how to prepare for a long distance move

How to Prepare for a Long-Distance Move

Moving to a new home can be both exciting and stressful, but a long-distance move can add a whole new level of complexity. A long-distance move is typically defined as a move that exceeds 100 miles, although this can vary depending on the specific moving company. Whether you’re moving across the state or across the country, proper preparation is crucial to ensuring a smooth and successful move.

Preparing for a long-distance move can be overwhelming, but taking the time to plan ahead can save you a lot of time and stress in the long run. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about preparing for a long-distance move, including tips for packing efficiently, choosing the right moving company, and saving money on your move. By following our advice, you’ll be well on your way to a stress-free and successful move to your new home.

Start Packing Early

Moving is a time-consuming process, and packing is often the most time-consuming part of it. To make your move as stress-free as possible, it’s important to start packing as early as possible. This will give you plenty of time to sort through your belongings, get rid of things you don’t need, and pack your remaining items in an organized and efficient manner.

When packing for a long-distance move, it’s important to be strategic about how you pack your items. You’ll want to make sure that your items are well-protected during transit and that they are easy to unpack once you arrive at your new home. Here are some tips for packing efficiently:

  • Use the right packing supplies: Make sure you have plenty of sturdy boxes in various sizes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and packing paper. Using high-quality packing supplies will help ensure that your items are well-protected during transit.
  • Pack room by room: Start by packing up items in one room at a time. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t forget anything.
  • Label boxes with your name and contents: Be sure to label each box with your name and the contents inside. This will make it easier to unpack once you arrive at your new home.
  • Pack items strategically: Pack heavy items in smaller boxes and lighter items in larger boxes. This will make it easier to carry the boxes and will help ensure that your items don’t get damaged during transit.

In addition to packing efficiently, it’s also important to consider storage options. If you need to store some of your items before or after your move, consider using a climate-controlled storage unit. These units will help protect your items from extreme temperatures and humidity, which can cause damage over time.

Create a Move Checklist

Creating a move checklist is an essential part of preparing for a long-distance move. A moving checklist will help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t forget any important tasks. Here’s why creating a moving checklist is important:

  • Helps you stay on track: A moving checklist will help you stay on track with your move and ensure that you’re making progress on all of the necessary tasks.
  • Reduces stress: By having a clear plan in place, you’ll feel more in control of your move, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Ensures you don’t forget anything: Moving involves a lot of tasks, and it’s easy to forget something important. A moving checklist will help ensure that you don’t forget any critical tasks.

When creating a moving checklist, be sure to include the following tasks:

  • Research and choose a moving company
  • Obtain moving quotes
  • Sort through belongings and donate or sell items you don’t need
  • Pack up belongings
  • Label boxes with your name and contents
  • Change your address with the post office
  • Transfer utilities and services to your new home
  • Make travel arrangements
  • Clean your old home before leaving

To stay organized, consider organizing your moving checklist by timeframe. For example, you might have tasks to complete a few months before your move, tasks to complete a few weeks before your move, and tasks to complete on moving day. Be sure to include deadlines for each task to help you stay on track.

Finally, it’s important to stay on track with your moving checklist. Consider setting reminders or alerts for important deadlines, and make sure to regularly review your checklist to ensure that you’re making progress on all necessary tasks.

Choose the Right Moving Company

Choosing the right moving company is crucial to ensuring a stress-free and successful long-distance move. With so many moving companies to choose from, it’s important to take the time to research your options and find a reputable company that will provide the services you need at a fair price. Here are some tips for choosing the right moving company:

  • Research your options: Take the time to research different moving companies in your area. Look for companies with good reviews and ratings, and check to see if they are licensed and insured.
  • Get moving quotes: Contact at least three different moving companies to get quotes for your move. Make sure the quotes include all of the services you’ll need, such as packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, and transportation.
  • Compare quotes: Once you have your quotes, compare them to see which company offers the best value for your money. Keep in mind that the cheapest quote may not always be the best option.
  • Check for additional fees: Make sure you understand what is included in your moving quote and whether there are any additional fees you may be responsible for. Ask about any fees for packing materials, stair fees, or long-carry fees.
  • Understand compensation options: Ask the moving company about their compensation policies in case something goes wrong during the move. Make sure you understand how to file a claim and what type of compensation you may be eligible for.

By taking the time to research your options and choose a reputable moving company, you can ensure that your long-distance move is as stress-free and successful as possible.

