7 Ways to Prepare For a Long-Distance Move

Moving to a new home can be a stressful experience. Not only does it require a lot of physical labor, but there’s the added stress of worrying about the welfare of your belongings. Then, there’s adjusting to your new home, new neighbors, and more.

All of these feelings can be exacerbated if you’re embarking on a long-distance move. Instead of moving to a different neighborhood, you’re moving to a whole new city.

However, a move across the country doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By planning ahead and preparing to move, you can substantially mitigate the stress and anxiety that come along with change.

We want to help. Keep reading for a quick guide on how to move long-distance.

1. Start Collecting Packing Supplies Early

First, as soon as you know you’ll be moving, start collecting boxes, packing materials, tape, and other supplies you’ll need for your long-distance move. You can save quite a bit of money by finding free boxes from retail stores throughout your city.

Call the store and talk to a manager to find out if you can come by and collect them. Otherwise, you can pull up behind the back of the store where you are likely to find a major cache of unwanted boxes.

If you can’t enough free boxes, reach out to a local moving company to purchase boxes from them. They’re incredibly affordable and made specifically for moving. They’ll come in various sizes and with built-in handles for ease of transport.

2. Declutter

Next, make your move across the country easier by getting rid of possessions that are no longer necessary in your life. Learning how to declutter your home can significantly reduce the number of items you drag with you across city and state lines. This means less packing and unpacking, and more affordable moving costs.

Go room to room, pulling out every item from its location. This is the best way to properly evaluate everything you own. If you don’t love it, need it, or use it, it needs to go.

Separate the items you’ve decided to part with into three categories:

  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Trash

Selling valuable belongings like clothes, electronics, and recreational items can help fund your move, new furniture, and anything else you might need in your new home. You can sell these things online or host a garage sale.

3. Pack Up Your Belongings in Stages

Next, let’s talk about packing for a move. If you have a big house and/or a lot of belongings, the packing process might feel overwhelming. However, you can save yourself a lot of stress by packing up your home in stages.

Begin packing weeks or months before your move to avoid a last-minute, all-out packing effort. Start with storage areas to box up sentimental items, seasonal decor, recreational equipment, out-of-season clothing, etc.

Then, make your way to spare bedrooms and spare bathrooms. You won’t need the items in these rooms between now and the time that you move. Just as importantly, taking care of these things early on will save you a ton of time as you get closer to your move date.

A week before your move, the only items left unpacked should be the absolute necessities.

4. Hire a Moving Company in Advance

As noted previously, a long-distance move requires preparation. You need to plan things in advance to ensure you won’t have any hiccups come moving day. For example, lockdown a long-distance moving company at least a few weeks ahead of schedule.

If you leave it until the day before, the moving company of your choice might not be available. It’s best to hire a moving company two to four weeks in advance, especially if you’re going to move states away.

Be sure to ask about extra services as well. For example, if you don’t have a permanent location set up, you might need temporary storage solutions, which some moving companies offer. If you put off packing, some moving companies offer packing services, which can make your life easier.

5. Invest in Moving Insurance

One of the most important tips on how to move long-distance is to plan for the worst and hope for the best. In this case, we’re talking about investing in moving insurance.

Even if you do everything right while preparing to move, accidents can happen. Whether you’re transporting your belongings or you hire a moving company to do it for you, you never know what might happen. If you or the moving company get into an accident, all of your items can be destroyed.

If you insure your items, you will at least have peace of mind knowing that you will be financially reimbursed for everything that was damaged or destroyed. The same goes for lost and stolen items.

6. Take Care of Your Utilities

One of the most important things to remember for your long-distance move is to turn off your current address’s utilities. Many homeowners forget about this and end up paying several hundred dollars for utilities they aren’t using. Call each company for your utilities and services to schedule a date for deactivation.

This includes:

  • Water
  • Electric
  • Gas
  • Waste removal
  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Phone
  • And more

Just as importantly, if you already have a home lined up in your new city or state, make sure the utilities are turned on by the time you arrive. Moving into your new home won’t be much fun if you don’t have water or electricity for several days.

7. Officially Change Your Address

Finally, when preparing to move, don’t forget to change your address. You can do this officially through the USPS government website.

However, you also need to change your address at the source. This means contacting your bank, insurance company, and any other party that sends you mail. Don’t rely solely on the post office to redirect your mail.

Lastly, don’t forget about organizations with whom you shop. For example, if you shop with Amazon and eBay, you’ll need to change your shipping address and living address. This goes for all other retail websites, especially if you have monthly subscriptions.

Want More Help With Your Long-Distance Move?

Are you getting ready for a long-distance move? If so, we hope our guide on how to move across the country helped. However, we still have more assistance to offer.

Stick around and browse through the rest of our site to find more informative articles, moving tips, and assistance. We even have valuable moving deals and coupons to help you save on your moving costs.