Moving Long Distance: Tips for a Smooth Cross-Country Relocation
Moving long-distance can be very stressful, even when you have a lot to look forward to in a new place. If you are moving for work, there is a chance that your company has already covered some of your relocation expenses or even helped organise the trip. If not, no worries! Almost 300,000 people in the UK change households every month, and not all of those people move across the road. So, here are the top tips to make your cross-country relocation as smooth as possible.
Start with an inventory
Not all of us are equally fond of making lists, but unless you are moving with just one cabin-size suitcase, inventorying is the inevitable evil. The more items have to be moved, the harder it gets to keep everything under control. Creating a structured list of items you plan to move will help immensely, especially if you structure it by category, i.e., furniture, electronics, large technical appliances, dishes and utensils, clothes and shoes, etc.
With a major household move, you can also go room-by-room and make a list of all the items you plan to relocate from each room you have now. This approach is often easier, but it may cause some trouble at the unpacking stage, which you will reach eventually. After all, it’s very unlikely that the new house or flat you move into will be an exact replica of your old place. So, in the long run, applying some extra inventorying effort at the prep stage makes more sense.
Start searching for movers in advance
After creating a list of everything you need to be moved, you can start looking for professional movers. Now that you know exactly how much of your possessions need transporting, you can get a quote from several moving companies. Some movers, like Cross Country Carriers, are obvious market favourites, but there are other firms in this niche, and some of them may offer you a better price or feature some promotions at the time of your move.
The sooner you start searching for a moving company, the more time you will have to compare prices, read reviews, or simply ask the neighbours. After all, no one cancelled the good old word-of-mouth advice.
Decide if you need temporary storage
Sometimes, moving all your belongings at once is impossible or impractical. Consider if you need any temporary storage for your furniture even as you look for movers. Some companies, like Pickfords, for example, can offer both transport and storage, as well as additional packing help. For example, you can store some of your larger furniture or household items when you know you will live in a hotel or a rented flat before moving into a new house.
Often, you can hire a storage facility in your current living place and have the items transported later. Or, you could move all items at once but temporarily store some of them in a new town — if the company you hire has that option.
Take care of the insurance
Accidents happen, so it’s best to insure your property before the big move — even when hiring the most reliable transportation company. According to the Association of British Insurers, 81% of travel insurance claims were accepted in 2021, and the average claim on this type of insurance exceeds a thousand pounds. With domestic property, which may fall under your moving insurance, 79% of claims were approved, and the average claim worth was over four thousand.
Of course, choosing the best insurance may be even more challenging than selecting the right movers. Well, more reason to start searching as soon as you can. Note that there may be a lot of hidden conditions even when working with reputable providers. Even though the UK has such a high insurance claim approval rate, searching for terms that work in your favour is important.
At this point, you may also document the condition of all the moved items — both in insurance papers and in your personal inventory list.
Pack strategically or hire help
A packing strategy may follow a different logic, but the easiest way is to pack the items you need least first. The categorised inventory list will, again, prove very helpful with that. You can start packing non-essential items across different categories on your list first — for example, if you move in summer, you can safely box all winter clothes and shoes. The same goes for kitchen appliances — we all know that some of them collect dust somewhere in the cupboards.
Also, it’s a good idea to mark the boxes you pack yourself — you will have to unpack later, remember? When people move, packing seems to be a top priority, but unpacking can become an even worse nightmare if the items are uncategorised and unmarked. So, label everything you can — use stickers and colour codes, or simply sign the boxes.
When moving large items, like furniture and any bulky appliances, it’s best to leave the packing to professionals. First, you will probably want to keep using the fridge and a dishwasher for as long as possible. And second, if the company is responsible for safe transportation, it’s up to them to pack it right — so that in case of damage, your insurance claim would not be rejected.
Finalise paperwork and cancel standing deliveries
You would not be the first person to forget a standing delivery order in the relocation rush. If there is any regular post or other local deliveries, make sure to cancel the subscriptions in advance. The same is true for any bills sent to your name. Today, you can change the address very quickly, but cancelling your satellite TV or Internet plan can take a bit longer, and you certainly do not want any extra bills.
Also, think if any people need to be informed about your relocation. You probably won’t forget your closest friends and colleagues, but it’s easy to overlook someone you’re not regularly in touch with. Ideally, go through your address book just as you go through all standing utility contracts. Ask yourself — is there any business to wrap up before the big move?
Have an essentials bag packed last
Travel and relocation essentials are any items you plan to use last in the old place and will need first in the new one. These usually include personal electronics (smartphone, laptop, any relevant charges) and toiletries (toothbrush, comb, etc.). There can be other essential items that need to be packed last — a change of clothes, for example, or a favourite snack — whatever applies.
In any case, make sure you pack all the important documents in this bag, too — it’s always better to keep all the legal paperwork at hand. That includes not only your ID but also any other valuable property papers, pet documents, etc. And, speaking of pets, relocating those also requires a lot of prep work — but that is a different story entirely. You won’t forget the cat, right?
The last tip is to stay calm and focused when the big relocation day comes. If you have already checked all items on this list, there is not much left to worry about. So, you can just relax, keep your essential bag close and enjoy the ride! Just don’t forget the dog…