Planning a long-distance move is a big undertaking. From gathering supplies to setting up accounts, the logistics can get overwhelming and the options at your disposal are endless. Should you hire movers? How early should you start packing?

Thankfully, there are many helpful tactics to make this process easier on yourself and we’re giving you our best-kept secrets for a long-distance move below.

Long-Distance Move

Long-Distance Move

Planning Long-Distance Move

Make a Plan

The first step to planning a long-distance move is to come up with a plan. At this point, you probably have a new home or place to live so you’ve got that step covered. Next is to figure out your timeline. When do you have to be out of your current home? How long do you have to pack? Are you going to do the moving yourself or hire a moving company?

Figuring out how long you have to pack and move will ease the stress of the whole process. You can allocate certain days or weekends for different tasks—packing, setting up utilities, getting supplies, when to forward your mail, and everything in between.

Write down all the tasks that need to be done before the big move, and set a timeline for yourself and/or your family to make sure they all get done. Finally, figure out whether or not you will require and special moving services like car transportation or antique furniture movers.

Purge While You Pack

If you’ve watched the latest Netflix hit “The Home Edit” or taken advice from the renowned Marie Kondo, you know that removing items from your space that you don’t use is essential in the moving (and organizing) process. The Home Edit calls this the editing process—before they start fully organizing a home, they have their client remove items from their closet that they don’t need or use often to free up space and make their life more efficient.

A good rule of thumb is to go by the one-year rule. If you haven’t worn it, used it, or looked at it in the past year, it should go. And bonus: if you have some extra time, you can also sell these items in a garage sale or on resale apps to earn a little extra cash!

Gather Packing Supplies

If you want to go the recycled route to save money, you can get cardboard boxes from businesses that would normally be thrown out. One of the best ways to do this is by going to businesses towards the end of their workday and simply asking for any unused boxes.

Another way to save on packing supply costs is to use items you already have at home to use for stuffing or in lieu of packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Using towels, t-shirts, and bedding to pack fragile items is the most efficient way to pack without spending any money. These items would already have to be packed in some form or fashion, so why not use them to your advantage?

Pack Strategically

Experts suggest packing one room at a time and starting with items or rooms that are the most unused. For instance, if you have a spare bedroom that isn’t used, start there or if you can empty half your kitchen cabinets with enough items to use until your move, do that.

If you have a short timeframe, start packing as soon as possible and pack as much as you can toward the beginning of the whole process. Waiting until the last minute to pack will not only leave you incredibly stressed, but it will take away the last bit of free time you have that could be spent with friends and family before you move to a faraway land.

Make sure to label your boxes so that you or the long distance movers can easily move the boxes into the right room in your new home.

Another thing to take into consideration when you’re packing is if you will be hiring movers or doing a DIY move. If hiring movers, it’s best to pack your items tightly so they don’t have room to move around very much and to take extra care in wrapping and packing your fragile items. When moving everything yourself, you have leeway to pack a little more leisurely as you can guarantee how your items are handled during the moving process.

Switch Over Accounts

A task that is commonly overlooked when moving is switching over accounts and the most important is your electricity and utilities. Imagine driving thousands of miles and finally getting to your new home just to realize you have no power.

Talk to your utilities provider to figure out the right time to turn off your power at your current place, and get it up and running at your new place.

Another important thing to do (that isn’t necessarily switching accounts but is in the same vein) is to contact the post office to get your mail forwarded to your new address. You wouldn’t want any important shipments or bills to go missing!

Other places that should be informed of your new address is your phone/internet provider, the social security office, your employer, and your renter’s insurance if it is applicable.

Planning a long-distance move can be a breeze if you prep carefully and follow these guidelines!