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Long Distance Moving Companies Checklist

Checklist for a Long Distance Move


Most often, the weeks leading up to moving day involve long days and late nights. You’re busy trying as best as you can to get everything and everyone prepared for the move while also handling your already busy everyday work and life schedule. At this rate, by the time moving day arrives, you’ll need a whole pot of coffee just to get you out of bed!


But don’t fret just yet. We at Atlas Van Lines (Canada) Ltd. are here to help! There are several ways you can alleviate much of that last-minute stress so that come moving day, you can focus only on the important things. Below you will find what to expect for your move and several preparation and organization tips and tricks to help your entire move go as smoothly as possible. 


What can I expect for my long-distance move?


When someone first starts thinking about moving, they often envision themselves packing up and doing a long-distance, cross-country move. But soon after, the overwhelming thoughts of what this would entail may start to creep in, and, suddenly, moving to a new province or across the country seems daunting and maybe even intimidating. 


So before those anxious thoughts begin to worm their way forward, when you choose Atlas Canada as your moving company, here’s everything you can expect from us for your long-distance move.


Survey and Estimate

  • Before the big day, one of our professional moving consultants will meet with you to go over any concerns you may have and to explain how our Quality Assurance Certificate protects you.
  • They prepare an in-home estimate by doing an item-by-item survey of your belongings to create a pricing estimate and moving plan for you. 
  • The consultant will present you with the estimate and answer any concerns or questions you may have about it. At Atlas Canada, we want to make sure you can make an informed decision when choosing your moving company.
  • You will also receive a transit time guide that includes the estimated pick-up and delivery date for your belongings. 


If you decide to make Atlas Canada your designated moving company, your moving consultant will return for a follow-up appointment to go through our Quality Assurance Certificate with you. You will also receive your moving details, the transit time guide, and payment details in writing.




  • Our trained packing professionals at Atlas Canada will ensure that all your items arrive at your new home safely.
  • If you decide to pack yourself, give yourself plenty of time. We have plenty of packing tips for you if you don’t know where to start to help you use your time efficiently. 
  • Atlas Canada can provide you with durable packing materials at a reasonable cost. 


Moving Day


  • You will meet with one of Atlas Canada’s professional van operators. They and their crew will safely and carefully load your belongings onto the moving truck. 
  • Our professional movers know how to pivot, maneuver, wrap, drape and protect every item, as well as your walls, floors, stairs, handrails and doorways. Floors will be protected with runners to avoid marks or dents, and your furniture with quilted moving pads to prevent damage. If you have any light-coloured furniture, it will be wrapped in clear plastic first to prevent any marks or stains. 




  • Your moving truck is weighed at a government-inspected weigh station once it’s loaded to guarantee an accurate weight. The weight of the truck itself is removed from the final weight to give us an accurate shipment weight. This will be used to figure out your final shipment charges.
  • At Atlas Canada, we guarantee that, as long as items were not added to your shipment after we did the in-home survey, the estimated weight your professional moving consultant gave you won’t exceed 10%.
  • Your belongings will be protected in a specially equipped air-ride Atlas Truck throughout the long-distance move. 
  • Your moving consultant will make sure that all necessary paperwork is ready to go if you will be crossing the border. 
  • Atlas Canada also offers two levels of transit protection plans:
    • Full Protection: valued at $10 multiplied by the weight of your truck in pounds (lbs).
    • Basic Protection: valued at $0.60 per pound.


Delivery and Unpacking


  • You’ll be contacted by your professional van operator at least 24 hours before delivery.
  • Upon arrival at your new home, our movers will place your furniture and your packed boxes with extreme care in your designated rooms/locations, including the kitchen, bedrooms, basement and garage. Our movers will also reassemble beds and unroll carpets. 
  • If your moving crew packs any boxes for you, they will also unpack them and remove any unpacking materials and debris when they leave. 


After Moving Day


  • You will receive a follow-up from your professional moving consultant. We want to ensure that you are satisfied with your move and settling in well. You will also receive our quality questionnaire.


At Atlas Canada, we aim for exceptional service throughout the entire moving process. 


Is there anything I should not move long distance?

You may be surprised to learn that there are items that you cannot or should not take with you on your long-distance journey. Here is a comprehensive long-distance moving checklist of items that moving companies will not move:


  • Hazardous materials: movers are not licensed to carry dangerous goods on the moving van as they can explode and cause damage to your shipment. These include dangerous or flammable items such as:
    • lighter fluid
    • paint
    • oily rags
    • matches
    • charcoal
    • pool chemicals
    • bleach
    • oven cleaner 
    • ammunition 


  • Perishable items: moving trucks are not equipped with refrigeration units, so foods will spoil quickly and risk causing damage due to mould, fungus and condensation. Plus, spoiled food leaves a terrible odour. Plan to use up or give away the following items before moving:
    • meats
    • produce
    • dairy products
    • frozen foods 
    • any opened containers 


  • Plants: plants do not travel well, especially long distances. If you are bringing your plants, plan to have them with you and not on the truck. You’ll be able to tend to them better. 


Do I need a home inventory checklist?


When moving, whether locally or long-distance, something everyone should consider is putting together a room-by-room checklist of everything you are bringing with you. While this process may seem tedious, here are some of the reasons why having a checklist for your long-distance move will help:


  • It gives you a better idea of what you have and what you can dispose of or donate.
  • You can determine how many packing supplies you will need.
  • You can organize your belongings easier when packing.
  • Helps you get a better estimate of what kind of insurance you will need because your checklist will allow you to estimate the value of your possessions.
  • It helps you keep track of everything to ensure nothing is misplaced during your move.


Creating a long-distance moving inventory checklist in 4 easy steps

Putting together a checklist may seem like a lot of work, but it is fairly easy. To help you get started, here is our step-by-step guide to assembling your checklist:


Step 1


Either on a piece of paper, on your phone or on a computer, create a three-columned list. You will want to label each column with the name of the item, the condition it’s in and its estimated value. You will need one of these lists for each room.


Step 2


Pick a room in your home and inventory every item. Make sure you include each time on shelves, anything hanging on a wall, your decor and any knickknacks. For example, if you have a bookshelf, make sure you list every book and trinket on each shelf. Don’t forget to note its condition and estimated value!


Step 3


As you write down each item, make sure to note if it will be going into the same room at your new house or if it will be relocated to a different room. Either you can include a fourth column for this, or you can just make a little note beside only the items that will be moved to a new room.


Step 4


A great way to inventory everything is by taking photos or videos of the room before you begin packing. If you made a physical list, print out any photos and attach them to each list for that room. When taking a video, make sure you update the title of the video to include the name of the room. Store them safely on either a USB or in the cloud. 


You can also find several great apps in the app store that are perfect to use when you create an inventory of your home. 


Long-Distancing Moving Checklist


Moving is generally a chaotic process for everyone involved. One secret to staying on top of everything is to use a moving checklist. Below you will find our handy moving checklist that you can print out and keep on hand to help you remember everything you need to get done. 


Documents to Collect and Update


  • Moving documents
  • Home and auto insurance policies
  • Mailing address
  • Bank accounts
  • School records
  • Medical records
  • Passport and Government ID cards


Discontinue and Transfer Services


  • Internet, cable and phone
  • Water
  • Gas/Electricity


Prepare for Your Trip


  • Pack sufficient clothing to wear before your shipment arrives
  • Refill medication and prescriptions
  • Plane tickets/directions
  • Credit cards/money
  • Duplicate keys
  • Toys/games for children
  • Blankets/pillows




Never transport jewelry, money or other valuables in the moving van. Plan to have these with you.


Don’t Forget to Pick Up:


  • Clothing at cleaners
  • Tools or items loaned to family, friends and neighbours
  • Items out for repair


Don’t Forget to Move:


  • Outdoor toys and accessories
  • Outdoor planters, pots and garden hoses
  • Dismantle/remove items attached to the walls


Don’t Forget to Leave:


  • Keys to the house – collect from neighbours, family, and house cleaner
  • Mailbox key(s)
  • Garage door code and portable opener
  • File with warranties, instruction books and receipts for new owners


Don’t Forget to Transfer:


  • Bank records
  • House/car insurance
  • Medical, optometrist and dental records
  • School records
  • Discontinue and transfer utilities, cable, internet, telephone and delivery services


Are labels on boxes really necessary?


