Moving sucks. Moving long distance REALLY sucks. You’ve likely never seen the place you are moving into aside from pictures and maybe a video or two. You don’t know the neighborhood or what kind of people live in it. You don’t know what your neighbors will be like. You only know statistics you found online and those don’t always ease your mind.
Any tips when it comes to moving a long distance can be beneficial. Oddly enough, some of these suggestions aren’t always thought about. Maybe some of them will help you with your long-distance move!
Purge, Purge, PURGE
Clothes and paperwork are the things that often pile up the most and the easiest. Go through your clothes and paperwork as your packing.
Sort your paperwork into two piles. One to burn and one to sort. Once you’re down to your sorted pile only, sort that however you keep your paperwork organized. Doing it as your packing keeps you from getting to your new home only to open boxes full of paperwork that you have no idea where it goes. You’re already set up to know where everything is in your current home. Take advantage of that.
Sort your clothes into three piles. One to keep, one to donate, and one to throw away. When you’re done, pack up the clothes you’re donating nicely into a box and take them to the local donation center. Consider donating to women’s shelters, men’s shelters, safe houses, and churches before taking your donations somewhere that’s for profit.
Clean Ahead of Time
Clean things as you put them into boxes. Nothing sucks more than trying to unpack after a long move just to open a box and find it full of dirty items that you really don’t want to put into your nice clean space.
Even if you’re just wiping it down with a wet washcloth, you’re still starting out with a clean slate when you unpack in your new home. Make the end of this long process so much easier on yourself by taking a little bit of time as you’re packing your belongings. A little extra time now will save you a lot of time later.
This one isn’t common. Or at least, part of it isn’t. Everyone knows to label the boxes ‘kitchen’ or ‘dining room’ or ‘bathroom’, but not everyone thinks to label the boxes as a whole. Marking them 1 of 100 or 2 of 100 is the best, and easiest way to make sure that all of your boxes arrive at your new home safely. Creating a master list of the numbered boxes (i.e. box 47 of 100 is labeled ‘guest room’) allows you to be better prepared should a box go missing.
One Trip is Best
This one is kind of a no-brainer. You don’t want to make multiple trips when it’s a short distance move. Multiple trips when it’s a long-distance move is insane. This tip goes back to the purge, purge, purge concept. Get rid of what you can.
Replace What You Can Afford…Move As Little As Possible
Again, purge what you can. Make one trip. This doesn’t just include clothes and paperwork. The furniture you don’t use. Can you afford to replace the Tupperware when you get where you’re going? If so, then toss it in the garbage. What about the curtains, the tablecloth, the futon you’ve had since college, or that ugly shoe rack that you’ve held onto way longer than you should have? If you can afford to replace these things when you get there, start fresh. It’s less you have to pack and unpack. It’s less that needs to fit into a truck. It’s less you will have to worry about getting lost in the move.
Have As Much Help As Possible
The more the merrier they say! If you’ve got the friends to help, make use of them. Moving is a lot easier when there are a lot of people going in and out of that truck to bring boxes in or out. Hiring a moving company to help on one end or the other may seem like a waste of money, but it will make your life that much easier. It will save you some of the exhausting work. Especially when it’s a long-distance move and you don’t know anyone where you’re going. Consider adopting that expense. You won’t regret it.
Verify, Verify, VERIFY
Check. Double-check. And then check again. Make sure that the home will be open and ready when you get there. Make sure that the moving company is going to arrive at the same time as you. Check the road conditions before you leave. Check traffic. Keep an eye on the weather for the days you are supposed to be loading and unloading the truck. Keeping an eye on these little things can make the big day a lot easier on you!
Lists are a girl’s best friend. List the numbered boxes and what they contain. List the names of those helping you…especially if you use a few companies. List their names and phone numbers. Much easier to find contact information if something were to go wrong. List the things you need to do when you first arrive at your new home. List the very last things you need to do before leaving your old home. Having a checklist for these things ahead of time will allow you to add things you need as you go, but also to ensure that you have everything done before you leave.
Save Space By Moving Hanging Clothes In Garbage Bags
This one is genius. Save yourself the space in boxes by transporting your hanging clothes on their hangers by using a garbage bag. Pull the garbage bag up from the bottom and tie the strings around the hangers so you don’t lose them and they don’t end up everywhere. It gives you the extra room for boxes and keeps your clothes from getting wrinkled because they’re shoved in a box!
Take A Picture In Front Of Your Old Home
If you’re moving long-distance, be sure to take a moment and take a picture in front of your old home. Especially if you have children. It’ll be a moment you can put into their scrapbooks so they can always have that last memory of the home they lived in. It can also be fun to see how the house changes, or doesn’t change if you don’t come back for years. If you don’t have kids and are moving out of an apartment into your own home, have fun with it and make silly faces or make it a celebratory style picture! Celebrate leaving the apartment life behind!
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Lucky mom of three beautiful children ages 9, 11 & 12. I graduated with a double bachelor's degree in 2015 from Ashford University. One in Journalism and Mass Communications and the second in Public Relations and Marketing.