Planning, let alone executing, a successful long-distance move takes hard work and preparation. Without these two key elements, any long-distance move could become a logistical nightmare that could easily increase the cost and time it takes to get you from point A to B.
Long-distance moves are generally considered anything 100 miles or more from the starting point by most long-distance moving companies. Unlike local moves that are completed in less than a day, long-distance moves take more time, specialized labor, and additional equipment to ensure that your belongings make it safely to their destination.
These specialized needs are why following these five tips for your first long-distance move is recommended to ensure that your prudent planning doesn’t go to waste.
#1 - Don't procrastinate
If you know you will be moving long-distance, or even think you might be moving long-distance – don’t hesitate to start planning as soon as possible. Whether it’s contacting long-distance moving companies to get quotes or comparing prices on moving supplies, getting a jump on your long-distance move far in advance will help to streamline the process.
Planning ahead of time is required because services that will help you move 100 miles or more require months of advance notice to guarantee availability, especially if you are trying to complete everything during the peak moving season from April to October. During this time, the cost of long-distance moving services will be higher, and you might not necessarily have your pick of the best services if you wait ‘til the last minute to book them.
The same goes for packing supplies. Packing supplies could be harder to find during peak moving times, especially those from second-hand and thrift stores. Specialty packing supplies for delicate items or oversized wardrobes are all necessary items to ensure that no damage occurs from a long-distance move, so start collecting them as soon as you know you’ll need them rather than scrambling at the last minute.
#2 - Downsize
If you have chosen to hire long-distance movers to help with all or some of the heavy lifting, be aware that their pricing is usually based on the total weight of your items in addition to distance traveled and services provided. That means that the more stuff you have, the higher the overall cost of your long-distance move.
By downsizing and donating or throwing out items you don’t need or use anymore, you’ll help reduce the overall weight of your belongings – which in turn could lead to a significant reduction in cost.
Furthermore, downsizing is an excellent time-saver when it comes to the actual packing and unpacking process. Without the additional excess of items you don’t need, you’ll be able to load your transport and get to your new destination faster.
#3 - Create a Checklist
Lists are the foundation of any organized endeavor, and long-distance moves are no different. Therefore, it may be necessary to create a list for each task of the moving process in addition to an overall master checklist.
Many people who have successfully completed long-distance moves recommend creating a checklist for all of the items you want to take with you to your new location. Another list could be for packing supplies, including boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and other items.
A third list could be for tasks that need to be completed before the move, such as turning off utilities, canceling services you don’t use, changing your address with banks and creditors, etc.
A master list should cover all of these items in addition to a running checklist of tasks that need to be completed week by week during the move. By having a checklist for each task and keeping track of what’s been done and what still needs to be finished, you can ensure that nothing will slip through the cracks during your long-distance move.
#4 - Understand your moving needs
Are you moving directly from point A to B? Do you need to put belongings into storage until your new location is ready to move into? Are you going to need a vehicle transport service as well as help with packing and loading your belongings?
Removing any doubt or confusion from your moving process will allow for a smoother transition. Under-preparing is one of the leading causes of issues during long-distance moves, so planning ahead will go a long way towards ensuring that nothing is missed.
Be sure to research your moving company to understand what each service does and how it will affect the final price. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either; any reputable long-distance moving company should be happy to answer them for you.
#5 - Break up tasks
Break up your tasks into smaller pieces to avoid the stress and hassle of getting everything on your checklists done in time for the big move. Not only will this help you not feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done in a short time, but it’ll also give you some flexibility when it comes to things like packing and loading.
If you know you will want to put your stuff in storage before you move into your new digs, consider getting a moving pod that you can use to store your belongings during this time. Moving pods offer convenience and affordability while allowing you to take your time sending things on their way.
Similarly, if you have items that you won’t need until after you settle into your new location, consider packing them away sooner rather than later. This will free up time closer to the moving process to complete other vital tasks such as cleaning up your old place or canceling utility services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to move long-distance?
The overall cost of a long-distance move will depend on the weight of your belongings, distance traveled, and scope of moving services. Full-service movers that take care of all of the work for you usually charge between 4K-10K dollars to complete a long-distance move.
What is the cheapest way to move long-distance?
The cheapest way to move long-distance is to do it yourself. This includes renting a moving truck, buying any needed packing supplies, and handling the loading process yourself. However, be aware that while you may save money on moving costs, you’ll need to factor in the value of your time and effort into the total cost.
What is the best way to transport your car long distance?
The best way to transport your car long distance is to drive it yourself and leave the moving to professionals. However, if you don’t want to drive such a long distance on your own, there are options for car transport that will load your car onto a truck and deliver it to the final destination.
Make Your First Long-Distance Move Hassle-Free
Your first long-distance move can be quite stressful considering the additional logistics that go into planning it. However, this stress can be avoided by ensuring you have all of your bases covered before the big day arrives. By planning ahead, organizing your to-do lists, understanding your moving needs, and breaking up tasks, your long-distance move will be easy and hassle-free.