15 Long Distance Moving Tips

15 long distance moving tips

Any move is stressful, but long distance moving has an additional layer of stress. Not only do you have an upcoming move to organize, you’ve got to do it all from cities or states away.

Moving long distance doesn’t have to be so daunting though. As you’re looking forward to the change of scenery, check out Cento Moving’s top long distance moving tips to help you through the moving process.


Long Distance Moving Tips

The first step toward any new venture is good preparation, and moving cross country or even from one city to another is no different. Follow these long distance moving tips to start your move off on the right foot and to potentially save time and save money.

1. Visit your new city first

Sure, Friends made New York City seem so glamorous and fun. But it would be a shame if you moved there only to find out that L.A. would better suit you.

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 and stay on schedule

Unless you’re a serial mover, moving to a new city always takes longer than you think it will. Setting a schedule of when you need to do what will help make the process much easier. You need to get your moving 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 ultimate moving checklist to help you out.

3. Get a reliable quote from a reputable cross country movers

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’ll be unpleasantly surprised when the final bill comes.

It’s best to rely on the moving company’s expertise when it comes to accurate pricing, and there’s no reason you can’t shop around for competing quotes. Check for additional fees as well because some companies like to throw them in after the fact.

Once you’ve gathered a selection of online moving quotes, schedule the movers to come out to your house for an inspection and adequate pricing. You may find that the pool table they thought was going to be a hassle is light and portable.

Do your research on long distance moving companies and find the one that fits your budget and timeline best.

4. Hire a reputable long distance moving company (not a broker)

Hiring professional and experienced long distance movers 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, be sure to confirm that their crew is actually the one that will be showing up on moving day. Some moving companies will 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.


Start Packing for Your Cross Country Move

Cardboard boxes ready for a long distance move

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 your goods strategically

Don’t waste precious packing space on things you don’t use. Get rid of these 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 eight pairs of flip flops to rainy Seattle. Or perhaps you’ll only need one TV if you’re downsizing to a one bedroom apartment.

When you pack your belongings, ask yourself when was the last time you wore this jacket or is it time to buy new pots and pans anyway?

In some cases, the cost of shipping the item might make the decision for you. 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. Find out what your movers won’t move

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 yourself.

8. Label everything when you’re moving

Don’t forget to label all your boxes to makes things easier once you arrive. This applies to more than your dishes and clothes too.

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, artwork, and decor 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 your boxes efficiently

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 dishes. Lighter cardboard boxes will also do less damage. Long distance moves don’t come cheap, so be prepared to buy extra boxes and packing supplies. You won’t regret it when your belongings arrive undamaged.

Our best tips on packing up every room in your house will help prevent damage to your fragile items. If you’re concerned about getting everything packed properly in time, find a moving company that will take care of the packing for you as well.

10. Pack a “Moving Essentials” 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, and 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 your moving truck arrives.


Cento Moving truck doing a long distance move

Moving Day

You’ve made it to your cross country moving day! But don’t get too comfortable; the real work of the move is still ahead of you.

11. Schedule some “wiggle room” on moving day

Everything from weather to traffic can set back your carefully arranged move date. (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 when moving 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 Your Long Distance 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. Arrive At Your New Home

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.

Whether you’re moving to Atlanta, Oregon, or Anchorage, or have a small move or a large move, Cento Family Moving can get you there! We’re expert cross country movers, and we can take care of your packing needs as well. We’ll treat your belongings as if they were are own, and we are fully insured so you can feel at ease.

If you’ve got a cross country move coming up, get your free moving estimate instantly.



  • Great moving tips. It is important to organize everything soo carefully. The other important thing is to choose moving company wisely. Best regards!

  • Thank you for sharing. Moving is a high risk industry; according to statistics from the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), “More than 80% of all moves have no claim filed”- in other words, up to 20% do. Be ready for something to go wrong, and get the proper coverage. Keep it up.

  • It is really true that moving a home can be a very difficult task for anyone so I hope your post will help people to understand the complete process and how they can move their home easily. Thanks

  • It’s really nice tips for long distance moving. I appreciate the efforts you people put in to share blogs on such kind of topics; it was helpful. Keep Posting!

  • A long distance move is one of the major life event. So, planning ahead is the best way to make sure that everything goes smoothly as per the situation. Particularly during the summer times movers reach capacity, and by planning ahead one won’t has to worry about finding a mover at the last minute. Another thing is that with an in home estimate will allow to figure out the accurate price for the move. Well, not all the companies are created equal, so, research helps in gaining a better idea about the moving company. On a final note I can say that it is always a good step to choose the moving service for long distance move and, better to choose the service in off season in order to do the same task by spending less money.

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