How to Prepare for a Long-Distance Move – 2024 Guide

It’s no secret that moving to a new home, especially a new city, is one of the most challenging experiences in one’s life. Whilst the anxiety can be lowered by hiring removalists like Whybirds Removals to help with the different aspects of the move, there are some who still opt for a DIY move.

As the size of your move increases, the difficulty level of tasks also grows. Hence you need to prepare yourself mentally and physically to handle the challenges you might encounter as your scheduled moving day approaches.

If you’re planning a long-distance move, consider following the tips listed below to increase the chances of having a positive moving experience. Whilst they are not a guarantee that everything will go as planned, they can help you prepare for the challenges that you might encounter during your move.

Create a plan/schedule as early as possible


As soon as you’ve determined when and where you’d be moving, start planning the other details of the move. It is highly recommended that you create a detailed plan on how you will move your family members, pets, household items, and vehicle. This can help you determine everything you will be needing for the move including food, clothing, and shelter whilst in transit or as you prepare your new home. Consider involving the family members you’re moving with to create to-do lists, calendars, and checklists/inventories of items to be packed. Organise receipts and estimates in a binder to make them easier to locate when needed.

Find a reliable removalist

Whilst a DIY move is possible, it is highly recommended that you hire professionals in your area (visit the website to learn more) for long-distance and interstate moves. If your budget is limited or you find it difficult to entrust important items to others, you can still opt to pack your belongings and only hire movers for the uplift and delivery of your items. You can opt for a more comfortable means of transportation for you and your family. This will significantly lessen your worries since you won’t have to worry about long-distance driving and trying to safely move your friends through rough roads.

Unless you have a trusted removalist whose services you’ve used multiple times, it’s best to have more options when it comes to choosing professional removalists who can provide you with a positive moving experience. Ask for recommendations or look up moving companies online and request moving quotes from at least 3 companies. Carefully check the services included in each quote and choose the company that can provide all the services you require. If you have any concerns about the items listed on the quote, reach out to the company and ask for clarification, especially if the price quote is too high or too low. This can help you detect and avoid hidden fees.

Once you found a reliable mover, lock in your preferred moving date to avoid missing this simple detail as your schedule becomes more hectic. Book your move early, especially if your moving date falls during the peak seasons when movers are fully booked and the cost of moving is a little higher.

Declutter and sort your belongings


Before you start making an inventory or preparing your belongings for the move, consider decluttering and getting rid of items that you haven’t used in a long time or items that you won’t be needing in your new location. Check the attic, garage, or other rooms that you use for storage and look for items that are still in their original packaging or non-seasonal items that you haven’t used for more than six months. If you have several items that are in very good condition, consider selling or donating them to local charities or families who might need them.

Once you have reduced the items you will be bringing, you can start sorting and packing seasonal items that you won’t be needing during or immediately after the move. Depending on how much time you have left until moving day, you can pack little by little until only essential items are left. If you’ve availed of packing services, you can sort items in containers or create a section for each room in your new home where you want certain items to go. This will make it easier to pack items that belong to the same room.

Remember to pack an essentials bag or box before all your belongings are packed in sealed boxes. Prepare enough clothes, toiletries, and other essential items for everyone who is moving with you. If you’re travelling by plane, you can use your luggage to pack items that you can use whilst waiting for your goods to be delivered to your new home. Even if you’re moving on your own, packing an essentials bag helps ensure you have access to essential items without unpacking too many boxes upon arriving.

Secure documentation and licences


Be sure to secure all important documents before your scheduled moving day. This way, you can avoid making extra trips or paying additional fees to have these documents delivered to you.

Visit your doctor or primary care provider to request medical records, vaccination records, and other medical documents that you and your family will need to register with a new primary care provider in your new location. Do the same for veterinary records for your pets.

If you have school-age children, take some time to visit or contact the school to request the school records for your children. In case you don’t have enough time to complete these, reach out to the school and arrange for the documents and records to be transferred directly between the schools.

You also need to update your vehicle registration and driver’s licence before moving to make sure there won’t be any issues when you drive your vehicle in your new city or state.

Label boxes

Whether you’re hiring removalists or you’re moving on your own make sure that all your boxes and containers are labelled properly. If you’re moving on your own or you’re hiring professionals to take your items and deliver them to your new home, label boxes indicating the contents of the boxes and the room they belong to. This way, you won’t be stuck by the entrance to give directions for every incoming box. It will be easier for the movers or family and friends who are helping you move to identify which room the boxes belong to, allowing you to do other tasks whilst they focus on unloading the contents of the moving vehicle.

If you can, create a floor plan so people will know where to go without going around the home to find the right room.

Change utilities

At least a month before your scheduled move, make arrangements to disconnect utilities in your current home. You might also need to contact service providers for waste removal and exit cleaning. Reach out to the utility providers in your new city or state to schedule the activation of home utilities in your new home. This way, you can rest assured that you will at least have electricity and water supply upon arriving in your new home. Additional services can be arranged later on once you are able to assess what other services you will need for your home.

Update mail and subscription address

If you have any local subscriptions, be sure to cancel them before your moving day. This will help you avoid charges for subscriptions you won’t be using in your new home. You will also need to make arrangements for a change of address for your mail and other deliveries.

Be careful in placing orders that will take days to be delivered to your current residence as your moving day approaches. If you intend to use them in your new home, have them delivered to your new address by choosing a delivery date after your arrival. This way, there will be fewer chances of missing the delivery or adding more items to the ones you need to pack and prepare for the move.

Get appropriate insurance

If you’re hiring removalists, don’t forget to ask them if they provide moving insurance and its coverage. No matter how careful, accidents and other unfortunate events which might cause damage to your belongings may occur, especially whilst your goods are being transported. Hence, it is crucial to get appropriate moving insurance to cover the value of your belongings. Whilst this does not guarantee that your items will be 100%, it provides peace of mind in knowing that you will get proper compensation for any damages.

Whether you’re moving on your own (with the help of family and friends) or you’re hiring professionals to do the work for you, do your best to stick to your plans. This helps ensure that every task has been covered and all the items you will need will be taken to your new home. Even if you have plenty of time to prepare, try to complete some moving-related tasks when you’re free so you can finish the preparation early, avoid unnecessary stress, and just enjoy the moving experience.

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