7 Things You Absolutely Must Do When Preparing for a Long Distance Move


No matter what your circumstances may be, moving can be a major source of stress. Moving across town is challenging enough, but planning a long distance move is a unique experience that requires careful consideration.

In fact, according to HealthStatus, moving is one of the top 5 notoriously stressful situations that people encounter in life.

Even if you are excited about relocating, there is still a lot of pressure that goes along with a major life event such as this. The moving process is bound to create some tension, regardless of where you are going and what might await you there. But, when you take the right steps to plan ahead you can drastically reduce your moving-day stress.

Preparation is key when you're moving miles from home.

Are you approaching a moving day of your own?

Read on for our list of must-do tips to prepare for your long distance move!

Your Ultimate To-Do List for a Long Distance Move

If you're moving long distance and afraid of forgetting something, we've got you covered. Just remember to keep our list of 7 essential long distance moving tips close-by, and you'll be ready to hit the road in no time.

1. Create a Binder of Your Most Important Documents to Keep On Hand

When you're moving across the miles (many miles, especially), it's a good idea to store your most important documents on hand so you will have them when you need them.

You might prefer to make copies of original documents, such as family birth certificates, social security cards, medical insurance information, rental agreement or mortgage, licenses, and other vital paperwork that you might need in case of an emergency or immediately upon arrival.

Although you might be super-organized on the regular, moving can turn anyone's world upside down, at least initially.

If you have to register kids for school, provide proof of identity or submit documents to your employer or landlord, you might find it difficult to put your finger on them during the transition. This way, you're sure to have everything on hand and avoid a panic-stricken search to provide important documentation when requested.

2. Print Crucial Maps and Directions for the Road

Google Maps is a great travel companion, but there are times when your service may be lost or your phone battery dies, perhaps. Often, these things seem to happen at the most inopportune times.

Instead of driving in circles waiting for your phone to charge, keep a hard copy of crucial traveling directions that you can rely on to get you where you need to go in a pinch.

3. Line Up Your Movers

Give yourself plenty of time to research long distance moving companies, line up in-home moving estimates, compare rates, secure movers, and acquire necessary additional equipment or boxes from the company.

Once you have these details squared away, you will have a peace of mind and be ready to forge ahead focusing on other tasks, such as packing, with a clear head.

4. Take Time to Declutter

Moving can bring to light just how much-unneeded junk you have managed to accumulate over the years. Rather than move junk from one location to the next, save money on moving expenses and time unpacking by making an effort to declutter as you go along.

It may seem like extra work while you are doing it, but you will be so thankful that you downsized once you start settling into your new digs.

5. Keep Size in Mind

When packing for your move and deciding which items to take with you, keep in mind the size of your new place.

Once you arrive at your new home you want the transition to go as smoothly as possible.

If you aren't mindful of the square footage that you will be working with, you might find out that you have overestimated the space for your belongings. Then, you will be pressed to decide which items to get rid of or store on the spot, which can create heaps of additional stress.

6. Consider Storage Solutions if Needed

If your new home doesn't allow for as much space as you need to accommodate all of your furniture and additional belongings, then you should plan to store any items that you will not be using immediately.

If you plan ahead, your movers can deliver these items to a storage facility without unpacking them off the truck, leaving you to figure out a way to move them to their storage destination.

7. Keep a Checklist of Before and After Tasks That Must Be Done

It helps to keep a to-do checklist of all of the important tasks that need to be completed before and after your move and to cross off items as you go.

Whether you choose to keep a list on your phone or another device, or whether you prefer writing it out on paper, having a visual will help keep your priorities in order and ensure that the most critical items are taken care of when leaving town and arriving at your new home.

Your list may include things such as:

  • Forward mail
  • Board pets or make arrangements for pet travel
  • Fill gas tank, get your passport, or purchase airline tickets
  • Label all boxes
  • Arrange for trash pick-up
  • Arrange for utilities to be turned off at your old home and turned on at your new address

In addition, it's best if you keep separate lists for departure and arrival. Breaking your to-do lists in two will help you stay more organized and less overwhelmed when you glance at everything that needs attending to.

Find Out More Tips for Moving Long Distance!

Of course, the list above only touches on a small portion of the things that you will need to keep in mind for a long distance move. As you may already realize, you will have a seemingly endless list of minor to-do's to prepare for your big move.

Moving day won't be as overwhelming as you might think as long you are adequately prepared when the time comes.

Want more long distance moving tips?

Check out this post for tips on how to pack efficiently when moving across state lines!