Long-distance moving can be a difficult and time-consuming process that requires cautious preparation and organization to be successful.
To avoid the chaos and mayhem of moving (especially long-distance moves), we are sharing a comprehensive overview of items you will want to avoid packing when moving long-distance and a bonus list of things to do before you move.
Using the tips in our article about how to pack for a cross-country move, we will help you keep your sanity and reduce potential cross-country moving issues commonly experienced when packing and moving your stuff!
Table of Contents
Top 5 Things TO Avoid Packing When Moving Long Distance
When packing your things, you must be conscious of any products you should not bring for reasons relating to your safety, the law, or practicality.
If you want your long-distance move to go off without a hitch and be stress-free from beginning to end, here is a list of things you shouldn’t load up.
Cross-Country Moving Issues: Hazardous Materials
When transporting dangerous materials, you expose your possessions, the moving team, and the surroundings to significant risks.
These are some of the top items to avoid packing when moving long-distance:
- Aerosol cans (e.g., spray paint or deodorant)
- Batteries for automobiles and other types of automotive lubricants
- Chemicals (e.g., bleach, ammonia, or paint thinner)
- Chemicals such as fertilizers and insecticides
- Extinguishers for fires
- Flammable substances (e.g., gasoline, kerosene, or lighter fluid)
- Propane cylinders
Check with your moving business for a comprehensive list of dangerous chemicals that are not permitted, as the rules and regulations may differ from state to state.
Long Distance Moving Packing Tips Include: No Perishables
During a long-distance relocation, perishable goods risk going bad or attracting vermin.
Avoid packing products like these that easily go bad:
- Food that is either fresh or preserved – toss it out responsibly, clean containers, and recycling
- Food containers that have been opened – toss them out responsibly, clean containers, and recycle them.
- Refrigerated or leftover dinners – throw them out, and recycle containers as per your cities’ guidelines
- Dairy products – toss them out, recycle containers per your guidelines for recycling
What Can You Do With Other Non-Perisable Food Before A Cross-Country Move?
- a food pantry (for any unopened items)
- a homeless shelter (for any unopened groceries)
- pet shelter food donations for any unopened food
- give food to neighbors
- give food to friends
- Donate food to your church.
Plants + Long-Distance Moves
Due to the potential for destruction and the possibility of the spread of parasites or illnesses, most moving companies will not transport live plants on long-distance moves.
In addition, some states have particularly stringent restrictions concerning the exportation of vegetation.
Instead of packaging your plants for your moving company, and if you are attached to them, try any of the following ways to bring your plants on long-distance moves.
- Share your plant collections with friends, families, and neighbors
- Sell your plants on Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace
- Leave the plants outside of your home.
- Offer the new owner your plants; the new owner may want them
- Throw the plants out but recycle the planters or clean them and take them with you.
- Donate your plants to a local farm for decor.
Pro Moving Anywhere Tip: Valuables and Important Documents
Your life and personal identity are at stake when you are separated from your personal valuables and important documents.
Yes, much of our life today is online, which reduces clutter, but not everyone has converged and uses online paperwork.
Whether you have personal valuables or pertinent papers and documents you are transporting on long-distance moves, they do not belong in the moving van, but instead, they belong with you.
Documents and Valuables To Keep With You When You Move
- Money, credit cards, and checkbooks – personal identity items and stuff you’ll need along your trip
- Objects of monetary value and fine jewelry – wedding rings, heirlooms, etc.
- Documentation such as passports, certificates of birth, and social security cards are required.
- Insurance contracts, wills, and formal paperwork
- Documents about one’s health and prescribed pharmaceuticals
- Financial paperwork and tax information
Avoid putting expensive items and important documents into your moving crates to reduce the likelihood of losing or damaging them.
To lighten the Burden Of Moving X-Country With Personal Documents, We Suggest the following:
- Scanning all documents and saving them in the Cloud or on a thumb drive
- Use a small personal travel safe to lock and secure the items
- Use a small bag like a carry-on bag when you travel with all prescriptions rather than packing in a box
Cross-Country Moving Issues: Pets
Who would ever think the word “issues” would come up when you need to bring your beloved pets on long-distance moves?
Unlike vacations, where you can check your pets in at camp or have a sitter come to the house, your BFF has to come with you!
Moving over a long distance can be distressing for dogs, and we can not stress this enough: putting them in a moving (van) vehicle is never a good idea because it is neither secure nor practical.
As you can tell, this is one of the items to avoid packing when moving long-distance without question.
Don’t laugh because, inadvertently, pets can hop into boxes and luggage, and then they would get packed up!
And unfortunately, things with pets happen and make headlines in our news, so planning your pet’s cross-country move is important and necessary to mention.
How To Move Your Pet On Long-Distance Moves?
- Plan on leaving ahead of the movers and travel over several days with plenty of breaks to walk your pet.
- Stay at pet-friendly hotels
- Stop along the way and take walks at the famed parks along your route
- Or you can find a company that specializes in the transportation of pets (but your pet may be happier with you)
Make preparations in advance to ensure the safety of your pets throughout the moving process!
