Any move is a complicated task. Even if you are moving to a nearby street, you need to plan for a substantial number of things, including packing materials, assistance, parking for the moving truck, moving insurance, and much more.
Long-distance moves are even more complicated. They involve close attention to detail, time coordination, scheduling, and professional moving assistance.
The key to a successful long-distance move is proper planning. No matter how large your move is, if you plan each step of the way, it’s likely to proceed smoothly. Let’s take a look at the most useful tips for long distance moving.
1. Get Packing Supplies in Advance
Long-distance moving increases the chances of encountering obstacles. It means that your items must be properly packed to withstand all types of road bumps. Simply throwing stuff into the boxes won’t do. You need to make sure it doesn’t have any room to thrash around when inside the moving truck.
Get moving supplies as early as possible so you can start packing in advance. You will need:
- Boxes – while you can buy boxes, the expenses tend to add up. Consider getting moving boxes for free. You may be surprised by how many options you have.
- Packing tape – during the long-distance move, durable packing tape will become your best friend. Don’t settle for low-cost options. If the tape breaks at the most unexpected moment, your items could face significant damage.
- Plastic wrap – you need a plastic wrap to keep fragile items safe. You can also wrap it around cleaning supplies and beauty care products so they don’t leak during the move.
- Bubble wrap – bubble wrap is a must-have for wrapping fragile items and electronics. Since, just like plastic wrap, bubble wrap isn’t eco-friendly, consider evaluating the number of fragile items you need to move before making a purchase.
- Labels – you will need sticky labels and markers to mark your belongings. Otherwise, you may have trouble trying to find the stuff you need when unpacking.
Besides packing supplies, you will also need moving equipment. Unless you hire a professional moving service, you need to take care of equipment on your own.
- Moving truck – as soon as you know the moving date, book a truck. Even if you live in a large city, you could face a shortage of available trucks on your date.
- Dollies – moving heavy items without a dolly could lead to injuries. You can rent a dolly to avoid extra expenses.
- Straps – if you are planning to move large furniture or other items, you will need straps. Since you can’t usually rent straps, plan to buy them. Choose the right ones for your needs carefully.
- Moving blankets – while you can use your own blankets for padding, they aren’t as convenient and safe as professional moving blankets.
If you are working with a moving company, you can consult them about packing supplies and equipment or ask them to handle the above for you.
2. Think about Moving Insurance
No matter how careful you pack and move your items, accidents can happen. A bump on the road, emergency breaking, fender benders, and the like could spell disaster for fragile items. If you don’t have moving insurance, you would be stuck counting your losses.
If you are working with a moving company, you are usually covered by basic insurance that often works on a “by the pound” basis. It means that you’ll get paid a certain amount for each pound of your stuff, regardless of its value.
So if you are moving something valuable, consider purchasing additional moving insurance.
3. Pick the Right Date
The right date and time of the long-distance move can dictate its success. By choosing the right time, you can save money, avoid traffic, and start unpacking earlier than you hope for. Things to consider when choosing a moving date include:
- Holidays – be it national holidays or school breaks, official time off is the busiest time for movers. So if you want to avoid the rush, pick a holiday-free week.
- Season – late spring, summer, and early fall are popular moving seasons because the weather is usually nice. Consider avoiding these seasons to save money and save on truck rental.
- Assistance – if you are planning a DIY move, you need to consider the availability of friends and family who will help you. Moving without helpers can be tough and time-consuming.
- Work schedule – unless you are planning to take a vacation, consider scheduling the move for the least busy time of the year at work.
If you are planning to hire professional movers, consider setting the moving date on weekdays. Weekends are usually the busiest time. If you can’t move on a weekday, make sure to book the movers as far in advance as possible.
- Choose a Moving Company
Unless you are sure that you can handle a long-distance move without professional assistance, you may want to hire a moving company. Movers can take care of a variety of needs, from packing and equipment rental to storage and unpacking.
When selecting movers, pay attention to the following factors:
- Is the moving company large enough to accommodate your move?
- Does the company have sufficient experience?
- Can you find reviews online?
- Is the company local?
- Does the company offer moving insurance?
Depending on the number of services you need and the size of your move, you can choose the best company that suits your requirements.
5. Create a Timeline
Long distance moving doesn’t have to be tough or complex. To make it easy on yourself and your assistants, consider creating a moving timeline. It can help you keep all the moving activities under control and be ready for the big day when it comes.
The moving timeline should give you a list of things to do:
- 2 months before the move
- 4 weeks before the move
- 2 weeks before the move
- 1 day before the move
- Moving day
The activities should come from the long distance moving checklist that includes:
- Set a moving budget.
- Inventory your items and get rid of anything you don’t want to take to the new house.
- Arrange for working with a moving company and/or assistants and truck rentals.
- Purchase moving supplies.
- Look through important documents and pack them separately.
- Notify/sign contracts with utilities companies and service providers at both old and new locations.
- Purchase moving insurance.
- Pack your items.
- Pack a “first-needs” box that contain things you will need as soon as you arrive to the new location.
- Arrange snacks for yourself and your assistants.
Once you have a timeline, the long distance move will stop being as intimidating as before.
6. Load the Furniture
If you aren’t disassembling your furniture, it can be an excellent place to transport some of your lightweight items. Once you move your dressers and cabinets to the moving truck, you can put some of the belongings inside them. This can save a substantial amount of space in the moving truck.
Make sure to unload these items before you start removing the furniture. Heavy items like a stocked up dresser aren’t just a risk to your health. They can break when moved around with things inside.
7. Use Color Coded Stickers
One of the best long distance moving advice all experienced homeowners give is to label your belongings properly. Once the moving day is behind you, the unpacking begins. This process can take weeks, stealing your precious free time.
To make sure unpacking proceeds smoothly, you need to label your items properly. While writing on white labels works fine, color-coded stickers are even better. This can help you sort through boxes immediately and carry them to the right rooms right upon arrival.
8. Adjust Your Schedule
Long-distance moving is time-consuming. You need to prepare for the move by making sure you have sufficient time to do it. Rushing through the process is likely to put extra pressure on you, your family, your assistants, and your co-workers.
Make sure you take time off work (if necessary) and arrange for someone to stay with your kids and pets. When you aren’t in a rush, you are less likely to make mistakes are likely to be costly.
9. Map the Journey
If your move takes more than one day, you need to map your journey. Choose the cities you will be staying in overnight and hotels with parking for your moving truck. Planning all this can help you save a significant amount of time.
If you have pets, make sure the hotel you choose accommodates your four-legged friend. Leaving pets in the moving truck overnight can be dangerous.
You can also consider planning for meals. Besides carrying snacks with you, find a place to have dinner along the way.
Long-distance moves are always a challenge. By keeping these long distance moving tips & tricks, you can make your move smoother and less stressful.