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