So you’ve decided to plan a long distance move. That is an exciting new chapter in your life! It’s very important to be thorough in your preparation. That way, you can avoid common moving mistakes with ease! Of course, the planning can easily get overwhelming and seemingly eat up your life, but don’t worry.  Uprooting your life is scary, but it only seems scary because it’s an unknown. In reality, with proper organization, planning a long distance move is easy as pie.This article is here to help you help yourself. With preparation, you will have an amazing moving experience.

A map, a laptop, and two people, trying to plan a long distance move.
Planning a long distance move is easier when you’re not alone.

There are many things to consider when you start to plan a long distance move. Packing efficiently, researching the location, researching the movers, gathering all your necessary paperwork, finding a new job… Which brings us to our first point!

You can’t plan a long distance move without planning ahead

The first question you need to ask yourself is simple: where am I moving to? You can’t nail down concrete plans without knowing where they’re leading you. It could be wise to do a little recon before grabbing all your things and rushing off. After all, maybe you really like a location for a vacation, but discover living there is a different thing entirely. Every place has something valuable to offer you, but it’s important to know the drawbacks. For example, many people love visiting Miami, but relocating to Miami has as many cons as it has pros.

You should plan a long distance move with the location firmly in mind. Say you’re moving to a city from a spacious country home – will your new place fit all your things? Also, paying attention to the weather is also very important. If you’re moving to Florida from Alaska, do you need all those thick winter coats? (You can go to the beach in December in Florida, so, unless you make frequent trips to Alaska, feel free to sell that winter gear for a quick buck.)

Starting early is the best way to make sure you don’t lose something important

Generally, you should start reaching out to your local moving companies about three months before your move. This will give you plenty of time to do your research. You are trusting these people with all your belongings, finding a reputable moving company should be the top of your list. Nothing is more stressful than an impending long distance move when you don’t have all your ducks in a row.

A bunch of clothes waiting to be packed. The unfortunate reality when you plan for a long distance move, or any move at all.
Starting early when you plan a long distance move gives you more time to procrastinate on packing. Though, you really shouldn’t!
  • You shouldn’t plan a long distance move without hiring professionals. Moving across the country is different than moving across your city – the risks far outweigh the rewards on this one. What you lose in money you will gain in peace of mind.
  • Plan where you want your furniture! Nothing is worse than hauling your queen sized bed halfway across the country, only to realize putting it in your bedroom means you can’t open the door all the way. Know if your place comes with or without furniture, know the measurements, and act accordingly. You don’t have to be an architect to make a floor plan.
  • Are you moving for work? There is a chance your moving expenses are tax-deductible. Just go on the official IRS website, and see if you qualify. Deducing your moving costs can save you a pretty penny.
  • Moving is usually cheaper if it is in the offseason. Summer is the busiest season for movers, so if you can move in the winter or autumn, you will likely get cheaper rates.
  • Determine your moving budget, but be realistic. Moving across states will always be more expensive than moving inside of the state.

You got the item transporting part done, but…now what?

Well, first of all, plan how you’ll travel to your new place yourself! Sure, you got your items sitting pretty on the big moving truck, but did you decide how you’re following them? When you plan a long distance move, you have to decide between a car, airplane, or bus. If you have a car, it might be easiest to drive. That way, not only can you take some of the items yourself, but you won’t have to pay for transporting the car. Calculate the hidden costs, though! Hotels or motels, food and gas money, it all adds up to be surprisingly expensive.

A dramatically lit gas station, warning people of a hidden pitfall when they plan a long distance move.
Going by car? You need to calculate gas cost when you plan a long distance move.

Know what happens if your items get damaged

So, imagine this. The worst has happened. Your prized, valuable possession has arrived with a dent! What are you going to do? What are the movers going to do? Well, that depends on a little something called valuation and insurance. See if full value protection is the right choice for you! While, yes, movers are required to compensate for damaging your items by law, that doesn’t mean they need to replace it. There are different levels of liability options, and all movers must provide them by federal law.

  • Full value protection means your mover has to repair, replace, or make a cash settlement for each damaged item. Of course, movers can limit this to really valuable items, worth $100 per pound, such as jewelry or designer clothes or antiques. You need to ask your mover for details of their full value protection plan – and get them in writing. This way, if you don’t recognize fraudulent movers on time, you will have evidence. This is something to look into if you’re planning a long distance move with a lot of expensive things.
  • Released value is the cheaper alternative, though it’s cheaper for a good reason. With released value, the mover is only liable for a mere 0.60 dollars per pound of weight! Of course, if you plan a long distance move and don’t have any priceless heirlooms, that will probably be good enough. Still, research both of these options and decide on your own.

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