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How to prepare for a long distance move

By Jamie Richardson | February 21, 2020

If you’re planning a long-distance move, you have quite an adventure ahead of you. While moving can be known to be a stressful event, it can also be exciting. If planned right, moving can go more smoothly than you’d expect.

So, if moving across the country is on your to-do list, here are four things to help you prepare for your long-distance move so it’s as stress-free as possible.

Start Making Lists

When it comes to moving, you’ll soon discover lists will be your best friend. They help keep you organized among the chaos. Here are three lists you’ll want to make right away.

Packing List:

Create a detailed list of all items that you will be moving to your new location. For big-ticket items include their price, as well.

Many long-distance moving companies will require documentation for the total amount your goods are worth, and items with a particularly high price value might require an extra fee for packaging and insurance purposes.

Selling List:

Create a second list of items you will not be taking with you. All the items on this list can be sold or donated, but you won’t be including them in your estimate for moving services. Be sure to include prices for how much they are worth to make the selling process easier later.

To-Do List:

This needs to be the most detailed of all lists you write up. Include a timeline with the items in this article and due dates for each one. Stick to a schedule, and you’ll have a much easier time of moving.

Find a Moving Company

Moving long-distance creates numerous hurdles to overcome, the greatest of which is transporting your belongings. To make the process as smooth as possible, hiring a moving company is essential.

But before you type, “moving companies near me” into Google and hire the first one that pops up, follow these simple steps to ensure you get a reputable, trustworthy company.

Check Reviews:

Choose long-distance movers that have experience. Check reviews and ratings, in addition to accreditation from the BBB, for each company. Narrow your list down to three top-rated companies.

Request Estimates:

Request in-home estimates from each moving company. Be sure they get a good look at the actual items you’ll be moving and ask for the estimate to be given you in writing, along with a list of services provided for the cost.

Never accept an estimate over the phone. Moving companies worth their salt will come to you and physically appraise how much space your goods will take in their trucks.

Narrow the List:

Decide on which company provides the best services for the best price. Take into consideration each company’s experience level and extra offerings, such as a free storage unit for six months at your new destination.

Hire Your Movers:

When you hire a moving company, they’ll create a contract detailing when the movers will arrive, what services they will provide, and the total time it will take for them to transport your goods.

The contract will be very detailed, so read it thoroughly and ask for clarification, if needed, before you sign.


Remember that list of items you won’t be taking with you? These items can be sold, and the proceeds used to help fund your move. There are numerous ways to sell your goods.

Facebook Marketplace:

Post pictures with a description, location, and price. Ask people to pick up larger items from your location.

Selling Apps:

Like Facebook Marketplace, there are numerous selling apps such as Letgo, OfferUp, and Decluttr that allow you to post items for sale. You can message prospective buyers through the app and decide whether you’ll meet them or request they pick up from you.

Garage Sale:

Hosting a garage sale takes some coordination, but you have the potential to get your selling done in one day. Have a list of prices for the items you’re selling and be prepared to be flexible if offered a lower number than desired.


Any goods you’re unable to sell can be donated to a local Salvation Army or secondhand store. Many charitable centers will offer to pick up your items free of charge.

Pack Up

After you’ve gone through the above steps, it’s time to start packing. Here are three tips to help this process go smoothly.


Label boxes with color coding according to the room they belong in. Write short notes about the contents inside for easy unpacking in your final destination.


Cushion breakables with bubble wrap and padding. Mark these boxes as fragile for the moving company.


Always double tape your boxes, once across the top and bottom where the flaps meet, and once across. This provides maximum strength and support for the goods inside.

You’re Ready to Move

Moving long-distance takes a lot of work. But as you see, the more organized you are, the better it will go. Lists are your best friend, and they will help you sort and organize. Hire a moving company that offers quality service for good prices.

Finally, pack your things by color-coding boxes and use careful packaging for a successful transfer to your new home. Once you’ve done all this, you’ll be ready to move!

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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