How to Pack for a Long-Distance Move?

how to pack boxes moving

Moving cross country? You’re probably asking yourself, how should I pack for a long-distance move? So we’d love to share some long-distance moving tips with you before you start packing. Whether you’re moving to San Francisco, Dallas, Miami, New York City, or any other out of state move, there are two things in common:

  1. They are all considered long-distance moves.
  2. You’ll need to know how to pack for a long-distance move.

First of all, It’s never too late to learn the packing tips and tricks that make long-distance moving easier-things like taking advantage of seasonal deals on moving supplies, storing your bedding in plastic bags before you put them in boxes, to keep them from getting ruined, or packing up your vehicle with supplies before you start loading the truck up. These hacks will save you time and money in the long run!

Whether you’re renting a moving truck or pods, be sure to check out the cost of full-service movers and how they stack up against do-it-yourself moving services.

Why everyone is moving to Texas?

You might also want to consider some helpful items to bring with you, like water for your car’s radiator when traveling long distances or making several trips back and forth to the moving truck, and snacks and drinks to keep you going.

Before you start, remember that long-distance moving companies also offer packing services, so if you are overwhelmed by the packing process, looking to save time, or simply don’t want to do it, you can always call long-distance movers in Denver for professional help.

long distance movers-6

What’s a long-distance move?

A long-distance move is a residential relocation of 50 miles or more and typically involves moving from one city to another.


Uprooting your life, packing all your worldly belongings, and traveling hundreds of miles to a new home can seem like a difficult task for many people. So let’s walk you through how to pack for a long-distance move.

With careful planning and a little know-how, packing for a long-distance move can be as simple as hiring professional movers who will do all the work for you or understanding what items need special attention when moving out of state.

weather at location

Is the weather nice where you’re going?

One of the first things to consider is the weather where you’re moving. Will it be warm or cold? If you’re going to a hot or cold place, packing for a long-distance move will require some special attention. You’ll want to know how best to protect your belongings during travel.


What else do I need to know?

Several things will make your moving day go more smoothly. For instance, before starting to pack for a long-distance move, check how much space your vehicle has for hauling everything across the country. Important documents must be with you at all times, not in packed boxes.

Plan ahead of time and stay organized

Moving day is going to be a long, hard day for you – so set yourself up with the best chance of success by planning as soon as you know that you’re moving long distance.

The two spreadsheet moving checklist for your cross country move

One good way to stay organized is by making an inventory list of your items by creating a spreadsheet with everything you want to load in the moving truck.

Then, create a second spreadsheet of the items you’re unsure about moving and maybe displaying in a garage sale or donating.

Manage a moving calendar

A second way to stay organized is by creating a spreadsheet of your move, allowing you to keep track of time-sensitive tasks. This can be things like:

  • Selling or donating unwanted items.
  • Tracking your packing schedule and progress.
  • Picking up a moving truck.
  • Open house events if you are selling your home.
  • Cleaning your home a few days before closing.
  • Arrival dates at the new location.
  • Delivery window if you have hired cross-country movers.



Protect your prized possessions with professional supplies

Your prized possessions will be traveling hundreds and even thousands of miles across the country, so make sure you’re protecting them with professional supplies.

Using high-quality materials may cost more money but will ensure the shipment arrives safely to its destination. In some cases, you can find free boxes online on Craigslist, Offerup, or Market Place and save money.

Before purchasing moving boxes or any other packing materials, first, figure out how much stuff you have at home that needs to go in a box.

Ensure you purchase high-quality moving boxes and the correct type of packing supplies. It’s always good to have more supplies than enough, so there are no shortages on move-out day.

Packing tips for fragile items

Before you pack your most fragile items, be sure to bubble wrap them several times. You can also use packing paper for dishware and glass.

If you have expensive wine glasses or dishes, you can purchase specialty boxes such as dish pack boxes that include a packing kit.

moving packing tips

Tips from professional packers

  • Pack fragile items in small boxes if you can.
  • Please don’t leave any empty space in boxes; pack it tight with more stuff.
  • Label boxes with the word “Fragile” on every side of the cardboard boxes.

Hire professionals for specialty items

The American Moving and Storage Association guides require that every fragile, breakable, or loose item is in a box. In some cases, hard crates are required for valuable items.

If you have one or more of the following items at home, which are considered specialty items, let the moving company handle them.

  • Pool table
  • Piano
  • Grandfather clock
  • High valued artwork
  • Oversized TV
  • Large glass top

A moving company employs professional packers that can help if you have valuable items that require custom crating for a long journey. You will also need professional movers to load and unload these buky items.

What packing supplies to buy?

Let’s start packing your entire home

Sounds overwhelming, right? Well, it isn’t if you do it right. If you can, place all the unnecessary items in one corner of the house before starting the packing process.

It’s decluttering time!

We recommend beginning the sorting of storage areas that closet or attic you haven’t touched in months. Once everything is out, make a pile of unwanted items.

Move on to and back bedrooms and the basement. Remember, if you haven’t used an item in several months, you probably don’t need it.

Now, the garage requires your attention. Most garages have many miscellaneous items that will not fit standard boxes; that’s where specialty boxes come into the picture.

