Long Distance Moving Checklist
Updated: Apr 13
You have found the right home, job, and lifestyle you have been looking for, but across the country. Now comes the overwhelming part of moving, right?
You can significantly reduce the amount of stress by moving into a new home by carefully planning. Keep in mind this long-distance moving checklist is a broad overview of moving as every person's moving experience is different. We've created the best long-distance moving checklist.
Your Long-Distance Moving Checklist for moving into your new home.
Ten to twelve weeks before your move
Your move across the country will go more smoothly if you start the planning process two to three months ahead of time. The goal is to get the ball rolling by creating a moving binder or a Google Doc moving spreadsheet.
Create a moving binder or set up a Google Doc where you can track everything. Following this will help keep you organized and save a ton of time.
Print out your moving checklist and put create your moving binder or utilize a digital version.
Long Distance Moving Checklist and Guide.
We understand that not every move is the same, but we know every long-distance move takes time and effort.
Keep additional information in your binder after you've added the checklists. The best option to keep everything organized is to arrange your binder with sections, from the contact information (i.e., cross country moving companies, realtor, etc.), along with receipts, inventory lists, etc.
Organize your binder to keep track of all of your documents from moving estimates, final bills, and other info you get from moving companies.
Schedule your appointments. Be sure to schedule your dates from the place you are moving out of to your new home from, canceling services to adding new ones from utilities, inspections, cable, trash, cleaning service, enrolling your kids in a new school, etc.
Please get rid of unwanted belongings and furniture that you do not want to save money or make money on it. Be sure to measure your larger furniture to be sure it will fit in your new home; doing this will help avoid any moving day delays.
Consider packing up your fragile items or belongings to start the process. Do not pack essential items you will need until you get to the new place. Make a list of crucial things you will need in-between places or before your new home is ready, such as toiletries, pillows, clothes, etc. Keep all essential documents separate and any information you will readily need.
Start backing up your electronics, especially your computer, to save any files or pictures on a cloud service or USB device so you do not lose any.
Identity if you will have the cross country moving company do everything; packing, disassemble furniture, loading, unloading, etc. Or pack and remove furniture yourself to save money.
Find a reputable long-distance moving company, look at customer reviews, obtain a couple of free estimates; book a cross country moving company that fits your budget.
Check out Medal of Honor Moving to book your move.
Free Long-Distance Moving Quote
Next, create a room-by-room inventory list so ensure you account for all of your belongings if you have to file a claim for being lost, stolen, or damaged.
Again, sell, donate, or get rid of unwanted items. The best way to do this is to have a garage sale, donate to charity, give friends and family, or throw away unwanted items.
Moving across the country takes planning, so be sure to coordinate before arriving at your new place of employment or to schedule it with your old employer.
Be sure to organize how you will be getting across the country, by car, bus, renting a car, etc. If you are driving, be sure your vehicle has an inspection and is ready to go.
Take care of items that need special care and that you want to pack yourself to ensure their attention. Be sure to purchase your boxes, tape, and packing material to take care of specialty items. Keep in mind to take care of your larger items, odd-shaped items, pictures, and collectibles.
Start cleaning room by room, helping you organize your stuff, and to help you get ready to move out of your place.
Six weeks before your move.
You've spent the last four weeks getting organized. Now it's time to dive a little deeper. Now that you have determined how you will be moving across the country and are organized. Your goal is to book the moving company you will choose to get
The next step is to book your cross country or long distance moving company to ensure your schedule is planned for the actual moving date and unload.
Start packing your boxes if you are packing yourself, or packing your essential box and items to keep with you.
Label your boxes and keep track of inventory (e.g., "Kitchen: Dishes" or "Office: Books").
ASK FOR A DISCOUNT
It only takes a minute, and it could save you a lot of money. Before you book your moving company:
Ask if they offer a moving discount or offer any specials to rate the move better.
Don't make moving more expensive—and stressful—than it needs to be.
