Your Long Distance Move Checklist: 7 To-Dos To Top Your List

Making a long distance move checklist is key when moving far away.

At minimum, you’ll want to do some research and solid planning before you move to any new city, state, or country.

That way, you can get settled into your new home quickly with fewer worries.

To assist you, we’ve rounded up the most important things for you to do to help you plan your relocation.

You’ll find them below, along with some great tips and tricks to make your long-distance move easier.

long distance move checklist
Long Distance Move Checklist

CONTENTS – In this article, you will find a long distance move checklist so you can prioritize the most important things to do, including:

  • What to Expect When Moving Long Distance
  • Long Distance Move Checklist
  • 1. Planning Your Move
  • 2. Thinning Out Your Belongings
  • 3. Packing Up Your Belongings
  • 4. Transporting Your Belongings
  • 5. Moving Your Car
  • 6. Closing Out Accounts
  • 7. Opening New Accounts
  • 8. Getting Settled Into Your New Home
  • 9. Moving With Pets
  • 10. Handling the Stress of Moving
  • Final Thoughts on Long Distance Move Checklist
  • Next Steps

What to Expect When Moving Long Distance

Moving is always a hassle.

And moving a long distance can be even more challenging.

There are many things to think about when making a long-distance move – from figuring out how to transport all of your belongings to getting acclimated to your new surroundings.

Along with the list of things do do comes a sense of excitement, too! It’s a fresh start, and adventure, your new digs.

You can expect to feel a range of emotions that seem contradictory – and that’s ok.

Some of the feelings you might experience include:

  • Overwhelmed
  • Excited
  • Sad
  • A sense of closure
  • Uncertain
  • Optimistic
  • Stressed
  • Anxious
  • Hopeful
  • Ambitious

While we won’t cover these bittersweet feelings, we can help you overcome the overwhelm using this long distance move checklist.

Long Distance Move Checklist

Here are the most important things you need to handle when you’re making a long-distance move.

You’ll find them presented in a step-by-step guide to help make your move easier.

1. Planning Your Move

The first thing you need to do when making a long-distance move is to start planning as early as possible.

In fact, the more time you have to plan, the better.

Among the things you’ll need to figure out are:

  • How you’re going to transport your belongings
  • Whether you’re going to hire professional movers or do it yourself
  • How you’re going to get settled into your new home

If you start planning early, you’ll be less likely to feel overwhelmed by the process.

2. Thinning Out Your Belongings

Another of the main issues you might face while planning a long distance move is what to take.

This is especially troublesome if you’ve lived in the same place for a long time, and you’re downsizing.

Therefore, you’ll want to try to reduce your belongings to the most useful and meaningful items.

Have a critical eye when it comes to thinning out your belongings because it’s a great opportunity to re-evaluate how much “stuff” you want to keep.

You may want to sell or donate big pieces of furniture. Sometimes it even costs less to buy something new at your new location than to ship a big, heavy item.

Think also about the culture and climate of your new home destination.

Hopefully, you can pare down your belongings to the necessities. That way, you’ll save time and money packing.

And, it will reduce the time and effort you spend packing and unpacking.

3. Packing Up Your Belongings

Once you’ve figured out how to make your move and what you’re bringing, it’s time to start packing up your belongings.

This can be one of the most challenging parts of moving long distances – especially if you still have a lot of stuff.

Go about this task methodically.

That might mean you pack up one whole room at a time, or focus on packing like items, for instance everyone’s clothing.

Keep a master list of what things are packed in which boxes, and label the boxes appropriately.

You may want to consider asking friends for help or hiring professionals to get through this time-consuming task of packing up your belongings.

 4. Transporting Your Belongings

If you’re hiring professional movers specializing in long distance moving, they’ll take care of transporting your belongings.

However, if you’re doing it yourself, you’ll need to figure out the best way to get everything from point A to point B.

This may involve renting a truck or trailer, or shipping your belongings via post, train, or plane.

The important thing is that everything arrives safely.

5. Moving Your Car

moving your car

Another consideration when moving for longer distances is whether you’ll take your car with you.

If you’re moving to a city with great public transportation, you may not even need a car. So, get to selling it!

And if you will take your car with you, you’ll need to decided whether you will drive it the distance or have it shipped?

Driving yourself makes for an epic road trip!

Just be sure to take the time to thoroughly plan out your route and stops.

If you plan to have your car shipped, look into costs – especially if you’re moving overseas.

6. Closing Out Accounts

Before you move, you’ll want to close out local accounts, including:

  • Local bank accounts
  • Gym memberships
  • Clubs memberships

When it comes to local memberships with monthly fees, try to close them before the end of billing cycle to avoid extra fees.

You’ll also want to make the address changes to your credit cards, loans, insurance, and national bank accounts.

Let the post office know your forwarding address, too.

Once you are settled in your new home and if it will be a permanent move, make sure to update your license info., too.

7. Opening New Accounts

Like closing your old accounts, make a plan to open up new accounts at your new destination.

Do some research on local banks, memberships, and insurance.

Then you can find the best and economical plans while you still have the time.

8. Getting Settled Into Your New Home

Once you’ve arrived at your new home, it’s time to settle in.

This can be a challenge, especially if you’re moving to an area that’s very different from where you currently live.

Explore your new surroundings and meet new people to feel more at home in your new environment.

If you’re buying new furniture, try to time it’s arrival with your own arrival – at least within a few days.

That way, you won’t be living in an empty space.

You want to make your new home welcoming and as comfortable as possible from the start.

9. Moving With Pets

Moving a long distance can be even more challenging if you have pets.

First, you’ll need to ensure that your pets are up-to-date on all their vaccinations and have a microchip for identification.

After all, if your beloved pets get lost in a new place, how will they find their way to you?

You’ll also need to figure out how to transport your pet.

That might be by car, plane, or train. Each will have different costs, requirements, and comfort levels.

And once you’ve arrived at your new home, you’ll need to help your pets adjust to its new surroundings.

Remember, this is a big change for them, too!

10. Handling the Stress of Moving

Moving long distances can be stressful – there’s no doubt about that!

But following this long distance move checklist can help to make the process less stressful for yourself and your family members.

First, try to stay organized throughout the entire process.

This will help minimize any potential problems that could arise along the way.

Second, don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends and family.

They’ll likely be more than happy to lend a hand (or two).

Finally, try to relax and enjoy the adventure of moving to a new place!

Final Thoughts on Long Distance Move Checklist

By following the steps outlined in this article, you know have a checklist that ensures your long-distance move goes as smoothly as possible.

And the earlier you start planning, the less overwhelmed you’ll feel.

Best of luck!

Next Steps

For more tips on moving, read the articles below, next:

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.