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Moving long distance?
Whether you’re moving to a new country or just a few hundred miles, you’re going to need some fantastic long distance moving tips to make it happen. From the moment you find out you’re moving, to the day your belongings are finally delivered to your new home, you won’t have to worry about missing a beat. Moving to the other side of town can be a very different experience from moving across the country — or to a different country. If you’re in for a big change of scenery, it pays to take stock of your situation sooner rather than later.
For some moves, you just need to throw everything you own in the back of a van and hit the road. A long-distance move, on the other hand, requires a lot more planning. The long distance moving tips below will help you remember everything you need to do ahead of time in order to have a successful move.
1. Make a plan as soon as you know you’re moving
You’re about to move everything you own hundreds or thousands of miles away. That kind of enormous task requires a plan! Whether you like to go with the flow or you want every moving-related to-do recorded in a spreadsheet, you should write down every moving-related task you need to accomplish. We know that’s a lot to juggle, so to help you out, we’ve already created the ultimate moving checklist to help you through every phase of your move.
2. Stay on schedule
Now that you’ve got a plan, you need to stay on schedule. Tasks like utility installation and school enrollment are time sensitive, so you don’t want to be scrambling to complete everything at the last minute. To keep yourself from forgetting what you need to do and when, try scheduling chunks of time on your calendar for moving-related tasks or setting up reminders on your phone. Follow this long distance moving tip, and you’ll be on schedule and ready for a stress-free move in no time!
3. Get multiple in-home moving estimates
Since you’re moving such a long distance, you need to do everything you can to find the right moving company. Part of this process is getting in-home estimates from at least three different moving companies. We recommend scheduling your estimates four weeks before your move, but the earlier the better. Don’t forget to make sure the price estimate is as accurate as possible by preparing your home properly for the in-home estimate.
4. Hire a reputable moving company
After you go through a few in-home estimates and compare prices, make sure to hire the most reputable and trustworthy moving company possible. Though affordability is an important aspect of this decision, remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the best. You don’t want to get caught in a moving scam while you’re trying to move thousands of miles away.
5. Update important documents like your license
Changing your address requires updating your information in a lot of different places. However, it gets even more complicated when you’re moving a long distance. You may need to update your driver’s license and registration and other important documents. Make sure to plan ahead and research what all needs to be updated in plenty of time before your move! This is one long distance moving tip that can not be ignored. Trust us.
6. Purchase moving insurance
Whether you have dozens of valuable items or not, make sure you are aware of what your insurance does and does not cover. Sit down with your agent before you move and see what your home and auto insurance covers as far as moving goes. Also, remember that though moving companies usually offer a limited insurance policy, you might want to purchase a more comprehensive plan if you have many expensive or valuable items.
7. Make an inventory list
When you move long distance, your belongings may become spread across states or even continents. That’s why it’s so important to take inventory of all your belongings before the big move. Whether you use an app or a notebook and pen, make sure that you have a comprehensive list of everything you own in one place. That way, you won’t have to worry about figuring out if everything arrived at your new home. You’ll be able to simply check your inventory list.
8. Figure out where everything will go in your new home
Before moving your five bookshelves and king-sized bed across the country, you need to figure out if they’ll fit in your new home. Instead of going off of square footage, try to measure how much open floor space there is in the apartment. That way, you won’t be frustrated when you move your bookshelf all the way to your new home, only to find out that the square footage isn’t quite as open as you thought.
9. Take some time to majorly downsize
You should get rid of unwanted items before any move, but one of our best long distance moving tips is to majorly downsize. Get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in the last year, kitchen appliances you’ve never touched, and books you’re not going to read again. Seriously, if you don’t use it, love it, or need it to survive, we recommend tossing it, donating it, or holding a garage sale. Purging your belongings could lower the price of your moving estimate and make packing and unpacking far easier.
