How to Prepare for Your Long-Distance Move


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Planning any move can be overwhelming, but planning a long-distance move comes with a few extra steps along the way. From packing and planning to making travel arrangements and planning for the arrival of your shipment, we’re offering up a few tips to help you tackle the task of preparing for your long distance move.

Our team at ADSI Moving Systems offers full-service relocations for both local and long distance moves.. These services include pre-move planning, packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, and much more! Here are tips for planning and preparing for a long-distance move. 

Plan Your Move

Create a plan to manage the time you have before your move as efficiently as possible. Customize a moving checklist to keep track of tasks in the preparation stage. Use a calendar to keep track of personalized moving tasks. Prioritize moving tasks that have a deadline, first. 

Moving Estimates

Request multiple in-home moving estimates from top-rated long distance movers, like ADSI Moving Systems. Be sure to show the moving experts any large or unusual items you have for moving and have them calculate the moving price precisely, in writing. Do your due diligence and check online reviews.

ADSI Moving Systems offers both in-home and virtual estimates. Learn more about our virtual survey options here.

Inventory your home and sort your items

ADSI offers a full relocation package that includes packing. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for the packers:

Know exactly what you are moving by creating an inventory list of the household items that are moving to your new home.

Pro Tip: Try the United App!
The United Van Lines mobile app offers many features including creating a home inventory, organizing your home, and tracking the status of your move! Download it from the App Store today.

Take it or Leave it

Depending on how far your move is, consider the costs of not taking any furniture with you. It may be more cost-efficient than moving everything.

Items can be categorized as move, sell, donate, and recycle. Remove all unwanted items (items considered sell, donate, or recycle) before the packers come to your house. A tip on deciding what items to keep is by using the 1-year rule: if you haven’t used an item for more than 12 months, then you may not need it.


Be ready for your long-distance move. Be sure to be home at the time and date your movers are scheduled to arrive. Show the movers around your home and inform them of any specific instructions, then let them do the job they are trained for. You can provide refreshments, snacks, and access to a bathroom to your packers.

First Night and Open First Boxes

Pack a few boxes with supplies and necessities to help you survive the first hours or days in your new home. Make sure to label these boxes clearly and keep it separated from the other boxes. 

Necessity Boxes:

The boxes of things you will need during the move or immediately after arriving at your new home should travel with you. If necessary pack a family necessity box and a box for each family member. Here are some suggested items to pack, remember each family is different so be sure to customize your own packing list. 

  • Hygiene items 
  • Bathroom essentials
  • Plastic utensils and plates, snacks, and drinks
  • Medications
  • First aid kit
  • Basic tools 
  • Pet items (if traveling with pets)
  • Games
  • Personal documents
  • Electronics
  • Extra clothes

Open First Boxes:

Boxes packed of the most important supplies for each room should be marked and packed last to ensure they are the first off the moving truck. These boxes should allow you to survive several days and nights in your new home, even if you haven’t finished unpacking. Everyone’s essentials are different so be sure to pack things your family will need. Here are some suggestions to get you started on your own list:

  • Food and Kitchen supplies (snacks and drinks, easy to prepare meals, small frying pan, utensils)
  • Bedtime supplies (linens, nightwear, lamp or nightlight, an air mattress if your furniture is not accessible)
  • Bathroom Supplies (toilet paper, hand soap, shower curtain)
  • Supplies for Kids and Pets (special toys or items, change of clothes, pet food, water, treats and bowls)
  • Cleaning supplies (paper towels, rags, wipes, cleaners, basic tools, trash bags)
  • Other supplies (electronic chargers, light bulbs, flashlight, extension cords/power strips, cash, important phone numbers and addresses)

Prepare your Pets

Before moving, take your pet to a veterinary office for a full checkup to ensure your pet is ready for the journey. If possible, move your pets with you in your own car or take them on your flight. If neither of these are possible, consider hiring a pet transportation company to move your pet for you. If choosing a pet transportation company, be sure the company is licensed by the U.S Department of Agriculture, and your animal is properly insured. 

Make Travel Arrangements for you Long-Distance Move

If your long-distance move requires several hours of travel, be sure to make travel arrangements, as needed, mapping out spots to stop, eat, and stretch along the way.

If your move will require a multi-day road trip, be sure to book accommodations along the way and pack accordingly, remember, most of your items will be on the moving truck so you’ll need to keep all your necessities on hand.

Change your home utilities

Make sure your new home is all prepped and ready for your arrival and the arrival of your moving crew.. Have your utility accounts transferred or established at  your new home including electricity, water and sewage, gas, internet, and cable TV..

Pro Tip:
Have crucial utilities setup before moving day, and schedule other installs AFTER moving day. It’s best to keep moving day about moving day. 

Change your postal address

Start the change of address process with the United States Postal Service (USPS) about 2 weeks before your scheduled moving day. Changing your address can be done online, in person, or by mail, whichever is more convenient to you. 

Personal Records

Remember to obtain any records before your move that may be needed in your new location. This can include medical records for a new family physician or school records to get your children registered at a new school. 

Say goodbye to your friends

Long-distance moves can often be rather difficult, even after all the moving day activities are over. The hardest part may be leaving friends and a community behind. Be sure to inform your friends of your move early to give them enough time to process the news. Consider organizing a goodbye party for you and your closest friends. Make sure to take care of your family’s emotional health during your move by focusing on the positive aspects and all the new things waiting in your new home.

Ready to Get Moving?

For over 50 years ADSI Moving Systems has been providing customer focused, quality driven long distance relocations for families moving to and from the Augusta, Georgia area. Backed by the United Van Lines network of relocation partners, our team can help you get moving wether you’re relocating across the state, across the country, or around the world.

Contact us today to schedule your in-home moving estimate.

GET A FREE MOVING TIMELINE GUIDE Get your guide today and start developing your moving timeline.