A long-distance move can be an exhilarating yet stressful task. Whether it's a cross-country move or moving long distances within the same state, the complexity of planning and executing such a move requires meticulous attention to detail. This guide is designed to help you navigate the long-distance moving process, ensuring a successful transition to your new home.

Getting Ready to Move

Getting Ready to Move

You’ve decided on where you’re moving to, but there’s a lot left to do. To keep yourself from becoming too stressed, make a plan! Write your plan out, because having some type of timeline and list of things to do will keep you organized and make the entire process much easier for everyone involved.

  1. Change your address with the United States Postal Service and set up mail forwarding.
  2. Find service providers in your new area and set up utilities, such as gas, water, internet, and electricity.
  3. Transfer homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to your new place.
  4. Find out the timeline and process to obtain a new driver’s license if moving to a different state.
  5. Change your address on important documentation such as Social Security benefits, vehicle registration, bills, banking, and any subscription services that you use.
  6. Find out how long your commute to work will be and determine the best route.
  7. Find the closest amenities in your area, such as the grocery store, mechanic, and mall.
  8. Find recommendations for the best doctor’s office, dentist, eye doctor, and veterinarian.
  9. Transfer any prescriptions to your new local pharmacy and forward medical records to your new medical provider.
  10. If you’re flying, make sure to buy plane tickets early enough to get the best deals and find out about policies for traveling with pets if you plan to do so.
  11. Keep receipts and track all expenses that have been spent throughout the entire moving process.
  12. If you’re moving because of work, find out exactly which services will be covered by your company and how much of it is left for you to handle.

Challenges of Long-Distance Moves

A long-distance move presents distinct challenges that differentiate it from shorter relocations. The sheer distance of the move amplifies every aspect of the moving process, from timing and cost considerations to the logistics of packing and transportation.



The primary factor that sets a long-distance move apart is the geographical distance between your current home and your new location. This not only adds to the moving expenses but also influences the entire moving strategy, from the selection of a reputable moving company to the packing methods employed.


Figuring out the timing of a long-distance move takes more detailed planning than a local move. If you leave something at your previous residence during a local move, you can go back and get it. Local moves can also be accomplished in multiple trips, while long-distance moves cannot. The finality of a long-distance move makes every piece of timing far more important to get right.


Moving long distances can be significantly more expensive than local moves. Costs can vary based on several factors, including the weight of your belongings, distance, and the services you opt for, such as packing and unpacking services provided by professional movers. Make sure to become familiar with the cost of your move and any variables that could change that cost.

4 Steps to Make the Best Long-Distance Move

Achieving a successful long-distance move requires a combination of careful planning, proper research, and selecting the right moving company.

#1. Develop a Plan and Checklist

#1. Develop a Plan and Checklist

The foundation of a stress-free move is a detailed plan and a comprehensive moving checklist. Start by outlining every step of your move, from researching moving companies to setting up utilities in your new home. Utilize a long-distance moving checklist to ensure you cover all bases.

#2. Give Yourself Ample Preparation Time

Allocate sufficient time for each phase of the move. It allows you to thoroughly research and select a company that not only offers competitive pricing but also has a track record of reliable and professional service for long-distance moves.

This is also the time to declutter your home and decide what to keep, sell, or donate. Reducing the volume of items to be moved can significantly lower your moving costs.

Additionally, gathering necessary packing supplies ahead of time — such as sturdy cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper — ensures you have the right materials to protect your belongings during transit.

#3. Cut Down on Unneeded Belongings

While selling unneeded belongings is a good idea for any move, it’s especially helpful for a long-distance relocation. Whether you host a garage sale or sell items online, prioritize large items like furniture. Furniture can be easily damaged, and even the best movers can’t 100% guarantee items arrive in perfect condition. 

We suggest selling as many items as possible before a long-distance move. If you’re struggling to decide what to leave behind, we’ve created a guide listing the items not to pack during a move.

#4. Hire Movers to Help

Investing in a professional moving company can significantly ease the burden of a long-distance move. Movers can take care of packing and unpacking boxes, bringing items to storage units, and even assembling and disassembling furniture. Moreover, they can handle all the heavy lifting, and packing, and offer pet transport services, ensuring a smooth long-distance move.

6 Tips for Packing Items for a Long-Distance Move

6 Tips for Packing Items for a Long-Distance Move

Packing for a long-distance move is not just about throwing your belongings into boxes and hoping for the best. It's a meticulous process that, when done correctly, can significantly reduce the stress and complexity of moving. Proper packing is critical for protecting your belongings over long distances, where the risk of damage during transit is higher. The following strategies are designed to help ensure that your items arrive at your new home in the same condition they left.

#1. Start Packing Early

The key to a successful packing process is to start early — ideally, several weeks before the moving date. Early preparation gives you ample time to sort through your belongings, decide what to take with you, and acquire the necessary packing supplies.

When packing for a long-distance move, prioritize packing items that you use less frequently, such as seasonal decorations, books, and non-essential kitchenware. As the moving day approaches, you can then focus on daily use items, ensuring they are packed last and can be easily accessed when you arrive at your new home.

