15 Long Distance Moving Tips
Moving to a new city or state can be daunting, even if you’re excited for a change of scenery. Not only do you have an upcoming move to organize, you’ve got to do it all from miles away. Cento Family Moving and Storage has put together our top long distance moving tips to get you on the road and settled in.
The first step toward any new venture is good preparation, and moving cross country is no different. Follow these long distance moving tips to start your move off on the right foot.
1. Visit first
Before you decide to move, take a trip to your new city of choice with the mindset of actually moving there. If you have no choice in the matter (you have to move for work, for example), a fact-finding trip can give you a chance to familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood.
2. Start early
Unless you’re a serial mover, moving to a new city always takes longer than you think it will. So get your quotes, sort through your stuff, and pack your boxes several months ahead of time. Waiting until the last minute is a good way to spend (and stress) more than you have to. Use our moving timeline checklist to help you out.
3. Get a reliable quote from a reputable company
Online estimates are great, but they only go so far. If you forget about certain pieces of furniture or underestimate how much something weighs, you’re likely to be unpleasantly surprised when the final bill comes.
It’s best to rely on the movers’ expertise when it comes to accurate pricing. Once you’ve gathered a selection of online or over-the-phone quotes, schedule the managers to come out to your house for adequate pricing. You may find that the pool table they thought was going to be a hassle is light and portable.
4. Hire a moving company (not a broker)
A moving company will make your cross country move so much easier. Don’t think that you can move everything you own across the country by yourself. Follow our tips for hiring a moving company that won’t rip you off.
As while you’re making phone calls to different moving companies, make sure that their crew is the one that will be showing up on moving day. Some moving companies actually subcontract long distance moves to a third party.
5. Start a Moving Binder
Every list of long distance moving tips should include this one! A moving binder is a great way to keep all of your paperwork organized for the cross country move ahead of you.
Make divider tabs for each category (receipts, packing inventory, calendar, checklists, moving company contract, etc.) and keep everything related to your move inside the binder.
Packing is arguably the longest and most arduous job in any long distance move, so any tips to make it easier, quicker, and more organized will go a long way toward making your long distance move more manageable.
6. Purge strategically
Get rid of items before you get to your new place. Take stock of what you have that just won’t work in your new house or city and declutter as you pack. You won’t need to bring 8 pairs of flip flops to rainy Seattle. Or perhaps you’ll only need one TV in your new studio apartment.
Another thing to consider: the cost of shipping the item. It’s not worth paying to tote a dresser you don’t love all the way across the country. It might be cheaper to donate or sell the item before you move and buy a replacement later.
7. Educate yourself
If it’s been a while since you’ve moved (or if you’ve always moved yourself), you probably don’t know that there are certain things that moving companies won’t move. Get rid of these items beforehand or take them with you.
8. Plan ahead
Use an online furniture arranging tool to plot out where you’re going to put everything in your new home’s floorplan.These easy-to-use sites let you rearrange furniture all day without breaking a sweat. Once you have it all mapped out, print out your new layout and stick it in your moving binder. It’ll be nice to have come moving day.
While you’re packing, label each box or piece of furniture with its new location to make unloading the truck that much easier.
9. Pack smart
Between the bumpy roads, the hot truck, and the length of the trip, your stuff is going to go through a lot. Now is not the time to slack on safe packing tips.
Wrap delicate items in bubble wrap, cover upholstered furniture, and pad sharp corners to prevent a jostle on the truck from shattering your china. Our best tips on packing up every room in your house will help prevent damage to your valuables.
10. Pack an “overnight” bag
This is a good idea for any move, but long-distance moves are, well, longer. If you’re flying to your new destination, it’ll take the truck several days to catch up with you; if you’re driving out with the moving truck, you’ll be on the road for a few days. Either way, you might not have access to the items on the moving truck for at least a week.
Pack all the essentials (clothes, hygiene items, phone chargers, coffee maker, etc.) in a few suitcases so you can live comfortably before all the boxes are delivered.
You’ve made it to moving day! But don’t get too comfortable; the real work of the move is still ahead of you.
11. Schedule some “wiggle room”
Everything from weather to traffic can set back your carefully arranged schedule. (You don’t want to miss your flight because the movers were delayed.) So leave yourself a good cushion of time just in case things go haywire.
In fact, it’s a good idea to drive or fly to your new home after the movers have left with your stuff. That way, you know where the truck is. Crash with a friend or get a hotel room since your house will be empty.
12. Make the trip comfortable
Long trips—whether their for pleasure or relocation—are rough on everybody.
Pack plenty of snacks and entertainment for the trip (charge up those iPads!) to keep the whole family happy. If you’re driving, pick out a few fun stops along the way to give everyone something to look forward to. If you’re traveling with pets, make sure you reserve hotels that will let Fido sleep in the room with you (don’t forget to bring plenty of kibble and treats!).
13. Shorten your move
Driving cross country still sound like too much work? You can drastically cut down the time it takes to move long distance if you fly instead of drive. See about shipping your car to your new location rather than spending the time (and gas) to drive it yourself.
After the Move
You’ve crossed the finish line, but your work has just begun. While you’re unpacking and setting up the new crib, don’t forget a couple more long distance moving tips to make everything a bit easier.
14. Fill in the blanks
After purging the clutter and throwing away the last of your perishables, you might get to your new home and realize that you need to go shopping! Make sure you have everything you need to make your new house a home by stocking up on the essentials.
15. Settle down
You may have left some great friends behind, but there are plenty of new people to meet in your new city. Open yourself up to new experiences and make some new friends. You’ll feel right at home before you know it.