The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need For Long-Distance Moving

By: Nik Watson Last Updated: May 11, 2024

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In this article, we break long-distance moving down into 4 simple steps. Then, we offer tips and tricks to take along your journey.

The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need For Long-Distance Moving

We all know how strenuous moving can be, but add long distances to it, and moving comes with a boatload of different obstacles. The best way to avoid any problems along the way is to set up and execute a proper plan of action.

In this article, we’ll go over every single challenge you could face from the best long-distance moving services to packing and transportation.


This is the most important step for many reasons. We’ll tell you why below:

1. Research Your New Location

Understanding what your new city/town has to offer by researching the neighborhood, amenities, and job market is vital to your long-distance move.

You want to feel comfortable in this new chapter of life, so researching as much as you can before the move will make a huge difference. Compare neighborhoods based on proximity to work, parks/recreation, crime rates, etc.

If you have kids, finding the right school district is important because you want to set them up for success early on. Moving them to a different school is jarring at first, and making friends can be very difficult in an unfamiliar environment, so try to ease this transition in any way possible.

2. Research Moving Companies, Containers, or DIY

Before you set an exact date or time for your move, you’ll need to choose by selecting a moving company, a moving container, or a DIY. All of these options have pros and cons to them, but it honestly comes down to your budget, situation, and personal preferences. Are you strapped for cash? Or would you rather someone else handle all the heavy lifting for you?

If you opt for a moving company or container service, shop around and compare quotes. Haggle with the reps to make sure you get the best deal. Check customer reviews thoroughly, even the 1-star reviews to ensure you won’t get hit with hidden fees and sketchy movers.

Container services are pretty straightforward. Commonly known as PODS and cheaper than a moving company, they are reliable and act as a portable storage container. They can be delivered to your home, however, you’re the one unloading and loading your belongings.

As for DIY, do your research on this. There are a lot of nuances and tricks to packing for a long-distance move by yourself. Click here for our in-depth article about DIY moving. This is the cheapest option when moving long distances, but it does take the most work.


Packing is the most time-consuming out of all the steps. The key to a stress-free move is proper organization.

Here are some expert tips we’ve learned over the years to make it the most efficient as possible:

1. Supplies

By preparing all of the packing materials, including moving boxes, packing tape, packing paper, and bubble wrap well in advance, you can save time and effort in the packing process.

2. Essentials

Pack essentials separately. Once you move into your new house, you don’t want to be rummaging around at 11 p.m. after a long day of travel trying to find your essential items. This includes toiletries, a change of clothes, important papers, and any medications.

3. The Strategy

Use this strategy when packing: Start by packing items you won’t need right away, like decorative pieces or winter clothes (if it’s summer). Label each box (on at least 2 sides) with the contents and the room it should go into to make the unpacking process seamless.


Decide whether you want to fly or take a road trip with the family. If you’re driving, map out the places you want to see beforehand and prep the car with the necessary items. Before setting off, check your tires, pack a first aid kit, and see if you need an oil change.

Unpacking & Setting Up Shop

Start with unpacking the essentials first like sheets and toiletries. Enjoy the process. You’re finally in your new home, starting a new chapter!

Once you’ve unpacked your essentials, get out the family photos to make it feel like home. After that, try setting a routine to get back into the flow of things.

Moving into a new space and community can be challenging at first, but there are some key steps to take to integrate smoothly.

  • Introduce Your Family To the Neighbors
  • Attend Community Events
  • Join Local Clubs
  • Explore the Area/Attractions

Overall Tips for A Successful Long-Distance Move

  • Create a Checklist: A detailed checklist makes sure nothing gets left behind. We don’t want Johnny’s favorite teddy bear to go missing, so be as detailed as possible in the packing stage.
  • Start 1-2 Months in Advance: Begin the planning stage of your long-distance move as soon as you can. Trust us, it’ll fly by if you don’t put aside time for it. It’s a whole different beast than a local move, so give yourself enough time to sort through every step of the process.
  • Declutter: Make sure to declutter as much as possible before the move. Hold a yard sale for items being left behind or give them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Don’t just throw them away, someone can always use it.
  • Pack Strategically and Cautiously: Use good quality moving boxes and materials to shield your belongings while they’re in the truck. Label each box and where it should go in the new house.
  • Notify The Parties: While you’re in the full swing of things, don’t forget to notify the relevant parties of your change of address. For example, your bank or the IRS would be a good starting place.
  • Take Inventory: Take pictures of items that are priceless valuables or partially damaged items to serve as a reference in case of any disputes or insurance claims during the move.

Following these tips will minimize your stress and provide you with an efficient and seamless move.

We Made Long Distance Moving Simple

You’re now set to cross the country. It will still be a little scary at first, but you got this! Just follow the steps we’ve laid out for you and you’ll be just fine.

Enjoy the journey along the way and don’t forget to take pictures!


Donate them to charity, sell them online, host a yard sale, or dispose of them.

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.

It’s a good idea to book long-distance movers as far in advance as possible, especially during peak moving season. Aim to book at least two months in advance to ensure availability. Try not to book during peak moving seasons if you can.

You can pack your belongings yourself, but hiring professionals can save you time and energy. It depends on your budget and how much time you can allocate to packing.

Join a local country club, group, or organization to meet like-minded people. If you’re in a community, definitely give community events a shot.