Regardless of whether you’re moving for a job or to make new memories in a new place, long distance moving can be a stressful experience. But it doesn’t have to be!
It all depends on your preparation. If you’re well prepared, organized, and on top of the situation, moving can be a breeze. All you need is a few organization and packing tips and you’ll see that no matter the distance, moving isn’t nearly as difficult as you might have expected.
To learn everything you need to know to take all of the stress out of moving long distance, just keep reading.
1. Pare Down Your Belongings
Moving is expensive and time-consuming no matter what but becomes even more so the more belongings you’re taking with you. To save both time and money, it’s important to pare down your belongings before you begin packing. This will also help boost that “fresh start” feeling in your new home.
To do this, go through your home one room at a time and take note of every single thing you own. As you do so, make three piles: keep, donate, and toss.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, use the Marie Kondo method. Pick up each item, one at a time, and have a quick but honest conversation with yourself. Each item you put in the “keep” pile should either be useful or give you a sense of joy.
For example, your collection of elephant figurines might not be particularly useful, but if it sparks joy for you, keep it!
That said, you need to be as ruthless as possible. It will be tough, especially when you get to items that hold sentimental value for you. That’s why it’s a good idea to start with the easiest rooms – the bathroom and kitchen.
By the time you get to your bedroom, you’ll have built up some momentum, making it easier to rid yourself of that sweater your mom gave you ten years ago but you haven’t worn in nine.
Everything in the “keep” pile should be added to your moving inventory. Write down and photograph everything you own. This will help you when it comes to packing and shipping.
2. Make a Master Checklist
The first items on your checklist should be paring down your belongings and creating an inventory. Once you have those down, add more. Write down everything you can think of – it’s helpful to make this list in a planner or your phone, something that you carry with you everywhere. That way, you can add things as you think of them.
Your checklist will be specific to your situation, but here’s a sample checklist to help you get started:
- Get estimates from moving companies
- Create your moving budget
- Get time off for moving (if necessary)
- Plan a garage sale
- Collect free boxes (from restaurants, grocery stores, etc.)
- Label moving boxes with color-coded tape/marker
- Create baggies for hardware for easy reassembly
- Make a list of home repairs needed
- Service your vehicles OR prepare for shipping your car
- Get the measurements of doorways, hallways, and stairways
- Gather all important documents
- Notify insurance and utility companies of your move
- Find cable and internet providers
- Locate a new doctor and dentist
- Request vet records
3. Pack With Rough Handling in Mind
Whether you move everything yourself or hire a moving company, no one is going to intentionally break your belongings. However, moving is a rough business, particularly if you’re moving long distance.
Your belongings are going to be bouncing around in the moving truck no matter how carefully you or your movers drive, and accidents happen. To minimize breakage, be sure to pack everything with rough handling in mind.
Now, you can buy packing paper and cushions for your furniture, but the easier and more cost-effective route is to use things that you already own. Make use of blankets, towels, and even t-shirts by wrapping your furniture and breakables in them.
Blankets are great for larger items such as your desk and dresser. Even though these aren’t considered breakable, they can get scratched and dented during transit.
For small items like dishware and collectibles, t-shirts make excellent cushioning material. You’ll be keeping your breakable items safe while packing your clothing at the same time.
4. Set the Essentials Aside
The specific essentials you need will depend on your method of moving. If you’re going to be flying to your new home and having your car shipped to you, your packing list will be slightly different than if you’re taking a road trip.
Regardless of your method, however, make a list of your essentials and set them aside before you start packing your home. That way, you’ll ensure that you don’t accidentally pack something that you need in the interim.
Keep important documents, such as your social security card, passport, and birth certificate in a folder on your person – never pack these things in boxes in the moving truck. You should also have anything you’ll need for your day-to-day activities, including clothing, toiletries, and an activity or two to keep you busy while you’re traveling.
Tackle Long Distance Moving Like a Pro With These Tips
As you can see, long distance moving might be an overwhelming concept, but not nearly as bad if you break it down into smaller tasks and stay organized.
To make things as easy as possible on yourself, start the process well in advance. It’s never too early to start going through your belongings and donating anything you won’t be taking with you.
Looking for more moving tips and tricks? Be sure to check out our blog!