Moving cross-country can be a thrilling experience, but let’s be honest: it can also be overwhelming.

Although the idea of the unknown may excite many, relocating to a different state or country requires tons of courage, determination and planning. You might be making the move for a job, a relationship or just a change of pace, but regardless of the reason, it’s important to keep in mind that moving long distance demands preparation and patience.

To facilitate your moving process, FlatRate gathered 10 essential tips from our staff of moving experts to make sure your long distance move is as streamlined as possible.

shutterstock 1252462858B 10 Tips For Moving Long Distance

10 Essential Tips When Moving Long Distance

1. Plan Ahead

The secret to any successful move is to start planning ahead. For long distance moves, FlatRate highly recommends reaching out to a moving company at least 3 months in advance so you can give yourself and the company enough time to organize everything.

Interstate moving is not an easy job, but making planning a priority can greatly improve the moving process. Staying on schedule is important and to-do-lists have to become your new best friend — the last thing anyone wants is added anxiety when trying to complete everything last minute. To keep everything organized, set reminders on your phone and schedule a few hours throughout the course of the week for moving related tasks.

2. Get an In-Home Estimate 

Moving companies in New York will charge you for an in-home estimate but at FlatRate, you can get a free quote over the phone or at an in-home appointment any time.

The best part? The price you get during your free quote will remain the same until the end of your move as long as your inventory doesn’t change — our guaranteed flat rate covers all extra costs, travel and labor fees and protects you from surprise expenses. The sooner you get an estimate, the faster you will know the size of your inventory and how much it will cost to transport everything to your new home.

3. Reconsider Your Inventory 

Moving long distance is the perfect opportunity to reconsider your inventory and figure out what’s worth bringing with you or not. Take the time to go through your belongings and decide what items are essential and what could be donated or left behind — the more items you ship, the more expensive your move will be.

FlatRate has partnered with The Salvation Army for years to facilitate the donation process for our clients: with our UpCycle program, you will receive designated moving boxes that can be used for donation and our team of movers will drop them off at the closest facility after they pick up your items.

4. Look For Insurance Options

Considering insurance is always an important decision when moving long distance. Whether you have dozens of valuable items or not, it is crucial to be aware of what your insurance does and does not cover and what is included with your moving company.

Although many moving companies usually offer insurance policies, take the time to figure out if you need to purchase a more extensive plan in case you have extremely valuable items like pianos and high-end art & electronics.

5. Consider Storage

Differently than local moving, long distance moves might require you to store your inventory somewhere else before arriving at your new destination. If your new home is smaller than your current home or your apartment is simply not ready to take everything at once, considering storage might save you a lot of time and headache.

FlatRate owns and operates many storage facilities all over the country, with a variety of room sizes and both short and long term contracts. Not sure what kind of unit would be the best for you? Call us now and one of our Relocation Specialists will help you find the best option.

6. Make Packing a Priority

Packing is the heart of moving and leaving that stuff to the professionals is always the way to go. When it comes to long distance moves, packing and protecting your inventory correctly is essential to make sure your items have a safe arrival.

For long distance moves, FlatRate professionally packs and protects your items, according to the distance moved. If you decide to use our storage services, FlatRate will also double wrap your items to protect them for a longer stay – ensuring your inventory remains in great condition for as long as you need it stored.

7. Label Your Moving Boxes 

Prioritize the items that need to stay with you after the move by labeling your moving boxes and getting your inventory organized. Writing outside of each box will give you a better idea of what needs to be shipped, stored, or kept with you. Markings like “kitchen” and “bedroom” will also help when it’s time to do the packing and unpacking.

It’s important to remember that the moving process doesn’t end after your items are picked up — packing a suitcase with the stuff you’ll need during your first weeks at your new home can be a life saver. Make sure you pack clothes, towels, bedding, toiletries and your personal necessities before you close the moving boxes and wait for the moving truck.

8. Update Your Documents

Moving means getting a new address and with that, comes updating your personal information in a lot of different places: the mail, banks, and phone carriers are just some of the many services that will need an update.

When moving long distance, keep in mind that you will also need to get a new driver’s license and registration as well as other important personal documents.

9. Plan Around Your Delivery Window

For long distance moves, your delivery window could be up to 3 weeks so it’s crucial to plan yourself around that period of time. Make sure you have enough clothing and personal necessities to live for the first month in your new home in case there is a delay in your shipment.

To help with the stress of waiting for your inventory to arrive, make sure to plan ahead by labeling the boxes you will need and bringing them with you for the ride. If you’re moving with your car, it is crucial that you do research ahead of your move day to decide what’s the best option for you: should you just drive to your new destination with a few moving boxes or find moving services that can get your car shipped to your new home?

10. Get to Know Your New Home

Starting fresh is exciting but sometimes adapting to a new environment can be challenging. Push yourself and invest in getting to know your new home.

Research about the best restaurants, parks, art museums, bars and gyms. Go explore and find yourself a new yoga studio, a new favorite coffee shop and a nice area to see the sunset. You might not know many people when you move to a new city, but if you put effort into getting to know your new home, you will meet like-minded people sooner than later.