How to Plan a Long-Distance Move

Preparing for a long-distance move? Although a move to a new, faraway location can be exciting, the logistics of planning your long-distance move prove to be overwhelming for many. How can you make this transition seamless? What are the best ways to tackle this move? If you’re currently looking for answers to these questions, you’ve come to the right place. In our comprehensive long-distance moving guide, you will learn valuable tips and tricks to prepare you for the road ahead. Keep reading to discover exactly how to plan your long-distance move — and set yourself up for success!


Steps to a Successful Long-Distance Relocation

In the following 15 steps, you can tackle your long-distance relocation with expertise. Learn how to plan your upcoming move below!


  • Start Preparing Well in Advance

The key to a successful long-distance relocation is to start preparations as far in advance as possible. The longer you have to prepare, the more streamlined and organized the moving process will be. Begin by creating a plan several months ahead of your moving date for the best results. This will give you plenty of time to manage all aspects of the move without feeling overwhelmed. Plus, this will give you the opportunity to address any unexpected issues that might arise and allow for a less stressful experience.

  • Create a Timeline and a Budget

One of the first steps in your planning should be to create a detailed timeline and budget. Your timeline should include all tasks that need to be completed ahead of your relocation; this will act as both a to-do list and a schedule. Assign deadlines to each task to ensure you stay on track, working as a calendar leading up to the big day. In addition to your timeline, creating a budget will help you manage your finances more effectively. Take all possible expenses into account, including moving supplies, transportation costs, and fees for professional movers. Keeping track of your spending will prevent financial surprises and help you stay within your budget.

  • Make Travel Plans

Once you have a clear timeline and budget, the next step is to start making your travel plans. Determine the best mode of transportation for yourself and your family. If you are flying, book your tickets as soon as possible to secure the best rates. If you are driving, plan your route and accommodations along the way. Ahead of moving day, you will also want to check that your vehicle is in good condition for your trip.

  • Book Everything ASAP

Booking everything well in advance is one of the most important aspects to avoid last-minute issues. This includes your travel arrangements and any accommodations in your new area if you haven’t secured a permanent residence yet. If you need temporary housing, such as a hotel or a short-term rental, make those reservations early to ensure you don’t face booking conflicts. You should also consider any professional services you need, such as movers, cleaning services, and storage units.

  • Declutter and Downsize

As you prepare for your relocation, decluttering your space is a valuable step to save time on packing and money on moving costs. Sort through all your belongings and decide what you really need to take with you and what can be donated, sold, or thrown away. This not only reduces the volume of items you need to move, but it also makes unpacking at your new home much easier and quicker. Looking for a way to get rid of lots of items at once? Consider holding a garage sale or using online platforms to sell items you no longer need. You can also donate gently used items to local charities.


  • Acquire High-Quality Packing Materials

Investing in high-quality packing materials is important to protect your belongings during the move. Purchase sturdy boxes in various sizes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and strong packing tape. Specialty boxes for items such as mirrors, televisions, clothing, and artwork can provide extra protection. High-quality materials will also help prevent damage to your items while in transit.

  • Find a Reputable Moving Company

Not all moving companies are created equally; some movers are significantly better than others. Choosing a reputable moving company is crucial for the best results during a long distance relocation. Research thoroughly to find a company with positive reviews and a solid track record across the course of years. If any friends or family have recently moved, ask for recommendations, as personal referrals can be valuable in finding a trustworthy company.

  • Notify Important Parties

As you prepare for your move, compile a list of all the important parties you need to notify about your change of address. This includes your employer, bank, insurance company, utility providers, and any subscription services. Adfitionally, update your address with the postal service to ensure your mail is forwarded to your new location.

  • Pack Across Multiple Sessions

Packing is one of the most time-consuming (and dreaded!) aspects of moving, so starting early and packing across multiple sessions is an important step to take. Begin with items you use less frequently, such as seasonal clothing, books, and decorations. Then, gradually work your way to daily essentials as your moving date approaches. This methodical approach prevents last-minute stress and ensures that everything is packed safely and efficiently for the big day.

  • Take Extra Care with Fragile Items

To prevent your fragile items from breaking, take special measures to sufficiently protect them. One of the simplest ways to keep your belongings safe is to thoroughly wrap them in bubble wrap or packing paper. For added protection, pack your items in sturdy boxes—or specialty boxes, depending on the item—and fill any empty spaces with cushioning materials like packing peanuts or towels. Label these boxes as “fragile” to alert movers to handle them with extra care.

  • Label Everything — or Create an Inventory

Clearly and thoroughly labeling your boxes is crucial for an organized move. Label each box with its contents and the room it belongs in, as this will make unpacking much easier and help movers place the boxes in the correct rooms. To take your efforts a step further, consider creating a detailed inventory list for maximum organization. Number each box and list its contents on a separate document. Many people find that a spreadsheet can be an effective way to keep an organized inventory. 

  • Disassemble Furniture

Large furniture pieces should always be disassembled to make them easier to transport and reduce the risk of damage. When these items are taken apart, you can more effectively protect them with moving supplies like bubble wrap, yielding better results. Once these items have been disassembled, keep all screws, bolts, and other small parts in labeled bags and tape them securely to the corresponding pieces of furniture.

  • Take Time to De-Stress

Moving is a major life change that can cause a lot of tension and nervousness, so it’s important to take time to relax and de-stress. Although it might seem like a major difficulty to have any downtime as you prepare for a move, this highlights the importance of starting in advance and creating a detailed game plan for your preparations. With these steps done, you can allow much more time to relax, allowing for a more enjoyable moving experience.

  • Pack an Essentials Bag

As your moving date approaches, prepare an essentials bag (or box) with everything you’ll need for the first few days in your new home. This should include items such as toiletries, a change of clothes, important documents, medications, and basic kitchen supplies to hold you over for a day or so. Having these essentials readily accessible will make your first days in your new home more comfortable and reduce the stress (and frustration!) of searching through boxes for necessary items.

  • Stay Organized on Moving Day

The actual moving day is often the most hectic part of the entire process, but staying organized can help the entire operation go smoothly. Start the day by confirming all details with your moving company and make sure they have the correct address and directions to your new home. Ideally, checking the day before can be an even more effective way to prepare. 


Another important consideration is to have a clear plan for the order in which items will be loaded onto the moving truck. Typically, heavier items and furniture go in first, followed by boxes. If you have any items in the truck that you’ll need immediately at your new home, make sure those are loaded last.


Ready for Your Move?

With these steps helping you through the process, your long distance move can be completed successfully with as little stress as possible! Looking to reduce stress further with the help of a professional moving company? Count on RLD Relocation & Logistics, Northeast Ohio’s reliable movers. We have provided over two decades of service in Akron and Canton, and our team can efficiently facilitate moves anywhere in the country. You can always expect the highest quality service with our top-rated moving, packing, and storage solutions.

Request a free quote online or call us today, and discover our affordable rates!

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