So you’re moving to Seattle but you’ve never done a long-distance move before. That’s ok! 

Packing up all of your belongings on a truck with people you’ve only met once, before watching it embark on its long journey, can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be! 

With the proper preparation and planning, your move across state lines can be easy and painless. When moving long distances, just having a keen attention to detail can save you hundreds of dollars. 

So we’ve compiled this list of tips to help you make a smooth move to Washington state—before you know it, you’ll be unpacking boxes and decorating your new home. 

Pike Place Market in Seattle - Public Market Center sign


Should I Move to Seattle?

If you’re still on the fence about moving to Washington state, we would suggest doing some research into the different Seattle neighborhoods. 

Seattle is a big city with a lot to offer even outside of the metro area, so looking into what’s around your target spot may help you get a better idea of the neighborhood’s vibe. But location isn’t everything.

The cost of living in Seattle can vary dramatically from city to suburb to coast, so doing thorough research into average incomes, rents, and real estate prices can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. No city is perfect though, so you may want to consider making a “living in Seattle pros and cons list” so you can better visualize any compromises you may be making. 

Getting in touch with your lifestyle’s wants and needs is especially important when moving to a completely new state.


Map Out Your Commute

When moving to Seattle from NYC or any other dense city, you might want to research the public transit around your future home and workplace. 

Seattle definitely is a major city, but it’s nowhere near as large as Chicago, New York City, DC, or San Francisco, which means you may find its public transit less convenient than you’re used to. However with less density comes less traffic, which is much better for personal transportation options. 

Bikes, electric bikes, and electric cars are king in the Pacific Northwest, so you may want to consider investing in one to make the occasional suburban errand or road trip easier.

Seattle waterfront


Pack It Up

Once you’ve figured out the logistics of living in Seattle, it’s time to grab the packing tape and sharpie for the main event—packing. With the most challenging aspects out of the way, we hope to make the rest of your moving process more efficient and effective.


Sort Your Stuff

Moving presents a great opportunity to purge old stuff—especially when it costs more if you don’t. 

It’s important to go through all of your belongings and get rid of anything that you don’t want or use anymore. 

Try to be objective and firm when deciding what to keep. This process will make a long-distance move much less daunting—less stuff means fewer boxes to unpack!

Aerial view of Seattle Washington


Start the Puzzle

It’s time to get packing and labeling, but before you go stacking stuff in big boxes, keep in mind that they’re traveling a long distance. 

Packing things as tightly and cushy as possible will spare you the anxiety of wondering if your grandma’s china collection made it to Seattle without shattering. 

Take newspaper wrapping to the next level and wrap extra fragile items in bubble wrap, towels, or even clothes. 

We hope you like puzzles because if you can make everything fit snugly, you’ve got a better chance of making a successful long-distance move. The less room left in a box, the less room there is for movement, which hopefully means less chance of damage.

Boats under the Aurora Bridge in Seattle Washington


Check the Weather

When moving to Seattle from California—or anywhere less wet—it’s important to remember that Seattle gets an average of 150 days of rain (you may want to add this to your living in Seattle pros and cons list). 

If you’re moving antiques or delicate objects that can be damaged in high humidity—such as pianos and art—scheduling a move date when the sun is out may be in your best interest.


Box Smart

Packing boxes like puzzles isn’t the only thing you can do to make your move easier. 

Try to pack using smaller boxes—this will make loading the truck easier and will ensure that every nook and cranny is filled. 

If you hire professional movers, you won’t have to worry about packing the truck up like a puzzle, but if you choose a DIY move, the same packing principles apply. 

Exposing fragile objects to the vibrations and g-forces created by hundreds or thousands of miles is not ideal, but a well-packed truck with well-padded boxes can save your wine glasses an unfortunate demise.

Aerial view of Gasworks Park in Seattle WA


Hire Professional Movers for Your Seattle Transition

Now that you’re completely ready to get your show on the road, you can call up a reliable and trusted, professional moving service so that you can confidently send your stuff on its way! 

At West Coast Moving & Storage, we provide local and long-distance moving services to the Portland metro area and along the West Coast.

Contact our professional movers today to request a free quote.