Long Distance Moving Tips: How to Plan, Prepare, and Pack for a Stress-Free Move

What stirs up feelings of excitement and dread at the same time? A long-distance move. Although relocating to a brand new place may bring out your sense of adventure, the process of getting there can quite possibly fill you with panic. Fortunately, moving doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Take advantage of a few long-distance moving tips for a stress-free experience.

Start Early

A long-distance move is life changing, so make sure you start planning early. To simplify the moving process, use a printable moving checklist to systematically pack each space in your home. For optimal organization, keep a designated relocation binder with loads of pockets for everything from your checklist and receipts to your mover’s contract. If moving seems too overwhelming to handle on your own, remember there are professional relocation managers and organizers that can help.

Do Your Research

About four weeks in advance of your move, investigate moving companies in your area using online review sites and advice from friends and family. Contact three of the top companies for moving quotes and any additional information you might want. For long-distance moves, well-established moving businesses often make a good option due to years of experience and large hauling capacity.


Because the cost of your move likely depends on the weight of your belongings, downsizing prior to shipping is a wise money-saving strategy. Go through your items and decide what to keep, sell, and donate. When sorting through your belongings, moving expert, Susan Perry of Let’s Move LLC in Fulton, Maryland, recommends starting with items that you are not attached to emotionally. If you begin with keepsakes or photo albums, the process could take much longer.

Pack Smart

You need a few tips for packing to move across country — as opposed to down the street. Several different movers could possibly handle your belongings over a long-distance move, so make sure to use strong, sturdy boxes. Breakable items should be wrapped properly, and boxes should be packed full to prevent loose items from rattling around — and possibly breaking — during travel. Take care that boxes are sealed with high-quality tape. Ask if your movers will wrap your furniture to prevent nicks and stains.

Label, Label, Label

Whether you are packing your own boxes or the movers are doing it for you, make sure to label each box with your name and cell phone number in case of a mix-up. Next, add the room where the box belongs like “”kitchen”” or “”master bedroom.”” This makes the unloading process faster and easier for your movers. A general description of what’s inside the box like “”pantry items”” also makes your transition from home to home smoother.

Pack a few boxes or bins with items you will need to access immediately like clothing, basic kitchenware, and toiletries, and label these boxes “”First Day.”” When it comes to the best long distance moving tips, this one makes the big move-in day much less stressful.

Insure Your Belongings

Think about the many, many miles of road between your old home and new — and the accidents that could happen to your things along the way. The American Moving and Storage Association asserts that roughly 80 percent of all moves end up with no insurance claims filed, but that still leaves a 20 percent chance of breakage, loss, or other mishaps.

It’s a good idea to insure your belongings, especially valuables. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), moving companies are only liable for $0.60 per pound of insurance when the move is from one state to another, which likely won’t cover the cost of replacement for many of your items. To make sure your belongings are covered, check with your moving company about all the insurance options it offers.

Make Your New Home Move-in Ready

If your new residence needs a fresh coat of paint or new carpeting, then make sure to have the work complete before you move in. A long-distance move is stressful enough without having to deal with home improvement when you get there. Since it’s tough to do the work yourself without being nearby, research companies in the area and hire one for the job. Your realtor might be a good source of information when it comes to choosing a reliable company.

Are you relocating to a new home? When considering how to move long distance with the least stress possible, take advantage of these tips. If you decide to part with some or all of your furniture before the trip, check out CORT Furniture Rental for stylish transitional sofas, chairs, dining sets, beds, and more so that you can spend your first few days getting to know your new city.

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