Ultimate long distance packing & moving guide

Preparing for a long distance move is a difficult job, and it’s one that will take up a lot of your time. As opposed to local moves, when you have the luxury of taking a few trips and relocating your belongings that way, a long distance move demands professional help – and lots of it. You will need long distance movers Florida if you are to come out of the process as a winner. Unfortunately, hiring a reputable moving company is hardly the only duty you’ll have in the upcoming period. Luckily for you, we’ve mastered the art of relocation which makes us more than eligible for the creation of the ultimate long distance packing & moving guide. With this guide by your side, chances of failure are slim.

Let’s start off on a fun note – where are we as a nation moving to?

Approximately 35.5 million Americans will decide to pack up and start their life anew. So whether you are moving to Fort Lauderdale for business purposes and starting a new life in Los Angeles in pursuit of stardom, it’s safe to say that you are in good company. Statistics show that not a lot of people will move out of their state. And they also show that recent years have witnessed a decline in the number of those who move. Since you are reading a long distance packing & moving guide, we can make an educated guess and say that you will most likely cross the state borders. Here’s how many people decided to do the same as you:

  1. 62% of people will remain in the same county/city after moving
  2. 34% of those who move will move to a different county which may or may not entail a move to a different state
  3. 4% of the population will move abroad

An overview of the places Americans are moving to.

A timely start guarantees a successful move

Make no mistake – you can have all the experience in the world and it still won’t mean as much if you start preparing for a move a few days beforehand. A long-distance move is composed of a series of complex and time-consuming tasks. Mastering all of them will take time. A good rule of thumb is to start with the preparations two months before the move. This gives you just enough time to scout for the best moving companies South Florida, book the one you like, and get all of your items ready for the big day.

Finding a reputable moving company takes the top spot in every long distance packing & moving guide

And the reason for this is very simple. A successful long-distance or interstate move cannot be done without a good moving company by your side. Yes, you could always rent a truck, go through the trouble of loading your belongings and driving for days, but all of this will only leave your body in aches and sores. To avoid all the strenuous activities and to ensure the security of your items, reliable interstate movers Florida hold the key. How do you find them is the first question that pops to mind.

  • Research the companies in your area by reading their moving reviews and testimonials on different sites of relevance.
  • See whether you can get any word-of-mouth recommendations.
  • Once you find a few candidates worthy of your time (and once you ensure they are legitimate), get in touch with them and request a price estimate from all of them.
  • The moment the estimates arrive, compare them and try to find the one with the best affordability to quality ratio.
  • The moving company that comes out as the winner should be contacted immediately and you shouldn’t hesitate to book your moving date with them.
A calendar.
Don’t let anyone book your moving date and leave your favorite movers unavailable.

Once you find your mover, all that’s left to do is choose which moving services Florida you need and are ready to pay for. Our advice? If you want to move on a budget, use only those you really need, such as piano moving services. A piano can hardly be packed and moved by a single person, but the same can’t be said for the majority of your items.

Pre-packing tasks to handle are just as important as the packing ones

You were warned that preparing for a long distance move will be nothing short of a nightmare. But it has to be done, and now is a good time to start. And our long distance packing & moving guide was made with the purpose of reminding you of everything that needs to be done.

Decide what goes and what stays

If you are a sentimental person that easily gets attached to things, then this will be a piece of really bad news for you. But, when amidst a situation such as moving, a person should always declutter their home. This is the perfect chance to finally get rid of all of those items that have been piling up for years. That’s why we consider this to be a very important part of our moving & packing guide for a long distance move.

Besides, if you are moving to Florida on a budget, this is your chance to save some money. A lot of movers charge based on the weight of the cargo and the math is very simple – fewer items equal less money. What can you do with the items you decide to leave behind?

Coins spilling out of a jar.
Moving on a budget is a reality for so many.
  • Items that are in good condition can always be given to friends and family.
  • If you feel like being charitable, you can always donate your surplus furniture and clothes.
  • You can seize the opportunity and sell your items by organizing a yard sale.
  • You can always recognize an item is too far gone and decide to throw it away for good.

If you are ever in a dilemma as to what should stay behind, try to remember when was the last time you used an item. Has it been over a year? Then it’s safe to say you won’t need it in the future.