#2. Organize and Label Boxes

The organization is paramount in the packing process. Labeling each box with its contents and the room it belongs to in your new home serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it helps you and the movers know where each box should be placed, saving time and effort during the move-in process. Secondly, it ensures that fragile items are identified and handled with extra care.

To further enhance organization, consider creating a detailed inventory list of what's in each box. This can be particularly helpful for tracking valuable items and can serve as a reference if you need to file an insurance claim in the event of loss or damage.

#3. Use Quality Packing Materials

#3. Use Quality Packing Materials

Invest in high-quality packing materials. Sturdy cardboard boxes, heavy-duty packing tape, bubble wrap, and packing paper are essential for protecting your items. For particularly fragile or valuable items, consider using custom crating solutions or specialty boxes designed for specific items like artwork, electronics, or musical instruments.

Furniture pads and moving blankets are also critical for protecting furniture and large items from scratches, dents, and other damage. Secure drawers and doors on furniture to prevent them from opening during transit, and wrap legs and edges with bubble wrap or furniture pads for extra protection.

Additionally, utilize space-saving packing techniques such as nesting smaller items inside larger ones and using clothing or linens as padding for fragile items. This not only maximizes space but also provides additional cushioning for your belongings.

#4. Separate Your Items

While creating your inventory spreadsheet, add an extra column to indicate whether an item goes with you or the movers. Put all essential documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.) in your car and not in a box on the moving truck. Any family heirlooms, jewelry, or sentimental items should also come with you. In short, if an item can’t be replaced in the unlikely event that an accident or damage occurs, don’t let it go on the truck.

#5. Leave Appliances Behind

Appliances may be expensive, but moving them can often cost more. Not only do they take up a ton of space, but they’re also very heavy. Moving appliances may force you to take on the charge of extra services such as a lift gate, and it may even require you to book a larger truck. If you want to bring appliances, speak with your movers. It may turn out that the cost of transporting your old fridge costs as much as a new fridge.

#6. Prepare an Essential Kit

Last but certainly not least, bring an essential kit on the road with you. Whether you’re moving with family members and friends or flying solo, packing essentials will keep you safe in the rare event of a delay. Like most of the moving tips on this list, an essentials kit should be a part of any move, no matter the distance. But having one on a long-distance move is an absolute must.

4 Tips on How to Choose the Right Moving Company

4 Tips on How to Choose the Right Moving Company

The smartest way to move is to hire a trusted moving company. This allows you to focus on getting all other details set up without having to worry about transporting or storing anything yourself. Check out exactly what items they transport, including antiques and large furniture, as well as dangerous items they may not transport such as weapons, hazardous chemicals, aerosol, or batteries.

Be sure that the company you choose is licensed to move across the country and will properly take care of your belongings. The company should also include insurance, as this is required by law. You’ll want to look at their insurance policies to see how much liability they offer, especially if they’re packing for you as well.

Remember, successful long-distance moves are the result of careful planning, diligent research, and choosing the right moving partners. So, consider Alliance Moving and Storage as your reliable moving assistant

#1. Get Quotes

A quote is the first and most important step of any relationship with a potential moving company. You want to find a company that provides transparent, accurate, and detailed estimates. Companies that provide these kinds of quotes generally stand behind their service and often communicate more frequently with their clients.

#2. Read Reviews and Testimonials

This has become common practice recently, but reading customer reviews can provide a lot of insight into how a moving company operates. Companies that are particularly proud of their reviews and ratings may include testimonials on their site. A good rule of thumb when searching is to look for companies with at least a four-star rating on the largest review sites.

#3. Compare Moving Companies

Because long-distance moves can be so difficult to predict, you need to make sure you hire a company that has the services you need. Companies with a wide range of services are better equipped to stay flexible if anything changes. In particular, keep an eye out for companies that offer storage services, fragile item handling, and custom services.

At Alliance Moving & Storage, we offer all these services and more. We’ll even help you plan your move if needed, and you never have to worry about hidden fees.

#4. Check for Discounts

If you’re hiring a moving company, don’t be afraid to ask for any possible discounts! Most businesses offer military discounts, student discounts, or senior discounts. Don’t fit into any of these categories? There may still be regular discounts or offers that you can take advantage of! Moving is expensive enough on its own, so always ask about any current or upcoming promotions to save as much as you can.

Ready to Move?

Ready to Move?

A long-distance move requires more than just transporting your belongings from point A to point B — it's about carefully planning and executing a move that ensures the safety and security of your possessions while minimizing stress and expenses. By following these detailed packing tips, hiring professional movers, and staying organized, your move can be a seamless transition to your new home.

At Alliance Moving and Storage, we know that every move is unique, so we strive to provide exceptional services regardless of your destination! Located in the Midwest, we offer both local and long-distance moves to support any of your moving or storage needs. It’s our mission to provide affordable and dependable services for a stress-free experience. Contact us to receive a free quote and get your move started!