Long distance moving tipsThe complexity of a long distance move should never be underestimated.

In fact, there are so many things that can go wrong when preparing for a cross country move that you’re strongly advised to follow a long distance moving checklist.

That’s right – your best bet for a successful cross country move is to prepare meticulously for the relocation challenge ahead of you.

Be well prepared by following these 20 tips for moving long distance.

#1. Organize your long distance move

The success of your long distance move will depend primarily on how well you organize and manage the time you’ve got until the day of the move itself. In most cases, you won’t have the luxury of wasting even a single day, so the best way to make sure you’re 100% for your long distance move is to create and then follow a moving checklist.

The creation of a personal moving checklist for moving long distance is not difficult at all – you just write down all the things you have to do before you move out and then arrange those tasks in order of importance. Feel free to consult our general moving checklist below in order to “steal” good ideas.

Moving Checklist: Interactive and Printable

#2. Hire a long distance mover

What is the best way to move long distance? This one is easy: secure the services of one of the best long-distance moving companies in your town or city.

Moving long distance – hundreds or thousands of miles across the entire country – falls well outside the realm of Do-It-Yourself moving. The unreasonable costs, potential risks and innumerable dangers of moving across the country by yourself could quickly turn an ambitious self-move into a major relocation disaster.

All in all, there’s a big difference between moving 100 miles within the same state and moving 1,000 miles across multiple states until you reach the new home. Therefore, your best bet for success is to find and hire a reputable, experienced and affordable long distance moving company.

How to choose a long distance mover

#3. Learn the cost of your long distance move

It’s difficult to be financially ready for the upcoming relocation if you have no idea how much your long distance move will cost in the end. Do you have enough money to cover the upcoming moving expenses?

While local movers charge by the hour, long distance moving companies charge a flat rate based on several critical factors such as move distance, shipment weight, and extra services. What that means is that when moving across the country, you have a better chance of getting accurate cost estimates from professional movers.

Ultimately, that should help you set your budget accordingly.

Get binding cost estimates in writing after in-house inspections.

#4. Find a long distance car shipper

Find a car shipping company

Find a long distance car shipper you can trust.

It’s not easy to plan a long distance move because you’ll have to make sure you’re not missing any important details in the process.

Now that you’ve secured a top-rated long distance mover to transport your household items to the new address, you may realize that you’re not really looking forward to driving your personal vehicle for so many hours across unknown territories.

And even if you’re ok with it, you may happen to have a second vehicle that somehow needs to reach the new home as well.

Get car shipping estimates to compare long distance auto shippers in your area and then pick the best car shipping company in terms of price, experience, and reputation.

How to move a car across country

#5. Inventory your home

Ultimately, the best way to prepare for a long distance move is to know which items you will be moving with you and which items you will have to leave behind. And the only way to know for sure is to inventory your home.

Go from room to room and make a list of all the major household items found there. Feel free to use cutting-edge technology to finish the house inventory easier and faster – for example, the MoveAdvisor mobile app has a powerful built-in home inventory tool.

When moving long distance across the country, the home inventory checklist you create will help you sort out your items prior to packing them.

How to inventory your home when moving

#6. Decide about your furniture

As a rule of thumb, moving across the country is an expensive affair. Therefore, you should be actively looking for the cheapest way to move long distance. Thus said, one of the most effective ways to lower the moving costs is to leave your furniture behind.

The long distance moving cost is affected greatly by the overall weight of the shipment, meaning that the more furniture pieces you decide to move, the more money you will pay in the end for their transportation.

Assess carefully all furniture items you have in your home and unless some of them are antique ones or have great sentimental value for you, don’t move them across the country but buy new ones after the move.

How to pack furniture for moving

#7. Sort out your items

Another good advice when moving long distance is to never pack and move all your personal belongings without properly sorting them out first. The thing is that, most often than not, time will have made some things obsolete and you’ll no longer need them as a result.

Remember that packing and transporting items that you won’t use ever again is simply a waste of money – the last thing you need when facing a costly move across the country.