Create an inventory list of your belongings

A long-distance move leaves a lot of room for error. From losing your belongings to forgetting to pack some, plenty of things can go wrong on the way. And that’s where an inventory list comes in handy. Not only will your movers request to see all the items they will be entrusted with, but they will also need to properly prepare for their handling. Moving an antique vase does not equal moving a wooden chair. The difference has to be made.

Be very detailed and write down all the items you plan on relocating. This will also be of great help to you as you will have a reminder of all the things you need to pack. Don’t rely on your memory – in times of great stress, it tends to fail us. And we can all agree that there are hardly any situations out there as stressful as a long distance move.

Insurance has a very important spot in our long distance packing & moving guide

It does guarantee the safety of all the items you have. The first thing you should know is that there is a very good chance something will happen to at least one of your items. It doesn’t matter how good of a company you have by your side – your movers are not magicians nor deities. A long-distance move is such that there is too long of a distance to be crossed, which leaves a lot of room for incidents.

A calculator on some papers.
Choose your insurance coverage wisely.

Luckily, there are plenty of different liability coverages. With a basic valuation coverage in place, a mover’s liability equals only $0.60 per pound. A valuation coverage that entails a bigger mover’s liability costs more. Bear in mind that as much as 20% of those who move will file a claim. With that number in mind, you decide whether investing in better liability coverage pays off.

Ensure your outdoor furniture isn’t contaminated

There is not a shortage of rules one has to follow in order to move a different state. A lot of items are prohibited in a moving truck and we are not just referring to flammable items. We are talking about a very unlikely item such as outdoor furniture. More precisely, what’s usually found on them – larvae and insects. You’ll have to inspect your outdoor furniture to ensure that it isn’t contaminated. Pests, larvae, moths – some of the things you are looking for. 

How to pack for a long distance move

Finally, we got to one of the most important parts of our long distance packing & moving guide – the actual packing of your belongings. This will be laborious work and will take up a lot of your time. And that’s the reason why those who have the means usually pay for packing and unpacking services Florida. If you are not one of the lucky few, worry not. You too have some professional help in your corner.

Gathering the right packing materials – a staple of our long distance moving & packing guide

You can’t have packing of any kind without the appropriate materials, right? And when we say packing materials, we do primarily but not exclusively refer to moving boxes. There are many reasons why a person might decide to pack up and move to a different home. In fact:

  • 11.5% of people move in order to establish their own household
  • 9.9%  of people move because they got a new job or a job transfer
  • 8.3% of people move because they want to find cheaper housing options
  • 7.3% of people decide to move and buy a house so that they can stop paying rent
  • 5.5% of people move to be closer to their place of work
  • 5.1% of people relocate due to a change in their marital status
  • 3.0% of people move off to college
  • 2.8% of people move to find a safer neighborhood

An overview of the reasons people decide to move.

No matter which category you belong to, you will have to pack up all of the furniture you possess and to do so, you will need moving boxes galore. A lot of people feel immense worry when it comes to buying packing materials. The truth is, just about any place around you can be a good place for finding packing materials.

Where to find packing materials

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend bundles of cash in order to gather packing materials. Whether you are moving fine art and antiques or packing up your Christmas decorations, you will need quality materials. That goes without saying. But quality doesn’t always equal expensive. Instead of buying all of your supplies, why not try to be thrifty and find some free or cheap stuff? Here are the places to look:

  • Dollar stores. They usually have a bunch of smaller packing materials you’ll need (such as tape and markers) and they can be found for, you guessed it, a dollar!
  • Local supermarkets and bookstores. Both supermarkets and bookstores receive daily or weekly deliveries. Due to the nature of the stuff that they are carrying, all of the boxes used are high-quality.
  • Friends and family. With 35.5 million people moving every year, you are bound to know someone who has moved in the past few months. Ask whether they have any packing materials left from their move.

Use LOTS of protective materials

As much as we want, we can’t give you the guidelines for packing every single item you have. That guide would simply be without an end. But what we can do is give you a few essential tips. And there isn’t a tip more essential for packing than this one.

