Relocation Across the Nation: 10 Long Distance Moving Tips
If you’re moving across the country, it’s going to take a lot of planning and preparation. With so much to think about it can be easy to miss something important. Make sure you have everything in covered with these 10 helpful long distance moving tips.
Moving is stressful, but moving across the country is liable to turn anyone’s hair gray.
If you’re one of the many considering The Great Move, planning is necessary for a smooth journey and an ideal landing. But how do you even begin to plan for hauling your things across the states?
With these long distance moving tips, you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache, stress, and money. Hold on tight; we’ll cover the things you’ll need to do if you’re skedaddling your way across America.
10 Long Distance Moving Tips
Regardless of where you’re heading, these 10 tips will help you find your way.
1. Check Out the Area
Before making any definite plans, check out the area. Although many people can’t afford to purchase a plane ticket and take a few days off of work, the Internet is a handy tool for getting the feel of a neighborhood.
Stalk the streets on Google Earth and use sites like Sperling’s Best Places or Apartment.com to get an idea of demographics, crime, and cost of living.
2. Get Moving Estimates
Speak to multiple moving companies to find the best deal. Sites like ours make this process convenient. All you have to do is enter in your moving information once, and several top-rated moving companies will call you with quotes for easy comparison.
Alternatively, you can pick and choose the companies you would prefer to work with and call them individually.
Fox News’s Mary Schwager recommends calling three companies for quotes. She reminds movers to remain vigilant about scams. If the company crewmen don’t wear uniforms or come to see your possessions in person, steer clear.
To avoid having your items held hostage, always follow these pointers:
- Research the moving company
- Check credentials by confirming the company’s US Department of Transportation registration number, which is required in 28 states
- Confirm the company’s insurance and ask how you would be compensated if something breaks
- Get everything in writing
3. Lighten Your Load
Get rid of as much as you can. Even if you bravely decide to transport everything in a truck yourself, the renting price will be determined by the size, which is determined by how many things you have.
Likewise, moving companies will charge you based on the same information, although it is usually a weight estimate. Consequently, don’t hesitate to sell off old bookshelves or other heavy objects.
As The Spruce’s Diane Schmidt says, “Weight equals money. The less weight, the less money. It’s that simple.”
4. Pack and Label
To cut costs, pack and label everything yourself. Do this well before the move date.
A “quick” packing should take three weeks, so it’s advisable to start a couple months ahead for an out-of-state move. Create a packing room where you can pile the boxes and label everything.
On every label include the following information:
- Your name
- The shipment reference number
- The items inside
- Where the box should be placed
- The box’s number (we’ll explain in a moment)
This will ensure your property will find its way back to you in the event of a mix-up and will make the actual moving in much swifter.
5. Create an Inventory
If you hire movers, you’ll have to sign off on their inventory. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have an inventory of your own ready so you can compare the two documents.
Create your own inventory by numbering the boxes chronologically. That way, when everything is taken out you can quickly check that Boxes 1 through 100 is present.
Additionally, take steps to protect your valuables. Record electronics as they work and take photos or video of all your objects to prove their state prior to being put in the moving company’s truck. Good companies take care of your possessions, but sometimes accidents happen.
6. Move in the Off-Season
Not everyone gets to pick when they move, but if you can, try to move any time of the year except summer. About half of US moves occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Further, companies will charge higher prices if you plan to move during this time.
7. Inspect Outside Furniture
If you live in an area rampant with an invasive species, states may have requirements about inspecting outside furniture to avoid further contamination.
For example, female European gypsy moths, which are notorious for killing off excess plant life, often lay eggs in outside furniture. Clean all furniture and check state guidelines for any legal requirements.
8. Understand the “Delivery Window”
If you hire movers, it’s important to understand they will have a delivery spread rather than a firm date upon which your possessions will arrive. This can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s impossible for moving companies to anticipate every obstacle drivers will face through the states.
The delivery spread may cover several dates or even a week’s (or more) worth of days. You must be available during those times.
Never agree for the company to deliver your possessions as soon as possible. If you do and aren’t there to greet the movers, you may get a hefty bill. Instead, agree on firm dates.
If the shipment arrives earlier than you agreed, it is the mover’s responsibility to pay for storage and re-shipment upon the agreed delivery date.
9. Check If a Shuttle Is Necessary
Nothing is worse than knowing your bed is a few miles away and being unable to lie in it. Unfortunately, if the moving truck is too large or unable to access your new address, the company will have to reload your possessions into a smaller truck.
This is much more money out of your pocket, so always check that the truck can access your new home or be prepared to ask about shuttle service fees.
10. Move-In Requirements
If you’re renting, always ask your new landlord about move-in requirements. Some owners request you lay down taping or take other measures to protect the building during the move.
If these regulations are in place, make sure you arrive before the movers and have enough time to prepare everything.
By reading this article, you’re already well on your way to preparedness for The Great Move. And our 10 long distance moving tips are guaranteed to make it smoother.
But we do have one other tool up our sleeve.
Take a look at our webpage to get a free moving quote from up to six highly-rated companies. You enter in the information once, and they’ll call with the details.
Don’t let that hair turn gray. Plan ahead, ask questions and be prepared for success.