Moving to the other side of town can be a very different experience from moving across the country -- or to a different country. If you're in for a big change of scenery, it pays to take stock of your situation sooner rather than later. A move to Alaska may seem exotic if you've never seen snow, but culture shock may have you racing back to the hot and humid South if you're not careful. Every area has something valuable to offer, but make sure you understand a locale's unique challenges by doing a little recon before you pack up the kids and hit the road.

We may come into the world naked, but we don't stay that way for long. From the moment we arrive, we start accumulating possessions. Some of them stay with us a lifetime, while others don't. One sure way to make your long-distance move a strategic disaster is to misjudge which items are keepers and which ones aren't. From packing smart to knowing what to pitch, let's take a look at a few strategies for implementing a long-haul move that won't make you wish you'd stayed put where life was dull but predictable. Don't cringe -- yet. Moving is an adventure. All you need is a reliable plan.