my family when they received any shipments or newspaper deliveries. Every little bit helps, and honestly, this stuff adds up!
- Label ALL moving boxes – I started out so well, writing detailed notes about what each ones’ contents included, and it was so easy to sort through them and get them into their appropriate location in the house. However, by the end of it, I was throwing anything that was left into a box and labeling it as “Miscellaneous” ;( Needless to say, these are the ones that have been hidden away in the dark depths of our guest room closet. Who KNOWS when I’ll get around to going through them. So my advice to you is this – Begin packing EARLY on, and do a good, thorough job of it. Take it little by little, room by room, and make it a point to keep everything organized. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself once you reach your destination.
- If you plan on renting a moving truck, evaluate ALL of your options – Many people, including myself, only think of one company when it comes to renting moving trucks. Yup, you guessed it… U-Haul. Well, folks, let me tell ya – THEY AIN’T CHEAP. For our trip specifically, a 16-foot truck would have costed us a little over $2,400. Instead, we shopped around and found that AAA contracted with Penske & offered an awesome discount for members, which I just happen to be! Cut that $2,400 down by less than HALF, we managed to rent it for just $1,060. Another company to consider with pretty reasonable prices was Budget. Look around, compare prices, and don’t be afraid to ask for a better deal! Everything’s negotiable, folks. Everything.
- Take your time – If you have a long trip ahead of you & can afford to, try and make stops in several cities. We stayed overnight in New Orleans, Dallas, and Albuquerque. We knocked out the longest stretch of the drive first; what was supposed to be 11-12 hours to New Orleans became 15 because of stopping for food, gas, etc, and then a massive accident/ bumper-to-bumper traffic right as we were about to be out of Florida. *sigh* Aside from eating in a couple of restaurants, we weren’t exactly able to explore. And honestly, after so much driving, we were pretty much lights out once our heads hit the pillow. All the while, though, breaking the trip up made it much more tolerable.
Have any of you guys made lengthy moves? Perhaps even international ones? What are YOUR best tips/advice?! Let me know in the comments below 🙂