The house sold, moving day is set, and you bought a home across the country…what now? Whether you’re driving or flying the family from Pennsylvania to California, preparing for a long-distance move can be challenging. Before you move out, be sure to make the following arrangements in advance…
1. Figure out your moving schedule.
If your settlement dates are too far apart, you may need short-term storage. Putting your items into storage is a good idea if you need time to prepare the new house before your furniture is delivered. Maybe you’re repainting, renovating, or replacing the carpet with hardwood floors. Storage will keep your belongings safe and out of the work zone. Discuss these options with your mover and read about All Types of Storage Solutions.
2. Learn about coverage options.
Research valuation to protect your belongings during transport. Certified moving companies must offer valuation options. Check in with your homeowner’s insurance and see what they offer. Get maximum protection by using your mover’s packing service and valuation.
3. Notify important parties.
File a Change of Address, transfer school and medical records, and cancel any services you won’t be using at the new home. Update banks, credit cards, insurance companies, subscriptions, and online retailers with your new address.
4. Call utility companies in advance.
Turn on utilities (electric, water, etc.) in the new house before anyone arrives. Set up an appointment with the cable/satellite company to come out after the movers leave so you’ll have TV, internet, and landline phone service ASAP.
5. Plan your travel schedule and be readily available.
Plan out your drive or flight so you arrive at the destination before the movers. If your shipment is small, your items may be combined with other shipments heading in the same direction. Discuss and communicate your dates with your moving company. Be sure to be at the destination during any time where delivery is possible. If you’re driving, estimate how many hours you’ll want to drive each day and where you’ll stop for the night. For suggestions on how to plan a safe and comfortable long-distance road trip, read 9 Tips for Long Drives by Nationwide.
6. Book an extended-stay hotel at your destination.
If you have pets, be sure to choose a pet-friendly place to stay. You may also want to stay in the hotel a day or two after your furniture arrives to give yourself a chance to go grocery shopping and unpack the essentials in the bathrooms, kitchen, and bedrooms.
7. Arrange for automobile transport or get a tune-up.
If you’re flying, arrange for long-distance auto transport. Your mover may offer this service or can recommend a car carrier. If you’re driving, get a tune-up to ensure your vehicle is in good condition before you start the long drive.
8. Schedule a deep cleaning service.
You may want to do this at both houses when they are empty, depending on your budget and timing. A deep cleaning will give you a fresh start in your new home. Get the carpets shampooed to eliminate any odors and stains. Have the cabinets and wood floors polished to erase any marks. Sanitize the bathrooms and appliances thoroughly before using them. Confirm with your realtor if your buyers have any special requests prior to the walkthrough. Your moving company should offer floor and banister protection while you're moving out and when you're moving in.
9. Move important items yourself.
Decide what valuables are traveling with you, pack them appropriately, and set them aside. Any items of extraordinary value, such as jewelry, should be kept on your person. Make sure important documents, your wallet, fire-safe box, and jewelry are out of the way on moving day.
10. Make an essentials list.
Before packing your suitcase, make a list of everything you’ll need for traveling, plus enough for two to three extra days. Include clothes, toiletries, medications, entertainment, valuables, and pet supplies. Keep in mind how much space you’ll have in the car or how many bags you’ll be checking at the airport.
11. Say your goodbyes.
Visit any friends and family before you leave. Go to your favorite places one last time or anywhere you’ll miss after you move.
Have a safe trip and continue reading to learn what to do once you arrive at your new home.