Your Comprehensive Guide to Long Distance Moving
Your Comprehensive Guide to Long Distance Moving

Your Comprehensive Guide to Long Distance Moving

Moving, whether up the street or around the world, is a major transition for most. With the proper planning and preparation, and of course the services of an experienced, professional moving company, the process can run seamlessly, with a minimum degree of stress.

Long distance moving, especially, brings with it the added tasks of coordinating the transportation of your most prized possessions, either by land, sea or sky, sometimes a combination of all three. From the many valid reasons to go pro to the necessary tasks to be completed leading up to and including the big day to how to go about packing for the long haul, we have put together a comprehensive guide to everything you’ll need to know before you begin.

And our advice doesn’t stop there! Once you’ve settled in to your new home, there may be some lingering emotional upheaval left to be dealt with, especially if you are moving on your own.

By hiring the right movers and following these straightforward guidelines, you can rest assured that the only apprehension you may feel will be how to navigate your new neighborhood!




Why Go Pro

Part 1

Meeting the right moving companySo, you’ve decided to move across the country. While it may be tempting to tackle this enormous task on your own, perhaps with the help of a few trusted friends and family members, it is advisable to enlist the services of professionals for such a labor-intensive job.

By using experienced residential movers, you will eliminate the daunting task of navigating a large vehicle by yourself and avoid any heavy lifting of furniture.

When researching moving companies, you should focus on those who specialize in interstate, or if applicable, international moves. These candidates will have the most extensive knowledge of the process and be uniquely prepared for any hiccups which can occur along the way. They will also be able to discuss the types of insurance available and recommend the best option for you.

Of course, choosing a mover is just the first step of many.


Before You Move: A Checklist

Part 2

The months leading up to the big moving day are apt to be hectic. It is helpful to pinpoint a specific timeline so you can methodically cross things off your checklist and be sure that no details slip through the cracks.

Beginning about three months out, we have outlined the top to-dos to address. There may be other, smaller tasks that come into play depending upon the individual situation, but these guidelines should provide a fairly comprehensive overview.


12 Weeks Prior 

Identify navigation to your new home

This is the time to begin researching cross-country movers and to nail down a move-in window. Most studies point to the spring and autumn seasons as the prime time to move, as those planning around the school year typically target the summer months, leading to far more demand for long distance moving services during that period. Once you have a time frame to work within, go ahead and book any necessary flights; or, if you will be driving, be sure to take care of any outstanding vehicle issues. Don’t forget to set up a change of address with the post office, as well.

8 Weeks Prior

take inventory

At this point, you should have a specific moving company in mind and taken measures to secure a firm commitment from them. Begin taking inventory of your belongings and set aside your unwanted items for donation, or better yet, a yard sale. Be sure to create a list of any valuables and document them with pictures. If you have any final appointments, meetings or gatherings to attend, now is the time to work them into the schedule before things become too hectic. Purchase the moving supplies you will need so that you can start to pack any non-essential items. It is also advisable to contact your current and future utility companies to set up service stop and start dates.

4 Weeks Prior

keep track of important documents

One month to go—still plenty of time, right? It’s never too soon to begin organizing your important documents, including your medical records, auto and home insurance policies, bank statements and any other vital information you will need to have on hand. If driving is your preferred method of transit for the move, make sure your car insurance, registration and regular maintenance are in order before hitting the road. It may be helpful at this point to make a list of any recurring services and subscriptions that will require a change of address. Once the majority of the packing is out of the way, it will be far easier to deep clean your home in order to prepare it for the next inhabitants.

Moving Week

get ready for the moving truck to come


Just one week left to check those remaining items off the list! Be sure to transfer any active prescriptions for family members or pets, and cancel any recurring memberships. Confirm with your utility company that services will be up and running in time for your arrival, and submit any outstanding address updates to your insurance, credit cards and banks. Set aside an overnight bag, complete with clothing, toiletries, an emergency kit, and any immediate necessities you may need to access before the moving truck arrives. Also, make a point to arrange to have the locks changed on your new home in time for the first night staying there.

Of course, the most time-consuming task of all, packing, cannot be consolidated into just one week, or even a single month.   


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Packing Essentials: Room by Room

Part 3

The prospect of packing up an entire lifetime’s worth of belongings is rarely one people look forward to. It can be daunting to take inventory of each room and its items, as well as those lurking just out of plain sight in cabinets, closets and drawers.

To make this process easier, we have compiled some helpful tips, including necessary packing supplies to have on hand, room by room recommendations, and a few general best practices to employ at this crucial stage.

AdobeStock_235390633_1-1To start, be sure you have an assortment of quality boxes on hand in a variety of shapes and sizes, and gather any original packaging for smaller appliances and decor you may have saved. These should be sturdy enough to withstand the stress of a long haul. A combination of packing paper, bubble wrap and moving blankets is essential to ensure that your more fragile items make it to the new abode in one piece. And don’t forget the packing tape—lots of it—to properly secure your boxes, top and bottom, and prevent any unwanted mishaps from occurring during transit.