One Packing Job Leads to another
Boxing stuff leads to cleaning, which leads to trash and donations and the insanity of getting everything where it needs to be.
Calling donation trucks, taking items to donation centers, and cleaning the mess you never knew you had until you moved things around.
Stagnancy in life permits us to make piles and clusters and get inundated when it is time to move.
Spring is moving along, and so are many people. Are you one of the millions of people moving this year, or are you in the midst of it right now?
Clean, organize, donate, and then make sure that you remember your new address.
Heavy + Space-Hogging Items To Avoid Packing When Moving Long Distance
Since long-distance moves are typically charged by weight, having particularly weighty or large things can substantially drive up the overall cost of the move.
You’ve got to be practical and savvy and detach yourself from those bigger things.
Evaluate your possessions and think about whether or not it is financially feasible to transfer certain things, such as the following:
- Large appliances (e.g., refrigerators, washing machines, or dryers)
- Extra-large pieces of furnishings (e.g., sofas, beds, or entertainment centers)
- Home exercise apparatus
- Outdoor goods (e.g., patio furniture, grills, or lawn equipment)
Long Distance Moves | Options For Large Space-Consuming Items
To avoid cross-country moving issues with all of the items above, we have a few ways for your to rid the bulky stuff, and space-consuming, and it works for others, so try it!
- List any above items on Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor to sell or give away.
- Place them on your curb with a sign, “FREE.”
- Have a garage sale and keep the prices low
- Donate anything you can
- Give items to friends and family
- Offer the items to the buyer of your home (this does not work if you are in an apartment)
- Leave the Fridge, washing machine, etc., in the house as part of the sale.
It is possible that selling or donating the things in question and then replacing them at your new location will result in a lower overall cost.
BONUS: 6 Things You Should Do ONE Month Before Moving
Now that we have extensively covered the things to avoid packing when moving long-distance, let’s cover what you need to do before you move so that nothing slips through the cracks and creates future issues for you!
#1 Change Your Address Before Long-Distance Moves
Don’t wait to change your address until after you move because even in this world of ‘instant online,’ things still take time to catch up.
You don’t want the new person to have your mail, and while the USPS has made it easier to change your address with an online form, it can still take some time to process.
At a minimum, complete the new forwarding address at least 2 weeks before you leave to ensure your mail arrives at your new home with limited interruption.
That way, your mail will be forwarded, and the important pieces will await your move-in day.
#2 Cross-Country Moving Issues With Subscriptions and Memberships
Cancel all recurring payment subscriptions.
- Meal delivery kits
- Gym Memberships
- tanning salon memberships
- teeth whitening packages
Often the cancellations of these services take more than one email or call and often require proof of a new address.
Be sure to cancel these before your move; many subscriptions require 30-day notice or longer before services are suspended.
Remember too, and fitness centers often require proof of move as well as a notary signature (been there, done this)
#3 Sell Your Car
Before your eyes bulge out of your head, please note that this doesn’t apply to everyone.
Still, if you’re moving to a big city where parking is a nightmare, gas is costly, and public transportation is the main mode of getting around, you may want to sell your car before moving.
I have known plenty of people who have moved and lightened up, making a difference.
Highly concentrated areas, like New York City or downtown Chicago, are moves are a few to which I am referring.
WHY? Everything is walkable, and you don’t have to pay for your car to be parked or stored, which also rids the cost of car insurance and gas!
Try to simplify the agony of issues and expenses when possible.
Where To Sell Your Car Hassle-Free
Want to make this fast and easy and do not want to deal with private buyers on Craigslist?
Use a professional car-buying company that can send qualified buyers to your home to inspect your vehicle.
Since moving is so complicated, finding ways to streamline the endless tasks that build up is essential to keeping your head.
The age of digital, in this case, springs you ahead of the game!
#4 Use Online Enrollment For Anything You Can
The digital age, paperless times, signal you to get online and make as much of your life paperless as possible.
Do it online for your new home when setting up electricity, gas, trash, internet, etc..
Enroll in auto-payments, so nothing slips through the cracks, and you are always on time with your bill paying.
Any service at your old address should be updated online so you get messages that “x” has been terminated, canceled, etc., and they won’t need to send paper mail.
#5 Prepare To Terminate Your Utilities
Once you set up your billing online, this step is a breeze.
Make sure to research how far in advance or soon after moving out you can terminate your utilities.
Find the right place online on their utilities’ website and mark your calendars to remind yourself to terminate service.
Then, since you are set up to pay online, your final bill will be auto-paid, and you won’t have to worry about issues.
#6 Search for New Doctors
At the minimum, you should research a new PCP at least one month before your move and have an appointment scheduled with them ASAP in case you fall ill.
Have your medical records transferred and gain a copy for yourself as well; that is so important.
Make Sure To Come Back and Tell Us If You Used Our Items To Avoid Packing When Moving Long-Distance
Whether it is your family heirlooms, precious jewelry, documents, etc., you can now plan your move knowing these are things you would not want to pack and send with a moving service for cross-country moves.
Tell us what items we might have forgotten or what you used and why! We love hearing back from our readers! ~ DANA XO