How to Prepare for a Long Distance Move

10 Tips for a Successful Long-Distance Move

Navigate the challenges of your next long-distance move with ease. Our guide offers 10 essential tips to streamline your relocation, reduce stress, and ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

Making a long-distance move is a type of process that requires planning, coordination, and a lot of patience. However, even the most organized people can go through the unknowns, the ups and downs, and the doubtfulness. 

Luckily, relocating can be much easier if you stick to the right tips and tricks. It’s essential to know how to prepare to move across the country or to a new state if you want this to be a less stressful situation. All you need is some preparation skills and effort, and you’re good to start with a moving checklist

Planning a Long-Distance Move

If you’re one of those people who don’t do regular cleanings, don’t panic. Even if you haven’t cleaned your kitchen cabinets in a while, you’re not alone. Anyone who has experienced a long-distance move has had to deal with what you’re dealing with now, so it’s all part of the relocation. 

Nowadays, the number of people who have had to move states has increased a lot. In fact, the average American tends to move approximately 11.7 times in their life. The reasons behind a long-distance move are different, they’re mainly family or work-related, with 25.5 percent on housing and 19.8 percent on employment. 

Regardless of your reasons, you must know how to prepare for a long-distance move. These ten tips will help you have a smoother transition, so you’re off to a great start. 

Plan Ahead 

Long-distance moves are time-consuming, especially if you don’t plan ahead. The first and most essential tip is to start planning as early as possible, so you don’t worry about finding a mover last minute. On top of that, if you start to pack on the spot, you’re more likely to forget things. 

Start by making a checklist with all the things you want to take, throw out, or donate. That way, you know not to overpack or bring unnecessary stuff. 

Planning ahead also means doing your research on the area you’re planning to move to. Try to get an estimate as to how long the drive is, especially if you’re doing this with a moving company. Speaking of which, you should start to reach out to movers and find one that matches your expectations and budget. 

Be Organized with Packing 

If you want to save more time with your packing situation, it’s essential to know what items you’ll need beforehand. That means dedicating a box or two to items you need immediately after moving into your new house. 

Start by labeling the boxes with your name, numbering them, and writing a short description of what’s inside the box, and the room where it will go. This will make it easier for you to see if you’re missing any boxes and track them on the road. 

Do a Decluttering 

Let’s face it: going through the things you’ll need and the items that you’ll never use is one of the most dreadful situations during a long-distance move. However, it doesn’t make sense to pay for items you won’t need in your new house. 

For example, if you’re moving to a warmer area, you won’t need winter clothing – at least not too many of them. Similarly, if you think there are kitchen items that you’ve never used before, you’re probably not going to use them elsewhere either. 

Instead, try to do a decluttering of items you want to throw out, sell, or donate by putting them in each box. Don’t forget to label each box ahead and send them out to the right places, like a shelter, orphanage, second-hand store, or so. 

However, for items you’ll need like electronics, dishes, and stemware, you must use special boxes meant for storing them because they’re fragile. After all, these belongings may take many days on a moving truck, so you want to ensure everything is packed properly. 

Research Moving Companies 

Each moving company is different; they all have different features and services. That said, it’s always a good idea to do your research about moving companies and whether they provide high-quality capacities to send your items to the right place. 

You want to select a company that has experience and positive reviews with long-distance moves. At the same time, you should pick a mover that’s licensed and registered, and if they provide additional insurance about your items. However, if you require insurance, it’s essential to buy it ahead so you’re covered when the time comes.

Before making your final decision, there are some other additional fees and questions you can discuss with your mover, such as:

  • Is there a fee for stairs/elevators?
  • What is the estimated time for delivery, so you receive your items on time?
  • Do you need a third party to purchase insurance for your items?
  • Does their company determine cost by number of items or weight of items?
  • Do they have certain dates when it’s cheaper to pick up or deliver your items? 

Depending on the area, long-distance moving costs are different. The average costs range from $600 to over $10,000, but the prices can vary from distance moving companies too. 

Consider Furniture Placement Locations 

When considering the weight of all items, furniture is definitely on top of the list. As such, it’s important to plan ahead and consider the placement of each furniture in your new home. That means tackling the meter and doing some layout measurements to ensure everything fits neatly. Besides that, it’s equally important to create a comfortable yet spacious area that it’s easy for you to move around.

