The Ultimate Family Moving Guide | Planning


I have moved roughly 476 times. Ok, not really, but a lot. I have moved as single college student, a single mom, a married mom of two, and so on. We are now planning our biggest move yet, a family cross-country move to California from Georgia for my husband’s job. I have learned much about moving by trial and error, so I decided to write a four-part moving guide with all my tips and tricks. Welcome to the first installment: the planning phase. There is much to be considered when planning a move. If you plan correctly and efficiently, the rest is smooth sailing.


Whether you are moving to another neighborhood or to another coast, the first thing to look at is your budget. Make sure your budget is updated and current. If your budget will be changing at your proposed new home, you will need to compare the differences. I do this in a simple Google Sheet. I put both budgets side by side, input the formulas, and play with numbers as needed.

If you are moving further than “in-town” you might consider looking at the cost of living differences as well. I found a few websites that are helpful in comparing cost of living in two different places.

Best Places Calculator

Salary.com Calculator

Payscale Calculator

If you are moving our of state, you should also take into consideration what your new net income will be with taxes specific to that state. You can figure that out HERE.


Make lists for everything! I use Google Sheets for this, too. I have a spreadsheet entitled “Move” that has several sheets inside. I have a pre-move list for each family member, a post-move list for each of us, an inventory of what we are moving (and not moving), and costs associated with the move. This makes it easy to have all the information in one place and easily accessible. Don’t forget to schedule and plan your route if you have a long way to drive.


I use HotPads and Craigslist. Tip: To get alerted to the best homes first, set up an alert with your chosen settings so that you receive an email when a home becomes available. When it comes to the neighborhood and school district, my advice is to Google everything to death. Read through message boards and see what other people are saying. Search for registered sex offenders in the area. Be careful about judging a school based on their “score” you may find online. These are often based on test scores only, which can leave room for a lot of error. I found that joining Facebook “Mom” Groups were really helpful for crowd sourcing to get authentic feedback. (This also goes for finding new doctors in the area, fun places to take the kids, and just about anything else!)


There is a lot to compare when it comes to moving services. There are full service movers, moving trucks available for rent, and storage containers that you load and unload at your new location. What you need depends fully on your personal budget, your needs, and your priorities at the time. My preference for simply renting a moving truck is Budget, shipping container moving is uPack, and my favorite full service local movers are Two Men and a Truck.


If I have learned anything the hard way, it’s this. Make sure you allow more time than you think you need to pack and prep. Inevitably, something unexpected will come up and slow you down. It’s better to have things done too soon than at the last minute.

Next up in the series: PURGING.

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  • Reply
    Justin Kure
    August 17, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Moving with a family can be a daunting task because you have to consider a lot of things and much preparation and we all know that it is not easy task but with the help of these guides, it will surely make our lives a lot less stressful. Thanks for sharing, anyway 🙂

  • Reply
    February 7, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Budget and organization, that’s all you need to focus on. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Aaron Smith
    February 13, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    What is the best way to calculate your budget? I know it might sound stupid but good tips about it would come a long way.

  • Reply
    John P.
    February 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Great tips, thanks!

  • Reply
    Carlos Molly
    March 16, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Moving is very stressful work. Not a yourself work. Before moving, talk to your family about how to move. Your blog gives a lot of information regarding moving guide planning. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.

  • Reply
    Henry Collins
    April 23, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Fantastic tips. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Moving helpers
    March 30, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing! Very timely tips! So useful! Thank You for your precious experience. So on time! Genius!
    You better rely on professionalism to handle your long-distance move. Reliable moving companies ensure the ability and experience to provide the services that you need. But before that you better know for sure what you need. You should set your moving budget, decide what is the best way to move your items and how you’ll travel to your new home.

    • Reply
      May 4, 2020 at 10:33 am


  • Reply
    Joshua Haley
    April 26, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    I am moving to California next month with my wife and two kids all the way from Miami, Florida. These tips have really made me pay attention to things which otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Thanks for sharing such magnificent tips!

  • Reply
    Joshua Haley
    April 27, 2021 at 12:26 am

    Moving with a family always require some amount of planning, regardless of the fact that how big or small your family is, or how short or long distance you are moving. Very precise tips, thanks for sharing your wisdom with us!
    Definitely sharing this on!!!

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