There’s nothing worse than arriving at your new home, realizing you need something and having no idea what box it’s in. When all of your boxes are identical, it can be impossible to find anything you need in a timely manner. Therefore, labelling your boxes is the best way to prevent causing yourself unnecessary stress after you move. 


In addition to making finding things easier, having labels on your boxes will help movers know what rooms to put your boxes in, which will make unpacking easier for you as well. Here are some tips for labelling boxes:


Colour code each room


This method will help you sort boxes by room by using either a coloured marker or coloured tape. For example, all boxes for the kitchen can be labelled in green, while boxes for the living room may be labelled in pink. This will also make unloading easier for the movers. 


Add numbers


When labelling each room, another method you can include is adding numbers to each box (i.e., kitchen – 8). This can help you and the movers keep track of how many boxes each room will have, and when you’re doing your walkthrough, you will be able to quickly scan the boxes to make sure each one is there. 


List the contents


You will want to write down everything that is packed inside each box. This will allow you to scan their contents quickly when you are looking for something specific later on or even help you decide which boxes to unpack first. There are three ways you can go about this:


  • Write on the outside of the box using a permanent marker. 
  • Create a Google doc or spreadsheet and list the contents of each box there. 
  • Use an app to track the contents of each box. These often work by using barcodes that you add to the outside of your box, scanning the barcodes, and then speaking the contents of each box into the app. 


No matter which way you decide to track the contents of your boxes, make sure you label all sides of the box with the colour code, room and box number. This will allow movers to quickly see where the box goes and help you quickly scan them during inventory later. 


Should I create a schedule in advance?


You should absolutely create a schedule in advance, as preparing to move can become an overwhelming and chaotic experience. Creating a schedule can help you remain on task and ensure you don’t forget anything you need to do. 


If you’re not sure where to start, below, you will find our personal long-distance guide to help you stay on schedule.


8 Weeks Before Moving Day


  1. Find a moving company: start researching long-distance moving companies so that you won’t feel rushed to decide on one too quickly. Get multiple in-home estimates to determine what company will work best for you.
  2. Decide how you’ll get there: are you driving or flying to your new home? If flying, book your plane tickets now and research thoroughly to determine who you will use to ship your vehicle.
  3. Plan ahead for moving expenses: whether you’re moving yourself or using a moving company, the act of moving in itself is not cheap. In addition to the moving truck (and shipping your vehicle, if you’re going that route), plan ahead to have extra money put aside for things like hotels, dining, gas, packing supplies, and any unexpected expenses.


4 Weeks Before Moving Day


  1. Organize and declutter: sort through your whole house, including the attic, garage and storage shed. Toss what you don’t plan to use at your new house or donate it to charity. 
  2. Take inventory of your entire home: Now that you’ve reduced the amount of stuff you will be moving with you, take inventory of everything you own. Refer above for the inventory checklist to find four easy steps to help you make your list.
  3. Get your In-home estimate: Request an in-home estimate of your moving charges from your moving company agent. After downsizing, the agent can provide you with a more accurate estimate.
  4. Transfer records: start transferring records (e.g., school, medical, insurance, etc.), as these things can take a while. 
  5. Schedule the essentials: sometimes, when scheduling connection dates, you’re looking at a few weeks out. So if you call to schedule the gas/electricity, water, phone, internet, and cable now, they will be set up and ready to go when you arrive.
  6. Forward your mail: Sign up for the mail forwarding service with Canada Post so that you don’t miss anything. This is especially important for long-distance moving.
  7. Appliance Servicing: You’ll need to prepare your appliances for moving, such as your washer and dryer, so book a reliable service firm to prepare them. Also, make sure you inform your moving company agent of special items you own, such as grandfather clocks or pianos, as these will need special attention.


3 Weeks Before Moving Day


  1. Start packing: people often underestimate the time and effort it takes to pack up an entire house, so give yourself plenty of time. Check out our helpful packing tips if you don’t know where to start. 
  2. Make arrangements for young children and pets: if you have pets, make transportation arrangements. Don’t forget to get your pet’s health records from your veterinarian. Also, arrange for care of any young children or pets with a friend or grandparent on packing, loading and delivery days.
  3. Use up frozen foods and staples: plan to use up any frozen foods as it is not recommended to transport them long distances. Also, by using up pantry items, you will have less to pack. Until moving day, consider only purchasing what you will eat before moving.
  4. Dispose of flammable products: Movers are not licensed to carry dangerous goods on the moving van, so you must dispose of any flammables. 


2 Weeks Before Moving Day


  1. Create a floor plan: designate where your furniture will go in your new home. This will make unloading more efficient as your movers will know exactly where to place everything. 
  2. Have your vehicle serviced: if you’re planning on driving, get your vehicle fully serviced to prepare for travel.
  3. Disconnection date: schedule the disconnection of your utilities, cable, and internet. Also, don’t forget to stop or reroute any delivery services.
  4. Return borrowed items: return borrowed items you come across while packing. Also, gather anything you’ve loaned out to family and friends. Pick up any dry cleaning or items out for repair.


1 Week Before Moving Day


  1. Final preparation time: finish packing your essentials and suitcases. Carry any valuable documents, currency and jewellery with you — never put these on the moving truck.
  2. Clean your refrigerator and freezer: clean them 24-48 hours before moving day to allow enough time for them to dry if you plan to take them with you. Leave any lids and doors open to help them dry.
  3. Clear your walls and ceilings: packers and movers don’t remove items such as curtain rods, drapery tracks, and blinds, so make sure you remove anything you have attached to the walls and ceilings. 
  4. Outdoor prep: drain water from garden hoses and empty out any oil/fuel from lawnmowers and other machinery. Gather up any outdoor toys and put them somewhere they can dry before loading them onto the truck. 
  5. Double-check important items: run through your list of your important papers, keys, medications, and plane tickets to make sure you have everything. 


Moving Day


  1. Be helpful but not in the way: try to keep your house organized and accessible to make things go more smoothly. Let movers know what items are breakable and what is and isn’t moving. 
  2. Don’t leave early: plan to stay until the moving van has left so that you can: 
  1. Tour the house with the van operator during inventory.
  2. Sign the Bill of Lading.
  3. Confirm they have the correct new address, delivery date and contact numbers.
  4. Do a final walkthrough of the house.
  5. Double check that windows and doors are locked, utilities are discontinued or turned off, keys are transferred, and lights are out.
  1. But do plan to arrive early: you’ll want to reach your new place a day before the moving van. This way, you can confirm utilities are on and that your floor plan is correct. 
  2. Verify inventory: check your inventory list to make sure all of your belongings are unloaded and accounted for. 
  3. Appliance installation: in case the moving truck was delayed, you should wait to schedule this. But once your belongings are unloaded, arrange to have your appliances installed.


Final moving day tips to help things go more smoothly


  • If you don’t want to spend money while travelling, pack meals and snacks for moving day, while on the road, and even for the first day in your new home. The last thing you want to do during all that chaos is cook — that is, if you can even locate your boxes of food or dishes.
  • Ensure that the last box you pack is the first box you open. It should be full of items to help you clean and unpack, such as:
    • scissors
    • a box cutter
    • an extra charging cable for your phone/tablet
    • wipes
    • hand and paper towels
    • plastic cups
    • sponges
    • shower curtain
  • Lastly, put together a list of anything you want to be done immediately. This list will help you to remember what should be done first so that you’re not scrambling to do something at two in the morning, such as:
    • Setting up an area for young kids/pets.
    • Putting together your bed so that you have a place to sleep.
    • Setting up the bathroom so you can take a shower.

