Are you planning to relocate 400 or more miles away from your current home? Then you’re preparing to embark on a long-distance move, and you should know that these types of relocations can be wildly stressful, expensive, and time intensive. But although some degree of stress is inevitable, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or all-consuming. If you prepare thoroughly (and early!) you’ll make your life a whole lot easier.

Here are six major things you need to do to make sure you’re totally prepared for your long-distance move.

Make Lists (Lots of Lists)

Staying organized is the most important thing you can do to prepare for a long-distance relocation. And the best way to do that is to make plenty of lists. Put them on a notepad, make a spreadsheet — do whatever you need to do to organize your action steps leading up to your move date. What lists should you prepare? Start with these:

●        List the memberships and accounts you need to cancel, transfer, or update.

●        List all the long-distance moving companies you plan to get quotes from.

●        List all the places you’ll need to change your address (subscriptions, insurance, etc.).

●        List all the final appointments for you, family members, pets, etc. in your current location

Can you think of anything else? Make a list for it. It’s also helpful to make a moving timeline checklist, to help you stay on track throughout the months leading up to your relocation.

Make a Budget

Moving long-distance can get expensive quickly, and if you don’t budget, your relocation costs are bound to grow far pricier than you anticipate. Not sure what you might need to include in your relocation costs? Check out our tips on creating a cost-effective moving budget

Take a Household Inventory

When you’ve lived in the same house for years, it’s easy to lose track of all the stuff you’ve accumulated. But there’s a good chance you don’t need all the things you own, and moving them hundreds of miles will only add unnecessary hassle and stress to your move. That’s why taking a household inventory is so important.

Go through your closets, attic, basement, storage units — assess everything and see just how much stuff you really own. Take photos or write down the items to get an idea of what you actually need and use and what you can stand to get rid of. Creating an inventory will help you determine how much packing you’ll need to do and whether you’ll need to ship items to your new home. Perhaps more importantly, that inventory will help you estimate how much it’ll cost to hire a long-distance moving company since the weight of all your goods will factor into the total cost of service.

Get Rid of Anything You Don’t Need

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff you own, now’s the time to lighten the load. While you were taking your household inventory, you no doubt came across several things you don’t need, don’t use, or didn’t even remember you owned. Get rid of all that stuff.

You can donate your belongings, sell them to help offset the cost of your move (if you have the time), or, if they’re in bad condition, just toss them out. Getting rid of things will help reduce the cost of hiring a long-distance moving company, and if you opt for full packing services, the less stuff you own, the cheaper your packing costs will be.

Get Estimates from Long-Distance Moving Companies

Once you know what you plan to move and what you plan to get rid of, it’s time to start gathering estimates from long-distance moving companies. Get at least three estimates (preferably more) and make sure each company you’re considering offers all the services you need.

As you’re weighing your options, keep in mind that the cheapest estimate — especially if it’s a major outlier — may not be your best option even if you’re trying to control costs. When it comes to hiring a long-distance moving company, quality is crucial since the movers will have your belongings for an extended period, sometimes up to a few weeks.

To make sure you hire reputable, high-quality movers, check out our tips on what to look for in a long-distance moving company.

Plan How You’ll Pack (or Hire Out for the Job)

Packing can take weeks, depending on the amount of stuff you own and how much free time you have. That’s why it’s in your best interest to come up with a plan of attack as early as possible. Ideally, you’ll want to start with the items you rarely use, and as your move date gets closer, start packing more of the things you use more frequently.

If you’re strapped for time or feel like packing your house is way too stressful, consider hiring out to get the job done. Many moving companies offer full packing services as an add-on to standard long-distance moves, so be sure to ask about that when you get estimates.

While the service can be a bit pricey depending on what you own, it’s 100% worth it. If you’re on the fence, check out the benefits of opting for full packing and moving services, to determine if it's right for you.

Arrange Alternate Transportation for Non-Allowable Items

Professional long-distance moving companies cannot, by law, transport certain items in the back of the moving truck. Other items, like live plants and certain valuables, are things your movers would prefer not to transport (and may refuse to) given their high risk of damage. All of these items are referred to as non-allowables, and if you need to relocate any of these types of items to your new home, you’ll need to figure out a way to get them there.

Check out the full list of non-allowables, so you can start planning as early as possible. Not sure what type of transportation you should arrange? Browse our tips on moving items your moving company won’t transport.

Need a Long-Distance Moving Company in Minneapolis, MN?

Planning to move out of Minnesota? Let our team at Ace Moving & Warehousing help you out! Since 1958, we’ve specialized in long-distance moving and we’re affiliated with Atlas Van Lines, one of the foremost long-distance moving companies in the United States. Whether you’re looking for full packing services, long-term storage solutions, custom crating, custom move plans, or anything else, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive selection of long-distance moving services.

To get an estimate or learn more about our services, feel free to call us today at 763-755-2045 or request a quick quote online, and we’ll be in touch!