How to Move Long Distance in 2021

Belongings packed in cardboard boxes from moving long distance to a new home

Assembling the bubblewrap, tucking away heirlooms and forwarding your mail — we cover everything there is to know about your long distance move.

Follow these steps to seamlessly move to a new state in 2021

So, you’ve decided to move to a new state.

Moving is, well, stressful. You don’t have to tell us. At Air 1 Moving and Storage, we’ve been moving people long distance for over 20 years. For most, a long distance trek to a new state isn’t easy — it’s overwhelming. Many don’t know where to start.

A million to-do lists. Crammed closets you haven’t organized in decades. Expensive rental trucks. All those mismatched socks.

But a long distance move is an adventure. You just need a reliable plan. Follow our step-by-step-guide for a smooth and stress-free long distance move.

1. Gather Your Moving Supplies

Prepare for your long distance move by gathering the supplies you’ll need to properly pack and protect your belongings during transport.

Padding, tape, blankets, boxes, bubble wrap and a dolly – you’ll need it all. Pack your belongings safely and securely with the right supplies.

Cheap moving boxes are readily available. Ask your friends and family, or shop for boxes at Walmart, or Amazon. Don’t forget to select a variety of sizes.

Bubble wrap is worth it. It protects your items during transport. It’s also inexpensive and readily available at department stores like the Office Depot. Give a piece to one of the kids and they’ll be busy for the next hour.

Rent a dolly from a home improvement store or moving company. Hoisting boxes around is draining, and dollies make it easier – you’ll thank yourself later!

2. Inventory Your Belongings

Make an inventory of your belongings, and assess how much you have. Not sure how? Check out this guide on making a home inventory checklist so you can keep tabs on your belongings during the move.

Trust us, you own more things than you think you do. Organize the list according to each room so it’s detailed and organized.

Use a fancy Excel spreadsheet, or just a simple notebook. As long as your inventory is a central place to keep track of your belongings and determine how much to pack and ship, it’s doing its job.


After taking inventory, do you feel stressed of all the items you need to keep track of? Consider getting rid of some stuff. According to Marie Kondo, a #1 New York Times Bestseller and cleaning consultant, properly tidying up your home can spark a calm, motivated mindset — the perfect kind of mindset for a long distance move.

Refer to Kondo’s famous principles in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to determine which of your belongings “spark joy”, and which aren’t worth hauling along for the move.

If getting rid of some things feels particularly perturbing, consider how much you’ll be saving on moving costs: the more stuff you pack, the more expensive the move.


Allocate plenty of time to packing your belongings – at least six weeks before the moving date. Packing takes time, and you need a strategy.

Begin packing the items you won’t need anytime soon — holiday decor and family heirlooms, for example. These items should be packed first.

To help ensure none of your belongings are damaged during the move, pack heavier items at the bottom, with lighter items sitting safely on top.

When packing your clothes, start with the items you won’t need any time soon — extra workout outfits out-of-season pieces, for example. Pack your favourite clothing staples last, so you can wear them in the last days before your move, and during the transport process.


Label your boxes according to function, contents and whether or not the items are fragile. Upon arrival, you’ll know exactly where each box should go, and how carefully the box should be handled. Pack a whisk, sweater and lamp in the same box and you’ll hate yourself when unpacking.

6. Consider Hiring a Moving Company

If you’re moving long distance, you’ll likely need professional help from a moving company. Of course, whether you need it depends on your situation – your timeframe and budget, as well as the complexity of your move.

Now that you’ve taken inventory of your belongings and know how much you have, you can get a reliable estimate on how much it’ll cost to hire expert movers to help you pack and move.

Consider your options carefully. Moving is a lot of work – especially long distance moves. Sometimes, it pays to have the pros’ support.

If you’re considering a moving company, check out our Long Distance Movers page and see if we’re the right fit for you.


We recommend forwarding your mail and changing your address online – this is the easiest way.

Go to and click the “Quick Tools” tab at the top left. Select “Change My Address.” You’ll be redirected to the USPS Official Change of Address form.

Fill in the form by entering your old address, new address and the date you want to start forwarding your mail.

Your credit card will be charged $1 to change your address online. Your credit card will be used to verify your identification to prevent fraud.

There – that easy!

8. Update Tags/Licenses

You usually can’t live in one state and have a drivers’ license for another.

Your new Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles), BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) or DOT (Department of Transportation) — depending on your new state – requires you to notify them of your new address.

Most states have strict timeframes for you to update this information, so be sure to update this information at your local DMV before the deadline.

The process varies from state-to-state but, generally, they require you to get a local license and re-register your vehicle. The timeframe for you to get this done is usually 30, 60, or 90 days.

For up-to-date information on timeframes, fees, and required documents for each state, check out this state by state guide on how to update your license and registration.

Want to Hire A Moving Company? Call Us

We won’t deny moving long distance is stressful. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce your stress with proper planning and organization.

For information on how Air 1 Moving and Storage can help you with your long distance move, call us at (866) 552-2916. Our lines are open 24/7 to ensure you can speak with one of our professionals as soon as possible. You can also fill in our form, or email us at [email protected].