Long Distance Furniture Moving Companies

When preparing for a long-distance move, if you haven’t uttered the phrase “contingency plan” on more than one occasion, are you really as prepared as you think? When moving, one of your top priorities should be to protect your furniture from getting damaged. In order to make sure it arrives safely, you need to put special care into packing it to safeguard it from being jostled around during your long-distance move. 


We know that for many, just the thought of moving long-distance can be stressful enough as it is, but once you take into account moving your large items like furniture, it can take your stress levels to a whole new height. So, first, let’s take a deep breath. Because with some pre-planning and preparation, the correct equipment and the right mindset, moving large furniture can go just as smoothly as the rest. Here’s what you need to know about how to move your furniture long-distance and when it may be time to bring in the professionals.


How is furniture moved for long-distance trips?


There are several ways you can look into transporting your furniture when making a big long-distance move. It can seem like a daunting task, but with so many options out there, you can easily find the best option that works for you. 


  • Rent a truck — first and foremost, you can disassemble your furniture, load it up onto a rented truck and drive across the country to your new home.
  • Portable moving container — when you rent a portable moving container, you load it up, and the company transports it to your new home for you. 
  • By train — an efficient and eco-friendly way to transport your belongings to your new home. Transporting your furniture, or all of your possessions, by train can sometimes be the cheapest method.
  • By plane — this method will cost you more than transporting your furniture by train, but you will receive your belongings quicker.
  • By sea — if you are moving internationally, you can ship your furniture by sea freight. This would be cheaper than by plane, but it will take much longer. 
  • Furniture delivery companies — some furniture delivery companies offer services that pick up and drop off large furniture items.  
  • Moving companies
    • Full-service movers: perfect for when you have a significant amount of big furniture to move.
    • Freight shipping company: ideal for when you have delicate or expensive furniture that needs to be handled with extreme care.


There are so many different options for moving furniture long distances, each one coming with its own pros, cons and costs. The best way for you to decide which method will work best for you is to research several moving companies with a wide range of services to help you decide. 


How can I ensure a perfect long-distance move?



While it’s almost impossible to plan a perfect move without hitting a few hiccups along the way, here are some long-distance moving tips and tricks to help make your move go more smoothly.


Get lots of packing supplies


This is definitely a case of having too much being better than not having enough. You will want to ensure you have everything you need whenever you are ready to begin packing up your belongings. Nothing is more frustrating than finding your packing rhythm, only to have to break out of it to pick up more packing tape, boxes or bubble wrap.


Disassemble your furniture


The best way to reduce the risk of damaging your furniture while moving is to disassemble it and wrap it up. This will prevent scratches and dents as well as make it easier to carry! When your furniture is neatly wrapped up in pieces instead of one large item, tackling things like long-distance walks from the van to the house or stairs and narrow hallways becomes significantly easier. Don’t forget to put the nuts and bolts for each furniture piece in a ziplock back and tape it to the furniture so you can easily reassemble it later. 


Start packing as early as possible


People often underestimate the time and effort it takes to pack up an entire house, so give yourself plenty of time. This is not a time to rely on last-minute deadlines to pull you through. Doing so will lead you to toss items into unmarked boxes or bags hastily, making it almost impossible to find anything in your new home. We have plenty of packing tips for you if you don’t know where to start to help you use your time efficiently.


Don’t make your boxes too heavy

We cannot stress this enough — do not overpack your boxes with heavy items. Yes, book lovers, we’re looking at you! It may seem like having fewer boxes would make moving go faster, but having to carry several heavy boxes will tire you out quickly. Also, you and your helpers are more likely to injure yourselves if you are not safely picking them up and placing them down. 


One way to avoid this is by packing a mixture of different items in each box instead of packing it full of all one thing. Using the example above, try doing one row of books instead of filling a whole box and then adding a throw pill or bed sheets on top.


Use lots of padding


In order to ensure as much as possible that your items don’t get damaged while moving, make sure you pack your boxes as snugly as possible. Use lots of bubble wrap and newspaper, or even t-shirts and socks, to restrict the amount of movement within each box to make sure your belongings survive the bumpy, long-distance trip.


Do I need insurance for my furniture?


Moving insurance is what it sounds like — it’s insurance to cover any losses or damage to your belongings while moving since your items are at a higher than normal risk of damage or theft. Accidents happen. We all know this. In these cases, it’s a good idea to have moving insurance. Most homeowner insurance policies do not include coverage for damaged or lost items from a move. Therefore, moving insurance is certainly worth taking a look at when you think about how many potential problems your possessions could be exposed to.


How do I move large furniture?


When moving large furniture, make sure you have lots of bungee cords, blankets, and bubble and plastic wrap. Compacting it as much as possible is key to ensuring furniture is secure for travel. You want to fill up any negative space in between each item to guarantee it doesn’t bounce around or fall on your long-distance journey. Make it as dense as possible. Use blankets, pillows, bed sheets, small boxes and whatever else you can to fill those gaps!


Here are some great tips for moving large furniture:


Mattresses and bed frames


Get a plastic mattress slip to keep both your mattress and box spring safe. Disassemble your bedframe and store it between the mattress and box spring on the truck. This will help protect it. Also, as mattresses are sold and can absorb impact well, a great trick is to load your mattress onto the truck last to use it as a protective barrier to prevent your belongings from falling against the truck door. 




Remove any cushions and wrap the couch with plastic wrap. Pack it into a corner and stand it on end, if you can. If there’s anything you can anchor it to with bungee cords, this will help ensure it doesn’t topple over. Use the couch cushions to fill in any gaps around the truck as you pack it.




First, remove the drawers. This will make the dresser significantly lighter when lifting and carrying it. Use blankets or bubble wrap on the corners of the dressers to prevent them from being damaged or causing any. Once the dresser is on the truck, cover the top of it with blankets so that you can stack other items on top without leaving any scratches or scuff marks. You can also leave your clothes inside the drawers when packing them onto the truck, but you may want to wrap them with plastic to prevent your clothes from falling out or getting dirty.




If you can, remove or collapse the table legs. If the legs are removable, wrap them separately, and wrap any chairs as well. Stacking them will help use less space, and adding bungee cords will keep everything from moving around. 




Mark a large X across the face of your mirror with masking tape. You have likely seen this done on TV, and it does, in fact, help. The tape helps minimize the effects of the constant vibrations your mirrors or any glass surfaces will experience while moving, making them less likely to break. You can also purchase moving boxes that are designed specifically for mirrors. 


Specialty items


Items such as a piano and a grandfather clock can be challenging to move. If mishandled, you risk damaging them very easily. We highly recommend hiring professionals to move delicate and expensive items such as these, or at least someone who can prepare them properly for you before attempting to move them yourself.


Don’t forget 


Make sure you plan ahead before you move your furniture across the province or country. The last thing you want is to arrive at your new home and find out that the furniture you spent all that time carefully disassembling and packing does not fit in your new home! Measure everything and create a new home floor plan so you know where everything will go and whether it will fit. 


What is the most cost-effective way to move furniture long distances?


There is nothing cheaper than moving your furniture yourself. However, keep in mind that time is money. So one thing you may want to do is take some time to sit down and determine how much you feel your time is worth. After making a schedule and figuring out everything you need to do for your move, if you decide it’s worth it to spend a little money to save you some time, you have got a few lower-cost options.


Renting a truck


This is definitely one of the cheapest options. Renting a truck and driving it yourself will save you a significant amount of money than hiring movers to do it for you. Plus, you can move around your schedule rather than theirs.


Renting a portable moving container


If you are willing to spend a little extra in order not to have to drive the truck yourself, one option is to rent a portable moving container. With a portable container, you just load up your items inside of it and let the company transport the container to its new location for you. Then when it arrives, you can unload it at your leisure. You can also easily store your container on your driveway or in a secure facility if needed to allow you more time to unload it. 


Moving via the Railway


Another cost-effective option is to move your belongings by train. You can virtually move anything on a train, and it’s an efficient and eco-friendly way to transport your belongings while helping you save. 


