A Step by Step Guide To Moving Across the Country with a Baby + 2 Cats: Part 5


Back to the moving posts! If you're just tuning in, here's a recap of steps 1 thru 8.

Just a note, steps 1-5 are all from the same post so it's all the same link.

  1. Wait!

  2. Create folders (paper and electronic) to store all of your moving documents

  3. Outline what needs to happen

  4. Come up with a preliminary timeline

  5. Set your moving budget

  6. Figure out where you’ll live in your new city

  7. Figure out how you’re going to do the move

  8. Make a list of everything you own

Step 9: figure out a packing plan and start packing

Once we knew where we’d be living, how we’d be moving, and what stuff we’d be moving, we needed to figure out how to pack everything.

We could have done this in a more economical way; however, we were too exhausted to go hunting for free boxes. Using the list of everything we owned from step 8 (which also included potential box sizes), I estimated the number and sizes of the boxes we’d need, and sent Mike to buy them (with the funds coming from our $7000 moving budget from my university).

We did have some supplies from home that we used, like old papers as packing paper (e.g., I tore up old school papers or tests that I didn’t need anymore... which felt kind of cathartic). We also used clothes we didn’t mind getting wrinkly (like workout stuff) as padding for fragile items. And then we had some packing tape and a few boxes on hand already.

I also created a loose timeline for when we'd pack everything (including getting our stuff into the moving pods), working backwards from the big move date.

Anything that was marked as “Keep-Pack Up” in the spreadsheet from step 8 went first, and we ended with just the items that we’d be taking with us in the car, which was essentially stuff to get us through a week’s worth of travel, plus a few extra days without the storage cubes (e.g., clothes, an air mattress, pack-n-play, cat supplies, baby supplies, important documents, and anything we didn’t want going in a hot storage cube).

Once our loose plan was in place we got to packing!

I was really nervous about glasses, dishes, etc. breaking while in transit. To calm my nerves I consulted my good friend, youtube, and watched people pack fragile stuff, copying what they did.

Mike can attest to my obsession with packing as I definitely yelled at him a few times for not wrapping things correctly. However, NOTHING broke on it’s 2000+ mile journey, so… you know, it worked.

I did a lot of the packing of the actual boxes during Ellie’s naps, while Mike, our family, and our friends did most of the physical moving of boxes/furniture into the storage cubes.

After spending all of my mental energy finishing up my dissertation, the mindlessness of putting things into boxes was a welcome change!

Next up, figuring out a driving/lodging plan.