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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.