Moving Long Distance: A Comprehensive Guide to What You Need to Know

By: Lily Lamour Last Updated: May 31, 2023

  • Share article:

Moving long distance can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. There's a lot to plan and prepare for, from researching your new location to packing up your belongings and settling into your new home.

Moving Long Distance: A Comprehensive Guide to What You Need to Know

Are you planning a long-distance move? Moving to a new city or state can be an exciting and life-changing experience, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. There’s so much to do, from researching your new location to packing up your belongings and settling into your new home.

Fortunately, with the right planning and preparation, your move can be a success. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about moving long distance.

In this article

1. Researching Your New Location

The first step in any long-distance move is researching your new location. Whether you’re moving for a job, to be closer to family, or simply for a change of scenery, it’s important to understand what your new city or state has to offer. Here are some things to consider when researching your new location:

Finding the Right Neighborhood

When it comes to choosing a neighborhood, there are several factors to consider. Think about your lifestyle, your budget, and your priorities. Do you want to be close to public transportation, parks, or shopping? Do you prefer a quiet residential area or a bustling city center? Look at crime rates, school districts, and local amenities to help you make an informed decision.

Researching Schools and Local Amenities

If you have children, finding the right school district is crucial. Research schools in your new area to make sure they meet your family’s needs. You may also want to look into local amenities like libraries, community centers, and parks.

Understanding the Job Market

If you’re moving for a job, make sure you understand the local job market. Research industries that are thriving in your new area and consider reaching out to local recruiters or networking groups.

2. Budgeting for Your Move

Moving long distance can be expensive, so it’s important to create a budget and stick to it. Here are some costs to consider:

Moving Expenses

Moving expenses can vary depending on the distance of your move and the amount of belongings you have. You may want to consider hiring a professional moving company to help with the heavy lifting.

Travel Expenses

If you’re moving long distance, you’ll likely need to factor in travel expenses like gas, food, and lodging. Make sure to budget for these expenses ahead of time.

Unexpected Expenses

No matter how well you plan, unexpected expenses can still arise. Make sure to set aside some extra money for emergencies or unexpected costs.

3. Hiring a Moving Company

Hiring a moving company can help make your long-distance move much easier. Here’s what you need to know:

Types of Moving Companies

There are several types of moving companies to choose from. Full-service moving companies will handle every aspect of your move, from packing to unpacking. Self-service moving companies will provide you with a truck and equipment, but you’ll be responsible for packing and loading your belongings.

How to Choose the Right Moving Company

When choosing a moving company, it’s important to do your research. Look for a company with a good reputation and plenty of experience. Make sure to get several quotes and compare prices.

What to Expect During the Move

Moving can be a stressful experience, but a good moving company will help make the process as smooth as possible. Make sure to communicate your needs and expectations to your movers, and be prepared for any unexpected hiccups along the way.

4. Packing Your Belongings

Packing can be one of the most time-consuming parts of a long-distance move. Here are some tips to help make the process easier:

Essential Packing Supplies

Make sure you have all the packing supplies you need before you start packing. This may include boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and packing paper.

Packing Tips and Tricks

When packing, it’s important to be organized and efficient. Start by packing items you won’t need right away, like seasonal clothing or decorative items. Label each box with the contents and the room it belongs in to make unpacking easier.

Labeling and Organizing

Labeling and organizing your boxes can help make your move much smoother. Keep boxes from the same room together and label them clearly so that your movers know where to place them in your new home.

5. Preparing Your Home for the Move

Before you leave your old home, there are several things you’ll need to do to prepare:

Cleaning and Decluttering

Take some time to clean and declutter your old home before you move. This will make packing and unpacking easier and can help you start fresh in your new space.

Making Necessary Repairs

If there are any repairs that need to be made, such as fixing a leaky faucet or patching a hole in the wall, make sure to take care of them before you move.

Disconnecting and Connecting Utilities

Make sure to disconnect your utilities, like electricity and water, before you leave your old home. You’ll also need to connect utilities at your new home before you arrive.

6. Traveling to Your New Home

Depending on the distance of your move, you may need to travel to your new home. Here’s what you need to know:

Deciding on a Mode of Transportation

Consider your options for transportation, whether it’s a road trip, a train ride, or a flight. Think about how much time you have and how much you’re willing to spend.

Preparing for a Road Trip

If you’re driving to your new home, make sure to prepare your car for the journey. This may include getting an oil change, checking your tires, and packing an emergency kit.

Planning for a Flight

If you’re flying to your new home, make sure to book your tickets early and pack everything you’ll need for the flight. Consider shipping some of your belongings ahead of time to avoid excess baggage fees.

7. Unpacking and Setting Up Your New Home

Once you arrive at your new home, it’s time to start unpacking and setting up your space. Here’s what you need to know:

Tips for Unpacking Efficiently

Start by unpacking essential items like bedding and toiletries. Take your time and don’t rush the process. Make sure to label each box as you unpack it to keep track of your belongings.

Setting Up Essential Services

Make sure to set up essential services like electricity, water, and internet as soon as possible. You may also want to consider setting up a PO box or forwarding your mail.

Personalizing Your New Space

Make your new space feel like home by personalizing it with decor, photos, and other items that bring you joy.

8. Settling into Your New Community

Moving to a new community can be challenging, but there are ways to make the transition easier:

Making New Friends

Consider joining local groups or organizations to meet new people. You can also get involved in community events or volunteer opportunities.

Getting Involved in the Community

Getting involved in your new community can help you feel more connected and invested in your new home. Consider attending local events or joining a community group.

Adjusting to a New Lifestyle

Moving to a new city or state can mean adjusting to a new way of life. Take some time to explore your new area and get to know the local culture.

9. Additional Considerations

If you’re moving with children or pets, there are additional considerations to keep in mind. Here are some tips:

Moving with Children

Moving can be especially difficult for children. Make sure to talk to your children about the move and involve them in the planning process. Try to maintain a sense of routine and normalcy during the move, and make sure to take breaks for fun activities along the way.

Moving with Pets

Moving can also be stressful for pets. Make sure to pack plenty of food, water, and familiar items for your pets, and consider using a pet-friendly moving company to help make the process easier.

Moving During the Pandemic

If you’re moving during the pandemic, there are additional safety considerations to keep in mind. Make sure to follow local guidelines and take precautions like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.


What should I do with items I don’t want to bring to my new home?

You have a few options for items you don’t want to bring with you. You can donate them to charity, sell them online or at a garage sale, or dispose of them.

Should I consider storage options?

If you’re downsizing or need some extra space during your move, storage can be a good option. Consider renting a storage unit or using a portable storage container.

How far in advance should I book a moving company?

It’s a good idea to book a moving company as far in advance as possible, especially during peak moving season. Aim to book at least two months in advance to ensure availability.

Can I pack my belongings myself, or do I need to hire professionals?

You can pack your belongings yourself, but hiring professionals can save you time and ensure your items are packed safely and efficiently. Consider your budget and time constraints when deciding.

What’s the best way to meet new people in a new community?

Joining local groups or organizations can be a great way to meet new people. Consider volunteering, attending community events, or joining a local club or group that interests you.

Long Distance Moving Made Easy

Moving long distance can be a daunting task, but with the right planning and preparation, it can also be a rewarding experience. From researching your new location to settling into your new community, there are many steps involved in a successful long-distance move.

By following the tips and advice in this comprehensive guide, you can make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible.