I love making lists. In middle school, I used to write “eat breakfast” on my to-do list so I’d have something to cross off. Don’t judge – breakfast is important. Now I’m a project manager and make to-do lists for a living. Except these are super lists – lists that come with dates and dependencies and an estimated number of days or hours or both that describe how long each task should take to complete. These are not just lists, they are “project plans”, and when I knew I was moving to Wisconsin, I couldn’t help myself: I made a project plan for moving cross country.
Before I get to my bullet list of “Oh Yeah – don’t forget XYZ”, I proudly present the Cross Country Project Plan Master To Do List. If you have to make a big move, whether it’s “big” in terms of distance or “big” in terms of complications of any sort, I hope you find this list helpful.
You can download it from Google Drive through this link here
This is what it looks like:
If you don’t have Microsoft Project, fear not. I’ve copied this to Excel and you can download that file right here.
Moving Cross Country Super List Project Plan – in Excel Format
In Excel you won’t get any of the dependencies, meaning if you change one date that affects a second date, that second date will not automatically update like it would in a project plan application. I highly recommend getting an application that can read Project Plans. According to an article by the Digital Project Manager describes “10 of the Best (Including Free) Microsoft Alternatives“, you can get Project Libre for free.
The “Oh Yeahs” – things to remember
- Pack a suitcase of the clothes, toiletries, chargers, etc. you’ll need during the process of moving, and keep that accessible during the drive. If all your clothes are in boxes, you’ll want a set of fresh clothes for your multi-day driving trip across the country.
- Make sure you have a knife or scissors or sharp object that is not packed away because you will need it when you get to your new house and have to open all the moving boxes you’ve taped shut. You should also have some bandaids handy for when you cut yourself like I did opening the boxes (it was more of a poke than a cut, but you know how sharp those Cutco knives can be)
- Get the electricity and cable taken care of days in advance. Some electric companies need a full day’s notice to come out and turn on your power.
- Pack healthy food in your travel bag. Eating junk food on the road gets old real fast, and pizza is going to seem like the best option the day you unload the moving truck at your new house. Eating a pack of blueberries or an apple on Moving-In Day can make a world of difference.
- Keep paper and pens accessible so you can write down the neighbor’s names as you meet them – some of them will come say hello before you’ve got your boxes unpacked.
- Download podcasts and music you can listen to while you’re driving through areas with no reception.
- Buy a pair of walkie-talkies if you will be driving in separate vehicles (my husband drove the moving truck, which was towing his car; I drove my car behind him – having walkie-talkies made it feel like we were sitting next to each other because we could chime in and chat whenever we wanted).