My husband and I completed our third long distance move just a few months ago.
Here are the top tips for long distance moves.
The Top 7 Long Distance Moving Tips and Long Distance Packing Tips
#1. Get rid of as much stuff as you can..and then get rid of some more
We made a huge mistake in our second move in that we didn’t get rid of enough stuff before packing the moving truck.
We moved to a more expensive area and had to downsize.
Our stuff no longer fit in our new place and it was super stressful.
We ended up selling thousands of dollars worth of stuff on Craigslist.
The crazy thing is that we *thought* that we had got rid of enough stuff before we moved.
We just didn’t realize how the little things added up like closets full of towels, clothes, and random odds and ends.
When we moved more recently, we got rid of 90 percent of our stuff before the move.
It hurt to sell or giveaway perfectly good things but it made the move so much less stressful.
We also were able to rent a small pod this time instead of an expensive moving truck.
#2. Stay in an Airbnb until you find a neighborhood you like
We learned this tip from our friends who had moved recently and tried it out with this move.
Staying in an Airbnb gave us time to try out a neighborhood to see if we liked it, before committing.
We weren’t stressed because we knew that we could always book another Airbnb if we didn’t find anything within the two weeks.
It was also much cheaper than a hotel because we were able to negotiate a rate with the hosts.
We messaged the hosts before booking to ask if they would consider a deal if we stayed two weeks.
They happily obliged and it was a positive experience.
I actually prefer Airbnbs over hotels because most Airbnbs have kitchens. It feels more like home, which is good when you’re adjusting to a new place.
If you haven’t tried out Airbnb, here is a $40 credit off your first trip.
#3. Give yourself time between jobs
I gave myself two weeks off between jobs and it was the best thing I could have done.
It made the long distance move so much less stressful to have that time to move and get settled in the new place.
Often times new jobs pressure you to start ASAP and it can seem uncomfortable to ask for time off between jobs.
They may even offer you relocation services that help you speed things along.
It’s so worth it though to ask for that time!
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#4. Replace your items in a cost-effective way
Selling tons of stuff on Craigslist before I moved made me realize that I could buy stuff on Craigslist when I got to my new area.
There are so many people who are in the same bind to get rid of stuff quickly because of a move, that you can get amazing deals on good quality stuff.
I know that I sold things for hundreds of dollars less than I paid for them because I needed to sell ASAP before the move. There are people doing the exact same thing in the new city.
Before you pay to move an item, consider buying it in the new area off Craigslist.
There is also Amazon too, which is a cheaper alternative than furniture stores.
We actually sold our bed frame and mattress before we moved (so that we didn’t have to pay for a huge moving truck) and we bought a mattress and bed frame off Amazon when we got here.
All in all, we bought the new mattress and bed frame for about the same amount we sold ours for.
This is what we bought:
Zinus Upholstered Diamond Stitched Platform Bed with Wooden Slat Support, Queen
Signature Sleep 12 Inch Memory Foam Mattress, Queen
I was hesitant to buy a mattress on Amazon but I remember reading about another blogger doing it. With all the reviews and pictures on the product, I felt really comfortable making the purchase.
I have no complaints about the mattress right now. We love it!
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#5. Sign up for Amazon Prime
We Amazon Prime’d a bunch of stuff when we got to our new location which was a lifesaver.
If you don’t have Amazon Prime, sign up for the free trial before the move.
It’s super helpful for quickly shipping the little things you forgot (or had to throw away).
Amazon Prime is best known for two-day shipping but there are media streaming and music benefits to having it too.
I also use Prime Now quite often which sends you your product within hours versus days.
Here is the Amazon Prime Free Trial link:
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
#6. Take the lump sum relocation package offering and save the whole thing
If you’re offered a relocation package through your new employer, I recommend you take the lump sum and save the entire thing.
Moving is stressful and payback clauses that are common with relocation agreements only add to that stress.
You could end up owing the relocation money should you decide you want to move back to your previous location or leave the company (common things that happen to people, like me).
One argument you hear to not take the lump sum is that the move will “cost more” and in that case, the full-service offering makes more sense.
If you get rid of 90 percent of your stuff, stay in an Airbnb instead of corporate paid temporary housing, and be economical about how you move the stuff you are bringing, your move will be less expensive and likely fit within the lump sum payment.
It may even result in you having leftover money from the lump sum payment at the end of the move.
Even if you have leftover money, I still recommend you save the entire payment in a separate savings account, just in case.
You were likely taxed on this money and may even have to add some of your own money to make the amount in your savings whole (and reflective of the amount you would have to pay if you broke the relocation contract).
Read your relocation agreement to be sure.
#7. Consider a road trip
If you have time off between the move and the distance is do-able, consider taking a road trip.
Some of my fondest memories are from the road trips that my husband and I took between moves.
We went to National Parks, explored parts of the country we had never seen before, and basically enjoyed each others company.
Exploring together made the long-distance move less stressful and actually a positive experience.
The Best Long Distance Moving Tip for Cross Country Moves
To summarize all of this – take less stuff with you!
Is A Stress-Free Cross Country Move Possible?
What are your best long distance moving tips? Have you ever completed a long distance cross country move?
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Sarah Li Cain says
Yeah, I regret not selling off more of my sons toys he never plays with anymore! I bought a memory foam mattress off Amazon too, best purchase ever!
Theodore Winston says
We are moving to Ohio next week and I wanted to make sure that there is nothing that we missed doing before our move. I agree that for most of your stuff, it would be good to just sell them and find a replacement once you move. This reduces the stress of having to pack and unpack. If it can’t be helped, I would recommend having the fragile items be placed in the corners of the moving van/truck, with enough support, to avoid them getting squished, displaced, or damaged. Thanks for these great tips!
That’s awesome…Thanks for the Amazon trial! I think this is an incredible tip because I threw out all my small little kitchen items after I moved and was asking myself why I even packed them for the move to our new house…Then I went out and bought new stuff anyway! CRAZY 🙂