8 Tips for Managing a Long-Distance Move
Managing a long-distance move is no small feat. However, with a little planning and forethought, it can be done without it feeling overwhelming.
To that end, below are eight of our best tips for effectively handling a long-distance move. Read on below so that you can start getting prepared for your move.
1. Save money by decluttering first
When movers provide estimates, in addition to accounting for the distance that they have to travel and the amount of time that the move will take, they will also provide a price based on the amount of space that your belongings take up in their trucks.
With that in mind, it’s in your best interest to take the time to declutter your home before you talk to any movers. Not only will this make the moving and packing process significantly easier, but it will also help you save money.
2. Get multiple in-home estimates from movers
Once you’ve pared your belongings down to only the essentials, the next step is to collect estimates from a few long-distance moving companies. Whenever possible, you’ll want to opt for an in-home estimate. That way, the movers will be able to truly get a sense of everything that needs to be moved before giving you their price.
When comparing estimates, it’s crucial to make sure you know exactly what services are included in each company’s pricing. Otherwise, you may end up going with the lowest bid, only to find out that some essential services weren’t reflected in the estimate.
3. Ask about forbidden items
Most moving companies have a list of items that they won’t move. Usually, these include flammable chemicals and perishable foods. However, you’ll want to check in with your chosen moving company to see which items are on their blacklist.
Keep a list of those forbidden items on hand as you pack so that you can be sure not to include any of those items in with the rest of your belongings.
4. Schedule out your packing tasks
There’s no getting around the fact that packing up a whole house is an enormous task. However, you can make the task easier by breaking it up into manageable chunks.
Most often, people break this task down by planning to pack up one room at a time. If you want to go this route, do yourself a favor and schedule each step in the packing process out on a calendar. That way, you can rest assured that you’ll be packed and ready by the time moving day arrives.
5. Create an inventory of your belongings
As you pack up each box, create a list of the belongings that are stored in each one and place this list in the box before closing it up. Doing this will help you save time when you start unpacking because you’ll be able to tell what’s in each box with just a glance.
When you’re done, combine the content of each box into a master inventory list, so that you can be confident when you’re unpacking that nothing ended up getting lost in the middle of the move.
6. Label your boxes properly
Labeling your boxes correctly is especially important for a long-distance move. Again, you’ll want to do your best to ensure that nothing gets lost in the process. You should include the following info on all sides of your boxes:
- Your last name
- Room designation
- Special handling instructions, if any
If you’re the type who likes to be especially organized, you may want to consider creating a color-coding system for your items. For example, knowing that boxes labeled in red go in the kitchen will help speed up the process on moving day
7. Pack essentials separately
That said, there are some items that you shouldn’t send with your movers. In particular, you should think about separating out important documents, necessary medications, and any high-value items. For safe-keeping, it’s best to keep these items with you during your move.
In addition, you should also think about including some items that you may need at the very beginning of the unpacking process. For example, it may be wise to keep a box cutter or scissors on hand, as well as a few trash bags.
8. Check and double-check the logistics of the move
Lastly, be sure to check and double-check the logistics of the move with your movers. Make sure that they have the right delivery date and address, as well as the correct spelling of your name (for the boxes) and your best contact information.
Beyond that, you may also want to check-in with them regarding what type of insurance coverage they offer for lost or broken items. If it’s not much, your best bet is to call your homeowners’ insurance provider to ask what coverage they offer during a move.