Moving home is always a challenging task, and when your new destination is a long distance away there are even more things to consider than usual. Sure it’s exciting, but can also be really scary and intimidating, which is why having some useful tips to make a long distance moves go as easy, and as smoothly, as possible can be a life-saver! Keep reading to find out what they are.
Tip #1 – Make a detailed plan of action way before the actual moving date
This needs to incorporate chores, such as:
- paperwork – advising relevant people of your upcoming change of address, particularly anything connected to your driving license, or enrolling your children in new schools, along with practical tasks such as
- looking at things like the climate of your planned location, and the size of the property you are moving to.
This helps you get into the right frame of mind when you tackle the next step of the pre-move plan – the pre-packing sort through; and it stops you fixing to haul a snow blower to California or the entire contents of a 3-storey, 5-bedoom family home to a retirement condo! Sorting, listing, downsizing and all-round planning are the things which get a long distance move off to the best possible start.
Tip #2 – Choose the best time to move
If you are short of cash, or have the freedom to choose when to move and want to save some money, you can do this by planning your relocation during the off-peak season. Summer is generally the most expensive time of year to move, so any other season is bound to be cheaper, sometimes by a large margin. It’s also worth checking the rates for mid-month and midweek moves too, as these also tend to be cheaper than weekends, which are the most popular slots to attract a premium rate charge.
Tip #3 – Pack ruthlessly
Sure it’s tempting to fix up packing boxes and then just throw everything into them, though unless you are a fan of jigsaw puzzles and happy to spend weeks sorting though the random, jumbled mess – after a very long and tiring cross country journey to your new place!
It’s much easier to devote some time to sorting through items and declaring them good too:
-Keep (leading straight to a box clearly designated for a room or zone of your new home)
-Donate (directly into the Goodwill bag)
-Storage (if you absolutely have to)
-Throw away (directly into a trash can or recycling bag)
Two bonus tips!
- Use the floor plan of your new home to decide approximately where your furniture and other items will go, and use this to label the packing boxes. (This saves confusion at the destination end, as the chances are you will not be replicating your current set up 100%.)
- Add your family name and even your new address to each packing box. This is like extra insurance just in case the worst happens and your boxes got confused with those belonging to another family. (It’s unlikely, but it does happen, especially if things are in company storage facilities for a while.)
Tip #4- Use an experienced moving company
That means one who is used to transporting precious belongs over long distances. Experienced and well-reviewed long distance moving companies are more than happy to provide a quote based on an in-person assessment of your belongings, and will understand the differences between local and long-distance moves; while brokers just pass the work on to the cheapest company, who may not be the best for you.
Tip #5 – Look closely at insurance coverage
You may be offered some level of insurance as part of your moving package, but if so it’s worth checking exactly what that covers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, all moving companies must offer some form of compensation should your goods be lost or damaged during the moving process, but this does not have to reflect the value of like for like replacement or repair. The minimum coverage offered [‘released valuation protection’] is based on paying out 60 cents for each pound in weight of the item lost or broken. Obviously, this means most of your possessions will not be replaceable at all. Higher levels of insurance protection are available, so do check carefully before making a definite reservation.
Tip #6 – Keep a ‘first week’ box separately
Pack this box with essentials such as clothing for a week (or month), towels, basic toiletry items, and provisions to make snack food and hot drinks. This is a massive help when you arrive and don’t want to search through several packing cases, or if you have arranged for the majority of items to be stored for a short while. (This is also a lifesaver when, on the rare chance your goods are delayed or misrouted, you will have enough items to get by in the short term.)
Tip #7 – Check out the new neighborhood’s parking options
Is there going to be enough room for your moving truck to negotiate the area and park outside? Are there any restrictions on the kind of vehicle which can enter the area? This is crucial because your moving company may need to plan for a smaller truck, to transport your items from the closest point the main truck can park up. If you are moving to a building with an elevator you may need to reserve its use ahead of time, and check it is operational before arriving.
Tip #8 – Take care of yourself
Sorting, packing, and then finally moving – the whole process is always a high-stress situation which can try the patience of the most level-headed amongst us. That’s why you really need to pencil in some down time for yourself and your family amongst the endless ‘to do’ lists. That way you can enjoy the process more, and settle into a new home without too much stress.