When is it time to hire a professional long-distance moving company?


You may want to consider hiring a moving company if you have many large and expensive furniture items (i.e., a piano and grandfather clock). While this is certainly the more expensive route, it can save you a lot of time and energy. 


Here are five reasons why you should consider hiring a moving company:


No heavy lifting or injury


Professional movers, trained to move hefty objects safely, will do all the lifting for you while avoiding injury. Therefore, there will be no risk of you or your helpers accidentally injuring themselves. 


Stairs or accessibility concerns


Moving can be physically draining or demanding when your home is a long distance from the road or has many stairs. Hiring professional movers will ensure that your items get transported safely. 


Some items need special care


As mentioned above, moving items like a piano or grandfather clock can be risky. Moving companies have movers trained to transport specialty items and will help ensure they arrive at your new home safely.


It’s time-saving


When you are planning to move, there is never enough time in the day to get everything you need to get done. You still need time to organize, pack, load, transport and unload your belongings on top of your already busy schedules. Hiring professional movers will save you time, as they will do most of the work for you. 


They’re professionals at what they do


Utilizing professional movers with years of experience, you can be confident they know how to pivot, maneuver, wrap, drape and protect every item, as well as your walls, floors, stairs, handrails and doorways. Experienced movers know the safest ways to pack your belongings onto the truck properly. They know how to secure your possessions to prevent them from moving around or breaking during the move, as items are guaranteed to get jostled on a long-distance trip. 


At Atlas Canada, our experienced long-distance movers have assisted Canadians for almost six decades with moving not just across the country but all over the world. Whether you are moving across the province or the country, with more than 100 movers in every Canadian province and territory, you can rest assured that you put your trust in one of the most established and reputable van lines in Canada. We are ready to ensure you and your belongings arrive safely at your new home.


Are you preparing to move and exploring your relocation options? Request your free long-distance moving quote from Atlas Van Lines (Canada) Ltd. today!

How does long distance moving work?

Whether you’re moving for work, school, or for a fresh start with your family, moving, in general, can take a lot of time and effort to complete from beginning to end. This is especially true for those who have never moved previously and who have decided to move long distances to another province or country. From cardboard boxes and disassembled furniture to loading ramps and moving trucks, to put it quite frankly, moving is a daunting experience that sometimes requires the help of a professional moving company to help lighten the load. Because of this, it’s common to have questions like, “how does long distance moving work?” among others. Therefore, to ensure that homeowners across Canada are able to tackle their long-distance move with confidence and ensure their families and belongings get to their new destination safely, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that will give you more clarity to the questions you may have. As such, for more information on how long distance moving works, keep reading!


What do movers consider long-distance?


When we talk about long-distance moves in Canada, we think of it as moving from one major city to another that’s not exactly close by. Imagine you’re in Toronto and you’re moving to Montreal, or even further out, like Vancouver. This isn’t something you can easily do with a couple of trips in a small rental moving truck over the weekend. 

Specifically, if your new home is more than 250 kilometres away from where you currently live, movers will likely call this a “long-distance move.” This definition can vary a bit between companies, but that’s a good general rule. Essentially, if you’re planning to move from one city to another that’s far away, a cross-country move, or even out of the country, it’s likely considered long-distance.

This distance is significant because it means your belongings will be on the road longer, and the moving company might need to use different routes or even combine your move with others to make it more efficient and cost-effective. It also means they need to plan for overnight stays and longer periods of driving, which influences the cost and planning of the move.

When should I start packing for a long-distance move?


Packing for a successful long-distance move is not something you want to leave until the last minute. Given the scale and complexity of moving everything you own hundreds or thousands of kilometres, starting this process about six to eight weeks before your scheduled move date is wise. This might seem like a lot, but starting early helps avoid the stress of last-minute packing and ensures you’re fully prepared when moving day arrives. Here’s a helpful timeline full of packing tips for long-distance moving:

Weeks 6 to 8

Start by sorting through your things room by room. Decide what you really need to take with you and what might be ready for a new home (selling, donating, or throwing away). This is also a great time to start collecting boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and other packing supplies.

Weeks 4 to 5

Begin packing items you use less frequently. Seasonal items, rarely used gadgets, books, and decorations are a good place to start. Make sure to label boxes with their contents and which room they’re destined for in your new home.

Weeks 2 to 3

Ramp up your packing with the goal of having everything but your daily essentials boxed up. Keep items you use daily easily accessible and plan for them to be packed last.

Final week

Pack your essentials and prepare a box or suitcase with items you’ll need immediately upon arriving at your new home, such as toiletries, a few sets of clothes, and important documents.

How do you move long distance with a family?


Moving your family a long way to a new home takes a lot of planning and thought to make sure it goes smoothly and stress-free. It’s not just about moving your belongings from one place to another; it’s about moving your whole life and how everyone in the family feels about it. 

The best way to move long distances with a family is to make sure everyone understands what’s happening and listens to each other’s worries right from the start. It can help make the whole move feel better and more exciting for everyone. Here are some steps to guide you through how to move long distance with a family:

1. Plan ahead

Start by talking to your family about the move. Explain why it’s happening and what it will mean for everyone. Answer their questions and address any concerns to help them feel involved and less anxious about the change.

2. Declutter together

Go through your belongings as a family. It’s a great opportunity to declutter, reduce the amount you need to move and possibly uncover items of sentimental value you’ll want to keep. Selling, donating, or throwing away things you no longer need can make packing easier and your new home less cluttered.

3. Pack smart

When packing, be systematic. Label boxes with their contents and the room they’ll go in at the new house. Consider colour-coding labels for each room to make unpacking easier. Keep a detailed inventory of what’s in each box, especially if you are using a moving service, to ensure everything arrives safely.

4. Keep routines

Try to keep your family’s routine as normal as possible. Consistent meal times, bedtimes, and leisure activities can provide comfort and stability, especially for children.

5. Essentials Kit

Prepare an essentials kit for the first few days after the move. Include necessary toiletries, a few changes of clothes, medications, chargers, snacks, and entertainment items such as books or games. This will help you settle in without having to unpack everything at once.

6. Stay connected and explore

Moving can be tough on kids as they may have to leave friends behind. Help them stay connected with old friends through social media, video calls, or planned visits, and encourage them to make new friends in your new location.

7. Explore together

Once you’ve moved, explore your new neighbourhood together. Discovering new places such as parks, restaurants, and activities can help everyone feel more at home and excited about the move.

8. Have patience and offer support

Recognize that each family member may adapt to the move differently. Be patient and provide support as everyone adjusts to their new surroundings. Open communication and shared experiences can help strengthen your family’s bond during this transition.


How do moving companies work?


A long distance moving company functions similarly to other moving companies. Generally speaking, a move is considered “long distance” if you are planning to move across the province, across Canada, or internationally. Furthermore, when calculating the cost of your belongings, a long-distance moving company will first require you to provide a list of items you wish to bring with you –sort of like an inventory list. This preliminary inventory list then allows your partnered long distance moving company to calculate an estimate on the price of services.


Fast forward to the day of your scheduled move; once all of your items have been loaded into the moving trucks, the total weight of your items will ultimately determine the final price of what you will be charged. Moreover, beyond helping homeowners move from one destination to another, long distance moving companies often provide additional services. This includes packing and unpacking, loading your items onto the truck, disassembling and assembling furniture, and selling moving supplies.


However, it is essential to remember that these additional services are not obligatory. Thus, allowing homeowners to customize their experience to their personal needs and expectations.


How should I plan for long-distance moves? 


