I’m sure you’ve noticed, but Alaska is quite far removed from the rest of the United States, or the lower 48 as they’re commonly known.
This distance brings with it a whole host of additional challenges that you may not have considered when planning your move. You’re not just moving down the street or across town here. Depending on which part of the United States you currently call home, you’re about to tackle a 3000 mile journey at least.
Moving to Alaska? Here are 4 long-distance moving tips to get you on your way.
De-Clutter & Downsize
The concept is simple. The less you have to move, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Consider de-cluttering and ridding yourself of as much unnecessary garbage, and waste as possible. Try holding a garage sale, or unloading items to friends and family. This goal here to rid yourself of excess belongings.
Moving all your personal belongings such a long-distance is going to be a sizeable undertaking as it is, why make it harder on yourself? Many people find it cheaper and easier in the long run to sell off many of their belongings, aside from the essential items, and buy new when you arrive. New doesn’t necessarily have to mean brand new – just new to you!
Maybe leave this one to the professionals?
If you are going to be moving some large ticket items to your new home, consider hiring a professional. Contact the Kibe Lucas Team, they’d be happy to recommend a reputable company. Your items are going to be spending a lot of time in the back of a truck, moving down a number of highways at a high rate of speed. It’s worth it to invest in having those items packed properly, especially if it means they’ll arrive in one piece.
Be aware though. Most moving companies for a variety of reasons are only able to provide a delivery window. With such a large move, it’s hard to know precisely when your items will arrive – this window can be as much as 20 days. Take this into account when you’re packing your personal effects. Make sure to bring enough with you so you can get by for a few weeks, and keep any essential personal information with you that you might need for a job search, or home purchase.
If you’re determined to go it alone, ensure all your items are packed tightly and securely. You’ll also want to make sure your items are organized, in well-labelled boxes. For example, mattresses should be in mattress boxes to avoid damage, and make sure to inspect outside furniture so you don’t unwittingly smuggle insects or vermin into your new home. International borders have strict policies to protect against introducing invasive species.
Make arrangements beforehand if possible
If it’s at all possible, it’s best to make a trip to your new home before making the permanent move. Not only can you get a feel for your prospective new home, but there are some things that require a personal touch, namely finding a home. You can search for Alaska real estate online, but it’s hard to get a real feel for a place, unless you see it in person.
The same goes for a job. Of course, a new job is often the reason behind such a long-range move, but not always. If you’ve decided to get up and go, do yourself a favor and find a job beforehand. Not only will it remove a lot of the stress of your first few weeks in your new home town, but it brings with it a built in social circle. You’ll have access to invaluable local insight.
Pick the right time
This may not be possible, as circumstances often dictate necessity, but picking the right time to move can make quite the difference. The Alaska Highway is 1700 miles long, and only two lanes in some places. This road can be quite treacherous at the best of times, not to mention in the icy winter months.
Believe it or not, Alaska can be quite cold. Do yourself a favor and take care of your long-distance move in the summertime when the weather is the most bearable.
If you are planning to drive this way on your way to your new Alaskan life, just make sure you’re prepared. The route is wonderfully scenic but you want to make sure you’re fueled up adequately and your car is tuned up for the journey. Driving yourself can be time consuming and expensive (think food and hotel rooms), but a great way to deliver small, personal items.