Ask if they can bundle services for you to get a better value.
Be sure to take pictures of your valuable items to ensure they are in perfect condition before being moved, this saves you time, money, and hassle if you have to file a claim, but you can also use it to trim time off the unpacking process. Also, be sure to take pictures of any items you take apart. For example, if you take pictures of your electronics, you can easily see which wires go where you put everything back together.
Be sure to fix small repair items at home or place you are moving out to ensure you receive your deposit back or get top dollar on your resell value.
Think about reserving a storage unit. Using a storage unit could come in need if you need to get out of your new place by a specific date or if you need to use one before moving to your new home. Take the time to schedule it out and reserve one now if need be.
Four weeks before your move.
Getting close to the move date, this is your time to prepare and prep your remaining items and gather your remaining supplies.
Finalize your budget, reorganize your binder, plan your travel arrangements, and refine your plan.
Get moving coverage. Moving coverage will help protect the value of your belongings. Moving coverage insurance will give you peace of mind and be worth it, as it is better to be safe.
Make travel arrangements. Be sure to finalize if you are driving your car or book your flight, hotel, or rental car. Be sure to take care of any car maintenance if you have not already.
Purchase any last-minute packing supplies you need to keep packing or disassembling items.
Purchase items you will need for your new home for the first couple of weeks to have with you. Suppose you need a new bed, sheets, kitchen items, drapes, etc. Be sure to add to your moving list.
Again, be sure to tune up your car and be up to date with insurance coverage, mileage checkups, and oil changes.
Start arranging services for your new home from the internet, TV, and utility providers, etc.
If you or a family member needs medication to refill the prescription to ensure you have enough.
Two weeks before your move.
As it is getting close to your move date, now is the perfect time to update your new contact information, address and finalize its actual logistics.
Be sure to change the contact information on essential services, updating your new address like your bank, health insurance, investment accounts, etc. Be sure to notify the post office to forward your mail as well. Also, update your family on your new address as well.
To save some money, be sure to update or cancel your memberships (gyms, tanning, etc.) and subscriptions (meal kits, dog supplies, etc.)
Call the moving company you booked through, confirm the moving date, and verify everything is scheduled.
If you are still packing, keep at it! Be sure to keep your inventory as you are packing, as well as labeling each box.
MOVING TIPS FOR PACKING BOXES
Packing boxes can feel like it takes forever. We've put together several moving hacks to help you speed up the process.
Organize each box to contain specific items
Use bubble wrap and packing paper to wrap things quickly
Be sure to pack up room by room
Label and inventory each box
Color coordinate by room on the side of the box
If you are packing yourself, be sure to pack everything up except for essential items such as your pantry for food items, certain kitchen utensils, etc.
Schedule time off work to be there for the moving company to arrive if you have pets or kids and make arrangements to ensure they are out of the way.
Start making appointments to obtain your new driver's license, car registration, auto insurance, etc., in your new hometown.
Understand when the moving company will be at your new place to be sure to schedule your appointments for the service to your new home, from water, electricity, cable, internet, etc.
One week before your move.
The last seven days before your move can be the most stressful, but this is the time to make sure you have a solid plan, organized, and ready for moving day.
Be sure to disassemble big furniture and items to ensure the loading goes smooth and fast.
Being out of the mover's way, start cleaning the empty rooms to get a head start to move out and get on your way to your new home. You might want to hire a cleaning company to come in and do it for you.
Pack your items and personal belongings you will need, placing these in a suitcase to make it easier when traveling. Pack your suitcases. Be sure to have enough stuff to hold you over until the moving company can come to unload—pack essential items like pajamas, clean socks, and swimsuits for the hotel pool.
Start collecting all keys, garage door openers, and necessary items the new owner or tenant might need when you move out.
Be sure to coordinate the final walkthrough before moving out of your old place, and be sure your new home is ready to go.