One of the more challenging aspects of moving long distances is planning. This is precisely why we’ve put together a list of everyday tasks you’ll most likely have to complete before the day of your scheduled move. However, we should note that while this is not an exhaustive list of tasks and responsibilities you’ll most likely have when you are planning your move, it should help you get started! Here is a closer look at what you should consider completing:


  • Contact a professional moving company and confirm that they can assist you well in advance of your actual moving date.
  • To avoid overpacking, organize your belongings by getting rid of any unwanted items that you don’t want to take with you.
  • Purchase packing materials at least a move in advance to ensure you do not run out of supplies. 
  • Label your boxes by room and whether or not they are fragile.
  • If possible, disassemble large pieces of furniture.
  • Gather all of your essential documents and belongings before loading them into your vehicle on the day of your move.
  • Change your address for essential bills and subscriptions before your moving date.



How far ahead of time should a long-distance move be planned?


Furthermore, we can honestly say that the best way to plan your long-distance move is to start as early as possible. This can help alleviate some of the pressures you may feel throughout the process and ensure that you are rushing last minute to finalize all the details of your moving day. At the same time, it is also recommended that homeowners contact the moving company they wish to partner with weeks in advance before they plan on moving. Not only does this help better your chances of getting the moving day that you want, but it also provides the moving company enough time to work out details and prepare for your scheduled move on their end.


With that being said, if you find yourself in a position where you need to move immediately within a couple of days, a lot of long-distance moving companies can also provide you with emergency last-minute moving assistance. Again, it is always best to contact the moving company you wish to work with for your long distance move as soon as possible.


How long does it take movers to deliver?


Admittedly, disruptions are usual in most types of transportation. As such, the wait for your personal possessions to arrive safely at your new home is among the most challenging aspects of moving long distances. Because of this, it’s critical to keep in touch with your movers to stay updated on the status of your shipment. This will give you notifications on the existing timetable, postponements, as well as other variables that may interrupt your shipment’s predicted travel time.


Moreover, determining an expected delivery time for your possessions is not as easy as it may appear because many factors are taken into account as your personal possessions travel from place to place. With that being said, most long-distance moves can take anywhere between 10 days to more than two weeks on average. However, because of a number of unpredictable variables, this duration is likely to vary all across the process and between homeowners.


What factors affect the time it takes for items to arrive?


As we mentioned, the timetable on which your items will arrive at your new location will vary between households. This is due to numerous elements that can affect this process from being streamlined from start to finish. Some of these elements may include:


  • The distance of your move: This is obvious as the greater the distance, the longer the delivery will take to complete. 
  • Your shipment size: The more significant the shipment, the longer the delivery and transit time, which is why we always recommend that homeowners get rid of as many items they do not see themselves using in their new home. 
  • Peak moving seasons: Generally speaking, early summer, early fall, and late spring can often cause your shipment to be delayed because many moving companies are overbooked.


On the other hand, other factors that may affect the amount of time it takes to have your items shipped during your long-distance move include bad weather and other unforeseeable circumstances that may cause delays. Nonetheless, when working with a professional long-distance moving company, they should be able to provide you with an approximation as to how long it will take your items to arrive.


How can I track my belongings?


It is not yet possible to track your belongings during a long distance move as if they were a package. However, you can check in with the moving company or driver during the move to see how things are going.


You can make notes as to where your belongings are at any given time by inquiring ahead of time about the journey the truck or other transportation vehicles will take. Furthermore, make sure you have at least one of the movers’ phone numbers so you can contact them if they are going to be late. Remember, keeping in touch with your moving company throughout the delivery process will ensure a hassle-free shipment. Staying in touch with the company will enable you to monitor the headway of your delivery and ensure that you are not forgotten during the process. 


Final Thoughts on long distance moving 


As you can see, moving a long distance can be a hassle for homeowners who don’t know what to expect from the process. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed with the process, there are resources and help available to you if you need it. By using this guide, you can begin the process and ensure your long-distance move runs smoothly from start to finish. At the same time, one of the main ways you can gain assistance during your long-distance move is to partner with a professional moving company you can trust to oversee your experience.


At Atlas Care, we have more than 50 years of experience assisting Canadians to move all across the country and around the world, and we are prepared to ensure you get to where you want to go worry-free. Therefore, if you’re in the beginning stages of planning your long-distance move and require assistance, our team of friendly and experienced professionals is here to help whenever you need us.


Request a free moving quote from Atlas Canada’s long-distance movers today! We look forward to working with you!


Frequently asked questions

What do movers consider long-distance?

While this is more of a general guideline, many moving companies consider a move long-distance if you’re moving more than 250 kilometres (about 150 miles) away.

When should I start packing for a long-distance move?

Start packing about six to eight weeks before you move. This gives you plenty of time to pack without rushing.

What is the first thing you should pack when moving?

Pack stuff you don’t use every day first, like seasonal clothes, extra dishes, and books.

Moving Pets Long Distance

Relocating, whether it is for work, school, or a fresh beginning with your family, can take a significant amount of work and time to complete from start to finish. This is particularly true for individuals who have never moved before and have decided to relocate to a different province or country with a pet. Unlike travelling to your new location with children and other members of your family, moving pets can be a daunting task that needs to be performed correctly to ensure the safety and comfort of your animals. As such, we understand that you may have questions regarding moving pets long distances. This is why we’ve put together a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we often receive as a professional long-distance moving company in hopes that pet owners can find some clarity on the process before the date of their scheduled move. Therefore, for more information about moving your pets long distances, keep reading.


How can I make my pets’ long distance move easier?


Moving a long distance is more difficult for animals than it is for you because they do not comprehend what is happening. What they can tell, however, is that something isn’t right in their daily routine. As such, the more you do ahead of time to calm them down during their journey, the happier and healthier everybody will be. Making the decision to collaborate with a professional long-distance moving company with a credible and reliable business is the first step toward lowering the stress of a long-distance move for your pet. This is why it is essential that you choose a company with an excellent record for handling pets with the same attention and consideration that you do in your own household.


Beyond this, after choosing a professional long-distance moving company to assist you with your move, you will also want to take your pet to see its veterinarian. During this check-up appointment, you will want to confirm with your veterinarian that your pet is healthy and able to make the long-distance move. Furthermore, it is essential to note that if you require air transportation during your long-distance move, most airplanes will not allow you to sedate your pet in order to transport them. Therefore, it is imperative that you consider the following methods to calm your pet down as much as possible before your move:


  1. Get a comfortable kennel for your pet.


Shipping pets by air, whether nationally or internationally, necessitates the use of an air carrier kennel, as these kennels are precisely created to keep your animal secure throughout its journey. There should be no rough edges that could injure your cat or dog, and there should be plenty of ventilation. As such, if your pet does not currently have a travel kennel, we suggest purchasing one as soon as possible and allowing them to become familiar with it. It will help them naturally become more comfortable with being in their kennel for long periods of time.


  1. Consider cabin transportation


If your pet is a smaller size, you may be able to have it with you on your flight. Therefore, we suggest speaking with your airline to determine what size and weight they allow in flight before deciding whether this is an option for you.


  1. Keep your pet on a regular schedule as much as possible.


Change frightens pets, so try to maintain a regular routine for them as much as possible. To do so, feed them at their usual time and location. Enable more than enough one-on-one time for them and try to take your pet to daycare or keep them in another room when moving-related operations are particularly messy.


Should I take my pets to the vet before moving?


As we mentioned above, it is always suggested that you take your pet to the vet before moving, especially when you’re moving a long distance. Your veterinarian can assist you in preparing your pet for relocation. You’ll need to ensure that all of their shots are up to date if you are moving to a new country. Furthermore, anxious pets may exhibit unusual behaviour, such as nibbling when they ordinarily would not. The same can be said for peeing inside. Talk to your vet regarding possibilities for soothing your pet, especially if you know your pets are prone to anxiety. Your veterinarian will be capable of advising you on the best natural methods for calming your pet down during the moving period.


Furthermore, once you arrive at your destination, before releasing your pet when you make it to your new destination, make sure your new residence and any outside yards are pet-proof. In addition, you should aim to spend a significant amount of time reassuring and entertaining your pet afterward. Confirm that they are aware of their new location and that you have a sufficient supply of their familiar possessions at the new residence that can help them feel comfortable and relaxed. While a few new toys might be fun, you might want to hold off on buying a brand-new bed for your pet until you and your family have settled in your new home.


