January 8, 2022 Posted in Moving Tips
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

7 Long-Distance Moving Tips to Help You Plan Your First Move

Cross-country relocation is a complex process that demands a lot of organizing on your part, and it can become even more challenging if you’ve never gone through it. However, for all first-time movers out there, we decided to create a list of the best long-distance moving tips. With them, planning and performing your first move will go easily and without a fuss. Make sure to use them all when relocation days come.

Girl making plans for moving cross-country overlay
How do I make a long-distance move easier, you ask? By following our tips, of course

#1 Relocation Checklist Will Be Your Lifesaver During the Move

Good organization is the key to success, and making a to-do list is a way to achieve it. A checklist should help you realize what relocation tasks lie ahead and make a schedule for completing them.

However, every relocation is different, so you need to make a checklist in accordance with your specific move. Keep in mind that people don’t have the same needs when relocating to a college in the neighboring state, on the one hand, or when they wish to start a new life on the other side of the country.

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#2 Make a Budget and Start Saving As Soon As Possible

Creating a relocation budget is one of the most important things to do, especially when you’re financially limited. That way, you’ll get the idea of how much to save up prior to the move, but also what relocation expenses your budget can take. Depending on the amount of money you have, you can decide how much to spend on packaging, whether to get long-distance moving services, how to travel to the new destination, or even where you’ll live in the new city.

A cross-country move isn’t cheap, and depending on several different factors, expenses can go from several hundred to several thousand dollars – and that’s without housing costs. The sooner you start saving for it, the closer you’ll be to getting professional assistance. Try eating more at home, canceling subscriptions you can live without, using public transport instead of the car, and other similar tactics that can have a great significance in filling the piggy bank.

A woman saving money for cross-country moving overlay
Don’t fear a little penny-pinching - it will pay off in a long run

#3 Have a Chat With Your Parents (and Prepare for It Properly)

Moving out for the first time will not be hard only for you, but for your parents as well, that is why the matter must be approached carefully. It’s not like you’re relocating a few blocks away but performing a cross-country relocation where plenty of miles will separate you from them. If you’re wondering how many miles is considered a long-distance move, know that for many companies, it is any relocation from 400miles and up, which tends to be a lot for a loving parent.

Therefore, when planning a move to another city, don’t forget to discuss it with your parents, no matter if it’s an expected one, like when going to college, or not. Show them that you’re mature enough to take care of yourself and live on your own. Although that won’t take all of their worries away, this chat can ease them, even for a little bit.

A girl talking with her parents after moving cross country overlay
Ensure your parents that you’ll see one another each day after the move, even with hundreds of miles apart

#4 With the Right Cross-Country Moving Company, You’ll Experience Less Stress

Getting cross-country moving services will guarantee a smooth move, under the condition you choose the right long-distance moving company. Experienced and trained cross-country movers know all the ins and outs of the relocation process, and they will assist you with the hardest of relocation tasks. But how to find the right ones and avoid relocation scams? Consider:

  • Going through several different estimates – you can’t judge a company’s offer if you don’t compare it to others. That being said, beware of offers that are too good to be true. It’s one of the main methods scammers utilize to attract customers, only to charge them additionally after.
  • Checking the company’s reviews and recommendations – start with those on the company’s website, but don’t end your research there. Look on independent sites, like Yelp, and look at the review left on BBB.
  • Using the company’s DOT number to see if the company is licensed and insured – DOT numbers are provided by FMCSA, and it’s one of the safest ways of determining if the relocation company is legitimate.

After you’re finished choosing, contact the company’s representatives and get to know when you can expect belongings to be delivered. Keep in mind that no reputable company can give you the exact date – there are just too many factors that can impact the delivery.

Rather than that, you’ll be presented with a window that is usually up to fourteen days after the relocation day.

Think About Additional Moving Services You May Need

Are you thinking about transporting a car across the country? Are you planning on renting storage units? Do you want your belongings to be insured? The most reputable relocation company can offer many different additional services, inducing:

Be sure to contact the chosen company and get more information about those services. Get to know what they include, what their pieces are, and will there be any additional discounts if you opt for getting them, too. Just remember – the more professional assistance you get, the easier will relocation become.

