Whether you’re relocating across the state or moving clear across the country – from somewhere like Atlanta, GA to Seattle, WA – long-distance moving can be an overwhelming and complex process. If you’re not prepared things can go wrong quickly. Long-distance moving involves careful planning and organization on your part and on the part of the moving company if you choose to work with one. To make the process smooth and stress-free, you need to have a plan and follow through with it.
If you have a big move in the near future and you’re unsure where to start – don’t worry, we’re here to help. We asked some of the top moving and packing experts from across the country to share their best tips and tricks for long-distance moving. Here is what they had to say to help you feel prepared and confident about the move ahead.
1. Decide what is worth taking before packing.
Throw away or donate unnecessary belongings before you move. Get rid of old clothes, appliances that you never use, old DVDs, and any other items that come to mind. Instead of trashing the items, you could have a garage sale or donate them to charity. This will lower the price of your move and make packing and unpacking much simpler. – PickerUppers Moving
2. Don’t move items that are cheaper to replace.
Examples would be Ikea-type furniture, older clothing, books, and additional household items you haven’t used in a while. Take the opportunity to have a good clear-out and get organized. – Mastodon Moving
3. Color coordinate boxes when packing.
Color coordinate the boxes to reflect where you would like them placed in your new home. This can be done using a strip of colored masking tape on the boxes and even on the furniture. Most importantly, do not use too many colors and keep the chart simple. – The Movers
4. Use paper plates to protect your china.
Dinner plates are susceptible to breakage and chipping when stacked for packing. Consider purchasing packs of economy white uncoated paper plates (the thin cheap ones). While they’re horrible at supporting food, they’re great at protecting china. Place two or three paper plates between each plate or bowl before wrapping. The paper plates fit perfectly since they’re round and offer more padding than thin paper. As a bonus, they can stay between the plates after the move when storing large stacks of china in-between uses. – Arpin of Rhode Island
5. Strategically pack your items for long-distance moving.
Remembering what items you have packed in a carton may be challenging while you’re getting ready for a move; especially if you’re interrupted during the process. Consider keeping one of the box flaps up while you’re packing so you can jot down each item as you place it into the carton. Number the carton on the inside flap as well as the exterior. Take a picture of the flap with your cell phone and text it to yourself with the carton number ID. When the carton is full, you can transfer a generalized list of the contents to the outside of the carton so the movers know where to put it at the destination. The image and the interior list will be permanently available if you are searching for a specific item as you unpack. – Liberty Moving & Storage
6. Purge before your moving company arrives.
Moving is a great chance to organize your belongings and get rid of items you no longer use. If the time of year permits, hold a yard sale. Or, take the time to sort and donate gently worn clothing to Goodwill, put furniture up for sale on a site like Craigslist, recycle old magazines and catalogs, and shred old documents. Also one of the moving services that Tru Solutions Moving Company provides is junk removal, this is an easy and convenient way to avoid having to do it yourself – Tru Solutions Moving
7. Do a visual inspection with the moving company.
We highly recommend having a free no-obligation visual inspection of the contents to be moved. It’s essential to have a representative of the company place their eyes on what you intend to ship. There’s no better way to be prepared for a move than knowing what your exact costs will be. Getting a guaranteed customized quote is a huge stress reliever during an otherwise hectic time. – State To State Move
8. Let someone else do the heavy lifting.
Decrease moving costs, save your back, and contribute to a good cause by donating furniture, vehicles, and gently used items. Organizations like the Salvation Army, Good Will, and Habitat for Humanity will pick up your donations, for free, and find them a new home. – Order Your Life
9. Have a game plan for loading.
When maximizing the space in the truck/trailer/POD/container it is important to create a game plan for your load. We recommend always starting with the larger square items and boxes to ensure you are filling the spaces from top to bottom left to right. By doing so you also create a base for boxes to stack on so you never have a stack of boxes from the floor to the ceiling, this prevents boxes from crushing each other under the weight. – Strong College Students Moving
10. Pick a trustworthy, regulated company.
If you do decide to move with a moving company, it’s important to pick one that will take care of your belongings and follow all rules and regulations. If you plan to travel between state borders, make sure they are legally allowed to handle your move. You can verify this by asking for their interstate tariff. Otherwise, you may not be protected by the law if something goes badly. If you need help deciding which moving company to work with, Supermove can help you find some companies – we work with several by making sure they are compliant and delivering great customer experiences. – Supermove
11. Get an in-home estimate.
Getting an in-home estimate will ensure you the customer and the mover are on the same page pertaining to cubic footage/items making the move. There are generally more moving pieces during a long-distance move so ensuring everyone t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted will help to ensure a smooth move as well as an accurate overall quote. – Peak to Peak Movers
12. Compare and save.
By comparing estimates from a few different moving companies, you will potentially save thousands of dollars on your move. However, when we say compare, we don’t just mean prices. Compare different movers’ reputations, licenses, and different insurance options to make sure that your household goods arrive at their new destination safe and sound. – Network Moving
13. Take pictures or video.
Document the scene while the movers are loading and unloading your belongings. If anything goes wrong, it will be easier for you to file a claim. – Excellent Quality Movers