Long Distance Moving Tips to Prepare For Your Move

Planning and carrying out even a local move can be challenging and complex. Imagine how much more challenging it gets when you are moving long-distance! An experienced long-distance moving company can help you tackle the many considerations of your move, but ultimately its success requires a great deal of preparation on your part. 

Whether you’re moving to the next city, across the country or internationally, you’re going to need to put some effective plans in place to make sure everything goes smoothly. The Highland Atlas team has compiled our top long-distance moving tips to help ensure a trouble-free move from the day you decide to go, to the day you start unpacking in your new home.

Start planning immediately

Once you have made the decision to move, don’t wait to start planning it. It may only be happening six months from now, but that time tends to fly by! You are about to pick up your entire life and move it hundreds of miles away. You cannot carry out an operation like that without a strategy. Write down everything that needs to be done – create a checklist if you need to. Consult with the entire household and plot out everything from the present day until moving day. Of course, plans will change as you go, but it will help enormously to have a list you can refer back to when you get closer to moving day.

Set time-bound goals

Once you’ve written down everything you need to do, draw up a schedule and give each task a specific time frame. Aside from enabling you to prioritize your tasks, this will also help you to organize and coordinate the process on which you are about to embark. Add these tasks to your calendar so you can schedule them between your existing work and home chores.

Find a reputable moving company – and involve them early on

Choose your moving company carefully because you need to be able to trust them to carry your entire home contents safely and securely over a considerable distance. Ask around, read customer reviews, get at least three cost estimates, and ask as many questions as you need to find the service you need. Do this at an early stage in the moving process, so that you can secure your booking and engage the help and advice of your moving company in the weeks leading up to the big day.

Update your documents

Remember to notify your bank and other service providers about your change of address. You may also need to update your driver’s licence and other important documents. Plan ahead and make a list of all the documents you may need to change. Do some research about provincial laws and city by-laws in your new location that may differ from those you are familiar with.

Draw up an inventory list as you pack

Your entire life is about to be packed up and shipped across vast distances, so it is crucial that you draw up a detailed inventory list. As you start packing up your home, room by room, write everything down or find an app that will catalogue everything for you. If you do this as you go, it will be an easy task. Once you and all your belongings arrive on the other side, you can tick things off as you unpack, and make sure that everything made the trip safely.

Pre-plan your new furniture layout if possible

Once you have settled on a new home, measure the floor space, and take a few photographs of each room. Then, look at your furniture and make a rough plan of where everything is going to go. Measure every piece as well so that you can see how they will fit into the new living space. You may find that you won’t have space for that big dining table or all of your bookshelves. It is better to find that out now before moving them hundreds of miles.


Undertaking a long-distance move allows you to get rid of belongings you no longer need. There’s no sense in taking everything along with you, so now is the time to decide what you really need. As you pack, make separate boxes for items you can sell and those you can donate or throw away. Encourage everybody to make some hard decisions about their belongings. Set a general ground rule: if it hasn’t been worn or used in at least a year, get rid of it. This will reduce your moving cost and make packing easier. Plus, it is good to clear the clutter from your life now and then. ‘Out with the old, in with the new,’ as they say. 

Plan to keep certain items with you

While many of your belongings can safely be packed into the moving trucks and left until it is time to unpack them, there will always be some things that you will need to have with you. Set aside a few boxes that you can mark as ‘Open First’ and that you can take with you in your vehicle, rather than loading it with the rest. These should include things like kitchenware, towels, bedding and so on. Pack toiletries, personal necessities and clothing that you will need immediately into suitcases and keep them with you. Pack everything that you will need to be comfortable as you wait for the moving trucks to arrive, and as you work through the process of unpacking.

Take extra care with your packing

While you should always take care to wrap and pack your belongings carefully, this is especially true with long-distance moves. It pays to make a little extra effort to prepare for the lengthy transit period. Put an extra layer of bubble wrap on your fragile items and mark things very clearly so that the movers know what to handle with special care.

Label boxes with your name and new address

Depending on the moving option you choose, your boxes may be placed on a truck that includes items belonging to other families. Help the movers ensure that nothing gets mixed up or delivered to the wrong location by labelling all your boxes clearly with your name and address.

Include packing in your moving service

Let’s face it: nobody likes packing. Plus, it can be incredibly time-consuming and can be difficult to fit into a busy work and household schedule. If you can, you might consider leaving this to the professionals. Good moving companies, Highland Atlas included, employ expert packers who can do all this work for you. Ask for a quotation and, if you can afford to add this service to your moving requirements, it would benefit you to do so. Not only will it save you time, but you can rest assured that each item is packed by a professional who knows everything required to keep your belongings safe in transit. 

Move in the off-season

Most people move in the summer. As a result, the warmer months tend to be the most expensive time of year to contract a moving company. People also tend to choose weekends to make their moving trips, and the increased demand on Saturdays and Sundays can boost the price of your moving services. Avoid this by moving during the off-season and picking a day in the middle of the week.

Get moving insurance

Check your household and auto insurance and determine what your policies will cover – if anything – while your belongings are in transit. Moving companies are mandated to offer a certain amount of cover on a limited liability basis. Still, the overall value of your home contents is likely to exceed that. Therefore, it will be worth your while to buy more comprehensive cover to make sure your valuables are insured during the move. 

Take your delivery window into account

It could take a week or two before your belongings are delivered to the new location, so be sure to plan for this in advance. This is where your priority and ‘Open-First’ boxes are particularly important. Ensure you have everything with you that you will need to live comfortably while you wait for the truck to arrive. 

Plan for your moving day situation

Be sure to research and prepare for every eventuality that may occur when the moving truck arrives at the new house. Is there is enough room for the truck to park? Are there regulations in the neighbourhood about where it can park? You may have to arrange for the moving company to shuttle your boxes and furniture in a smaller vehicle. This all needs to be prepared for well in advance, so make sure you have it on your to-do list. 

About Highland Atlas

Highland Moving Systems – Atlas Van Lines is one of the best long-distance moving companies in southern Ontario. If you are about to make a major move and ask yourself, “Where can I find a one-stop location for all moving services, storage needs and packing supplies near me?” Highland Atlas is here to answer that question. Our team is dedicated to superior service, professional attire and courtesy to all our customers’ needs. 

We have been moving homes and businesses since 1948, a family firm that has passed from one generation to the next, maintaining the same high ideals of customized moving services to meet any customer’s needs. We put people first, treat our customers as individuals and are dedicated professionals with the experience and knowledge to help plan and accomplish your local or long-distance move. Also, our high-value, commercial division works with businesses to provide corporate relocation services.

Choose Highland Atlas as your long-distance moving company. Contact us for a quote or for more information.