How can I make my pets comfortable during the ride?


On the other hand, your long-distance move requires vehicle transportation rather than airplanes; it is essential to make your pet as comfortable as possible during the ride. To do this, you want to expose them to your car as much as possible before the day of your move. This includes taking them for your rides and using lots of treats to praise their behaviour. We suggest starting with short rides and slowly increasing the length of them so they become more accustomed to longer travel times. Beyond this, consider installing a pet safety seat if you do not wish to use a kennel. This will help them stay safe and in one comfortable place in the car while you are on the road.


How can I keep them safe?


Moreover, beyond keeping your pets comfortable during your long-distance move, it is also equally important to keep them safe. Therefore, what you will first want to do is take your car to the mechanic and ensure that everything is working correctly. This will help you avoid complete breakdowns during your journey.


After that, make a decision on how you will transport your pets in your vehicle. The ideal spot is generally in the back of the car, away from any of the airbags. At the same time, If your pets are excitable or unfamiliar with road transport and being in your car for long periods of time, you may want to consider a method to make sure they stay in one location while you are on the road. Some standard techniques that you can consider include backseat barriers, harnesses, and carriers that attach to a seat belt to restrict movement in the scenario where you are forced to suddenly stop. Furthermore, keep in mind that your pets should also have the freedom to be able to move around and sleep soundly.


Furthermore, the very last thing you want to do is to rummage through your belongings to find the items your pet requires while travelling. You’ll need a basic first-aid kit, veterinarian documents, more than enough of your pet’s regular food, water, travel bowls, a preferred stuffed animal or two, treats, and a blanket, among other items that will help ensure your pet’s complete comfort throughout your journey. We should also note that pet owners should pack extra food in addition to their travel kit in case they can’t find their favourite brand at their destination. This allows pets to gradually adjust and prevents stomach issues from happening, which can offset their behaviour and make the adjustment period in their new home more stressful.


Final thoughts on moving your pets long distance.


Moving long distances is a stressful endeavour, especially when you have pets. This is why it is essential to make sure you and your family are well-prepared ahead of time. Remember, your pet is a part of your family. As such, you will want to make sure that you have ticked off all your boxes to ensure your pet’s complete comfort and safety during your travels. At the same time, it is also crucial that you partner with a professional and reliable long-distance moving company that can help you prepare your home and personal belongings for the journey ahead of you. Furthermore, they can also help with packing, unpacking, and other additional services that can take some of the stress and responsibilities off of your shoulders.


Are you moving long distances with your family and pets? If so, it’s time to partner with a professional moving company that has your best interests in mind.


Atlas Care has more than 50 years of experience aiding Canadians to relocate across the country and all over the world, and we are ready to ensure you arrive safely. As a result, if you’re currently in the initial stages of planning your long-distance move and need assistance, our team of friendly and experienced professionals is available to assist you whenever you need it.


Request a free moving quote from Atlas Canada’s long-distance movers today! We look forward to helping you move your family, pets, and belongings safely. 


Moving Pets Long Distance With Atlas Van Lines

What is the best method to transport pets?

When it comes to transporting our beloved pets, we want nothing but the best for their safety, comfort, and well-being. Whether you’re planning a road trip, flying across the country, or just making a quick visit to the vet, choosing the right method for transporting your furry friend is crucial. Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of some of the best methods to transport pets.

  • Car Travel

For many pet owners, travelling by car is the most common and comfortable method. For smaller pets like cats, small dogs, or small rodents, using a secure crate or carrier is often the safest option. Make sure it’s well-ventilated and secured in the car. For larger dogs, harnesses and seat belt restraints designed for pets can help keep them secure during car trips. Also, make sure to take regular breaks for bathroom breaks, exercise, feeding times, and hydration.

  • Air Travel

If you need to travel long distances or internationally, flying with your pet may be necessary. Check with the airline for their specific regulations and requirements. Many airlines have guidelines for pet carriers and may have restrictions on the size and breed of pets allowed in the cabin. Larger pets typically travel in the cargo hold, so it’s essential to choose an airline with a good track record for pet safety and comfort.

  • Public Transportation

Some public transportation systems, like buses and trains, allow pets, but rules vary. Check with the specific provider for their policies. If you’re travelling by boat or ship, consult with the operator for their pet policies and ensure your pet has a safe and secure place to stay during the journey.

  • Pet Taxi or Transport Service

You may also want to consider using a professional pet transport service, especially for long-distance or international travel. These services can handle all the logistics and ensure your pet’s safety and comfort.

Ultimately, the best method for transporting your pet will depend on your pet’s size, type, and individual needs, as well as the specifics of your travel plans. Always prioritize your pet’s safety, comfort, and well-being when making transportation decisions.

Can you buy a seat for a large dog on a plane?

You’ve likely heard that some airlines allow small dogs to travel in the cabin with their owners. However, one common question that arises when people plan to fly with their dogs is whether they can purchase an extra seat on the plane for their larger dog. The truth is most airlines do not allow large dogs to have their own seats on a plane like human passengers. Typically, larger dogs are required to travel in the cargo hold or in specially designated areas within the cabin, subject to specific airline policies and regulations.

Nevertheless, there are a few airlines that explicitly state in their pet policies that you have the option to purchase an additional seat for your large dog. Airlines that allow larger dogs in the cabin include:

  • JSX Airlines
  • Aero
  • Surf Air
  • Tradewind Aviation

However, each airline has its own stringent rules and regulations that you must follow. Be sure to review each airline’s rules and regulations to ensure that your large dog meets their cabin requirements. 


What about service and emotional support dogs?

Service dogs and emotional support animals may have different rules and are often allowed to travel in the cabin with their owners. However, the rules for these animals have become stricter in recent years, so it’s crucial to check with the airline for their specific requirements and documentation needed.

Can you travel with pets in Canada?

Canada’s breathtaking landscapes, from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the pristine coastlines, make it a dream destination for travellers seeking adventure and natural beauty. For pet owners, the allure of exploring this vast country with their furry companions is undeniable. The good news is that Canada is indeed a pet-friendly destination, welcoming travellers with pets of all sizes and breeds. However, before embarking on your Canadian adventure with your four-legged friend, it’s essential to be well-informed about the rules, regulations, and considerations that come with travelling with pets in the Great White North.

Pet Health Certificate

When travelling to Canada with your pet, especially if you’re coming from another country, you’ll often need a valid pet health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian. This certificate serves as proof of your pet’s good health and vaccination status. 


Rabies vaccination is particularly important when entering Canada. Most travellers bringing their pets into the country are required to provide evidence of up-to-date rabies vaccinations. Keep your pet’s vaccination records handy, as they may be requested at border crossings.

Border Crossing

Upon arrival at a Canadian border crossing, you should declare your pet. Border officials will likely ask to see your pet’s health certificate and vaccination records to ensure compliance with Canadian regulations. 

Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Canada offers a wide range of pet-friendly accommodations, including pet-friendly hotels, motels, and even some vacation rentals. However, policies regarding pets can vary, so it’s advisable to call ahead and confirm their pet policy, any associated fees, and any specific rules they may have in place for guests travelling with pets.


Different modes of transportation within Canada have specific rules for travelling with pets. For example, airlines have their own pet travel policies, including crate requirements and fees. If you plan to travel by bus or train, it’s important to check with the respective transportation company for their pet policies and any restrictions.

Leash Laws

In Canada, leash laws and regulations can vary by city and municipality. Some areas may have strict leash laws, while others may allow dogs to be off-leash in designated areas. It’s important to familiarize yourself with local regulations, especially if you plan to visit parks or public spaces with your pet.

Pet Supplies

When travelling with your pet, it’s essential to pack all the necessary supplies. This includes food, water, bowls, a leash, a collar, identification tags with your contact information, waste bags, and any medications your pet may need. 

Pet Safety

Use appropriate carriers or restraints in vehicles to prevent accidents and injuries. Ensure that your pet is secure and comfortable throughout the journey, whether you’re travelling by car, plane, or other means.

