When should I start packing for a long distance move?

October 10, 2023 2:55 pm Published by

Moving long distances is no small feat. It involves not just a change in scenery but also presents logistical, emotional, and financial challenges. This article aims to unravel one of the most daunting aspects of the process: when to start packing. Timing your packing is pivotal to ensure a smooth transition, preventing last-minute chaos and forgotten belongings.

Understanding Long-Distance Moving:

A long-distance move can be defined in many ways, typically relocating hundreds or thousands of miles away. This type of move is inherently challenging due to the increased logistics involved, higher risks of damage or loss of belongings, escalated costs, and the inevitable emotional and physical stress of leaving a familiar environment for a new one.

The Ideal Packing Timeline:

Starting early is the cornerstone of a stress-free long-distance move. It allows for a systematic approach to sorting, packing, and moving your belongings, providing ample time to address unexpected challenges.

  1. 8-10 weeks out The initial planning phase should involve sorting your belongings, researching and securing movers, and gathering packing supplies. It’s also the perfect time to declutter and decide what to take. Selling or donating unwanted items can save space and reduce moving expenses.
  2. 6-7 weeks out: Begin packing infrequently used items such as seasonal decorations, sentimental items, or specialty kitchenware. Create a detailed inventory to keep track of everything. This helps in organizing and is crucial for insurance purposes in case items are lost or damaged.
  3. 4-5 weeks out: This active packing phase involves boxing up most of your belongings except for the daily essentials. Each box should be labelled with its contents and the designated room. This systematic approach will make unpacking in your new home much more manageable.
  4. 2-3 weeks out: Finalize all arrangements with your moving company, ensuring you’re both on the same page regarding dates, costs, and logistics. Complete your change of address and notify any relevant parties, such as banks, insurance companies, and subscription services. Also, plan for the moving day essentials like snacks, drinks, and tools for last-minute fixes.
  5. Pack your daily necessities one week out, ensuring they’re easily accessible. Prepare an essentials box for moving day, including toiletries, chargers, essential cookware, and a few days’ worth of clothing. This step ensures you aren’t digging through boxes looking for a toothbrush your first night in the new home.
  6. Moving day: Perform final checks to ensure everything is packed and nothing is left behind. Supervise movers as they load your belongings and do a final walkthrough of the house to ensure it’s empty.


Tips for Efficient and Stress-Free Packing:

Effective sorting is paramount when preparing for a move. Categorize items based on necessity, and be ruthless in deciding what to keep, donate, or discard. Secure fragile items by wrapping them in bubble wrap or clothing and ensure boxes aren’t overpacked to prevent damage. Label each box clearly, and consider crafting a master inventory list to keep track of your belongings.

Pay special attention to items like pets, plants, and valuables. These may require special arrangements or extra care during the move.

Seeking Professional Help:

There may be situations when hiring professional packers is beneficial, especially for a long-distance move. Professionals can efficiently pack your home in a fraction of the time it might take you, using techniques that minimize the risk of damage. When considering professional help, research and choose a reliable moving company with excellent reviews, proper certification, and insurance. Balance the cost against the convenience and benefits offered.


Packing for a long-distance move isn’t just about boxing up your belongings; it’s about strategic timing and meticulous planning. Starting the process 8-10 weeks from your moving day and following a systematic approach can significantly reduce the stress associated with moving. While being well-prepared is crucial, remain adaptable; unexpected challenges often arise during moves. With organization, a good attitude, and professional help, you can ensure a successful long-distance moving experience. Remember, this significant change is not just an end but an exciting beginning. Happy moving!


Categorised in: ,

Published by
October 10, 2023 2:55 pm