"I'm Moving Far Away. How Do I Prepare for a Long-Distance Move?" | George Medina

"I'm Moving Far Away. How Do I Prepare for a Long-Distance Move?"

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Moving to a new home is challenging—but moving across state lines requires a whole different level of planning.

If you’re moving long-distance soon, here are a few ideas to make the process easier. (For tips on planning a local move, click here.)

Decide if you need professional movers.

Sometimes, a long-haul move is just easier with help—especially if you have small children, an extra-large house or lots of heavy furniture. Compare prices and services from at least 3 movers, and consider buying insurance, in case anything breaks.

Make sure your big furniture pieces will fit.

It’s heartbreaking (and expensive) to move an oak drawer chest 500 miles—only to discover that it doesn’t fit anywhere in your new home. Measure big pieces of furniture, compare them to your new floor plan, and make sure they’ll fit before you go.

Get rid of as much stuff as you can.

Whether you hire movers or not, you’ll be paying for every single item you move—in either time, money or energy (or your aching back). And according to the American Moving & Storage Association, the average move in the U.S. includes 7,400 pounds of stuff! If you haven’t used an item in more than 5 years (or if it’s still packed in the box from your last move), consider donating, recycling, giving away or tossing your extra stuff.

Plan to buy some things new.

Along the same lines, it makes more sense to just buy some things new, rather than pack and move them (with their costs in time, money, energy or truck space). Get rid of food, kitchen supplies and bathroom supplies—so you don’t use precious truck space hauling $2 worth of toilet paper across country. Better yet, donate them to your local food pantry.

Pack with a little extra care.

If your dishware and glassware are going to be jostled over many rough miles by truck, boat, or airplane, pack them extra carefully. Try using soft cloths, sheets, crumpled paper or towels to keep them safe. Tape all boxes shut securely so nothing falls out.

Keep track of your hardware.

Whenever you take apart a piece of furniture, put all the loose screws and hardware in a Ziploc bag and label it (e.g. “screws for left master bedroom end table”). Then, tape that bag to the piece of furniture where it belongs.

Label your boxes.

Use a black permanent marker to label each box with the room where it should go in the new house to make unloading and unpacking faster and easier, for you and the movers.

Keep critical stuff with you.

Pack 1-2 suitcases (or boxes) with critical things you’ll need to start life in your new home—such as scissors, screwdrivers, emergency contact numbers, kids’ favorite sippy cups, diapers, passports, clothes, dog treats and collar, a few bath and shower items and your laptop.

Study the new neighborhood.

Before you even move the first box, take a few minutes to study your GPS and find the locations of the nearest gas station, grocery store, hardware store, Target or Walmart store, pharmacy and healthcare clinic (just in case!).

We’ve helped thousands of families have a fun, smooth transition to Kansas City—and we’d love to help you, too! Contact theReeceNichols Relocation Team.