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A long distance moving takes a lot more planning and coordination than your typical local move. After all, you’re uprooting your life and moving it hundreds or even thousands of miles to a destination you may not be all too familiar with. To make your transition go more smoothly, make sure you stay on top of your moving to-dos. Here’s our helpful long distance moving checklist:

2 Months Out

Create a Moving Budget

Think through what you’re willing to spend on the entire moving process before you start looking around for a moving company.

Shop for a Mover

Start shopping for long distance moving companies and narrow down the list to your top 3. Request an in-home estimate from each of these movers so you can compare rates and go with the best one.

Take Care of Housing

If your landlord requires notice, or you need to sell your home before moving, now’s the time to get on it. You’ll also need to start looking for housing in your new hometown.

Start Decluttering

Two months out might seem like a long time, but with all the chaos of moving, it will be here before you know it! To cut down on the expense of moving, start the process of cleaning out your drawers, closet, and attic now, getting rid of all the excess things you no longer need or use.

6 Weeks Out

Order Moving Supplies

Purchase or scrounge up any moving supplies you’ll need. This includes boxes, tape, markers, labels, packing paper, and bubble wrap.

Gather Medical and School Records

Get a copy of your medical records from your doctors and dentist, or if you know which medical professionals you plan to use in your next hometown, have the records transferred. If you have children in school, check on enrollment information and request a transfer of their school records to the new school district.

Update Insurance

If you’re moving out of state, you’ll need to update at least your auto insurance and homeowners/renters’ policy. Call your insurance agent to see what you need to do.

Cancel Memberships

Cancel or transfer your memberships for anything you’re involved with locally.

1 Month Out

Follow-Up with the Moving Company

About a month out from your move, make sure you follow-up with the moving company and confirm the dates for your move.

Start Packing

Get started with your packing! With a month still left before the big day, you won’t want to pack up everything, but you can get a jump start with packing out-of-season and infrequently used items like sporting equipment, serving platters, Christmas decorations, and winter clothing.

Notify Your Utilities

Contact all your utilities providers (phone, internet, water, gas, electric, etc.) and arrange to have your service turned off or transferred immediately after moving day. You’ll also need to set up utilities in your new home prior to moving in.

Make Travel Arrangements

Now that you have a moving date set, think through how you personally will get to your new home. Are you driving the family car? Map out your road trip, making sure you account for overnight stops. If you’re flying, make sure the whole family has airline tickets.

Two Weeks Out

File Change of Address

File a change of address form online with the U.S. Postal Service. If you do this far enough in advance, you can select the date to stop delivering mail to your current address.

Plan for Kids and Pets

If you have children or pets, make arrangements for friends or family to watch them on moving day. Having fewer distractions will enable the moving company to get the truck loaded more quickly, and not having extra bodies underfoot will be safer for everyone.

1 Week Out

Eat Your Perishables

Now that you’re just a week away from moving day, make plans to finish eating any perishable food left in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. You should not attempt to pack any perishables, so toss out or donate anything you don’t finish.

Finish Packing

At this point, just about everything should be in a box except the things that you need to get through the week. Make sure you’ve finished packing in plenty of time before the movers arrive.

Pack an Essentials Box

Make sure you pack a couple of essentials boxes or bags that will stay with you for the duration of the move. An essentials box should include items like changes of clothing, medications, toiletries, basic cookware, chargers, electronics, linens, blow-up mattresses, etc. Since it could take up to 3-4 weeks for your belongings to arrive, make sure you think through everything you’ll need during the transition.

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