Moving Across the Country: A Checklist

Moving Across the Country: A Checklist

Moving residences can be a highly involved and stressful process. This rings even truer when the new home or apartment is located on the other side of whichever country you are in. In order to make this long distance move a little less troublesome, it’s important to be as organized as possible. This checklist will certainly get you on the right track and hopefully lessen the amount of mental and psychical strain such a move cross country tends to evoke.

First and foremost it is of the utmost importance to begin planning for the move at least eight weeks in advance. Now, this might seem a bit much for some people, but the more time you allow yourself to plan ahead the smoother the transition will go. Some things you will want to accomplish right from the start are to first figure out how you want to move your belongings. Most people opt to hire a professional moving company. This allows you to relieve yourself of the stress of hauling your belongings across the country. It’s important to get rates from a few different companies in order to find the best price. Don’t simply choose the least expensive option as you want to choose a company with a proven track record so your stuff is ensured to be there at the exact date and time you set.

Once you decide how and who you want to move your stuff it’s a good idea to figure out what you want to take cross country. Instead of just throwing everything you own in boxes, be sure to go through clothes and other items to accurately figure out what you want to take with you and what can be sold or donated. This will help ease the burden of unpacking because you won’t have unnecessary items with you. This task can be accomplished fairly easy because most places that accept donations will come and pick them up for you. This task should be done well in advance because you simply never know when these pickups will be available.

After you have thinned out your belongings and found a reputable moving company to haul your stuff it’s important to locate important documents and valuables you need for the long distance move. You will want to find items such as passports, car registrations, birth certificates and other items that are not easily replaced and travel with them. Though moving companies will likely insure and guarantee that your stuff will make it to the destination you simply never know what can happen.

Another important step when moving across the country is to make sure your previous home or apartments utilities will be shut off on the day you move and that your new home or apartment will have water, electric, gas, television and Internet services connected when you arrive. This is a very important step because the last thing you want is to have to pay for unused services after you have vacated your previous residence. You will also want to make sure that everything in your new residence is connected and ready to use when you arrive. This often overlooked step in the moving process can be accomplished rather easily as most companies will allow you to connect and disconnect online. It’s important to make sure you allow yourself time to send back cable boxes or other equipment to the provider so you won’t get charged for them. This may require sending them through the mail so make sure you give yourself enough time to accomplish this goal.

Preparing your transportation is also a vital step in the moving process. If you plan on driving to your new residence, it’s imperative that you make sure your vehicle is in good working condition. You should have the oil, engine, and tires checked before you embark on your trip to ensure you won’t be left stranded. Flying is perhaps the easier option, but flight delays and missing baggage could become an unlucky issue, though these are rare. Another thing to consider when deciding the method of travel you wish to use is whether or not you will be traveling with children or pets. It goes without saying that children and pets may not be the best travel partners when traveling vast distances. This is especially true when traveling by car. Be sure to plan the for the safest and most convenient travel method for your child or pet. This is a purely an individual choice but is something to think and plan for regardless.

Some other tips when moving across the country is to make sure your boxes of stuff are labeled and it’s a good idea to write your name, address, and phone number on the boxes in case they get lost. Also, make sure you fill out a change of address form with the post office. You certainly don’t want your important letters and parcels still going to your old address.

Make sure that wherever you bank will also be available in your new location. Some banks are simply not available in all areas, especially when moving across the country. Do a bit of research in order to figure out if your current bank is available in your new location or if you will need to find a new bank and be forced to transfer money from your accounts.

Following the tips on this checklist for moving across the country will undoubtedly make your move a lot less stressful. Remember that, in order to move with as little stress as possible, it’s very important to plan ahead. As mentioned above, give yourself at least eight weeks to plan and get your affairs in order because we are all human and mistakes will happen. No move across any country typically goes without at least some minor inconvenience, but you can certainly minimize the risk by giving yourself enough time to think and plan for everything you need. Keeping your own checklist and crossing things off when they are accomplished will allow you to get a good idea of where you are at in the moving process and allow for a successful move.

Chicago Blog Round-Up

Chicago Blog Round-Up

Whether you’re new to the Windy City or you just want to get a different perspective on the place you call home, checking out local blogs can open up a whole new world. Even if you’ve lived in Chicago your whole life, seeing it through the eyes of someone else can change your whole perspective.

From seeking out critics with blogs searching out the best Chicago-style hot dogs or where you can get the best mango sticky rice to promoting the next labor day weekend and the Chicago marathon or what live music is going down in Lincoln Park or Wicker Park this week, here are some of the best blogs in Chicago, divided into several popular categories.