Be Careful When Choosing a Time of the Year to Move

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to move out of state, know that summer is not the best time of the year to move. It’s the peak of the relocation seasons, always bringing higher prices. If you want to hire some of the best relocation companies but can’t afford their prices during the season, consider relocating in winter.

A mover relocation boxes during cross-country moving overlay
If you’re planning to hire long-distance movers for a more affordable price, choose colder months

#5 Save Enough Time and Energy For Packing

Boxing up is one of the most challenging relocation tasks if you don’t decide to get packing services and leave it in the skillful hands of professional movers. It’s a tedious and lengthy process, but simultaneously, the essential part of each move.

One of the common relocation mistakes many first-time movers make is not leaving enough days for packaging, resulting in poorly packed and insufficiently protected things. That can be avoided by making another list – an inventory list of items you’re going to bring. It will help you determine when to start and even what type of packing materials will be needed.

How to Pack Your Belongings More Efficiently?

Since it’s such a big task consisting of plenty of smaller ones, we created a specialist of packing tips for a long-distance move. If you want to move efficiently, you should combine as many of them as possible. Consider:


Get rid of the unwanted things, so if you’re wondering what should you not move long-distance, use the Marie Kondo method. Bring only those belongings that spark joy and toss, sell or donate unwanted items. Keep in mind that the less you move, the cheaper your relocation is going to get.

Start with storage spaces

Basements, attics, and garages are often areas where items you rarely use are located, so it’s a good place to start both decluttering and boxing up. Leave the rooms with items you utilize the most, such as the kitchen and bathroom, for last. It’s the best answer if you’re wondering: How should I pack for a long-distance move?

Dedicate rooms for packaging boxes and storing ones already packed

You won’t need to jump over the boxes during packing, be sure that each box has its own place before movers come.

Gather all boxing up supplies before starting the process

Find different-sized boxes, wrapping, and padding materials. Use more quality supplies, such as bubble wrap and foam peanuts, for packing fragile items. For other, old linens, towels, and clothes can do the trick.

Organize things inside of boxes

Ease the unpacking process for yourself, and pack each box with similar things. Also, don’t forget to label them, in order to know which box belongs to which room.

Don’t Forget to Pack Essential Items

When packaging all of the goods, remember to set aside a box with relocation essentials. It should contain everything necessary for the first few days in your new home until movers arrive with the rest, or even during the trip. Therefore, be sure to pack stuff like toiletries, important documents, necessary electronics, change of clothes, and so on.

Girl packing before moving cross country overlay
When movers come to your home, be sure that essentials are not between all other stuff they need to relocate

#6 Change Your Personal Information

Remember to set aside some hours for updating personal information after you move to a new home. Changing the address at USPS can be done even before the relocation if you’re familiar with the location of your new home. However, when the relocation is over, remember to:

  • Update driver’s license and register your vehicle,
  • Register to vote,
  • Get a pet license, if relocating with pets,
  • Update healthcare policy,
  • Change the address at your online accounts,
  • Notify bank providers about the change
Man filing the Change of Address form before moving cross-country overlay
Your new address must be updated as soon as possible after the move

#7 Breathe and Try Not to Overstress Yourself

Having anxiety about relocation is normal, especially if you’re going to live on your own for the first time – just try not to let it get out of hand. If you do, it will only interfere with your plans, and you’ll start making one mistake after another. If you see that you’re getting too overworked, stop for a second. Give yourself a minute to relax and focus on all the benefits of relocation. Only after feeling calmer should you continue with the process.

Follow Our Long-Distance Moving Tips, and Your First Move Will Go Smoothly And Trouble-Free

The ultimate goal of each relocation is a success, and good planning will lead you one step closer to it. Our long-distance move tips will help plan the first relocation so it can become a completely stress-free experience. If you want to achieve a stress-free relocation on your first try, just do your best to follow our guidance. That way, every relocation challenge you face will be defeated. Good luck!


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