Save Money on Your Move

Moving can be an expensive endeavor, but there are several things you can do to save money on your long-distance move. Here are some tips for reducing your moving costs:

  • Use a moving cost calculator: A moving cost calculator can help you estimate the cost of your move based on factors such as the distance, the size of your home, and the services you need. Use a moving cost calculator to get an idea of what to expect and to compare quotes from different moving companies.
  • Downsize your belongings: The more items you have to move, the more expensive your move will be. Take the time to sort through your belongings and donate or sell items you no longer need or use.
  • Look for affordable rental trucks: If you’re moving on a budget, consider renting a truck and doing the move yourself. Look for companies that offer affordable rates and be sure to compare quotes.
  • Ship your car: If you’re moving a long distance and need to transport your car, consider shipping it rather than driving it yourself. While it may be more expensive than driving, it can be a more convenient and cost-effective option in the long run.
  • Use portable moving containers: Portable moving containers can be a great option for those who need a flexible and affordable moving solution. They can be dropped off at your home, allowing you to pack at your own pace, and then transported to your new location.

By using these tips, you can save money on your long-distance move and ensure that you stay within your budget.

Tips for Moving with Kids and Pets

Moving can be stressful for everyone, but it can be especially difficult for kids and pets. Here are some tips for making the move as easy as possible for your whole family:

  • Strategies for helping kids adjust to the move: Moving can be tough on kids, especially if they’re leaving friends and familiar surroundings behind. To help ease the transition, involve them in the process as much as possible. Let them help pack their belongings and say goodbye to their old home. You can also take a tour of your new home and neighborhood before you move so that they have an idea of what to expect.
  • Tips for preparing pets for a move: Moving can be stressful for pets, so it’s important to prepare them ahead of time. Take them to the vet for a check-up and make sure that their vaccinations are up to date. You can also introduce them to their carriers or crates ahead of time so that they’re comfortable with them on moving day.
  • How to keep pets comfortable during the move: On moving day, keep your pets in a safe and comfortable area away from all the commotion. Make sure they have plenty of water and their favorite toys and blankets to keep them calm. You can also consider using a pheromone spray or diffuser to help reduce their anxiety.

By following these tips, you can help your kids and pets adjust to your long-distance move and make the transition as smooth as possible.

Packing Tips

Packing is one of the most important aspects of moving, and doing it efficiently can save you a lot of time and hassle during the move. Here are some packing tips to make the process as smooth as possible:

Firstly, it’s essential to have all the necessary packing supplies, such as boxes, tape, packing paper, and bubble wrap. Make sure you have enough supplies to avoid running out in the middle of packing.

When packing, it’s important to be organized and label boxes with your name and the contents of the box. This will help you keep track of your belongings and make it easier to unpack later. Additionally, it’s recommended to pack items from one room in the same box to make unpacking more manageable.

When packing valuable items such as electronics, jewelry, or artwork, it’s important to take extra care. Wrap them in packing paper or bubble wrap to protect them during the move.

Speaking of bubble wrap, it’s a great material to use when packing fragile items. It provides an extra layer of cushioning and can prevent your belongings from getting damaged during transport. Be sure to use enough bubble wrap to cover the entire item and tape it securely in place.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your belongings are packed efficiently and safely for your move.

Changing Your Address 

• Why it’s important to change your address

• How to forward your mail

Changing your address is a crucial step in the moving process. Not only will it ensure that your mail reaches you at your new location, but it will also update your information with important organizations such as banks and government agencies. To change your address, you can either visit your local post office or change your address online through the United States Postal Service website. You can also notify certain organizations of your address change, such as your employer, utilities companies, and subscription services, to ensure that you receive important notifications and bills at your new address.

Tipping Your Movers 

Tipping your movers is an important part of the moving process. While it is not mandatory, it is a common practice and a way to show your appreciation for a job well done. When deciding on an appropriate tip, consider the level of service provided, the size of the move, and the overall experience. A general rule of thumb is to tip between 5-20% of the total cost of the move, but you can also base it on the number of hours worked or the level of difficulty of the move. Make sure to have cash on hand to give to your movers on moving day.

Choose the Right Moving Insurance

Moving can be a stressful time, and it’s important to protect your belongings during the moving process. While professional moving companies take great care in transporting your items, accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s essential to have the right moving insurance to protect your belongings in case of damage or loss.

