5 Packing Tips for Long-Distance Moves

Francey Beall
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In 2018, USA Today reported that roughly 40 million Americans move at least once per year. Where is everyone headed? In 2019, the majority of relocating Americans headed to Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Washington, and the great state of Texas!

If you're thinking about making this big leap, you've probably started to take stock of all the things you currently own. Wishing you didn't have so much stuff?

Never fear! With our tips for long-distance moves, you'll find that packing up and heading out isn't so hard, after all. 

Read on to learn more about how to make long-distance moving a breeze!

1. Plan Your Future Layout and Downsize Accordingly

Before you start packing, make sure that you're bringing only what you'll have space for in your next home or apartment. 

If you weren't given a layout with dimensions when you signed your new lease, ask your property manager for one. If you purchased your new home, that information should be included in the paperwork you received from the previous owner.

Measure your bigger pieces of furniture like couches, desks, and standing cabinets. Using your layout and your measurements, sketch out a rough layout for your new space. You just might find that your couch fits in the living room but the loveseat will take up too much space. 

By making this plan in advance, you can avoid the frustration of moving a piece of furniture that you don't have room for. Remember that once you get to your new city or town, you're going to have a lot to do. You may not want to spend any of that valuable time hunting down your local thrift stores to donate unneeded stuff!

2. Schedule Your Packing

Unless your moving company offers packing services, you're going to be doing the packing yourself. Even with the help of friends and family, this is no small task!

Don't wait until the week before moving day to start packing. At least a month in advance, come up with a schedule that will allow you to pack gradually over time. 

Begin with rooms you don't often use or non-essential items. For example, it may feel a little strange living in your current place without any decor, but you aren't going to need those antique dog figurines or framed posters for anything practical. Why not pack them up now?

You can also pack off-season clothing, books you aren't planning on reading in the next few weeks, and dishes you don't use on a regular basis. As the weeks wear on, start thinking about the things you like to have out but don't need. 

In the last week, it's time to start packing things you do use on a regular basis. You'll simply have to learn to live without them! This includes your everyday dishware, linens, in-season clothing, tech equipment, and so on. 

When you write out your packing schedule, make a list of things you'll need as soon as you get to your new home. Make a box of these things and keep it in your car rather than in the moving van. This should include toiletries, basic cleaning supplies, and television electronics. It is always a good idea to keep your valuables and personal documents with you in your car.

3. Pack for Distance

When you put together boxes for moving, there are several things you should take into consideration.

The first is weight. Don't make any box so heavy that the bottom will collapse or it will hurt someone to lift.

Balance out heavy items like dishware with light, soft items like linens, towels, and clothing. Not only will this prevent your boxes from getting too heavy but it will also add some extra cushioning to protect your breakables.

Some items, like books, are surprisingly heavy when packed together. If you have rolling suitcases to spare, consider using them for your books to eliminate the need to lift them!

The second is stability. Everything you put in those boxes is going to sit in the back of a moving truck for hours or even days. 

Pack each box so that the heaviest items are on the bottom. Top-heavy boxes are prone to tipping, which can cause a whole avalanche of your stuff in the back of a moving van!

Use packing peanuts, paper, or bubble wrap to fill any gaps in your box. The less empty space there is, the less your items will shift.  Before taping up your box....jiggle it a little to ensure you do not hear any clanking.

Don't interlock the edges of your boxes. This creates an uneven surface that may collapse under the weight of other boxes. Instead, line up the parallel edges and use packing tape to seal them. 

4. Label Everything

Seriously. You may think you'll remember what's in each box, especially if they vary a lot in size, but you won't. 

Some people choose to label their boxes by room while others choose to label their boxes by specific contents. That's completely up to you, as long as you have a sense of what's in them or where they need to go when they're unloaded from the truck. Label the boxes on the top and at least two sides of the box.

If you've taken apart a lot of furniture or electronic wiring, make sure all of that is labeled, too. Put these pieces in plastic or paper bags and write what each of them belongs to. Otherwise, you're going to find yourself with mystery wires and screws and a lot of unusable furniture and electronics!  If you have multiple televisions make sure you label each remote control cooresponding with each television.

5. Hire Professionals

Find a moving company that will assist with a long-distance move reliably.

This means finding a moving company that will give you the same team to work with from start to finish. Movers who loaded your truck are going to be a lot more helpful unloading than movers who have never seen any of your stuff before. Plus, when you work with the same team the whole time it's a lot easier to build up trust and know who to talk to if something goes missing!  Be sure and take contact information with you of  both the company and the driver of the truck carrying all your belongings.

Follow Our Tips for Long Distance Moves

If you follow our tips for long-distance moves, you'll find your moving experience to be a lot less stressful than you expected! It's amazing what a little extra planning can do.

If you're in Texas, contact us to request a quote. We're happy to help you move anywhere in the US!  

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