So, you’ve made the decision to move far from home. Or perhaps your job has done it for you. Either way, you have big changes coming up, and likely a to-do list that feels ever-growing.

A long-distance move has a few more considerations to keep in mind than a move across the street or across town. So where do you begin? Tackling the move in an organized way is crucial to ensuring everything gets done and the process goes smoothly. We’ve put together a brief guide to long-distance moving to help you out.


First thing’s first: pare down! Don’t pack and move more than what you want or will use. Not only will it cost you more time and effort, but it will also cost you more money as well. Long-distance moving companies base their prices in part on the weight of your belongings. Do you really want to pay extra for your Minnesota wardrobe when you’re moving to San Diego?

Inevitably, you’ve collected many things along the way that you don’t use – or, worse yet, forgot you have. Give yourself plenty of time to sort through your things and get rid of the stuff you don’t want to take with you. Donate, gift, sell, scrap… Whatever it takes. Make separate piles and come up with a strategy for where to move these things off to.

If you’re planning to bring things to consignment or sell them, start early. Drop them off or get them listed in online marketplaces so you have ample time to find buyers and settle the transfer of goods and cash.

Check with your donation center of choice to see what their policy is for receiving items. Oftentimes they have a list of what they will and won’t receive, and which days and times they’re open for drop-offs. Save yourself a trip and find out these details before you head over.

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Make an Inventory List

All of your life will be packed into boxes, onto a truck, and depending on how far you’re going, it may be there for a while. By the time you are ready to unpack on the other side, your packing strategies may feel like a thing of the past.

Inventory lists will help you track what you have, and where you’ve packed it. Not only will this come in handy should something unforeseen happen, but you’ll also be able to be strategic with your unpacking.

There’s no need to write novels, but keeping a thorough inventory is worth the time and effort. Label your boxes by room and add a number corresponding to each one. In your inventory list, track this room and number combination, and list what you’ve included. 

Schedule a Mover

Moving companies are limited by the number of workers and the number of trucks and equipment they have. In order to be sure you get the dates you want and have the equipment you require, it’s best to plan ahead.

Schedule your long-distance moving company early in the process. Once you’ve done a sweep to downsize your things (or, at least, started) you’ll have a good idea of what’s coming with you. This will help you to get an accurate estimate for the move, and to plan your finances for the overall effort.

Book your mover early and reserve your dates. This will help you know where you stand with your timeline, and work backward on the rest of your preparations.

Opt for Full-Service

Full-service moving companies are a great investment for your long-distance move. They have the expertise to not only move your items safely but to pack them carefully for the long journey. Full-service movers will save you the effort of finding packing supplies. They’ll bring all of the supplies such as boxes, tape, labels, bubble wrap, and more with them.

They’ll pack all of your things methodically, ensuring they are safe for the long and potentially bumpy journey. With their breadth of expertise, you can be sure your dishes and artwork arrive safely. Once you arrive, they’ll unpack everything for you and even take the supplies with them. You’ll save time, effort, and days of stepping over empty boxes.


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Stay on Schedule

Once you’ve booked your help, you have a date to move backward on. Make some notes of other dates that can serve as benchmarks along the way. When will you give notice to your landlord? Closeout accounts at the utility companies? Submit for address changes? When do your kids need to be enrolled in school? Make notes of all of these dates and stay on schedule.

If you’ve decided to pack for yourself, schedule dates when you’d like to have packing done. If you need to do repairs around your current home or rental, schedule these in too. Mark some date commitments no matter how small. Trust us, it will help you keep in a good flow.

Keep Your Essentials Separate

When it’s time for your long-distance move, your things will head off on the truck with your mover, and depending on how far you’re going, you may not see them for a few days. Packing an essentials box is a recommendation we have no matter the length of your move, but it’s even more important when you’re shifting long distances.

Whether you’ll bring the boxes with you in your own car, or you’ll simply clearly label them so they can be kept separate from the rest, make sure you label your essential things.

Consider what you’ll need in the time you and your staff are apart, such as medications, toiletries, pajamas, changes of clothes, and other daily use items. Chargers for your phone, kindle, and computer should be included in this list. These should stay with you rather than going on the truck.

Your essentials box on the truck should make your arrival at your new home more smooth. Pack a box with pillows, sheets, blankets, and fresh towels so you can wash up and unwind when you arrive. Have another box with some essential kitchen items like a few bowls, plates, sets of cutlery, and the coffee pot so you don’t have to unpack everything to have your first meal.

Update Your Documents

Good thing you made that list earlier, right? Transferring your details and address can sometimes be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of moving. Make sure you know when to close your utility accounts, submit for a change of address with the post office, and update your details with banks, credit cards, and membership services. 

When it’s time for your long-distance move, FlatRate can help you with everything you need. From packing supplies to packing and unpacking your things, we’ve got you covered. Our professional long-distance movers will get your things there safely with great prices and reliable, fully insured service.

Categories: Moving Company