By using protective packaging materials, you are ensuring the safety of your items. A piece that is wrapped in layers upon layers of protective materials cannot be broken, damaged or scratched. Well, it can, but the chances for that happening are much smaller. So, when scavenging for packing supplies, make sure you stock up on:

  • Packing peanuts
  • Packing paper
  • The linen of any kind (even your sheets will do)
  • Plastic bubble foil

Pack by using a system

Imagine if our long distance packing & moving guide were unorganized. If we started off our journey from the middle and then worked our way up to the top and then to the end of this guide, no one would be able to memorize all the things. At least not in the right order which is needed in order for mess not to ensue. So, if you are about to start packing, it’s safe to say you need to use a system. And a good one.

A man carrying moving boxes.
Packing is a process that requires good organizational skills.
  • Color code. Using colors is a great way to make packing both fun and productive. In essence, you are supposed to dedicate one color to each room. If you decide you want the blue to represent the kitchen, then mark every box containing kitchen items with its respective color.
  • Tackle one room at a time. In fact, hectic packing is one of the worst long distance moving mistakes you can make. Don’t start packing up the kitchen only to proceed to pack the bathroom. You can pack another room, but only after the first one has been thoroughly packed.
  • Don’t mix and match. If one box contains bedroom items or books, don’t add kitchen utensils or anything that’s out of the ordinary for that box. That’s a recipe for disaster if we ever saw one.

Long distance packing & moving guide wouldn’t be complete without an assembly of a moving essentials bag

Think of it as your survival kit for the first few hours in the new home. You can survive without it, but it will certainly be a lot more challenging than if you had it next to you. And it really doesn’t matter whether you are packing for a local move or a long distance one – a moving essentials bag is a must. The first thing you should know about it is that your survival kit should contain all the items you think you will need in those first few hours. In order to avoid rummaging through dozens and quite possibly even hundreds of moving boxes trying to find a toothbrush, these are the items you must pack:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • A roll of toilet paper
  • Clean sheets 
  • A clean change of clothes for the whole family 
  • Basic cleaning supplies like detergent
  • Chargers
  • A few toys if you have kids

Remember: your moving essentials box can be as big as you deem fit. What’s important is not to forget some basic items. The happiness of your family will certainly be diminished if they have to unpack right away just to find a laptop or phone charger.

Say goodbye to your loved ones

Moving long distance is an emotionally challenging period. No one likes to leave behind the people they love, and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing. But you don’t have to let that be a sad occasion. Instead, say goodbye the way you were intended to – by throwing a memorable party. Buy enough food, provide liquor and a good place that everyone will love. Don’t forget to give a speech at the end of the party – but try to keep the tears to a minimum.

Remember, this is the 21st Century we live in – there are plenty of options to keep up with your friends and family almost daily. No reason to be sad.

Try to fit into your new surroundings

Before you can hit up the best dance clubs in Miami after moving here from another state, you’ll first have to have a group of friends. And before you can have a group of friends, you’ll have to meet the people in your new area. The best way to do just that is by throwing a housewarming party. It really doesn’t matter whether you decide to invite your neighbors over for a barbecue or a cocktail party. The point is for you to meet all of them and try to get an idea of which ones can become your friends.

A hug between three women.
Get to know the people in your new neighborhood while also keeping in touch with your old friends.

Just be careful about setting the date of the party – remember that almost all of your neighbors will have to work from 9 am till 5 pm. And they might have to say no to drinks if they got work in the morning. That’s why it’s best to throw your party on Saturday or Sunday. Hey, it’s just a suggestion.

Always have the distance in the back of your mind

To move down the block is fairly simple – both emotionally and physically. But to move across the country is a thing that will challenge both your physical and emotional health. And since you are reading a LONG DISTANCE moving and packing guide, we assume you belong to the latter category. In a situation such as that one, you always have to have your situation in mind. Don’t opt for a DIY relocation if you know you can’t sustain it. Instead, opt for hiring full-service movers for your move.

Also, don’t expect everything to be all fun and games after relocating. As a human being, you are not immune to emotions. And after changing your life upside down, you are bound to feel plenty of melancholy and nostalgia. In those situations, just remember that what you are going through is normal. Take a deep breath and remember the reasons behind making this decision in the first place. After you do so, feel free to ask for some help in dealing with your emotions. Rest assured that everyone who has read our long distance packing & moving guide has at some point been through the same thing.