A long-distance move presents unique challenges. Unlike a move across town or even across the state, you don’t get the chance to zip back to the old house and grab something you forgot. You also don’t get to make multiple trips to haul items. It’s one and done.
The best way to do a long-distance move is to have a checklist of tips to keep in mind. It’s especially important for across the country moves such as California to Florida or Massachusetts to Arizona. A checklist helps you plan and prepare for a long-distance move and help you avoid common mistakes. Preparing for the move is just as important as the move itself.

10 Tips For Long-Distance Moves

Every move is slightly different in the details, but all of them benefit by keeping the following issues in mind. Even if you work with professional movers, taking smart steps in advance of Moving Day can make the entire operation run much more smoothly. These tips will keep you on the right track. Most of these tips can also apply to snowbirds.

Make a Plan

A moving plan involves a checklist of everything you have to do to prepare for the move. This includes everything listed below, as well as things you must do at your new home, such as turning on utilities and finding a bank. Other issues on your checklist should include getting mail forwarded to your new address, sending new address information to friends and family, and ensuring that your new home is ready for you to move in on the day you plan to get there.
Part of the plan should also include budgeting for the move. You want to set a limit on what you are willing to spend to relocate.

Get Moving Estimates

Search the internet and ask friends for the names of dependable movers. Picking the wrong mover can make your move much more stressful. Read online reviews and find a mover who has mostly positive reviews. Look for movers with years of experience and a good reputation. This also applies to auto transport services.

Have a Plan for the Cars

An often overlooked item on the moving checklist are the family vehicles. In many cases, especially in a long-distance move, it’s much easier to have a professional auto transport service haul your car over a long distance such as Chicago to Florida than it is to make the drive yourself. A professional auto transport service can safely and efficiently move your car from one city to another, picking up the vehicle at your current home and dropping it off at the new one.


Decluttering is the one thing that people hate to do, but it’s also one of the things that can benefit them the most. The best declutter technique involves going room by room, creating a list of all your belongings, and dividing them into “things to move” and “things to give away.”  Items you don’t need can be:

  • Given to charity
  • Sold in a yard sale
  • Given to friends, family or neighbors
  • Hauled away by a junk removal service

The more that makes it on the “giveaway” list, the better. The less that gets taken on a long-distance move means the less you have to pay to get transported.

Packing Supplies

Buy all the packing supplies you need, including boxes of various sizes, tape and markers. Make sure to pack everything in neatly labeled boxes, then place the boxes in a staging area. This is another part of moving that works best if you take it a little at a time, going room by room. 

Start Packing Early

Weeks before their moving date, stating systematically go through all the rooms of the house at a steady pace (maybe one room per week or so). That way, you won’t get stressed out and have to pack in a hurry. Packing for a move cannot be done in an afternoon. It’s a job that takes many weeks to finish. Set a timeline for packing and stick to it. You will thank yourself as the moving day gets closer.

Update All Documents

Have all the information you need to register your car in your new state, smoothing the way to quickly get a license plate and eventually a new driver’s license. You’ll also need to either update your location with your current insurer or get a new insurer at your new location. 
These tips can help make a long-distance trip much less stressful. The key in all of this is to plan early, follow through on the plan and stay within both your time and financial budget. Soon, you’ll be the one giving advice to others on how to prepare for a long-distance move.