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Ten Tips for Long-Distance Movers

Industry Observer with Spectrum Communications

Moving is expensive, time-consuming and requires extensive planning, regardless of your destination, but long-distance moving requires so much more forethought, especially if your moving with children, pets and multiple vehicles over thousands of miles.

We all know at least one person who’s lived in one place—perhaps even one home—their entire life, and it’s not surprising when you consider the immense financial, physical and emotional investment needed to make such a drastic transition. Still, whether it be for work or an itch to see more of the world, there will always be long-distance movers.

To help those intrepid souls make their journeys as seamless and stress-free as possible, we recently asked a reputable, expert group of Ventura long-distance movers to impart their relocation wisdom with a collection of interstate and cross-country moving tips. Here’s what they had to suggest:


Tip 1: Give Your Uncommonly Used Items the Year Test

Decluttering your home is an essential early step in the process. It not only helps you save space in your moving truck, but more intangibly, it allows you to detach from your past experiences in your old home and softens the emotional blow when you move on. To make this task easier, give yourself a benchmark: one year; if you haven’t used an item in a year, and it has no immediate impact on your life—like a birth certificate or other important personal documentation—donate it or simply leave it behind.

Tip 2: Use Your Soft Items as Added Padding for Your Fragile Possessions

Pack pillows, blankets, sheets and your kid’s stuffed dolls into garbage bags, instead of boxes. Fluffier items will take up much needed box space, but by packing these items in trash bags, you’ll create big, bracing cushions that will prevent your fragile items from banging against one another or the unforgiving sides of a semi-truck. As the miles rack up during your move, repeated item and box collisions will take a huge toll on the overall state of your possessions, so take any opportunity to create soft buffers for them.

Tip 3: Don’t Buy Boxes, Search for Them

If you’re hiring a moving company, you’ll likely have access to their moving supply inventory, but cardboard boxes are not hard enough to come by that you should make them a separate expense. Several weeks before moving day, visit a series of grocery stores, pharmacies and department stores to see if you can take their empty boxes. Otherwise, they’ll probably just wind up in a bailer.

Tip 4: Pack and Ship With Your Destination in Mind

The usefulness of your possessions will change based on where you live. If you plan on moving to a crowded metropolitan area with a robust public transit system and a lot of traffic, bringing multiple vehicles with you may not be necessary. The same goes for your wardrobe, if you’re moving to a particularly arid or cold part of the country. Donate or sell any items you won’t need, then put any money you make into build an emergency fund to cover any unexpected expenses.

Tip 5: Account for All Long-Distance Moving Expenses

This is a must if you’re crossing state lines, spanning the country or hopping the pond. Most your moving costs will be wrapped up in vehicle rental, packing supplies and labor fees if you hire professionals, but you should also budget for the expenses you’ll accrue in transit, whether it’s food, gas, lodging or airfare.

Tip 6: Compare the Square Footage of Your Old and New Home

There’s no use hauling items that your home can’t contain. In most instances, a simple eye-test will suffice, but if your old and new properties are similar, compare their dimensions to ensure you have the requisite space. Weighing your moving truck down with items you can’t accommodate will not only limit the space for the items you truly need, but it will also increase your gas expense since a heavier truck consumes more fuel over a long haul.

Tip 7: Divide and Conquer

Before you reach out to the professional movers, enlist the help of family members making the move with you. If each family member has their own room, make it their responsibility to declutter and pack their respective space. Discuss this strategy with your family several weeks prior to moving day, since at least one person will probably be bitten by the procrastination bug. Not only is this a more efficient packing method, it also allows you to keep items from the same room together.

Tip 8: Clearly Label All Boxes

The reason is obvious, but so often, small, crucial tasks like this are lost in the larger scope of a move. Unless you’ve enlisted the services of clairvoyant movers, it’s best practice to explicitly identify which boxes carry your fragile, high-value items.

Tip 9: Pet Reprieve

If you have pets making the journey with you, make sure to take give them regular breaks, so they can hydrate, walk around and relieve themselves. If you’re feeling stressed by your move, imagine how your pets feel. It may be impossible to strip all anxiety out of their long-distance moving experience, but you can emulate certain aspects of their usual day-to-day with regular roadside stops.

Tip 10: Research Multiple Moving Companies

If a D.I.Y. long-distance haul is too daunting for you, and you’d prefer some professional coordination, don’t just hire the first company you contact. Request multiple project quotes and communicate them across the companies you’re considering. A moving business that really wants your patronage will either offer a price-match, or lower their initial quote amount. To maximize your negotiation power, do your search several weeks (or even months) before your move, so you don’t have to make a hasty decision purely based on a lack of time.


Going the distance on moving day can be intimidating in the beginning, especially if your long-distance relocation requires multiple days to execute. With these tips, though, you’ll be able to make the process more efficient, cost-effective and enjoyable.

John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Kevin McKenzie Those are very good list of tips for long distance -movers.

Sep 21, 2017 02:18 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

REduce, reduce reduce.  We all have more stuff than we need or use and there is no reason to take it all with you

Sep 21, 2017 06:26 PM