Tips For Long-Distance Moves

Have you decided to move across the country? If so, there is quite a bit of work ahead for you to make a smooth transition. Whether for school, because of a new job, or to move back home, the reason doesn’t matter but following these steps will make the entire move run smoothly. Moving is one of life’s stressful events, and if you do not prepare carefully, it can be that much worse.

A move across the country can be far more challenging than going to another town nearby. Let’s take a look at some sound moving tips that will help ease the pain for your transition. Those who follow sensible advice will put themselves in a far better position for a seamless move.

Use Lists, Lists, and More Lists

Making a moving checklist will be a solid strategy for making your life easier. This is a job you should begin as soon as the move is confirmed. Take one room at a time, so you don’t become overwhelmed.

At the top of a legal pad, write the name of the room, and then make a comprehensive list of the contents. It is easier if you start with larger items and then break those down to the smaller details, for example:

  • One five-drawer dresser
  • Sock drawer
  • Undergarment drawer
  • Tee shirt drawer
  • Swimwear drawer
  • Shorts drawer

Moving Long Distance At this point in your inventory, you should be removing items that are beyond repair or will never be worn again. Create piles for both types of discard items for ease of disposal.

Drawers can be removed from their chest, wrapped with furniture wrap, and be moved intact. When you get to your new place, all you do is unwrap and replace. If all the drawers look the same, but you know they only fit a certain way, write each drawer’s number on a post-it note and toss it in the drawer before you seal it up. Puzzles are fun but not on moving day.

Donate, Sell or Gift

As you take stock of your possessions, you will find things you no longer want. One of the best ways to get rid of stuff you no longer need or want is to donate to charity. There are charitable organizations that take clothing. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has an excellent resource summarizing all of them.

Two of the most recognizable on the list are Goodwill and The Salvation Army. You just need to make sure that all of the clothing, shoes, and household goods are gently used and not in terrible shape. Not only will you be helping someone in need, but you will be keeping stuff out of landfills.

If you own sentimental family heirlooms but feel now is the time to edit your possessions, ask a friend or family member if they would enjoy having them.

Who is Packing?

Who packs your stuff will, to a certain extent, depend on how much time and money you budgeted for the move. If your new company (job change) is paying all moving expenses, hire professional packers.

If you plan on packing your own things and getting your own moving truck, remember that moving boxes come in all sizes. Books should go in smaller, more durable boxes, and linens can get stuffed in larger boxes because the fabric weighs less.

Designate one box for your valuable papers and jewelry and keep that box apart from all the others. You won’t want to mark it “valuables” but seal it with a different color tape or mark it with a secret code.

How Is Your Stuff Getting There?

Hiring professional movers will require diligence on your part. Call a variety of cross-country movers and get at least three estimates. Make sure you check online reviews of the company. Another option is to pack your boxes and have a company like PODS or Pack Rat drop an empty container at your house and fill it yourself.

The company will then retrieve the vessel and ship it to the new city. Once there, you arrange a date for the container to be dropped off, you unload, and they come back to remove their container. There are many variations of this moving style, and you can easily hire movers in your town to pack the vessel and hire different movers in the new place to unload for you.

Get Insurance

One of the best tips for moving across the country is to make sure the movers are licensed and insured. And, you may want to buy additional insurance yourself; check with your insurance provider to find out what is covered during a move. Also, this is an excellent time to adjust your current policy. Whether you have renter’s insurance or homeowner’s, your policy is going to need adjustment when you move.

Not having the right insurance could come back to bite you at the worst possible time. This is what’s known as Murphy’s Law.

Before You Leave

Contact current utility companies and decide on a cut-off date. Give them your new address so the final bill can be mailed. (If you pay the bill online, there is no need to give a forwarding address.) Call utility companies in your new city and ask what their procedures are for starting a new service.

Each utility company has a slightly different method, and it’s good to have the information ahead of time. The same thing should be done with Internet providers, cable companies, and any other services you use. Fill out a change of address at the USPS as soon as you can so you can begin receiving mail when you arrive in your new home.

Once You Arrive

Whether your landing spot is a sweet Chicago neighborhood like Lincoln Park or the legendary streets of Boston, there are a lot of things to do once you arrive in your new city. Notify the company that moved your stuff and arrange a date for delivery.

If you chose to use professional movers, make sure you are ready to supervise the placement of your boxes and furnishings. Professional movers generally put beds back together and will place furniture wherever you want it.

They will not arrange and then rearrange furniture, so have an idea where you will want things to go. After the truck has been emptied, inspect your belongings.

If anything has been damaged in the move or delivery, write it down and make sure the movers sign off. This must be done before the truck leaves your driveway. If the movers have done an exceptional job, make sure you give them a gratuity. Like any other service industry, movers will expect you to tip them.

Final Thoughts on Moving Across The Country

A little planning and organization can make a cross country move a bit less frantic and give you a chance to meet your new neighbors without looking like the Bride of Frankenstein! The key will be to start early rather than leaving things for the last minute. Being ahead of schedule is a mantra everyone should strive for with a long-distance move. Best of luck!

Other Valuable Mass RE News Media

Get more valuable real estate knowledge when you are selling your property with these articles from Massachusetts Real Estate News.

  • What to know about flat fee MLS – are you going to be selling your home? You may have heard about entry only flat fee MLS and wondered if it was something you should consider. Take a look at all of the pros and cons of this marketing method. There are certainly upsides and downsides to flat fee MLS. Only you can decide if it is right for you.
  • Use a home improvement loan wisely – when you make improvements to your property, it is essential to spend the money where it counts, especially when you are going to be selling in the near future. Not every improvement you make to your house has a good return. Some, in fact, are really lousy. The article explains what home improvements will pay off in the long run.

Sam Radbil


About the author: The above article on how to move across the country was written by Sam Radbil. Sam is an author at ABODO Apartments, an online apartment marketplace that helps renters find apartments all across the country. ABODO reports on rent rates, the changing of real estate markets, and trends within the real estate industry.