Moving in itself can be a very overwhelming process. And if you add a long distance to that equation, careful and strategic planning is essential if you want to avoid a major disaster.
When do you start packing? How do you pack efficiently? What exactly do you need to bring from all the clutter you piled up in your current home? Will you need storage space? These are all questions that you will need to ask yourself once you start planning your move — as soon as you’re sure that you will relocate.
Even though a long-distance move sounds nerve-racking, it doesn’t have to be if you follow these steps and start organizing on time.
1. Start Planning
Even if you’re only moving a few hundred miles away, there’s a lot to think about.
First and foremost, create a rough timeline and stick to it, at least three months before the move. Make a list of all the things that must be completed and assign particular dates and hours to each. Once you have a strategy in place that you can stick to, you will feel more in control of the situation.
According to NDMS, you should make all crucial choices in advance and create a budget that you will adhere to. If you’re moving across the whole country, chances are you’ll probably need to hire professional movers to help you.
Waiting for the last moment to start planning your long-distance move is simply not an option. It will only make your brain hurt and result in unnecessary tension.
2. Gather Moving Supplies
Determine what supplies you will need and start collecting them way before the time has come to pack.
You can easily buy everything you need at the store, but there are more creative ways of gathering supplies that don’t involve spending money.
You can get cardboard boxes from any local store at the end of their working day. Most of the time, stores will gladly hand them over to you. You can wrap fragile items like glasses, plates, and ceramic in towels and bedsheets. That way, you won’t need to buy bubble wrap, plus you will save some space. You can also use bags and bins you already have to pack.
These are all great ways to save money and your environment at the same time.
3. Change Address and Update Documents
Make sure to inform everyone who needs to know about your new location. Notify the U.S. Postal Service, your bank, employer, and healthcare providers about your new residential address.
Registering a vehicle and voting also require updating your address information.
Be sure to notify everyone ahead of time so you don’t stress about paperwork and documents.
4. Decide if You’ll Hire Movers
Hiring movers for a long-distance move can get pricey, but it’s often necessary, especially if you don’t have a friend or a relative who can help you.
If you opt for hiring professionals, do your research well and always ask for a quote beforehand. You don’t want to be surprised once you get a bill with all the hidden costs added.
It will save you a lot of money if you decide to DIY your move, but be prepared to roll up your sleeves — there will be a lot of hard work involved.
On the other hand, hiring professionals is usually your best option if you have a lot of bulky furniture. A moving company will make sure that your items are safely transferred to your new home, so it at least takes that concern off your plate.
Decluttering and cleaning your home before moving is critical. To put it simply, if you have fewer things, moving and organizing it will be much easier — plus cheaper, if you’re hiring professional movers.
Haven’t worn that jacket in a year, or have three sets of plates instead of one? Time to get rid of them!
Organize your stuff into three piles: to donate, to sell, and to keep. Sort all of your belongings before packing to have a clear vision of how much stuff you need to relocate to your new place.
Online local thrift communities you can find on social media are a terrific way to get rid of unwanted clutter. As a bonus, you’ll also be making some additional cash. After all, moving costs a lot of money.
6. Pack Strategically
It’s essential to be smart when packing unless you want to end up with damaged or broken stuff. When it comes to long-distance moves, there is a high chance your items will get shuffled around in boxes while being transferred.
When you pile the boxes in the van or a car, make sure to put the heavy ones on the bottom, and don’t overpack.
Secure all the boxes and bins well with plenty of tape. If you’re renting a moving van, secure all the boxes once more with moving belts and pack them so that they aren’t getting rolled around in the truck during transfer.
Heavier items like mattresses and furniture will need protective covers so they don’t get dirty or damaged.
7. Take an Overnight Bag
It’s essential to pack an overnight bag when moving far away. Depending on the length of your journey, you will either need a small duffle bag or an entire suitcase. Pack all the necessary items like a change of clothes, shower gel, snacks, chargers, and anything else that needs to be within arm’s reach.
Take into consideration your distance: are you moving a few hours away, or many states away? If you are making multiple overnight stops on your journey, make sure you pack enough to get to your destination.
If you have kids, bring their favorite stuffed toy, or food and water if you’re carrying any four-legged friends.
Make a Long Distance Move Easier
Embarking on a long-distance journey can be both a thrilling and stressful experience, depending on how well you organize it.
If you plan, gather all supplies on time, secure your boxes, and bring travel necessities, you don’t have to worry. Just remember that the ideal time to deal with any stress is before it becomes unbearable. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, pause to breathe and calm yourself.
Follow these steps and make this burdensome and lengthy task a breeze!