Challenges of a Long-Distance Move

Long Distance Movers in San Francisco

Any long-distance move (usually defined as more than 100 miles) comes with its own set of unique challenges. Due to the sheer distance involved and extra care necessary to pack, load and navigate your items, you can expect more planning and preparation to go into this kind of relocation.

Your first step is to hire a mover with experience in long-distance moves. Not all movers have this, so be sure to do your homework when it comes to moving companies you can trust with a move of this magnitude.

Let’s go over some of the challenges inherent in a long-distance move of any size.


Packing up all your stuff will be a bit more difficult and time consuming in advance of a long-distance move. While you may be able to take a more relaxed approach to packing when it comes to a simple local move across town, you can’t take the same cavalier attitude with a long-distance relocation. When traveling hundreds of miles away, there’s a greater risk that your items could be damaged with the longer time your belongings spend in the truck.

If you can afford it, hire your movers to pack your belongings for you as well. This will save you a lot of headache and time, of course, but in so doing, you will be assured that your stuff is being packed as safely and securely as possible. Your movers know exactly how to efficiently pack your stuff so it will survive a long road trip intact.

They’ll show up with the proper supplies and materials to ensure safe packing for anything from dishes to appliances.

Consider these extra precautions to take with a long-distance move:

  • Furniture should be double wrapped in shrink wrap and then covered with new, sterilized moving blankets.
  • You will need to invest in sturdy, double-layered corrugated boxes for optimal protection.
  • You will also need specialized boxes for fragile electronics, dishware, and artwork (custom crating for antiques and art is recommend).

Organization will be of paramount importance. Your movers will pack, label and barcode your boxes, but you can also come up with your own color coding system as well based on the destination room in the new place. This will make unpacking much easier than if you had to guess which room each box goes into. You should also write your full name and address on all boxes.

Inventory List

When you get a quote for your long distance move, it will likely be based on inventory and distance traveled. Local moves, on the other hand, are typically priced hourly. So, to prepare for your long-distance move, it’s wise to create a home inventory list prior to packing, says My Moving Reviews. This will help you narrow down what you should trash, sell, donate or take with you on the move.

Be very detailed in your inventory, itemizing everything you own. Go room by room, and take photos of each item as well. This list will help ensure your items arrived at the new location and that you’re not missing anything while in transit.

Delivery Windows

In long-distance moves, accurate delivery windows aren’t as easy to come by. With local moves, it’s fairly easy to give a day and exact time. But with long-distance relocations, you are often given a delivery window. If you’re under the gun in terms of time constraints, you have some options. For an extra fee, you may be able to narrow the delivery window and get a guaranteed date.


Before you set off on your long-distance trip, you need to clear up some things with the destination home or apartment. You may not have even seen your new home yet, at least as it pertains to a move-in-ready standpoint. Consider the following:

  • Find out if there are certain days of the week where you are allowed to move in, such as dictated by homeowners associations and apartment buildings. For example, in New York City, move-ins can only take place on weekdays. Ask if there are service entrances to make your mover aware of.
  • Find out if the building requires a Certificate of Insurance, and if that certificate is necessary for elevator reservations.
  • Ask building management if there will be sufficient space for the moving truck to pull in and unload. If not, your moving company will want to know this in advance and may charge you a shuttle fee.

Obtaining the most accurate quote will entail honesty and transparency on your part as well as the moving company’s. With a more detailed scope of work, you can be assured of the most accurate estimate.


With long-distance moves comes the increased chance of needing storage. Not all move-in dates and closings happen in conjunction with one another. It’s fairly common for your house to close here in San Francisco one day and in your destination city a week or month later. In the meantime, your stuff has to go somewhere, and that’s where storage comes in. This is referred to as “Storage in Transit,” whereby some moving companies will store your stuff anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months or more.

Find out if the storage facility is run by a third-party storage company or is actually owned by the moving company. Be leery with third-party companies, as there is a greater chance that your belongings could be misplaced or damaged upon delivery. Also, find out if the facility is climate controlled, with 24/7 security.

Yes, it can be daunting to face a long distance move but people do it every single day and come out the other side just fine. As we said before, the key is to hire long-distance movers to ensure the whole process goes seamlessly.

Contact Dependable Movers

Looking to move quite a distance in the San Francisco area? No problem. Dependable Movers specializes in long-distance moves of all kinds and sizes. For a free quote on your long-distance move, contact us at 415-619-5997.



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