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Long Distance Moves - Tips on Moving House

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 3

Long distance moves can be stressful on even the most organized family, but with a few simple tips on moving house, your day doesn’t have to end in tears of frustration!


If you are lucky enough to have some notice before the move, then start right away, don’t wait until the last minute.  Create an inventory list room by room.  Create a page for each room if you can and simply go through it and decide what you will take with you and what you will leave behind, sell or donate.

If you already know where you are moving to, draw a simple layout of the new residence and see which things will fit.  This may sound very simplistic, but it can be easy to just take everything, and then end up paying for things to move that end up stuffed in the garage because there is no room for them in the new place.

Don’t wait until the other end to have a good clean out, especially if you have to pay for this move yourself.  If you are hiring a moving company they will go on approximate weight, so that item that really is junk will now cost you to move, so you need to lighten your load for a long distance move to save money.

Tips on Moving House - De-clutter

Start this right away after you have create

Tips On Moving House - Garage Sale
d your inventory list of what is going.  You now can go through each room (You could work on a room per day depending on how large the room is) Take a room and create 3 piles.  One for donations or garage sale (if you have the time before your move) one for “keeps” and one for garbage.

Concentrate on one room at a time, so that you are not running all over the house not accomplishing anything.  Make sure you have a lot of garbage bags to collect all your donated clothes etc and also for garbage. 

Once you have created your donation pile, then take it out of the room right away and into the back of your car and take it to the donation center.  If you are planning a garage sale, have one spot in the garage or basement ready just for these items.  The trick is to get them out of the room so you can see what is left to pack for the move.

Tips on moving house – Go Mean and lean

If you are having problems throwing things away, just think of the added cost to your move.  Is this item worth paying dollars to move it just so it can sit in the new house closet for another few years?  If you have clothes you have not worn in a year, now is the time to donate them.  Start with a clean slate at the other end.

Lighten your load as much as possible throughout the house, and work on it one room at a time, and then get rid of the garbage bags, donations bags and see what is left.

The less you have to move the cheaper it will be and it will be easier on you at the other end for unpacking.  Invite friends to your house and see if they want any of your excess furniture.  These are some of the most cumbersome pieces when it comes to any move and even worse for a long distance move.  Donate that extra couch or coffee table.

If you can get a smaller truck to move then this will be a cost effective move as well as easier on you. 

Tips of moving house – Pets

Start thinking about your new place as if you are living there now.  Start researching veterinarians ahead of time and see where they are compared to your new home.  This can be done on the internet.  Call this veterinarian ahead of time and see if they are taking new patients so that as soon as you arrive, if there are any problems, you will know where to go in an emergency.

Pet Friendly Hotels

It is best to get your pets checked out before you leave and be up to date with shots and paperwork.  If you need to stay out a few nights on your long distance move, you will need to look up pet friendly hotels, and consider asking your present veterinarian for a light sedative if your pets are excitable.  Your pets will also need a “overnight bag” for the trip.

Crate Pets

Try and Crate your pets on the day of the move, or you will be spending part of your day searching for them!  (This happened to us!) it is stressful for a pet to see all the furniture leaving.  Our cat ended up in the moving truck on his favorite chair, but we didn’t know this and he moved to the new house in the back of the moving truck!  I spent the day trying to find him.

Tips on Moving house - Pets

Tips on moving house – Packing

if you are moving long distance, then make sure you pack breakables well.  Newspaper is not the best material to use for dishes as it tends to leave a black print film on them, it is better to use tissue paper or bubble wrap whenever possible.

Many moving companies will sell you “used” boxes and packing materials for a good price, or you can research locally in your newspaper for anyone who has just moved.  If you have friends that have recently moved, then ask to use their boxes, they will be glad that someone is taking them off their hands!

Tips on Moving House - Packing

If you have good dishes for example or collectibles, you should not rely on cardboard boxes, you should invest in plastic tubs and then pack them well.  You can always use the plastic tubs for seasonal storage at your new place, and many times you can find these on sale in Wal-mart for example.

Tips on Moving house – Moving Truck

If you are moving yourself, try and book your truck for the middle of the week.  Fridays and Saturdays are very busy when it comes to renting trucks, and many firms will offer a good deal if you use a “off day” 

Tips on Moving House
If you are using a moving company, make sure they see your house again after you have decluttered.  Many companies will send a representative to your house to estimate the weight and size of truck they will need to move you.  It can be hard to see past all the clutter you plan on getting rid of, so have them come back for another look once you get rid of the clutter. 

This way you are not paying for too large a truck. 

Tips On Moving House – Lawnmowers etc.

If you have an older lawnmower or other gas gadgets, consider selling these and getting new ones at the other end.  Most moving companies will not accept gas burning gadgets in the move, and you will have to arrange to move these another way, which may cost more than the things are worth.  So consider selling that old lawnmower before you move.

Research Your New Area

Try and find out where the stores are or your favorite takeout restaurant, hardware stores, grocery stores, etc., before you move, you can do this online.  This way when you get to the house and you are tired, you know where to get takeout dinner or maybe even get it delivered, or at least know where to pick up milk and bread to get you through the day.

You will feel much better for having the cleanout of your present house, and armed with information in the new area.  You will now have a mental note of all your belongings, since you have been through every room.  The load will be lighter, and for a long distance move that is the key. 

These tips on moving house work well for long distance moves, but also for moves across town.  Who really wants to pay to have clutter moved?



Oct 17, 2011 8:11pm
i wish i had read this article before moving to a new place. Keep writing!!!
Nov 8, 2011 5:19pm
Many thoughtful tips. I found during a long distant move some years ago that if I marked each box for the room I wanted it in in the new home, it helped to speed up things in the new place.
Nov 16, 2011 4:41pm
Super tips, thanks.Recently i helped some friends pack for an out of state move and I learned a lot. The key is organization which you have really keyed in on. Nice feature.
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