There are several types of moving insurance available, and it’s important to choose the right one for your specific needs. Here’s what you need to know about moving insurance and how to choose the right coverage for your move.

Understanding Moving Insurance Options

When it comes to moving insurance, there are two primary options: Released Value Protection and Full Value Protection.

Released Value Protection is the most basic level of coverage required by law. This type of insurance covers your items at a rate of $0.60 per pound. So, if a 10-pound item is lost or damaged during the move, you would receive $6 in compensation.

Full Value Protection, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive insurance option. With this coverage, the moving company is liable for the replacement value of any items that are lost or damaged during the move. However, keep in mind that Full Value Protection often comes with a higher premium.

Tips for Choosing the Right Coverage

When selecting moving insurance, it’s important to consider the value of your belongings, your budget, and your risk tolerance.

Start by assessing the total value of your belongings. Create an inventory of all the items you plan to move and assign a value to each item. This will give you an idea of how much coverage you need.

Next, consider your budget. While Full Value Protection is the most comprehensive coverage, it can also be expensive. If you’re looking to save money, Released Value Protection may be a more affordable option.

Finally, think about your risk tolerance. If you have high-value items, such as antiques or artwork, or if you’re moving long-distance, it may be worth investing in Full Value Protection for added peace of mind.

Choosing the Right Insurance Provider

Once you’ve determined the type of coverage you need, it’s time to choose an insurance provider. Many professional moving companies offer their own moving insurance, but you can also purchase coverage from a third-party insurance provider.

When choosing an insurance provider, be sure to do your research. Look for a provider with a good reputation and a track record of providing reliable coverage. Read reviews from other customers and ask for recommendations from friends and family.

Choosing the right moving insurance is an important part of any move. By understanding your options and assessing your needs, you can choose the right coverage for your specific situation. Whether you opt for Released Value Protection or Full Value Protection, having the right coverage can provide peace of mind and protect your belongings during the moving process.

Choosing the Right Type of Transportation for Your Move 

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning a long-distance move is choosing the right type of transportation for your belongings. There are several options available, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. To make the best decision for your move, consider the following:

Distance of Move

The distance of your move will play a significant role in determining the best transportation option. If you’re moving across the country, it’s likely that you’ll need to choose between using a moving truck, a shipping container, or a professional moving company. However, if you’re just moving a short distance, you may be able to rent a smaller truck or use your personal vehicle to transport your belongings.

Size of Move

The size of your move will also impact the type of transportation you choose. For small moves, using a shipping container or renting a small truck may be sufficient. However, larger moves will require larger trucks or multiple containers. Professional moving companies may also be able to accommodate larger moves with their fleet of trucks.


Your budget will also be a key factor in choosing the right type of transportation for your move. Renting a moving truck or shipping container may be more affordable, but you’ll also need to factor in additional costs such as fuel and insurance. Professional moving companies may be more expensive, but they offer a more comprehensive service that includes packing and unpacking.


If you have a tight moving timeline, you’ll need to consider the speed of each transportation option. Shipping containers may take longer to arrive at your new home, while renting a truck may require you to drive long distances in a short amount of time. Professional moving companies typically offer more flexible timelines and can work with you to ensure that your move is completed on schedule.

Climate Control

If you have delicate items that require a climate-controlled environment, such as artwork or electronics, you’ll need to choose a transportation option that can accommodate these needs. Professional moving companies often have climate-controlled trucks and storage facilities, while shipping containers and rental trucks may not offer this option.

Auto Transport

If you’re moving a long distance, you may also need to consider how to transport your vehicle. Many professional moving companies offer auto transport services, while others may require you to rent a car trailer or drive your vehicle to your new home.

In summary, there are several factors to consider when choosing the right type of transportation for your move. The distance and size of your move, your budget, timeframe, and need for climate control or auto transport will all impact your decision. By carefully considering each option, you can choose the transportation method that best meets your needs and ensures a smooth and stress-free move.


Preparing for a long-distance move can be stressful, but with the right preparation and mindset, it can also be a smooth and successful process. Throughout this article, we have covered several key aspects of preparing for a long-distance move, including starting early, creating a moving checklist, choosing the right moving company, saving money on your move, packing efficiently, changing your address, and tipping your movers. By following these tips and strategies, you can minimize stress and ensure that your move is as smooth and successful as possible. Remember to stay organized, plan ahead, and ask for help when you need it, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful long-distance move.