A long-distance, out-of-state move is a significant life event that can be both thrilling and intimidating. While the logistics of long-distance moving are complex, a well-structured moving plan can help alleviate some of the stress.
Piece of Cake Moving & Storage helps hundreds of individuals and families daily with their long-distance moves and has compiled a comprehensive long-distance moving guide to help make your next out-of-state move a seamless experience.
With careful organization, you can alleviate much of the stress and uncertainties that come with such a significant change, enabling you to start your new life on the right foot. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Early planning
Timeline: Begin planning at least a month or more in advance. Research moving companies that specialize in long-distance moves, obtain quotes, and compare services.
Budgeting: Long-distance moves come with unique expenses beyond just hiring a moving company to move your home. Additional costs include travel, hotel accommodation, and any necessary temporary storage. Make a comprehensive list of potential costs to avoid unpleasant financial surprises.
2. Purge before you splurge on packing supplies
Sort your belongings: Go through each room and separate items you no longer need. Donate, sell, or dispose of these to reduce volume and save on packing and shipping costs.
Inventory: Create a detailed inventory of items you’re keeping. This is especially useful for insurance purposes in case of loss or damage during the move.
3. Choosing a long-distance moving company
Expertise: Long-distance moves require specialized services like temporary storage and state-to-state license requirements. Ensure the company has experience with long-distance relocations, including services like end-to-end packing and unpacking, furniture assembly, and short-term storage.
Vetting: Confirm that the company is insured and licensed for interstate moves. Check customer reviews online and the Better Business Bureau for any red flags. When selecting a long-distance mover make sure that they have a clear communication style and you have a point of contact.
Pricing options: A professional long-distance mover will offer multiple shipping options for your items to help your long-distance move fit into your budget. Some of the popular long distance shipping options include consolidated shipping and exclusive straight shipping.
If time is on your side and your budget is tight, consolidated shipment is a cost-efficient option. Each truck is shared between a few clients, and your items are securely and correctly labeled and tracked.
If you have a tight timeframe and want full control of your drop off dates, exclusive express long distance moving is the ideal option for you. We use the entire truck exclusively for your shipment. You can choose your desired pick up and drop off dates, with direct delivery.
4. Inventory and packing
Strategic packing: Efficient packing is the backbone of any successful move. Tackle this endeavor by doing one space at a time. This step-by-step method prevents feeling overwhelmed and assures systematic organization. Begin with rooms you seldom use, such as the attic, basement, or guest bedroom. As you box items, clearly label each container with its contents and its designated room, or snap pictures on your phone for a visual inventory. This straightforward action will greatly declutter the unpacking phase at your new residence, particularly when you’re on the hunt for specific items or box contents. Differentiate your boxes using various color labels.
Aim for an even weight distribution within each box to prevent them from becoming overly heavy, which can create issues during the lifting and transporting stages. Consider fortifying your packing with protective materials like bubble wrap, foam inserts, and packing paper for an extra layer of security for your delicate items.
When stacking boxes, its advisable to put heavier objects at the bottom and lighter ones at the top. This approach not only spares fragile items from getting squashed but also ensures the boxes are balanced and more manageable. Investing time in strategic packing and sturdy moving supplies will facilitate easier loading and unloading, while minimizing the likelihood of damage to your possessions.
High-value and fragile items: Expensive electronics, artwork, or antiques may need specialized packing for valuables. Some might even require additional insurance coverage. Sensitive objects like glassware, porcelain, and electronics need meticulous care to guarantee they are intact upon arrival at your new location. Use packing materials specifically made to safeguard these items during their journey. Boxes with built-in compartments are ideal for delicate tableware; they minimize direct contact and possible breakage. Dividers and cushioning provide the added buffer required to ward off any chips, fractures, or breakage.
5. Parking and loading zones at your pick up and drop off location
Reservations: If you’re in an apartment building, reserve the service elevator well in advance. Some places also require a special parking permit for moving trucks. Adequate parking arrangements are essential, as long-distance moves often involve larger moving trucks that require ample space for loading and unloading. Coordinate with your building management or neighborhood association to secure parking permits and reserve a suitable space for the moving truck.
6. Travel arrangements
Mode of transport: Decide if you’ll drive or fly to your new location. If you’re flying, you’ll need to arrange for your vehicle to be transported.
Accommodations: Plan your route and book hotels in advance, especially if your journey involves multiple days of travel.
7. Staying in touch with your moving company
A line of communication: One vital aspect of a long-distance move is maintaining open and clear communication with your moving company throughout the process. Before the moving day arrives, make sure you have the contact information for the driver and any other key personnel who will be responsible for your belongings. Inquire about the best ways to reach them—whether it’s by phone, email, or through a specific app. It’s also wise to confirm how often you should expect updates about the location and status of your move.
8. Notification and address changes
Utilities: Remember to disconnect services in your old home and set up utilities in your new space to avoid any disruption of services.
Change of address: Notify the post office, your bank, and other institutions. Consider using the USPS mail forwarding service during the transitional period. Don’t forget to update your address for things like recurring subscriptions and IDs.
9. Understanding and filing claims
Liability: No one anticipates damage or loss of items during a move, but it’s crucial to be prepared for such possibilities. Familiarize yourself with your moving company’s claim filing procedure well in advance. Typically, companies offer different levels of liability, so understand what kind of coverage you have and what it entails. Some may require you to file a claim within a certain time frame, usually between 30 to 90 days after the move is completed.
To expedite the process, document the condition of your valuable or fragile items before they are loaded onto the truck. Take photographs or videos as evidence. Should the unfortunate happen, this documentation will be invaluable in proving the condition of your items prior to the move.
Additionally, retain all contracts, bills, and any correspondence with the moving company, as these documents may be needed when filing a claim. It’s a good practice to keep a dedicated folder—either digital or physical—for all relevant paperwork to streamline any potential claims process.
Being proactive about these aspects will make it easier to resolve any issues that may arise, reducing stress and ensuring a more seamless transition during your long-distance relocation.
10. Setting up your new life
Initial unpacking: Prioritize essential items like toiletries, clothes, and basic kitchen items for the first few days.
Local services: Start identifying important local services like healthcare providers, schools, and grocery stores. Familiarize yourself with local amenities like fitness studios, coffee shops, and other essential services.
Reflect and relax: Once you’re settled, take a moment to relax and enjoy your new space. Moving is exhausting, but the rewards of a fresh start are well worth the effort.
Now you’re equipped with expert advice on long-distance relocations. Interested in taking the next step? Contact Piece of Cake Moving & Storage for obligation-free, guaranteed flat-rate long distance moving estimate.