- Start Planning Early
- Make A Detailed Moving Checklist
- Research Moving Companies Thoroughly
- Reserve Movers And Truck Early
- Make Vehicle And Pet Arrangements
- Purge And Downsize Possessions
- Get Organized
- Pack Strategically
- Handle Moving Day Smoothly
- Settle Into Your New Home
- The Key Is Preparation
Moving to a new home can be stressful, no matter what. But relocating out-of-state or even farther away adds extensive challenges compared to an intra-city switch. Planning and executing a smooth, long-distance move takes strategic preparation, organization, and time management.
By mapping out the process months in advance, you can check all your bases and be ready for moving day. Follow these key steps to make your upcoming long-distance relocation go as seamlessly as possible.
Start Planning Early
When you know you'll be packing up for a distant destination, begin preparing 3-6 months ahead. This gives you ample opportunity to handle all the planning details and pre-move tasks without last-minute rushing.
Make a Detailed Moving Checklist
Your first order of business is creating a master moving checklist. Include every task that needs to be done leading up to move day, from contacting movers to transferring records to changing your address. Break it down week-by-week or month-by-month so you can methodically check things off by specific deadlines.
Research Moving Companies Thoroughly
Do lots of research to find reputable long-distance moving companies in your area. Get estimates and compare costs. Read reviews and ask for referrals from people who have done long-distance relocations previously.
Consider hiring a relocation company to assist with logistics like real estate searches, shipment of vehicles, and storage facilities.
Reserve Movers and Truck Early
Whether using movers or renting a truck, reserve your ideal date well in advance. Professionals book up quickly during peak moving seasons. For DIY moves, you want to ensure truck/container availability when you need it.
Make Vehicle and Pet Arrangements
Determine how vehicles and pets will be transported to the new home. Pets may need vet visits for health certificates and sedation for the long trip. Cars can be shipped by the moving company or driven, in which case you may need hotels.
Purge and Downsize Possessions
Months before moving day, begin sorting through each room to decide what cuts your new home. Purging unwanted items now means less stuff to pack, move and unpack later. Sell, donate, or trash anything you don't need.
Being organized during a long-distance move is crucial for maintaining sanity! Keep track of everything in one central place and notify key parties well in advance.
- Create a Moving Binder: Get a binder or folder to hold essential move documents like estimates, related contacts, records, etc. Keep this in an easy-to-access spot leading up to move day. Any info you need should be at your fingertips.
- Update Your Address: Use the USPS website to submit an official change of address form so your mail gets forwarded. Also, update your address with financial institutions, service providers, government offices, and memberships.
- Transfer Records: Request copies of medical and dental records, school transcripts, veterinary files, legal documents, and anything else vital. Bring these with you or have them sent to your new address.
- Notify Key Parties: In addition to addressing changes, notify your employers, banks, doctors, insurance companies, creditors, and subscriptions. Alert them to your move date and new contact information.
How you pack will impact how smoothly your move goes. Follow some critical strategies as filling day approaches.
- Pack Room-by-Room: Pack one room at a time, starting with seldom-used spaces like the garage or storage rooms. Leave vital rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms for last.
- Clearly Label Boxes: Number and label every box with its contents and destination room in the new house. This helps movers immensely in getting boxes to the right place.
- Use Specialty Boxes: Invest in wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes, dish packs for fragile kitchenware, and specialty containers for mattresses. This prevents damage during transit.
- Keep Essentials Separate: Pack a "move day bag" with medications, chargers, snacks, essential toiletries, and other items you'll need during the traveling portion of your move.
- Finish Packing the Night Before: Run through your home the night before movers arrive and do any last-minute packing so everything is ready to load up.
Handle Moving Day Smoothly
The big moving day requires supervision, snacks, and keeping cool when issues arise.
- Oversee Movers: It's wise to monitor movers as they load and unload, ensuring they are careful with your belongings and placing boxes in the correct rooms. Provide refreshments and tips.
- Keep Important Documents Handy: Have your moving binder or folder accessible all during moving day. Refer to it if any questions arise or need to reference contacts/records.
- Pack and Unpacking Bag: Toss scissors, box cutters, trash bags, and snacks in a bag you can easily access when you arrive at your new house. Having these on hand makes unpacking quicker.
- Arrange for Pet and Kid Care: Keep kids and pets occupied in another room during the moving day for their safety and your sanity! Have toys, treats, and activities to keep them entertained.
- Do a Final Clean: Once your old home is empty, do a final thorough clean and trash pickup so it's tidy for the next tenants or owners.
Settle Into Your New Home
Unpack smartly, stay organized, and make your new house feel like a home sweet home.
- Unpack Vital Rooms First: Begin unpacking the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms so that you can function comfortably immediately. Make beds, unpack toiletries, dishes, etc.
- Set Up Internet and TV: Contact Internet and cable providers to set up WiFi and television in your new residence. This may require installations, equipment rentals, or self-setups.
- Update Address for Deliveries: Change the address for mail forwarding, newspaper delivery, Amazon orders, and grocery/goods delivery services.
- Change the Locks: Have the locks changed before moving into a new house for safety and security. You don't know how many copies of old keys could be floating around.
- Clean Before Unpacking: Clean your new home thoroughly, including floors, cabinets, appliances, walls, etc. That way, surfaces are fresh for all your belongings.
- Unpack Room-by-Room: Tackle one room at a time over days or weeks, depending on your schedule. Unpack slowly to avoid burnout. Make the space functional, then decorate later.
The Key is Preparation
Moving long distances takes extensive planning, purging, and packing to keep things smooth and headache-free. Give yourself several months to sort and organize belongings, schedule movers and truck rentals, update documents and notify critical parties.
Strategically pack room-by-room, labeling boxes clearly and separating essentials. Set up vital rooms and functions right after arriving at your new home.
Then, gradually unpack, clean, and decorate space by space at your own pace. With a detailed checklist and keeping your move binder handy, you can seamlessly manage a long-distance relocation.
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