5 Tips to Master a Long-Distance Move

Your new place is lined up. Your moving date is set. You’re beginning to imagine life in a new part of the country or world.

It’s time to take stock of your move-out readiness and put yourself in a position to execute your long-distance move without any major unpleasant surprises. 

You’ll want to do these five things in advance of the big day (or days). How many have you already crossed off your list?

1. Label Everything

While you’re picking up boxes at the office supply store, grab a few packs of sticky labels. Affix one to every single box and loose item you plan to move (even if you think you know what they are or what’s inside them). They work better than Sharpie on cardboard, anyway.  

2. Set Out Your Redecorating & Updating Priorities Before You Move

Doing this will help you hit the ground running in your new place, say urban real estate investment specialists Panchali Sau and Chad Faglier.

If you have the opportunity to travel to your new city before your official move day, perhaps for business purposes, ask the seller’s agent for permission to walk through your new house. They may not play ball; if not, it’s not the end of the world. You can still use the listing to lay out your redecorating priorities. 

In either case, you’ll want to buy furniture and accessories before you move. You have the capacity to move them already.

3. Try to Time Your Move Right

Moving during the offseason can significantly lower your all-in moving costs and reduce the risk of a major snafu on moving day. If you must move during the busy season (May through August, in most places), try to do it during the middle of the month, when volumes are lower.

4. Downsize Aggressively

Take the opportunity to hold a yard or garage sale. Or several. Going full Kondo might be overkill, but you almost certainly don’t need all the possessions you’ve accumulated in your current home. 

5. Get Multiple Estimates

Don’t jump on the first moving estimate you receive. Get quotes from a half-dozen or more providers; you’ll be surprised by the extent to which pricing models and all-in costs vary. The distance, timing, and volume of your move will all play into your final decision.

You Have One Shot

The hope is that you’ll only need to navigate one or two long-distance moves in your adult life, but hopes don’t always pan out. Anyway, the process of packing up all your worldly possessions and moving to another city gets easier the more you do it, as any Army brat will tell you.

Of course, if you’ve read this far, you’re apprehensive about your pending move. You’re looking for guidance as move-out day approaches, knowing full well that you have just one opportunity to get it right. 

Have faith. If you can follow these tips and glean others from those who’ve successfully navigated a long-distance move in the past, you’ll find yourself in a better position than many, many long-distance movers who wait until the last minute to get their ducks in a row.