Moving Long Distance? Here are 6 Helpful Tips


Moving has been identified as one of the things in life that can cause a great deal of stress, and anyone who has moved understands why.  While there are many things out there that are worse (death, illness, loss of a job, ending of a relationship all come to mind if it helps with perspective.), moving can certainly be physically and emotionally exhausting.  

While I would love to tell you that it does not have to be, because most likely there will be some level of physical and emotional stress (it’s just one of those things), you can ease the pain with some planning and preparation.   This is especially important when preparing for a long distance move as there is more to consider and typically a smaller margin for error. When things go wrong with a long distance move, they can go VERY wrong.

Here are a few helpful tips to help you with planning for your long distance move:

  1. Start downsizing.  
    1. Since you are packing for the long haul, it only makes sense to bring along what is absolutely necessary and useful when you kickoff this new chapter in your life.

  2. Purge.
    1. Is it time to ditch the old sofa that has been in your basement since college? Probably, and now is the time to get rid of it.  
    2. While you are at it, you should know the size and dimensions of your future living space so that you do not bring along any furniture that you will not have room for upon arrival.  Moving day is stressful enough…you do not need to be surprised to learn that the kitchen table is 3 feet longer that the kitchen area and will allow, or that it will not fit through the front door.  
    3. With all of the mental clutter that occurs during a move, downsizing is an excellent way to remove some of the physical clutter that should not be packed and shipped to your next stop (only to be unpacked, then packed away somewhere else).  This is also an excellent time to donate and/or sell items to charity, or to make some extra money to offset costs.

  3. Self Moving or Professional Movers
    1. How are you going to transfer your belongings?  Are you doing this yourself?  If so, you had better have a good feel for not only what type of truck to rent, but also know how much room you will need.  Do not figure out on moving day that the truck is too small. Also, who is going to drive the truck?  
    2. If it’s you, I would recommend that you get familiar with the vehicle before hitting 60mph on the interstate.  
    3. If you can afford to hire movers, make sure you find a reputable moving company that will provide a full estimate after their review of the items to be moved.  You do not want your belongings to be held hostage as a result of any surprise fees at the last hour.

  4. Become Detail Oriented.
    1. The detail you put into packing will help when you unpack.  Try to avoid jamming your stuff into boxes without any method to the madness.  While you may have a “Let’s just get this done” mentality to packing, you will only be adding to the chaos and confusion when it comes time to unpack.  Be organized and label things properly…it will cut down on the time it takes to unpack and get situated.

  5. Do you have the keys?  
    1. Make sure you have an arrival plan when you get to your new city/home.  What you do not want is to arrive into town only to find out that you cannot get the keys until the following day.  What if you are delayed and the future landlord has gone home for the day and closed up shop?  Do you have his/her number to notify them of the delay so that you can make arrangements to pickup your keys?  If you hired movers, I can assure you that they will not want to wait around for these arrangements to be made and this oversight is going to cost you.

  6. Get to know your new area.  
    1. While it will undoubtedly take some time to get acquainted with your new neighborhood, it is a good idea to know in advance some important information.  How to ensure electricity is turned on.  Where the closest hospital is located.  How to get internet/phone established.  Know when trash pickup is scheduled at the new house so that you do not have 2 weeks worth of trash sitting in your garage. And perhaps most importantly, where to get a good pizza on the first day since I do not think anyone is cooking.  

Look, it is going to be stressful because there is a lot that goes into the physical act of moving and most likely there was a triggering event that is bringing you and/or your family to this new place.  What you can do is make it a little easier on yourself if you can take a few measures to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible so that you can start your new life on the right foot.