Emergency Contacts

Before your trip, research and have the contact information for local veterinarians or animal hospitals in the areas you plan to visit. This way, you’ll be prepared in case of any health concerns or emergencies involving your pet.

How do you transport pets when moving across the country?

Transporting pets when moving across the country requires careful planning to ensure their safety, comfort, and well-being throughout the journey. First, you’ll want to start planning well in advance of your move by researching and understanding the regulations and requirements for transporting your pets, such as vaccination requirements, quarantine rules, and any specific regulations for the states or provinces you’ll be passing through or arriving in. You will then want to schedule a visit to your veterinarian for a health checkup and to ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and medications. Don’t forget to request copies of your pet’s medical records, including vaccination certificates, in case they are needed during the journey.

Next, you’ll need to decide on the best way to transport your pet across the country. Generally, your options include car travel, air travel, and pet relocation services. If you’re driving, make sure your pet is secure in a well-ventilated carrier or crate. Stop frequently for breaks to allow your pet to stretch, relieve themselves, and have access to water. If you’re flying, research pet-friendly airlines and their policies. Airlines have specific regulations for pet travel, including the type of carrier allowed, temperature restrictions, and health certificates. Hiring a professional pet relocation service can also be beneficial, especially if you have multiple pets. These services can handle all aspects of pet transportation, including paperwork, flights, and ground transportation.

Top Tips to Consider

  • Help your pet acclimate to their carrier or crate beforehand if they are not used to it.
  • Update your pet’s identification tags and microchip information with your new contact details before the move.
  • Pets can sense your stress, so remain calm and patient during the journey. 
  • Don’t forget to secure your pet’s carrier or crate in the vehicle or follow airline guidelines for securing it during flights.


How are pets cared for on long-haul flights?

Caring for pets during long-haul flights involves careful planning and strict adherence to airline regulations, with a primary focus on ensuring the safety and comfort of your furry companion. Choose an airline-approved carrier that offers sufficient space for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. In the weeks leading up to the flight, gradually introduce your pet to the carrier to help reduce anxiety. Line the carrier with absorbent bedding, and pack essential items like familiar toys, a leash, identification tags, and any required medications. Also, give your pet an opportunity to exercise and relieve themselves before the flight. This can help reduce anxiety during the journey.

Depending on your pet’s size and the airline’s policy, they may either travel in the cabin with you or in the cargo hold. Small pets often accompany their owners in the cabin, while larger pets are placed in the cargo hold, which is pressurized and temperature-controlled to ensure their comfort and safety. Throughout the flight, follow the airline’s instructions for securing the carrier or crate. After landing, prioritize your pet’s well-being by providing them with water and an opportunity to relieve themselves. 


How do you travel with a pet reptile?

Travelling with a pet reptile requires special attention to their unique needs, as reptiles have different requirements compared to dogs, cats, or other common pets. Start by researching border crossing and local regulations at your destination regarding reptile ownership and transport, as not everywhere allows for pet reptiles. Select an appropriate container or enclosure for your reptile, ensuring it offers adequate ventilation and security to prevent escapes. You can even use additional restraints like zip ties if necessary to securely latch or fasten the container. You may also want to create hiding spots within the container to reduce stress for your reptile during transit.

As reptiles are cold-blooded and highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations, you’ll need to maintain proper temperature conditions throughout the journey. Employ heat packs or lamps as needed to ensure your pet remains within their preferred temperature range. Safely transport the container by avoiding direct sunlight and extreme temperatures and minimizing temperature fluctuations when opening it. Also, make sure you label the container with your contact details and any vital care instructions in case of emergencies.

How to Move Long Distance

Moving to another part of the neighbourhood is one thing. But moving to a new city or province? That’s a whole other story. Let’s face it – long-distance moves can be stressful. From the planning and packing to the costs and the time it takes to hire the right moving company, moving is no easy feat. Luckily, Atlas Van Lines is here to help. Not only do we offer top-notch long-haul moving services in Canada, but we’re also moving experts. And today, we’re going to share our top tips on how to move long-distance. Check out our step-by-step guide to long-distance moving below. 


Step-By-Step Guide to Moving Long Distance


Follow this step-by-step guide, and we promise your long-distance move will go off without a hitch. 


1. Start Planning Early


Long-distance moves take careful time and attention. For this reason, we always recommend starting as early as possible. In the early planning phases, you should be researching moving companies, developing a rough timeline, and building a to-do list. Keep in mind that the more you put off planning your move, the more pressure and stress you will feel down the line. 


2. Create A Checklist


When planning a long-distance move, it’s important to create a checklist. Each item on the checklist should be accompanied by a due date or realistic timeline of how long it will take to complete. Examples of items on your checklist might be enrolling your children in their new school, packing up each room in your current home, or hiring a moving company. If you have a clear timeline of events related to your move, it will make it easier to stay organized and on top of things. 


3. Hire A Reputable Moving Company


Hiring a reputable moving company is the third (and perhaps most important) step in planning your long-distance move. Begin this step by using your research from step one. Narrow down your list of prospective long-distance moving companies and then reach out to each for a quote. When requesting moving quotes, try to be as specific as possible. This way, you will receive the most accurate quote possible. To provide an accurate quote, you will need to know the basic information about your move, including the services you need, the addresses of your current and future homes, and the possessions being moved. Some companies will perform a detailed evaluation free of charge, where they examine your home either in-person or virtually to provide an accurate estimate. It’s also a good idea to check each moving company’s availability, especially if you strongly prefer a certain moving date. Ultimately, if you aren’t sure which moving company to pick, we recommend basing your choice on reputation, reliability, safety, flexibility, and customer service – all things we pride ourselves on here at Atlas Van Lines. 


4. Set Your Budget


Before settling on a certain moving company, consider your budget. Local moving costs are vastly different from long-distance moving costs, so you should expect to pay more for a long-haul move. Once you’ve received quotes from multiple moving companies, compare them (as well as what is included with each company’s services) and decide which one best aligns with your budget. Keep in mind that there may be additional costs associated with your move to consider, like the cost of moving insurance or the cost of a hotel room for the first night in your new city. 


5. Gather the Necessary Paperwork 


To ensure your move goes off without a hitch, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork. Depending on where you’re moving, this could mean visas, valid driver’s licenses, customs declarations, and more. 


6. Hook Up New Utilities 


The last thing you want is to arrive at your new home only to realize there is no running water or electricity. That is why you should always hook up the utilities in your new home before you arrive. Ideally, the utilities should be turned on before your arrival or in the case of internet and cable, scheduled for a day or two after you arrive.


7. Get Packing


You don’t want to save packing to the last minute. Start collecting cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and other packing materials early so that you can pack at your own pace. You might begin with rooms that seldom get used or out-of-season items, like packing up your winter clothes during the summer months. Take special care when packing fragile items and remember to leave soft items, like towels, linens, pillows, or clothing, to wrap around breakables for extra protection.  


8. Declutter and Donate


When packing for a long-distance move, we always recommend taking the opportunity to declutter. In other words, don’t pack what you don’t use. If you come across something that you haven’t used or worn in a year, or perhaps you didn’t even remember you have, it’s likely a sign that it should be donated, recycled, or discarded. 


9. Leave Out Items That Can’t Be Moved


There are certain items that long-distance moving companies don’t allow you to move, such as hazardous or flammable materials, like hairspray or nail polish remover. Be sure to leave these out of your boxes. In addition, if you’re moving cross-border, you’ll need to research the laws in that country. 


10. Pack and Label Boxes by Room


The simplest and most effective way to pack up your home is to pack it by room. This will make it easy to unpack on the other end. Beyond packing your boxes by room, be sure to label them accordingly so the movers know exactly where each box is going.