There are a lot of great things about fashion blogs: the clothes, the shoes, the style. One of the best things that these fashion blogs have to offer are the amazing photographs. Shot at various places around the city, you might see some views you’ve never seen before.

  • ChiCityFashion. Blogger Jena Gambaccini started ChiCityFashion to expand beyond the then-140 character limit of her fashion Twitter account. Her look can be summed up as simple with a statement. Bonus: a lot of her photos are taken in front of awesome local street art.
  • Natalie in the City. A self-described Chicago Plus Size Fashion Blog, Natalie Craig fell in love with fashion in elementary school. A recent college grad, Natalie is embracing her curves and love of putting together the perfect outfit. Natalie is relatable, genuine, and a bonafide fashionista.
  • Blake Von D. Blake Von D’s background is beyond impressive. She completed her masters at NYU and then obtains her law degree from Tulane University. All that while building her online presence and becoming an influencer and brand ambassador. When you see her style, you’ll understand why.

Want more? Check out Bright and Beautiful, Kiko Speaks, and Sequins & Stripes to get more fashion inspiration and take in some stunning fashion photography.


There are so many places to eat in Chicago. You’ll find everything from Michelin Star-worthy fine dining to hidden neighborhood gems. These food blogs take you through them all—and even give you some great ideas for how to cook delicious food at home.

  • Fab Food Chicago.  Soo Park was born in Korea and moved to Chicago with her parents when she was only 3 years old. It’s safe to say she was a foodie even back then. Today, Soo writes about all kinds of food, from fine dining to fast casual, established eateries to hidden hot spots.
  • Chicago Foodie Girl. Starr Nordgren is a writing professor by day, food blogger by night. She writes about restaurants both in the city and surrounding suburbs and shares recipes and cooking tips for eating in. She also travels a lot and takes her readers along for the journey.
  • Make It Like a Man! Jeff the Chef is not playing around. His goal? Encourage men to cook at home. He offers an extensive list of recipes and even has good tips for how to entertain at home. Warning: the photos on Make It Like a Man! will make you seriously hungry.

Still hungry? For a second helping, make sure to visit Chicago Alphabet Soup, But I’m Hungry, and West of the Loop for more great recipes, restaurant recommendations, and maybe a cocktail or two.

Health and Fitness

This next set of blogs varies in scope a bit but they all aim to help make you happier and healthier. Whether you’re looking to get advice from a professional trainer, gain knowledge from a nutritionist, or gather inspiration from someone who’s worked her way out of tough times, these blogs will help you live your best life.

  • The Four Percent. The idea behind Kate Lemere’s Four Percent blog is that a one-hour workout only makes up 4% of your day. She gives ideas for workout routines that anyone can do to get their whole body in shape. She also gives you recipes and product reviews to keep you on the right path.
  • Nutrition Unplugged. Blogger Janet Helms is a registered dietitian who takes the science behind good eating and makes it easier to understand. She also addresses the confusing food and diet recommendations that are always changing to help you gain more control over your health.
  • Erin’s Inside Job.  Erin Bahadur’s blog is deeply honest. She’s a recovering addict who worked through her addiction and, once in the other side of it, learned how to make food and exercise her friends. She shares recipes and other resources as well as brutally honest looks at staying motivated.

Chi Organic Girls, Life Half Full, and the Yoga Life Chicago will give you even more great tips and tricks.


No sanctimommies here! The women who run these blogs are down-to-earth, no-nonsense mamas who write about home and family to try to help spread their knowledge. You’ll find general tricks, practical advice for everything from Halloween costumes to birthday party venues, and travel tips to make your next vacation all that more relaxing.

  • Making It Lovely. Nicole Balch didn’t start out as a mommy blogger. She began her blog in 2007 and the kids just kind of happened, as they do. Today, Making It Lovely is a mix of home renovation and decorating tips and ideas thrown in with brilliant ideas about parenting. Oh, and photos of her adorable children.
  • Queen of the Land of Twigs and Berries.  Amanda Simkin has 2 little boys and the perfect blog name. Her blog is a wealth of information and advice. Need ideas for a birthday party venue? Don’t know where to go for spring break? She even provides family-friendly trip ideas, tips, and destination reviews.
  • Second City Mom. Leyla says that she wasn’t sure of the direction of Second City Mom when it started. Regardless, it ended up as one of the go-to places for Chicago parents looking for things to do or places to eat. Her Chicago guide is simply brilliant whether you’re in town for a visit or have lived in Chicago all your life and are looking for a fresh perspective. Plus, she shares photographs of her family’s daily lives that are just beautiful.

Want more? Head on over to Lollygag Blog, Baby Sideburns, and O the Place We Go for more mommy madness.