Once you’ve inventoried everything you own, sort those things into 3 different piles: MOVE WITH YOU, LEAVE BEHIND, and THROW AWAY (RECYCLE).

#8. Sell or gift unwanted things

Get rid of unwanted items

You surely don’t need to move all those items with you, do you?

One of the things to consider when moving long distance is that you’re going to have to pay special attention to all the things inside the LEAVE BEHIND category. Why? Of the three piles, that’s the trickiest one to deal with.

You’re going to need to pack and protect all the things you’re taking with you. Also, you’re expected to recycle properly the stuff nobody will ever need again.

Give to friends or give away to charity any items that are in good condition, that is -still usable. Alternatively, consider selling, either online or at a garage sale, some of those unwanted items to help your moving budget.

How to get rid of unwanted stuff when moving

#9. Prepare the packing supplies

The key to having a successful long distance move is to have your belongings well protected during the long haul. And to be able to pack your things safely, you’re going to need to have the right packing supplies for the job.

When faced with a cross country move, secure the necessary packing materials – cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, stretch wrap, packing tape, and permanent markers – in advance, so that you don’t lose valuable time once the packing task is under way.

The good news here is that, given enough time, you should be able to find most or even all the cardboard boxes you’ll need without paying for them. That’s right – free moving boxes for your packing needs!

#10. Start packing ASAP

One of the best long distance moving tips you can ever get is to start packing up your household things as soon as the house move is confirmed. There’s really no point in delaying the start of the most time-consuming task in your moving calendar – packing for a move takes many days, weeks, and even months to complete.

Now that you have the required packing supplies, begin packing with a clear plan of what needs to be done – the so-called PACKING TIMELINE. That packing calendar will guide you through the various packing tasks, thus reducing the buildup of the inevitable stress of moving house.

#11. Pack the trickiest rooms first

How to pack for a long distance move? Initiate the packing task by first protecting and boxing the items from the premises that are the most difficult ones to sort out and pack. In other words, make sure you pack your storage areas first – garage, basement, attic, closet, and spare rooms.

That house packing order may not seem to make much sense at first but it won’t be long before you grasp the logic behind it. Essentially, packing the hardest rooms first will mean that you should still have some energy and motivation left when you reach the more straightforward rooms for sorting and packing.

Bedrooms and bathrooms are usually left for last.

What to pack first when moving

#12. Refrain from packing forbidden items

What items not to pack when moving

You’re not allowed to pack and move perishable food over long distances.

One of the important things to consider when moving long distance is that there are limitations to what you can pack and move with you when using the services of a long distance moving company.

By law, long distance movers are not allowed to transport any hazardous items – flammable, explosive, or corrosive in nature. Before you start boxing up your things, contact your cross country mover and request the complete list of items forbidden for transport.

Also, interstate moving companies are not allowed to transport any pets, plants, and perishable foods. Most long distance movers will also refuse to move irreplaceable items – valuables that cannot possibly be replaced or restored if the worst happened.

What NOT to pack when moving

#13. Pack with safety in mind

Packing for a long distance move means that your belongings will spend quite a lot of time on the road until they get safely delivered to the new address. And that’s exactly why you want to make sure your prized possessions are packed up safely and will survive the trip unscathed.

Make sure all the boxes you’ll be using to store your things are strong, clean, and dry. To be on the safe side, tape the bottom and sides of each moving box before using it to ensure it won’t break under the weight of whatever’s packed inside it.

Don’t make boxes too heavy to lift and carry as that may compromise safety before you know it. Keep packed containers below the reasonable weight limit of 40 pounds.

The best packing tips for moving

#14. Pack essentials boxes

It’s important to know how to plan a long distance move simply because there are too many little yet essential details to take care of. You just have to think a few steps ahead – you and your belongings will be separated for a few days, so what happens when you need to use a few of those essential items?