It’s best to begin packing any non-essential items as early as possible, consolidating heavier collections like CDs, books and DVDs, into smaller boxes to make for easier transport. The more you can fit into each individual box, the better, as this leaves less room for movement when the boxes are inevitably jostled. Disassemble those items you can, including furniture legs and lamp shades. Most importantly, make a point to thoroughly label, packing each room separately and itemizing contents in a way that will make it simple to identify once you are ready to unpack. 


Breakables can be wrapped in bubble or foam; use dish towels as an added cushion. Pack dishes and glasses in partitioned boxes if available, and take care to wrap silverware in silver paper or cloth to prevent tarnishing. Appliances like toasters and coffee makers can be wrapped separately if the original boxes are unavailable.

Bed & Bath

bed and bath

If possible, move your dressers with the contents still in the drawers. Linens and towels can be packed separately. It is recommended you set aside any valuable jewelry, along with daily medications and toiletries you might need immediately; these can be packed in a box to transport with you. Mattresses should be wrapped thoroughly, if not packed in a box to avoid being directly handled by moving crews. Socks can serve as added cushioning for makeup palettes and bottles.

Living Room & Decor

living room and decor

Wall hangings should be wrapped with furniture pads to prevent scratching and stood on their sides to maximize space and minimize damage. Knick-knacks and home decor are best individually wrapped in packing paper; use boxes if available. For computers and printers, it is ideal to repackage in the original box before transporting.

Lawn & Garage

lawn and garage

Be sure to drain all gasoline and oil from lawn mowers and other maintenance equipment, as this can prove flammable during transit. Pack any heavy tools in smaller boxes, and bundle gardening tools together to consolidate. If you are planning to move outdoor furniture, inspect all pieces first for insect or larvae infestation. You don’t want to take any uninvited critters along for the ride!


The Big Day: Ditching the Old Digs

Part 4

On the day of the move, your priority should revolve around seeing that your carefully packed belongings are safely transported to the designated moving truck, and that all necessary arrangements have been coordinated on the receiving end, as well. The “heavy lifting” (pun intended) is now in the hands of the professionals!

Movers doing the heavy liftingMake sure the floors and carpets are properly protected before the movers arrive, and be prepared to direct them once they do. Have a tip on hand, along with beverages and light refreshments for the crew. Any excess food should have been donated at this point, as it is not advisable to pack perishables for a cross-country trip; even non-perishables can be crushed, tarnished or jarred open along the way.

Along with your overnight bag, you should have easy access to your driver’s license, social security card, passport, birth certificate, bank statements, tax returns and pay stubs, in case you have a need to produce these documents. Before the boxes are loaded on the truck, be sure to confirm they are each labeled with your name and new address, to avoid confusion with others’ belongings should they be sharing the same truck at any point during the route.

As most moving companies can only provide a general delivery window, it is wise to plan for unforeseen circumstances and ensure you have enough essential items to hold you over for several days, if needed.

Advise your movers of how to navigate to your new home, as well as any other pertinent details regarding street parking regulations, permits required, or narrow streets that might necessitate the transfer of your belongings to a smaller shuttle.

Once the plans are in place, sit back and enjoy the ride, or flight, as the case may be. Your new home awaits!

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Home Sweet Home

Part 5

Family together in new homeMoving to a new setting can be unnerving, especially if you are relocating by yourself. While each person may experience unique emotions, there are certain tips and tricks to keep in mind across the board to help make the transition as smooth as possible, beginning with the reasons for the move in the first place. Embrace the new opportunities and experiences this adventure holds in store as you begin to broaden your horizons.

In order to maximize your time spent with family and friends leading up to the move, it is advisable to hire a professional moving company to minimize the list of things you need to concern yourself with.

Once there, be sure to incorporate personal touches and decor into your new home to foster a feeling of warmth and familiarity. Allow yourself the time needed to reflect and grow accustomed to your surroundings, and embrace any nostalgia which naturally comes.

Couple emailing friends on computerThe good part of technology today is the opportunity it affords to easily keep in touch with those who may not live near enough to visit on a regular basis. Between calls and texts, emails, social media and, dare we suggest, old-fashioned letters, the means of staying connected are limitless. In-person reunions can be scheduled soon enough; but until then, video chats serve as a welcome substitute.

Once you’ve settled in, it’s important to begin to develop your own routine. Keep busy exploring all that your new town or city has to offer, and make it a point to remain open to the prospect of making friends. It’s okay to want to keep certain traditions alive, but be sure to take advantage of the opportunities available to you in order to help minimize any initial feelings of isolation, which are sure to result.


Steinway Moving & Storage

Part 6

couple excited about new homeAny type of major move or transition is likely to be filled with a certain degree of stress and apprehension. Breaking down each component separately and focusing on one task at a time is the best method to approach such a large project.

There is no substitute for the proper research, preparation and organization when it comes to making the moving process as seamless as possible. Add to that the aid of an experienced crew of professional movers, and you can rest assured it will be a success.

Steinway Moving & Storage has the experience, knowledge, and professionalism to make your long distance move smooth and stress-free.