Steps in a Local vs. Long-Distance Move

Moving is complicated. There are many details involved in any relocation, whether you are moving locally or further. One thing is for sure; a successful move starts with a solid plan.

Preparation for your move depends on whether you are moving locally or long distance. The moving industry considers interstate moves to be long-distance moves. Long-distance moves also involve distances of more than 400 miles. In some cases, interstate moves of more than 100 miles are considered long-distance, especially if you have heavy items that require special equipment.

You must generally book long-distance moves farther in advance than local moves and pack more carefully. Your choice of moving companies may also differ depending upon the type of move.

Steps in a Local Move

Booking and Packing

Get quotes and choose your mover two months before you need to move. You will have fewer choices, the closer you get to the moving date. Gather moving supplies and begin packing, unless the moving company is packing for you. Declutter as you pack.

Notify Others

About six weeks before, notify doctors, creditors, family, friends, and others that you plan to move. Fill out a change of address form at the post office about four weeks before. Contact utilities in your new location to arrange for service and those in your current location to arrange for disconnection.

Final Steps

Two weeks before, confirm plans with the mover. Confirm the travel arrangements for your family and pets.

One week before the move, print two copies of your Bill of Lading to keep with your important papers. Drain gas and oil from lawn equipment, grills, and other equipment. Refill prescriptions.

At least 24 hours before, defrost the refrigerator and freezer and pack those items you’ll want to have available on moving day and your first day in your new home.

Steps in a Long-Distance Move

Booking and Packing

Begin interviewing moving companies four months before and book at least 12 weeks before the move. If moving internationally, begin the process six months out. Consider whether you also will need to move your car. Many full-service moving companies can handle this for you or recommend a company that can.

Begin packing, unless you have hired the mover to do that. Packing for a long-distance move must be done much more carefully because boxes will be on the truck for longer. Household appliances require special handling for long-distance moves.

Downsizing, while important in a local move, is critical in a long-distance one. If you don’t love it, use it, or need it, then donate it or responsibly discard it.

Label boxes with the room the box should go in plus your name and phone number. Long-distance movers sometimes place boxes on a truck with those of other families. Your belongings also may not arrive at your new home for several days—pack essential items you will need right away separately and keep them with you or ship them ahead.

Notify Others

Just as with a local move, notify others, arrange for utilities, and make travel plans. Additionally, make sure your current driver’s license will be valid until you can obtain one in your new state. 

Final Steps

Two to three weeks out, confirm plans with the mover and print out the Bill of Lading.

As with a local move, drain oil and gas out of equipment about one week before. Then at least 24 hours before the move, defrost your freezer and refrigerator.

Moving Near or Far

Are you planning your move? Do you need help from pro movers? Contact us for a quote. We can make your short or long-distance move a success!




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