You probably heard or seen dish packs and wardrobe boxes before. These boxes are not just for china and clothes.

You can also use these boxes for larger and oddly shaped items that will not fit a medium or large box. You can also use plastic tubs if you have any.

Next on the packing schedule are the bedrooms. You can use medium or large boxes for toys, clothes, linens, and shoes.


You can pack pillows, stuffed animals, and comforters in extra large or wardrobe boxes. Small boxes are suitable for books, school, and office supplies.

The living room is probably the most effortless room to pack in the house. If you have any glass tops, use several layers of bubble wrap and place them in picture/ mirror boxes.

Mirrors and paintings can be packed under the same concept. If the picture box is too small, use two boxes, one from each side.

We leave the kitchen for last because it takes the most time. First, remove all dishes and glass and wrap them in several layers of packing paper.

There is a debate in the long-distance moving tips guides on whether to use dish pack boxes or plastic totes when packing fragile items.

dish pack boxes


Dish saver kit


  • Sturdy
  • It comes with a dish saver kit
  • Can hold up to 65 lbs.


  • Pretty expensive
  • It can Fit up to a set of 8
  • May crush in a long haul

Plastic tote


  • Easier to stack in a moving truck
  • Cheaper than a dish saver kit
  • Can fit more fragile items


  • It does not come with a cell divider unit
  • May require the use of a hand truck or dolly
  • It May not always be in stock

It all comes down to your matter of preference. The only way you will know which is better is by testing it out yourself. Keep in mind! You will need to unpack everything once you move in.

Our long-distance moving tips


As a licensed moving company in Denver, these long-distance moving tips were provided by our professional packers. We only use quality moving supplies and boxes to ensure the safety of your belongings.

What size moving truck do we use?

It depends. How much stuff do you have at home, and where are you moving to? There are two types of moving trucks that long-distance movers use, and that depends on the size of the load and if it’s an intrastate move (within the same state) or interstate move (moving out of state).

A 26 ft. boxed truck can hold up to 1,800 cubic feet worth of household goods but in most cases doesn’t cross state lines. A semi-truck holds up to 4,200 cubic feet and is used mainly for a cross-country move.

moving quotes

Working with long-distance moving companies


It’s not always about reducing your moving costs since some of us cannot move everything by ourselves across the country or even in the same city.

That’s where hiring a Denver moving company could be very helpful for a local or long-distance move. A moving company offers:

  • Packing supplies
  • Various types of boxes
  • Packing services
  • Full-service movers
  • Short and long term storage options

How to prepare for a long-distance move

If you have decided that the packing process and moving everything across the country is not for you, then it’s time to hire professionals to help you with your long-distance move. You will need to pay attention to a few things and details for a stress-free move.

The rule of three

Gather no less than three in-home moving quotes from reputable moving companies in your area to compare moving costs. The only way of receiving accurate moving quotes is by an in-home or virtual survey.

Your rights and responsibilities

Once you have received enough moving quotes, make sure to read the fine print on each moving quote so you can compare “apples to apples.”

Click on the following link to learn more about your rights and responsibilities provided by The American Moving and Storage Association.

Booking a moving company

The task of booking a moving company is time-sensitive during the summer months, May through September. To ensure an exact move-out day, we recommend reserving a date at least four weeks in advance.

A licensed moving company would never ask for more than $100 as a deposit to reserve a moving day. If one asks for hundreds or thousands of dollars of a deposit over the phone, the odds are that it’s a moving broker.

What happens if my move-in situation has changed?

The moving cross-country process includes many factors that are subject to change at times.

For example, the closing of your new home fell through a few days before the moving company is supposed to pick up your household goods.

Luckily, the moving company you hired can offer you storage solutions until you find a new home. Take into consideration that some moving companies charge storage handling fees, typically the major companies like United Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, Mayflower Transit, Bekins Van Lines, while others offer the first month of storage for free with no additional fees.

moving delivery


How to schedule a delivery window

Lots of factors are involved in out-of-state long-distance moves. Here are just a few:

  • The size of your shipment
  • The destination
  • The first date you can accept your shipment
  • Road and weather conditions
  • Weight station delays

The national average time frame to receive your goods is 1-14 business days from the first date you can accept your goods. If your shipment is less than a semi-truck load, it will be consolidated with other loads to make it cost-effective and save money.

If you have a four-bedroom house and your shipment filled up the entire truck (53 ft. trailer), it will save time, so expect a delivery window of 1-7 business days.

Long-distance moves are not simple

Remember that a long-distance move is not simple. The company should be experienced, federal and state compliant, and should have an active license.

A long-distance moving company is a service that can help with your move in (or out) to another city or state. It’s important NOT to choose or pay a downpayment to the cheapest option to save on your move because these companies provide different services, and it’s worth spending a little bit more for better quality.

They can also pack and load your entire home in one to two days, when it may take you efforts and several days, if not weeks, to complete by yourself.

cross country movers in denver

Moving long distance conclusions

Are you still thinking about making the long-distance move by yourself? Then it’s time for a moving checklist. (Click to download moving long-distance checklist & inventory list) We hope these long-distance moving tips were helpful!

Next: Read the Bible of Moving Tips

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