There are two ways you can make the moving process easier for your furniture. First, you can talk with your moving company and see if they provide any assembly services, so they can take it from there. Or, you can DIY it yourself by getting some bubble wrap or blankets and wrapping the furniture tightly to keep it safe while on the road. This will also protect them from any scratches or potential dings. 

Update Your Documents 

When moving to a different state or province, your documents are the least of your worries. However, you need to see what type of documents your new area requires and what changes you’ll need to make ahead. Usually, you’re required to update your:

  • Driver’s license
  • Car registration
  • Medical records
  • Health card
  • Pet microchip (if you have pets)
  • Other documents that you use

Understand Your Rights 

If this is your first time moving and are still unsure as to what your rights are, fear not! The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Rights and Responsibilities booklet includes your rights and responsibilities. 

At the same time, you’ll understand more about your moving company’s duties. One of them is how you’re entitled to compensation if your mover damages your items during transportation. Usually, the amount of compensation differs on the weight of the item. For example, if they damage or lose a 30 lb. item, you’re compensated to $18 of worth. Still, it’s better to ask your mover questions for the valuation protection, so you know you’re making a smart decision. 

Get Familiar to Your New Area 

Experiencing homesickness after a long-distance move is real and tough. After you move thousands of miles to a new place, it’s only natural that you don’t feel at ‘home.’ Perhaps you might not know many people in town or figure out where everything is, but you can always get involved with different clubs that match your interests. 

It’s essential to take the time to get acquainted with your new area, find the best restaurants, café and bars, and meet new people. Once you do this, you’ll soon feel more at ease with yourself and the choices you made. 

Last but not least, it’s important to look into the laws of your new area ahead, especially parking laws, as it will allow you to unload your items without disrupting the neighbors. 

Be at Home Before Your Items Arrive

If you want to avoid any misunderstandings and mishaps after the delivery, it’s best to beat your items to your home. Try to go to your new place a few days before your items are due to arrive, that way you can have a clear idea about the place and where you want the furniture and other items to be. 

Also, another tip is to take pictures of your belongings before you load them in the truck, so if anything goes missing or gets damaged, you’ll have proof. 

Additionally, you can use that time to go around the town and become familiar with everything that surrounds your new place. Most importantly, this will help you triple-check everything and ensure the movers did their job correctly. 

Clean Your New Place

One of the most necessary moving tips you should consider is to give your new home a deep cleaning. There’s nothing better than a clean and organized home to have a fresh start on your new journey. If possible, it’s best to clean your apartment when it’s empty, meaning before your items arrive. That way, you can get in all the nooks and crannies, and have the place be ready on time.

Summary and Key Takeaways

Moving across long distances can be a stressful experience, full of ups, downs, and unknown variables. However, the process becomes a lot easier when approached with the right set of guidelines. This comprehensive guide offers 10 essential tips aimed at simplifying your long-distance relocation, from effective planning and decluttering to selecting the right moving company and settling into your new neighborhood. Whether you’re moving for family, work, or just a change of scenery, these tips provide a robust framework that ensures a smooth transition.

Start Planning Early: Don’t wait until the last minute. From creating a checklist to reaching out to movers, early planning will save you time and stress.

Organize Your Packing: A well-labeled system helps you keep track of your belongings, making it easier to identify anything missing or out of place.

Declutter: Sort out items you don’t need anymore and either donate, sell, or throw them away. It’s a waste of money and space to bring items you won’t use.

Do Your Homework on Moving Companies: It’s critical to pick a reputable moving company. Look out for licensure, reviews, and additional insurance options.

Factor in Furniture Placement: Think about where your furniture will go in your new home, even before you start the move. Measurements are your friend here.

Update Your Documents: If you’re changing states, you’ll need to update your driver’s license, medical records, and possibly other documents.

Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s guidelines on moving to understand both your rights and the responsibilities of your moving company.

Get Acquainted with the New Area: Do some reconnaissance to find your new favorite spots and maybe even some new friends.

Arrive Before Your Belongings: Being present before your items arrive gives you the chance to prep your new space and double-check the movers’ work.

Clean Your New Space: Before your stuff arrives, give your new home a thorough cleaning. An empty home is easier to clean, and it sets a positive tone for your fresh start.

By adhering to these key takeaways, your long-distance move will not just be a task to check off, but a well-orchestrated event that paves the way for your new chapter in life. Ah, the joy of turning a maze into a straight path!

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