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How to Pack for a Long Distance Move

Long-distance moves can be a challenging task to take on without the proper preparation and support. Staying organized and utilizing professional resources to help you pack for a long-distance move will help you gain the confidence and peace of mind to take on the tasks that come with the territory. 

Whether you need professional moving guides and tips or a trustworthy moving company you can rely on, North American Van Lines is here to help with all your moving needs. Since 1933, we've helped thousands of individuals, families and businesses successfully navigate the challenges of long-distance moves. 

Ready to learn how to pack for a long-distance move? We have you covered.

Have a Strategy

When packing for a long-distance move, it's always best to start early, invest in high-quality moving supplies, and stay organized. When considering everything you’ll need to pack, plan and pay for, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to get done before the big day. Instead of thinking about everything at once, take on each room one at a time. This strategy will keep you on task and help you break a big project into smaller, more manageable goals.

Get Organized 

Staying organized while packing for a long-distance move will give you peace of mind and help you stay on task. Always label every box you pack, writing down which room it belongs to and what's inside. This will help you load the moving van efficiently and make unpacking easier. 

Sell, Toss or Donate

Now it's time to get organized and start clearing out your clutter. Go through each room, collect items you don’t use anymore and consider selling or donating them to lighten your load. Anything you can’t sell, donate or repurpose can be recycled or trashed.

Next, pack up out-of-season items you won't need anytime soon. From there, continue to pack each room and label every box clearly. You'll want to spend extra time packing your fragile items to ensure they remain safe and secure during transit.

Set Up a Packing Station

A packing station should have everything you need for packing for a long-distance move. This includes boxes, tape, packing paper, labels and markers. With a packing station, you can make sure none of your go-to supplies get lost in the chaos of moving.

How to Pack Like a Pro

Now that you’ve made a plan, cleared out your clutter and organized your packing process, it's time to start learning how to pack for a long-distance move. Keep this list handy when it’s time to start packing your bags. Here's how to get started:

How to Pack Books

  • Place your books upright in a sturdy box, the same way you'd arrange them on a shelf. Hardcover books should be packed face down.
  • Book boxes get heavy FAST. Make sure you have plenty of boxes handy to ensure you don’t overload them. Once a box reaches its limit, fill in the empty space with packing paper.

How to Pack Clothes

  • Keep clothes on the hanger and grab at least 10–15 items at a time.
  • Cut a hole in a garbage bag for the top of the hanger and slip your garments into the bag.
  • You can also opt for wardrobe boxes to act as portable closets and keep your clothes safe and wrinkle-free.

How to Pack Shoes

  • Pack your shoes in pairs by tying the shoelaces together.
  • Stack shoes side by side in a box.
  • Pack separate boxes for shoes you wear regularly and seasonal or dress shoes.
  • Label each box so you know which is which when you start unpacking.

How to Pack Liquids

  • Liquids should be sealed in an upright container.
  • Inspect for leaks or damages before putting them into a box.
  • Use packing paper to add more protection.
  • Pack liquids into a moving box and label box LIQUIDS before moving it into a moving van.
  • NOTE: Hazardous materials cannot be transported by moving trucks and may be prohibited on rental vehicles. These materials include pool chemicals, combustibles like lighter fluid and propane, perishables and more. Make sure you appropriately dispose of any hazardous materials in advance to save yourself a hassle on moving day.

How to Pack with Moving Blankets

Moving blankets are great for wrapping furniture and appliances. Start by securing the blanket around the item with a strap. Ensure it's not loose, and then safely load it into the moving van. The blanket will protect your bulky items from damage in transit. 

How to Pack with Packing Paper

Use packing paper to wrap delicate items or fill extra space in a box. It helps reduce friction and keep your belongings from bumping into each other. How you use it will vary by item.

How to Pack with Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is the go-to for fragile items, glassware, dishware or family heirlooms. To use it for packing, gently wrap it around the item and secure it with tape. Once the item is secure, carefully stack it into a box with similar items. 

Have an Upacking Plan

Once you arrive at your new destination and it's time to unpack, follow a few simple steps to keep the process simple. Pro tip: review these steps while loading to ensure efficient unpacking.

  • Start with the everyday essentials.
  • Unpack room by room.
  • Once you complete one room, dispose of the trash and clutter, then move on to the next.
  • Ask your friends and loved ones for help assembling appliances and furniture.
  • Continue the process until every room is complete.

Take on Packing for a Long-Distance Move With northAmerican

At North American Van Lines, we're the experts in packing for a long-distance move. Whether you're moving to Toronto from Vancouver or you're settling down in a new province, we're here to help make moving a breeze.

Contact us today for a free estimate!