11. Invest in Quality Moving Materials


Moving materials can make or break a move – literally! If your items aren’t packed in the right materials, they can be prone to breakage. And the last thing you want is to open a box of your belongings at your new house to find a bunch of broken knick-knacks. To avoid this, use sturdy moving boxes reinforced with packing tape. We also recommend bubble wrap and clean packing paper. Of course, fragile items should be wrapped individually and all boxes should have some kind of shock-absorbing materials, such as crumpled newspaper. 


12. Consider A Moving Container


For the utmost security, consider renting a moving container to load your items into. Moving containers, like Atlas Van Lines’ Affinity Vault containers, are extremely safe and secure. They also act as a temporary storage solution, so if you aren’t sure when your new home will be ready for occupancy, you can keep your items in your moving container for as long as you need. All Atlas Van Lines moving containers are tracked and stored in one of our security system-monitored, climate-controlled moving centres. 


13. Keep Valuables With You


Although reputable moving companies like Atlas Van Lines are known for their safety and security, it might be wise to keep valuables with you. For example, anything delicate, expensive, or holding sentimental value, such as jewelry, might be better off packed in your car or carry-on luggage. 


14. Make Your Travel Arrangements


You’ve hired a trusted moving company and packed up your belongings – now what? The last step is to make your travel arrangements. Depending on the distance between your current home and your new home, you might opt to drive between them. If this is the case, be sure to gas up the day before so you can hit the road as soon as the movers leave. Alternatively, if you’re travelling to your new home by plane, book your plane tickets well in advance and be sure to make arrangements for your pet (if applicable). 


Contact Atlas Van Lines for a free estimate on your upcoming long-distance move


Are you ready to start planning your long-distance move? You’ve come to the right place. Atlas Van Lines specializes in long-haul moves. So whether you’re moving to another city, province, or even country, we will take care of everything. Contact Atlas Van Lines today to request a free estimate on your upcoming move. 

Tips For Long-Distance Moving

If you’re planning a long-distance move and aren’t sure where to start, then you’ve come to the right place. Atlas Van Lines has been in business for over 55 years, which means we know a thing or two about moving. As long-distance moving specialists, we are here to share our expertise and resources to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. Without further ado, check out a list of top tips for long-distance moving below.


1. Schedule your move during the off-season


Many people plan to move during the summer, and because of this, the summertime is one of the most expensive times to move. If you want to move on a budget, consider moving during the off-season or on a weekday in the middle of the month. 


2. Make an inventory list


As you start packing boxes, it can be easy to forget what you’ve already packed. For this reason, before you start packing, we suggested making an inventory of your belongings. Once you’ve packed an item, check it off the list. When you make an inventory list, you’ll always have something to refer back to when you unpack in your new home to ensure everything made it safe and sound. 


3. Plan where items will go in your new house


Before moving, visualize your new home and think long and hard about where you’d like each item to go. This is a great way to ensure you only pack what you need. For example, if you’re downsizing, then chances are all of your existing furniture won’t fit in your new home. If this is the case, don’t bother bringing it with you. The more items you pack (especially bulky or heavy items like furniture), the more expensive your move will be. So compare the square footage and floor plan of your current home to your new home and plan out where each item will go. If you don’t have room for a certain item, make a plan to donate, recycle, or discard it. 


4. Declutter, declutter, declutter


There’s nothing quite like a move to make you realize what you don’t need. Moving forces you to go through your belongings, which will likely make you realize just how much stuff you don’t use. Take this opportunity to declutter. Make piles of items to donate, recycle, or discard so you avoid packing them “just in case.” For example, if you’ve never touched a certain old kitchen appliance, have books or magazines on your shelf that you know you’ll never read again, or clothes you haven’t worn in over a year, it’s likely a sign to say goodbye.   


5. Separate valuable items you want to keep with you


As you begin to pack, be sure to separate valuable items that you want to keep with you. Depending on the value of the item, you might get stressed at the thought of it being thrown into a box with a bunch of other items. For example, you may wish to pack jewellery, money, or items with high sentimental value in a separate box that you take with you in the car or plane on moving day. 


6. Pack a box of items you will need upon arrival


Some items are more important than others, especially on the day of arrival. Think about what you want to have easy access to on day one, like towels, bedding, toilet paper, a few pots and pans, and a couple of sets of dishware. In essence, the items you need to eat and sleep on that first night in your new home. Pack a box with these items and label it clearly. 


7. Organize and label boxes as you pack


While it might be tempting to throw belongings into boxes haphazardly, this will only make your job harder on the other end. For this reason, we recommend packing your boxes by room. For example, the beginning, toys, and decor in your child’s room should all go in their own boxes. Similarly, kitchenware should also be in its own series of boxes. If you want to get fancy, you can create an inventory list and assign each box a corresponding number. Speaking of which, remember to label your boxes. It won’t matter how organized the inside of your boxes are if they aren’t labelled correctly. Make it easy on yourself and your movers by clearly labelling the contents or corresponding room of each box. 


8. Buy moving coverage


Moving coverage is important, whether you opt for moving insurance or content protection coverage. Moving insurance provides peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong, you will be financially protected. Moving insurance can be purchased directly from an insurance company. However, most moving companies also offer their own coverage plans. For example, Atlas Van Lines has two types of content protection coverage available to customers: full value protection and minimal protection. Full value protection is strongly recommended to protect your household goods. With this valuation option, Atlas Van Lines would repair any lost, damaged, or destroyed items or replace them with items of like kind and quality, or offer you a cash settlement for the market value of the items. In contrast, minimal protection allows you to file a claim for a lost or damaged item. Claims are based on the item’s weight multiplied by 60 cents per pound.


9. Hire experienced long-distance movers you can trust


Our final tip for long-distance moving? Hire movers you can trust. Reputable movers have years of experience in the industry and offer top-notch customer service from start to finish. To ensure you choose a trusted moving company, compare quotes, read customer reviews, interview prospective candidates, and then choose the mover that best fits your budget and needs. 


Contact Atlas Van Lines for a free quote on your upcoming long-distance move


We hope this list of long-distance moving tips will help with your upcoming move. In the meantime, if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Atlas Van Lines today. One of our customer service representatives will be pleased to assist you. We can also provide you with a free quote on your upcoming long-distance move. No matter where you’re moving to or from, or whether you’re planning a residential or commercial move, the Atlas Van Lines team is here to help. Contact us today to get started.  



How far ahead of time should you plan your long-distance move?


Long-distance moves should ideally be planned no less than two months (eight weeks) in advance. 


What is the first thing to pack when moving?


Out-of-season items or items that are in your home for aesthetic rather than functional purposes can be packed first. Essentially, any items that you won’t need to use between the day of packing and your moving day can be packed first. 


What makes a good long-distance moving company?


A good long-distance moving company is one that is experienced, professional, reputable, flexible, and secure. For example, Atlas Van Lines prides itself on its customer service. We have earned the reputation as the go-to long-distance moving company in Canada, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. How have we earned that reputation, you might be wondering? It all comes down to our standard of service. First, all of our movers and van operators are both experienced and professional. They will safely and carefully load all belongings into the moving truck, using protective blankets, quilted moving pads, clear plastic, and furniture pads to safeguard your items. Further, to protect your current and future home, runners will be put down to protect the floors. The Atlas Van Lines crew will also assemble and reassemble all necessary items, such as bed frames, quickly and efficiently. Beyond our high level of experience and professionalism, we understand that flexibility is a key part of any long-distance move. After all, a lot can happen when transporting items from point A to point B. We make a concerted effort to accommodate your schedule at all times. Finally, as a full-service moving company, we not only offer long-distance moving but also secure storage solutions. We have moving containers of all sizes for you to transport and temporarily store your items in, should you wish to do so. Ultimately, a good long-distance moving company is one that meets the criteria above. 


What should you not pack in a long-distance move?


Items that you should not pack for a long-distance move include anything alive, such as houseplants, perishable food that is likely to spoil in transit, and of course, hazardous or flammable materials, such as paint, aerosols, pesticides, gasoline, and more. As an extra precaution, we also recommend packing valuables, like money or jewellery, separately and travelling with them on the day of the move.