The Wheaton Blog

How Should I Prepare for My Long Distance Move?

January 4, 2020 | Long Distance Moves, Moving Guides & Tips

Planning a move is a complicated process. With so many plans to set, calls to make and things to organize, it can get overwhelming fast. The stress of moving worsens considerably if you’re moving long distance. Suddenly you have to do everything from hundreds or thousands of miles away from where you’re going.

Pulling off an effective (and sanity-preserving) long distance move can be hard, but it isn’t impossible. All you need is a little guidance, planning and advice. We can help with all three. To get you started, we’ve gathered answers to the three most commonly-asked long distance moving questions below:

When should I start planning my long distance move?

Planning ahead is important for any move, but it’s especially important for long distance moves. If you’re moving during the offseason, you should give yourself at least three months to prepare everything. If you’re planning to move during the summer months, you’ll want to give yourself even more time.

Here’s a basic schedule to start with:

  • Three months before the move:
    • Start contacting moving companies so you have time to vet them and choose the right one for you.
    • Get a binder to use for all your important moving documents. This will help you stay organized throughout the process.
    • Begin enrollment processes for new schools if you have children.
  • Two months before the move:
    • Downsize as best you can. Choose which things you want to take, donate or sell.
    • Take stock of any maintenance projects that need to be completed on your new home so you can contact contractors in advance.
  • One month before the move:
    • Start switching utilities, setting up cable and internet and having plans for shutting off existing utilities. Start your packing process so you don’t have to rush anything at the last second.
    • Make your final decision on which long-distance moving company you’ll hire and call them. Sort out the move date and process.
  • Three weeks before the move:
    • Take care of transferring medical records.
    • Keep packing. You want to have everything except for your absolute necessities completely packed at least three days before you move.
  • One week before the move:
    • Pack your essentials box.
    • Finish any packing that hasn’t already been completed.
    • Make sure your car is ready for the long haul, especially if you’re driving it cross-country.
  • Day before the move: 
    • Disassemble any furniture your movers will be taking care of.
    • Disconnect appliances.
    • Call your moving company and real estate agent to make sure everything is still on schedule.


How do I choose a moving company?

Choosing the right long distance moving company is an important part of your process. You’ll need a company that can:

  • Travel as far as you need them to.
  • Move cross-country reliably and consistently. Look for good reviews and reputation.
  • Can provide specialty moving services for your more precarious items.

Ask yourself (or the company itself) each of the following questions as you vet them:

  • Do they have a long history of experience doing what you need them to do?
  • Do they provide valuation protection?
  • Are they licensed?
  • What kind of quotes do they provide? Are these prices guaranteed?


What particular things do I need to consider when packing?

The most important thing when it comes to a long distance move is organization and planning. Following a packing schedule is going to be the best way to help make your move a success. An example of a practical and easy-to-follow packing schedule is:

    • One month before move:
      • Begin boxing up rooms that aren’t frequently used. This includes the garage, basement and attic.
    • Three weeks before move:
      • Start packing home decor.
    • Two weeks before move:
      • Time to focus on rooms like your dining room, library, office or guest bedrooms. You should also pack up your electronic devices, games, non-essential clothes and toys.
    • One week before move:
      • Now you’ll want to pack up the kitchen. Leave out a few essentials, but pack up everything else. Pack up your bedroom as much as you can right now, too.
    • Day before move:
      • Everything else. This includes disassembling furniture and packing up your bathroom. Don’t forget to defrost and clean out the fridge.


Long distance moves take a lot of work, but they’re worth it. You’re getting a chance to experience and become a part of a new community. That’s exciting!

Use this advice and help from the moving pros at Wheaton to make the process as streamlined as possible. Give us a call today or anytime you’re in need of help moving your life from one state to another.

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