To be able to survive some time without your own things by your side, you’d be better off packing a few essentials boxes and moving those survival kits with you. Prepare one such box for each family member and fill it up with absolute essentials such as prescription medication, personal care items, basic tools, a change of clothes, electronic gadgets, and so on.

How to pack an essentials box when moving

#15. Keep valuables close by

The tips for planning a long distance move continue with a fair warning that you should pay attention to before it’s too late: No matter how trustworthy and reliable your long distance movers look, you should never entrust them with your most valuable possessions… unless those valuables are too large to transport on your own.

Pack all your jewelry pieces, smaller electronic devices, collectors’ items, important documents, and other valuables in separate boxes and keep those boxes with you at all times. On Moving day, you should keep a close watch on your high-value articles and then move them in your personal vehicle when the long distance movers are gone.

When moving valuables that are too bulky to fit in your car, then speak with your cross country moving company about purchasing additional insurance for your expensive and valuable items.

#16. Ask friends to help you pack

Get friends to help you pack

Any friendly assistance is welcome when you’re packing for a long distance move.

Moving to another part of the country is a stressful, nerve-wracking and strenuous job that you were never supposed to handle entirely on your own.

Since you won’t be moving on your own, the professional movers you hire will take care of all the heavy lifting for you.

However, choosing to pack up your home without professional assistance will enable you to save on your long distance move.

So, guarantee a successful end to your long distance moving story by asking your best buddies to give you a hand when packing, especially if you feel like you’ve already fallen behind on your packing calendar.

How to get friends to help you move

#17. Have an accident-free Move day

One of your top priorities when moving long distance is to guarantee everyone’s safety on the day of the move. Moving day is largely unpredictable so it’s critical that you do everything in your power to keep your family as safe as possible, including any pets you may have.

Leave the heavy lifting for the professional movers who have extensive experience in moving large and heavy household items. If you have to lift and carry something heavy, then you must use the proper lifting techniques to prevent injury.

Also, have young children and pets – most often cats or dogs – away from the dangers of Moving day, preferably in a room that’s farthest from the action. Or you can leave your loved ones at a trusted friend or family member until the movers are gone.

How to survive Moving day in 20 steps

#18. Get your pets ready to move long distance

The checklist for moving long distance won’t be complete if we don’t include some tips for moving long distance with pets. Remember that cross country moving companies are not allowed to transport any pets long distance so it’s up to you to figure out a way to move any pet animals you have.

First of all, you should take your pet to the vet for a medical checkup before the car trip. You have to be sure that your animal friend is healthy enough to make it, and besides, the vet may recommend some anti-anxiety medications for him or her to make the relocation trip safer and more pleasant for everyone.

Moving with CATS across the country

Moving with DOGS across the country

#19. Save money when moving long distance

Moving across the country is more expensive than you’d like, so you must take every opportunity to lower the cost of a long distance move. In reality, there are several good ways to save money on a long distance move, and yes, it’s quite possible to use those cost-saving tips all at once for maximum effect.

  • Find affordable (cheap) long distance movers by requesting written cost estimates from several professional moving companies and then comparing carefully those quotes.
  • Pack and move only the things you will really need and use after the move. If possible, do NOT move any furniture to keep the moving costs down.
  • Keep packing costs within reasonable limits by first securing free moving boxes and then packing whatever you can without hiring professional packers.

20 Ways to reduce moving costs

#20. Say goodbye to your best friends

How to say goodbye to friends when moving

You just must see your good friends one more time before moving away.

It’s never easy to organize a long distance move due to the overwhelming number of things to do before you can move out of your current place. And still, possibly the hardest thing you’ll have to do is to part with your best friends.

Saying goodbye to your good friends is likely to be an emotional thing but it’s unlike you to just move away without informing your pals, right?

Inform your friends that you’re moving away soon and make a genuine effort to organize a farewell party for them, a bittersweet get-together where you’ll see all your great friends one more time before you go.

Promise to keep in touch with the people you care about, and then do your best to keep that promise after the long distance move.

How to say goodbye to friends when moving