Many Americans say that moving is among the top three most stressful things in life. Moving long-distance is no easy task, but with some proper planning and a skilled team of professional movers, we don’t think it’s quite that bad. We’ve put together our long-distance moving checklist to help make the whole process a bit less daunting. Have a look, print it out, and start preparing for moving day.
Two months before moving day
- Start getting organized. Create a file on your computer or in a hard-copy binder to keep track of all moving-related paperwork. You’ll also want to have some space dedicated to notes, including a timeline of when phone calls were made and tasks were completed.
- Decide on your moving strategy. Will you hire a team of movers to ship your belongings? What about packing services, or any custom crating that you require? Will you need a storage unit? Assess what you will need for services on moving day.
- Start gathering moving quotes. Ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations. They are a great source of honest reviews and suggestions! Then start searching the internet to see what you can learn. See if your potential movers are affiliated with AMSA the American Moving and Storage Association. This organization serves to set the industry standard for movers across the country. Take a look at their website, too — do they seem professional, capable, and organized?
- Start sorting through your belongings. Decluttering your home can take some time, especially if you have lived there for a while. Starting early will help prevent packing overwhelm.
Six weeks before moving day
- Book your moving company. Once you decide on a moving company and get a quote that’s to your liking, it’s time to book your movers! Waiting too long could mean that you are unable to get the date or time that you need. So don’t delay too long.
- Notify your kids’ school. If you have children who will be switching to a new school, it’s time to notify them. They need to prepare for the transition.
- Ask for your medical records. If you have already established a new medical team near your new home, you can ask for your records to be transferred. If not, collect copies of your family’s medical records so you can easily get established at a new office.
- Plan a garage sale or start donating. As you sort through your belongings and discover items you won’t be bringing with you, determine what you should sell and what should be donated. Paring down your belongings before you move is a smart move to save you time, money, and sanity!
Four weeks before moving day
- Start packing up the odds and ends. If it’s nonessential, you can start packing and organizing well in advance. Pull stuff out of drawers and closets that you won’t need anytime soon and start packing it into boxes. Note: If you have hired a packing team, you can skip this step if you’d prefer they do everything for you!
- Notify your utility companies. Internet, electricity, oil/gas, and any other utility providers should be notified. They will need to know when your service is officially terminated so they can bill you accurately. Similarly, make sure to get the utilities set up at your new home so they are ready to go when you arrive!
- Notify your landlord. If you are terminating a month-to-month lease, most landlords require at least a month’s notice. Provide adequate information to your landlord where applicable about your departure date, and find out when you will receive your security deposit back.
Three weeks before moving day
- Make a plan for using your food. Take a look in your refrigerator and pantry to take stock of what you need to use up. Movers will not transport anything perishable, and shipping boxes of food rarely makes financial sense. Plan your meals for the next few weeks to use up the food that you have without requiring a lot more shopping.
- Get your car tuned up. Whether you will be driving or shipping your car, you want to feel certain that your brake pads, oil, and tires are in good shape for the journey.
- Transfer your insurance policies. Renters’ and homeowner’s insurance may take some time to switch over, so get this process started in advance. Changing your car insurance to your new address, you can typically establish a start date. Get these logistics underway.
Two weeks before moving day
- Fill out your change of address form. Let the USPS know that you’re moving so they can start forwarding your mail. This gives you time to officially change your address with your bank and other important places.
- Make a plan for your pets, plants, and valuables. These three categories of things can’t go on the moving truck, so how do you plan to transport them? Packing jewelry correctly
is fairly simple, and then you can transport it with you.
- Dispose of chemicals and hazardous materials. Paint, propane, harsh cleaners, and other chemicals can’t be transported on the truck. Find out what you need to do to dispose of them properly.
- If you are doing your own packing, it’s gone time. Two weeks might seem like tons of time to pack, but it always takes longer than you think. So if you aren’t using a packing team, hop to it!
One week before moving day
- Pack your moving essentials bag. This bag will include important paperwork, your essential toiletries, a change of clothes (or two), and other things you won’t be sending on the moving truck.
- Confirm all of your services. Make sure you know when the movers will arrive! If you’ve hired professional cleaners, confirm that they know the plan too. With a week to go, you have a little wiggle room to make any changes to the schedule necessary.
One day before the move
- Prepare the house for your movers. That means clearing any clutter from the entryway, getting all of your personal odds and ends squared away, and clearing out any last bits that aren’t going on the truck.
- Dispose of garbage. Anything that’s headed to the curb or dumpster, clear it out! There will undoubtedly be more trash created along the way, but starting clean is best.
- Create a “pack the car” pile. Gather your plants, valuables, and anything else you’re going to take with you instead of sending it on the truck. If you’re flying, this will be your luggage pile.
On moving day
- Support the moving process. Give your movers the lay of the land and identify any fragile or valuable items immediately. When you sign the bill of lading, you are verifying that they loaded everything into the truck to your satisfaction. So make sure you pay attention! This will also ensure that they don’t take anything you were planning to transport on your own.
- Check the house one last time. Make sure neither you nor your movers forgot anything in closets, drawers, or the refrigerator. Make sure things are “broom clean” if that’s what your lease states, or prepare for the cleaners to arrive.
- Hit the road! Whether you’re driving or flying, it’s time to start the journey.
Hopefully, this long-distance moving checklist will help keep you organized and clear during your move. Let our professional movers and packing team help make the whole experience a stress-free one!