a person sitting in a chair with boxes on the floor

How to Pack Your Belongings for a Long-Distance Move

So you’re planning a cross-country move? That is an exciting step on your life journey that can bring about so many new growth opportunities. Whether you’re moving for a job, to be closer to family, or just because you’re ready for a change, you’re probably eager to get started on this new path. However, you have to get there first.

Packing up your life can be a stressful and overwhelming affair. You truly never really understand how much stuff you have until you get ready to move it across the country. Now, there are ways to make packing for your long-distance simpler and more reasonable. First, you need to stay organized and prepared to protect all the most valuable items to you. You’ll also want to plan out a bit of your new space to make sure everything making the journey will fit into your future home. As you’re preparing for your move, remember to take a few deep breaths and commit to taking things a little bit at a time. That plus these tips and tricks will help you have a smooth and easy movement across the country.

Be careful with your valuables.

If you’ve moved before, you understand the need to keep all your belongings safe and secure. Well, a long-distance move makes this all the more important. Take extra care packing up your value with extra padding and bubble wrap to make sure everything makes it the whole way.

Some valuable items are a little small and have the threat of being lost. Necklaces or diamond earrings, or fancy broaches may have sentimental as well as monetary value. Keep on top of where these smaller items are going. When you have a necklace that you love, you want to travel it safely. Maybe these special items can stay in your overnight bags or in smaller boxes that you’ll drive in your own car rather than going with the moving truck.

Have a set suitcase of easily accessible items you’ll need.

Nothing is more frustrating than packing up your life and then realizing you need an item hidden away in a box somewhere. As you’re preparing for your long-distance move, be sure to keep at least one suitcase or box of relevant, easily accessible items. Things like your paperwork, packing materials, and travel needs will be good to keep in one central location. It can be good to consolidate for this bag as well. If you need clothes, you may as well pack your dress with built in bra so you can save on one extra thing to back. It would help if you had stylish outfits planned for the days you are traveling, which may be a great option for you.

Plan to move your pets.

When you’re moving, you aren’t just moving yourself and your family, but you’re moving any pets as well. Be prepared to take extra steps to get your animals situated for a long drive and cross-country trip. Some pets can easily survive the journey. A dog can hang out in the back seat of a car with no problem, and cats are usually contained in a carrier for a while. Certain animals may need a little more planning, however. For example, reptiles are cold-blooded, so they can’t be without their heat lamps for too long. Traveling a crested gecko will require special attention, heat pads, and feeding techniques. Just be sure to do your research on how to get your furry, feathery, or scaly friends through a long drive.

Label everything you are packing.

Organization is key when you are planning a big move. As you pack boxes, try to keep them specifically labeled. That way, you’ll know where everything is when you get to your final destination. It can also be useful to add your name to all your items. Movers will sometimes take more than one family’s possessions at once, and you don’t want to be dealing with a situation where you have missing boxes that were dropped off somewhere else. Cover all your bases and label what you can.

Estimate costs and find the best movers.

Speaking of movers, they can be accommodating during your long-distance move. Bring in several companies to give you different estimates of how much your move will cost you. Then you can decide what company seems the best for you to go with. You want a team that will work with you and guarantee your items will all reach their destination without a scratch.

Know what you’re packing; keep a list.

Another thing to do when you’re packing is to keep an inventory of all your items. This way, you’ll know if anything goes missing during transit. It can also help you to match your list with the boxes you’ve already labeled. Having an inventory sheet will save you time and effort once you get to your destination because you’ll be able to find things so much quicker and make unpacking a breeze.

It’s okay to get rid of some stuff.

As you prepare to move, the sheer amount of stuff you have can seem overwhelming. It may be time to consider exactly what items you need and what you can do without. You don’t want to travel all this stuff across the country only to put your furniture in the garage or have to store your clothes in a storage unit. While those can be valid options, you want to be practical about how much space you need and what items you actually use daily. If it’s been sitting in the back of the attic and hasn’t been used for years, consider getting rid of it.

Plan where everything is going and pack accordingly.

A great packing tip is to actually plan out where items are going in your new space. That way, movers can unload per room, and you won’t have a ton of confusion with your unpacking process. Keep your boxes organized by room, and be prepared where pieces of furniture will end up.

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