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How To Plan A Long Distance Move

August 24, 2018

Moving to Seattle is really exciting! As a realtor, I know that moving can be one of the most stressful things a person can do.  Even if you already have a job and friends or family here waiting for you, there’s still plenty to consider as you embark on your move to this beautiful Pacific Northwest city.  Any move, whether you are moving from across the country or from around the world, can be a mix of excitement and stress. To lessen your worries, plan for your move, including transportation, lodging along the way, and budget, well in advance.  Staying organized is half the battle to making your move as smooth as possible.

Have A Daily Goal

Break your trip down into manageable steps and daily goals.  Especially if the task of boxing up your home and moving across the country to a new place is overwhelming, having a goal that you set each day or each week can help you tackle any project.  For example, if you are moving across the country, figure out the total mileage for the trip and break the mileage down into days or even hours so you can prepare your budget. Some people like to drive at a more leisurely pace and incorporate frequent stops. Others want the trip to be over as quickly as possible. Find what works for you.  After determining how many miles you would like to cover in a day, it's important to look at a map and make sure it is feasible. You may want to pre-book your hotel stays in advance. This will help you plan a goal for each day and ensure you will have a place to stop and rest.

Need A Moving Truck?

Depending on the city you live in, you will want to book a moving truck far in advance. Before comparing quotes on moving vehicles which can be pricey, sell or donate any belongings you don’t need or want.  Getting rid of your clutter before your move will help reduce your moving costs. If you are moving from a far distance, it may make more sense to only bring a limited amount of items with you and purchase the larger items such as furniture and electronics once you reach your destination.   

Create A Budget for Moving

If you’re not lucky enough to have an employer pay for your relocation, you’ll want to set a moving budget.  Once you have a quote from the moving company, you will be left with your transportation costs. If you are traveling by car, you’ll need to consider gas prices as well as food and lodging.  There are apps you can download to help you find gas stations and budget your gas trip. And for lodging, sites such as TripAdvisor compare pricing on hotels, help you find great deals, and is a great resource to use when you're trying to find local attractions and dining options. Other affordable options include sites like Airbnb and VRBO. There is often a greater choice of booking a stay through these online rental sites and many include extra amenities such as allowing pets and laundry facilities. In the end, it may actually be more affordable to travel by air once you factor in the cost savings on gas, food, and lodging, so consider that as well.

Tip and Ideas On Organizing Your Move

  • It’s always a good idea to leave early in the morning. This will give you plenty of daylight and the best way to ensure you get to your next destination on time.
  • Multi-task at the gas station. Assign one person to pump gas and another person to run in to buy snacks, use the bathroom or walk the dogs. Each time you stop to get gas, you can easily waste 15-30 minutes of your time that you could be driving. This can add up, especially if you have to get gas three or four times in one day.
  • Try to avoid congestion during rush hour. While this cannot always be avoided, take a look at where you will be at a certain time of the day. If you anticipate being in a huge metropolitan area at 5:30 pm, see if you can leave an hour early to try to beat traffic. This take some planning, but there is nothing worse than driving for several hours only to get stuck in rush hour traffic!
  • Keep a small garbage bag in your car. Fill the bag up and then toss it at the gas station. This will save time by not having to throw away all the trash in your car each time you stop.
  • Put your receipts in an envelope, especially if you will have reimbursements from an employer or for a tax deduction. You can deduct your move across the country as long as you are starting a new job within 6 months of your move.
  • Keep your car organized! If you have an overnight bag, keep it in a convenient spot to make it easy to take out and repack each day. You don't want to have to dig and rearrange items each day, as that wastes time!
  • Be flexible. There are many elements you can't control, such as the weather or traffic. Give yourself some leeway when it comes to your move.


Once you arrive in Seattle, take in some fresh sea air and enjoy!  When you are ready to start looking for your perfect Seattle home, give realtor Scott Haveson a call.  As a top Seattle real estate agent, I can navigate the home buying process so that buying your home is easy and painless. Moving is stressful enough, so let me help you make it as smooth as possible! Contact me today!

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Scott is more than just a realtor: in the short time that I have known him he has become a trusted advisor and friend.  I first had the pleasure of working with Scott when I decided to sell my property on the East side.  He went well beyond what I came to expect from other brokers and helped me in every aspect of getting my house ready for sale.  He also gathered the most up-to-date market intelligence so that we could set the right offering price.  Once the sale was done, Scott gave me the education I needed to purchase my new home in Seattle with confidence.  Throughout the process he provided personalized service and had a team of specialists on standby to assist in every aspect of the transaction.  If you’ve spent any time looking at real estate in Seattle recently, you know that every advantage counts.  In today’s competitive market, you need a person like Scott on your side. ~ Mark M.

Buying or selling your perfect Seattle home?

shaveson@windermere.com • (206) 953-8311
214 W McGraw St. Seattle, WA 98119