I Wish Someone Had Told Me… How to Move Across the Country in 2 Weeks!
Weirdly no one writes about how to move across the country in 2 weeks!
Recently, my fiancé accepted a new job…on the other side of the country. Like all good corporate America positions, there was a lot of back and forth and no set start date. So instead of going nuts looking for places and packing our home – we waited to hear if he actually got the job. When they called to tell him he was in, they asked if two weeks were enough… Being the crazy guy that he is, my fiancé agreed to start in 14 days. (Let’s be honest, I don’t think he fully thought it through that he was actually agreeing to move over 1000 miles in 14 days.)
So the madness began. I learned a lot within the 2 weeks and spent A LOT of money. Should you ever find yourself in the position where you have to move across the country in two weeks, I have some tips for you.
1. If you’re renting – break your lease ASAP:
Before you even accept the new position, talk with the landlord about the possibility of having to break your lease. Ask what the penalty would be to move out before your lease is up and explain that you aren’t unhappy with the property instead you may be accepting a new position out of state. This sort of saved our butts because we had an idea of how much money we had to save up/cash out of stocks. It was 2 months’ notice and an additional 2 months’ rent to break our lease. All in all – $5,600. I pray you can break your lease for far cheaper than that!
2. Gather ALL the help you can:
Ask your parents to help, reach out to friends, and even ask a few trusty coworkers. Ask for boxes, help packing or even if they know anything about the area you’re moving to. See if anyone has some friends/relatives living in the new area who you can point you in the right direction.
3. Contact a real estate agent:
Even if you’re only looking to rent, a real estate agent may be able to help you find a place. I was hesitant to reach out to one because I thought I’d have to pay them (and after paying to break the lease, I wasn’t about spending more $$). BUT actually, they get paid by the homeowners who are paying to advertise the property. My mom found someone who was legit and we scheduled a whole day with her. The awesome part about working with a real estate agent is that they find you properties, send you a huge list that fits your wishlist and then you go through them and say which ones you like. After that, the agent sets up a showing for each of the properties and organizes the day accordingly. Not having to contact each property, set up a date and time, or map the best route out – is a huge time saver! This gives your brain the mental space you’ll need to handle all of the other things involved with moving.
4. Fly to the new town:
Find someone to fly out there with you and book tickets. It’s going to be costly but having a place to live when you get there with your U-Haul is worth the expense. My mom was able to fly out with me (it seemed rude for Tom to take time off during his last few days at work) and we were able to see 10 properties in one day! The real-estate agent had the day planned perfectly and knew all the areas. We were able to pick a property out that day and put our application in!
5. If you have a car/s – travel with two people per vehicle:
Like any good cross-country road trip, the drive is bound to get long and tiring. Find a couple of friends or family members that are willing to help road trip with you (it helps if they already have the time off of work because of a holiday, we moved over Thanksgiving). We recruited my parents and I’m so glad we did. They drove my car, kept an eye on the weather, looked for hotels, and scouted for places to eat. While I rode shot-gun in the other vehicle and worked on canceling utilities, forwarding our mail and signing the lease (talk about last minute).
6. Accept it’s going to be madness:
Get comfortable with the idea, that for the next few weeks, you’re going to be uncomfortable. You’re going to be stressed, out of your routine and experiencing an insane adventure that will make for a great story! (Keep looking at it as exciting otherwise you may have a mental breakdown.) Lastly, be prepared to anxiously sweat for the full two weeks. People will think you have it all together (because for the most part, you do) but inside, no matter how much you prepare yourself, you’ll still be quietly shitting your pants.
And on that note, I wish you the best. Go have a crazy adventure and take lots of photos. You got this!!