I've moved tons of times (really, like 26?).
PODS is a neat idea, but expensive (especially for the distance you're moving). What I prefer to do it rent a storage unit. I start packing the nick nacks (non-functional decorations), books, non-seasonal clothes, and then gather up the stuff that was already in boxes (like the Christmas decorations!). All of that stuff goes into the storage unit so I don't have boxes cluttering up the house. Stuff that is too big to move stays in the house untill moving day. We hire "three men and a truck" type of moving company to load up the stuff from the house and the storage unit and then transport us to the new place where they help us unload. A storage unit also allows you to slowly add stuff, whereas PODS might tick off your neighbors if you keep them at the house for weeks on end! (Our homeowner's association has a 3 day limit on PODS before you get fined!)
The first thing you're going to need is boxes, and you can look online or in the phone book. You can buy boxes from the storage unit or a UHaul store, but you'll pay more for them. Make sure you have lots of markers on hand to clearly mark on the box was room the stuff belongs in and some notes on what is inside. For example, "Master Bedroom: Gary's Winter Clothes". That way you'll be able to unpack faster and if you hire people to unload the truck on the other side you can tell them what room to put stuff in.
Make a list of all the rooms you have to pack (including garage and sheds, attics, etc.). My husband and I figure out what rooms we're going to do, and each weekend we set a "to-do". For example, the first weekend maybe you work on the attic and your wife works on the home office. Scheduling it room by room helps keep you from having a ton of packing to do at the end. It also cuts down on the desire to procrastinate. I try to budget an estimated time per room, and I aim for 8 hours of packing each weekend day, and two hours of packing on a week day after work.
For all of your packing keep this tip in mind: Take a few seconds to figure out if you really want to pack an item, trash it, or donate it to Goodwill. For example, clothes that have been out-grown or are just too out of date. Or toys the kids have totally lost interest in. No sense in packing it, hauling it, and unpacking it! So get rid of it now. We use white trash bags for trash and black lawn/trash bags for stuff to go to Goodwill.
Encourage everyone to make a list of the few items they don't want packed until the very end. Think of what you would pack if you were going on a vacation... a few toys, toiletries, a couple pairs of shoes, and a handful of outfits. The kids might have a hard time picking a few toys that can stay unpacked, but this helps them feel like part of the moving process. For example, packing their favorite stuffed animal that they can't sleep without would be a bad idea! Everything not on that list is fair game.
Bedrooms: Attack the hidden places first... under the bed, dresser drawers, closets. Pictures, nick nacks, toys, books, and desk items next. Complicated window treatments can be packed next, but leave enough up so you can still sleep at night.
Kitchen: Keep a few essential pots and pans, plates, etc. Pack the rest. China, fine glasswear, etc. My mom taught me that using you linens (towels, sheets, blankets) for protecting the glasswear and good plates is a great way to pack up and protect! If you have white dishes, do not use newspaper because the newsprint can stain the plates. Buy unprinted packing paper from the moving/storage store. You can ruin your China!
Office: Banker's boxes work great for filing cabinet contents and books, both of which can weight too much if you pack too many in a big box. You can often buy banker's boxes on sale in 7 or 10 packs at Staples, or a place like Sams.
Bathrooms: Usually one of the last places to be packed up. If you have several bathrooms it might be easier to pack one or two of them up and save one bathroom as the one that will stay fully functional until the move.
Everyone has their different method for attack. My mom always started at one end of the house and worked towards the other side of the house. I prefer to start with storage places (closets, attics, garage, etc), then living places (office, living room, library, etc), and then the functional places that remain somewhat stocked and functional (kitchen and laundry room, bedroom, and bathrooms).
Even if the house has to remain in use for several months, most real estate agents will tell you that the house shows better if you de-clutter and remove a lot of your personal pictures and decorations. The more bland/generic the decorations/furnishings, the more spacious it appears and the easier it is for the prospective buyer to "see their stuff in the space."
You guys probably want to pack as much as possible in the next 8 weeks, because if they have to stay in the house for a few months before you're able to move them down with you, you may be too busy at work by then to take off time to help with the packing. They don't have to live off paper plates and sleeping bags, but you can still probably pack 60 - 75% of the house and still have a functional house. Also, if you clearly mark the boxes, it's easier to get them back out of storage if they are needed (for example, if they end up staying so long they need winter clothes again!).
Since you're moving out of state, you will need to find an "interstate" mover (one willing, able, licensed, and insured to move over state lines). Most of these places will wrap your furniture in moving blankets for you to help protect them. You really don't have to mess with the furniture until moving day (except to empty anything from drawers). Two we've used frequently were Bekins and Mayflower.
Also ask your wife is there is one "spruce up the house" task that she wants you to do before you go. After you move, and most of the packing has been done, it should be easier to complete most of the tasks. But there may be one she doesn't want to deal with or doesn't feel skilled enough to do (like something electrical, or something that needs two adults like adding/removing ceiling fans). But I think the majority of your joint energy is going to need to go into the packing and putting stuff into storage.
Hope that helps,