When moving across the country or long distance is sure to pack for plenty of days from clothes, some cash for emergencies, food, water, etc., depending on your travel arrangements.
Take out some money to have for emergencies and also tip your movers; this will motivate them to help take extra care of your stuff.
Have your new home cleaned before moving in, and it will help you relax and get started on unpacking before arriving.
Have an idea and a plan on how to unpack your belongings and where they need to go. That is why it is a great idea to label the boxes to ensure the movers place them in the right area.
The biggest moving tip, especially if you are packing yourself, is to have everything. I mean everything packed away into boxes before the moving company arrives so you save time and money, but are not rushing around to do last-minute packing of boxes.
IT is moving day.
Ok, moving day is finally here, and the goal is to make sure everything is moving along smoothly and the movers are loading up the truck fast and efficiently.
Wake up early and just run through everything on your moving guide to ensure you did not forget anything.
Be sure to keep your inventory list handy and binder close to make sure everything is loading onto the truck.
Have a path for the movers to navigate all of the furniture and boxes onto the truck.
Talk with the movers when they arrive to ensure you are on the same page as them and check any paperwork to ensure you see all of the details and fine print before the move occurs. You do not want to be in a moving scam.
Help the movers facilitate the loading process by answering any questions they have or leaving your contact information if you cannot be there for the load's entirety.
If you do stay there, be kind to your movers and possibly order lunch and provide water. Sometimes it can be conducive to tip upfront to let them know to take extra care of your items.
Check your inventory list as your items are moving onto the truck. Ask your movers to give you an official copy of their inventory list, which can be very helpful if you have to file a claim for a missing box or item.
After the movers have loaded up, complete a final walkthrough of your home to ensure everything is on the truck and everything is ready to clean.
If you have not tipped your movers yet, please be sure to do so.
How much should I tip movers?
It is very common to tip your movers. We recommend 15%–20% of your total bill for significantly larger moves. Movers can be tipped by cash or added to the end of the bill on your credit card.
Arriving at your new home
After traveling to get to your new home, be sure to give your moving company a call to confirm the delivery date for unloading your belongings into your new home. During this lapse of time, be sure to handle any upfront job duties and specific household agendas.
Get all of your services up and running, electricity, water, trash, cable, internet, etc.
Get a great idea around town and scope out where you will be commuting to work, the grocery store, etc.
Be sure to clean your new home if you did not get a professional service to do so.
Have a good understanding of where your furniture and items will go before the movers show up to unload.
Change your locks. You don't know how many people had keys to your new home before you moved in.
Set up home security. You made an effort to get all your stuff to your new place safely; now you want to keep it safe. This is also a great time to purchase or set up smart home devices.
Check to make sure everything in the new home is in working order.
Get to know your HOA. Make sure you understand policies about pets, lawn care, and monthly dues.
Moving into the new home
The movers have shown up to the new home to unload all of your furniture and items.
Be present for the movers if you can to help guide them to where specific furniture, boxes, and items will go in your new home. Also, keep your inventory list handy to check off items, boxes, and furniture as it comes in the front door.
Provide water and food for the movers, just like you did when loading the boxes and furniture onto the truck.
Once everything is unloaded off the truck, be sure to obtain a receipt of the moving job, ensure all items have been unloaded according to your checklist with one last walkthrough.
If you have not tipped your movers yet, now is a good time to do so, mostly if they did a great job.
Leave a review for the moving company. An excellent moving company will ask for a review to improve its service or see how they are doing. Be sure to leave a review to help future customers.
One to two weeks after your move.
Once everything is unloaded off the truck, it is now time to unpack all of your boxes and start making your new place a home.
Finish unpacking. You'll feel incredible when you break down your last box! This will help you check to see if anything broke during the move.
Be sure to make spare keys.
Introduce yourself to your neighbors and get acquainted with the neighborhood. Host a housewarming party.
Once everything is complete and your cross country moving checklist comes to a close, be sure to enjoy your new home.