Moving to another house is a big pain, you never know how much stuff you have accumulated until it is time to move. Except if you are one of those super-organized people, moving is also the perfect chance to misplace your valuables. A house move can even continue to disrupt your life months after moving day.
However, when your house move is a long distance move – more than 150 miles or across state lines – the level of difficulty is multiplied many times over. On a long distance move, you have to pack your stuff a lot more carefully and the likelihood of things getting damaged on the road is greater.
Additionally, unlike when moving a short distance, you don’t have the luxury of making mistakes when you are moving long distances. You can’t hire the wrong size of truck. And if you accidentally leave some items behind, Cory Real Estate Services warns, it would be really hard to make a second trip to pick them up.
To prepare for a long distance move, you need detailed planning and preparation, plus enough time to finish your packing. In the steps listed below, we explain everything you should do when you are about to make a long-distance move.
- Make a list of utilities, accounts, or subscriptions
Start here to avoid omissions. Make a list of services that need to be updated or canceled. This will include subscriptions, bank accounts, government organizations, utilities, driver’s licenses, and more.
- Create a packing timetable
Your packing should begin at least one month before moving day. Make it easier by breaking it down by room or categories of items (books, clothes, etc). Set milestones to track your progress.
- Make a list of your belongings
Get a notebook and note each item under its packing box before you place it in the box. This will make it easier to track items and also inform the moving company what you want to ship.
- Purge your belongings
Moving companies charge by weight. To cut cost and reduce clutter in your new home, sort items as you pack them. Sell, trash, or donate all the stuff you no longer need.
- Get rid of bulky furniture
Unless they are heirlooms, antiques, or expensive, you should not pack your furniture. The cost of shipping furniture across state lines may be close to the price of buying new ones.
- Get estimates from multiple long-distance moving companies
Make sure each company does long-distance moves and do not use a company if they give you estimates over the phone. They must inspect the items to calculate the precise costs. This must be communicated via a written contract.
- Understand the contract terms
Read the fine print to know the conditions attached to the contract. For instance, what is the company’s insurance policy? Will there be additional fees for delays due to traffic or detours?
- Learn about prohibited items
Many household items are forbidden from being taken across state lines ; find out what these are by requesting the list of forbidden items from the long-distance moving company.
- Pack for a long haul
On a long-distance move, things are more likely to get broken because of highway speeds and bumpy roads. Buy quality moving boxes, pad breakables to cushion them, pack tightly, and seal boxes thoroughly.
- Organize your belongings
Pack items in such a way that the items you will need immediately you get to your new home are in a few easily accessible boxes. Doing this will let you settle in without needing to open all your boxes.
- Label all boxes conspicuously
All moving boxes should be labeled on the top and sides. Use color codes to separate items according to their destination in the home. Designate items you want to load last/first or boxes with delicate stuff.
- Get additional insurance
Find out about the company’s insurance but be ready to buy more insurance. The company’s insurance will not provide adequate protection for your belongings. Most companies limit their liability to $.60 per pound of lost/damaged items.
- Protect your valuables
This includes important documents (legal, financial, medical, travel documents, etc), expensive items, and things that hold sentimental value to you. These should be stored in a bag that you keep with you at all times.
- Pack a moving essentials bag
This should contain everything your family will need on the road or when you arrive at your new home. These will include toilet essentials, change of clothes, phone chargers, etc. A bag should be packed for each family member.
- Change your postal address
Two weeks before moving day, start the process of changing your postal address. This ensures that the changes would have taken effect by moving day and your mail won’t get sent to your old address.
- Get all medical and school records
Weeks before moving day, contact your children’s schools and get their school records. Do the same with your family doctor. Update important medical information like vaccination records.
- Do not forget to keep safe
Accidents and injuries are common when moving house. By keeping paths clear of litter you reduce the risk of trips and falls. Using the right lifting techniques will help prevent back injuries.