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A Primer on Long Distance Moving

by: Allison Millar
01 Dec 2010

Moving across the country often brings a mix of emotions--excitement about a new beginning, but nervousness about all the work to be done. The key to success with a long distance move is in the planning - here are a few key moving tips.

Whether you are moving for a job change, a marriage, or another life-changing event, a long-distance move requires extra planning time. The first part of the adventure is finding your new residence and deciding whether to rent or buy. If you have children, get as much school, doctor, and daycare advice and information as you can, so you can make appropriate choices and prepare the necessary paperwork.

Moving Dates

After your main living arrangement decisions are made, it's time to create a moving timeline. Start with dates that cannot be changed, such as:

  • Closing dates for selling your existing home or buying your new home
  • Apartment lease ending or beginning dates
  • Important business meetings
  • Dates to be in new residence or start traveling there

The Moving Inventory

Part of the moving process involves taking an inventory. When you move across the country, the moving costs naturally are higher than a local move. This can be a benefit, however, as it may force you to weed out unnecessary possessions. Think about whether it's worth moving your 15-year-old living room furniture.

Interviewing Moving Companies

As you start paring down possessions, interview three moving companies and have them provide cost estimates and any specific moving advice. To get a more accurate estimate, have them visit your house.

Select a company experienced with long distance moves, so they are familiar with storing items if your plans change or you are delayed getting to the new location. Most movers also offer a packing service. You can weigh the added cost against the convenience.

One tricky part of long distance moving is building in extra time. A long distance move could take a week or more, depending on the distance and the mover's schedule. Consider:

  • Who will meet the truck on the other end?
  • What you'll do if the truck is delayed. Always have a back up plan, just in case.
  • Which items to take with you--valuables, breakables, and personal papers, for example.

Also, think about setting up your phone, cable, and utility services early, as some companies may need time to verify your past service from another state.

Long distance moving can be a challenge, but when planned well, all the pieces fall into place. You can quickly forget about the stress of moving and peacefully settle into your new home.


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