10. Prioritize the items you need to keep with you
As you begin to pack, make sure to prioritize what you need to keep with you. For this long distance moving tip, we recommend packing an open-first box that includes items you’ll need during your first weeks, such as towels, bedding, and a few pots and pans and dishes. Don’t forget to also pack a suitcase with toiletries, your favorite clothing items, and personal necessities. Keep these things with you, and you’ll be far more comfortable while you wait for your moving truck to arrive at your new home.
11. Pack boxes with distance in mind
This is often forgotten when it comes to long distance moving tips. Though our best packing hacks definitely still apply, a long distance move requires some additional packing effort. For example, you should take extra care with fragile items by wrapping them in bubble wrap, paper, and old t-shirts. Pack fragile items together to keep them organized and ensure that your movers know to take extra care with these boxes.
12. Organize belongings as you pack
Unpacking will be a lot easier if you don’t throw everything you own into boxes at random. Instead, you should pack your belongings by room. You may even consider packing by area, for example, if you have a desk, you could put everything that goes on it in one box. You can also give each box a number that corresponds with your inventory list, which will be very useful when the boxes are delivered to your home later on.
13. Label boxes with your name
When you move long distance, your boxes will most likely be placed on a moving truck that includes boxes that belong to other families. This is actually fairly common. To keep your belongings from getting mixed up or dropped off at the wrong location, clearly label every box with your name. For boxes you’re very concerned about losing, you might even consider including your phone number, just in case the box is dropped at the wrong house.
14. Let the professionals handle it
While moving hacks can save you loads of time, packing up your entire house could still easily take months. If you’re moving in a hurry, work long hours, or would rather spend time with friends than pack up your home, you should consider hiring professional packers. Especially when it comes to long distance moving, having a professional bubble wrap and tape up your belongings can be invaluable. To save time in other areas, you can also hire professionals to clean your home or help you organize before the move. Just keep in mind that this long distance moving tip can be expensive, so be sure it fits into your budget before calling in reinforcements.
15. Save money where you can
If you’re in between jobs, you might be trying to save as much money as possible during your long-distance move. If that’s the case, the best long distance moving tip for you is to try to do-it-yourself as much as you can. Whether it’s packing, cleaning, and organizing with only the help of your friends, or getting rid of as much as possible in order to save money on your moving company, you can get creative in this process. The downside is that this method takes more time. However, if you ask your friends for help, you might actually enjoy DIY-ing parts of your move.
16. Move during off-season
Most people choose to move during the summer, and as a result, this is probably the most expensive time of year to hire a moving company. If you can, choose to move during the off-season. This could save you hundreds of dollars and make your entire move a whole lot easier. If that’s not an option, moving on a weekday or in the middle of the month can also help save a few dollars.
17. Move yourself (and your car) the right way
If you’re moving within the country, you might consider saving money by driving your car and yourself to your new home. However, if you’re moving across the ocean or over an insurmountable distance, you need to ship your car to your new home. Make sure to do your research and plan ahead so that you don’t get stuck in your new town with no way to get around!
18. Plan around your delivery window
Depending on the moving company you choose, the delivery window for your belongings could be over two weeks after you arrive at your new home. As a result, it’s crucial to plan to live for the first month without whatever you put on the moving truck. To decrease the stress of waiting for your belongings to arrive, make sure to keep your open-first box and your personal necessities with you.
19. Be aware of your move-in situation
When the moving truck arrives, you need to be prepared. Research your new neighborhood’s parking regulations. Then, make sure there’s room for the moving truck to park. If there’s no room, your moving company may charge an extra fee to bring your boxes on a smaller shuttle. So that you’re not surprised by such a situation, make sure to ask your moving company about all potential additional fees pre-move. If you’re moving into an apartment building, also check on any move-in day requirements, like if you need to reserve a freight elevator.
20. Triple-check your belongings before the movers leave
Hopefully, while you were packing, you created an inventory list of all your belongings. With this list in hand, you can make sure that your movers bring everything that’s yours into your new home. You should double-check and triple-check this list before your movers even leave. This way, they can quickly figure out what happened to any missing items.