Making the decision to move to another state couldn’t have been an easy decision, but it will end up being the easiest part of your journey. The logistics moving forward will become evermore difficult as you design a plan to get you and all of your belongings across state lines.
1) Calculate Your Moving Budget
Your moving budget is the first thing you must consider. Tabulate the maximum amount you can spend on the move before you do anything else. Moving your items will be your biggest expense, but there are many other expenses that you cannot forget when calculating your budget and estimating expenses:
- Packing, unpacking, disassembly and reassembly
- Packing supplies, including boxes, tape, packing paper, and bubble wrap
- Car shipping expenses (if you aren’t driving to your new residence)
- Airfare or road trip expenses, which include gas and lodging
2) The Cost of Long-Distance DIY Move
Long distance, “do-it-yourself” moves are not practical and rarely end up being a cost-effective solution in the end. Renting a gas-guzzling moving truck and a car trailer is an imperfect design, considering all that goes along with it. The logistics are trouble.
We tested the current market, and found the following rate for renting a 26-foot U-Haul truck, which accommodates a 3-bedroom residence, along with an auto transport trailer from Los Angeles to Dallas (1,200 miles).
- The base charge for the truck and trailer is $3,150
- Insurance for the truck is an additional $150
- Insurance for the trailer is an additional $60-$80
- A utility dolly is $10
- An appliance dolly is $12
- A furniture dolly is $10
- A dozen furniture pads is $10
- An environment fee is $5
The total before taxes is $3,330.
A 26-foot U-Haul truck has a 57-gallon fuel tank and gets nine miles on a gallon of gas. Therefore, it can go 513 miles on one tank of fuel. If you are traveling a thousand miles, you would need to fill up twice, and at $2.50 for a gallon of gas, you are looking at around $285 in gas expenses.
Also consider that hiring a two-person crew to assist you with moving your boxes and furniture for four hours will cost $250-$350 on each end of your move.
Therefore, it is crucial that you do the research according to your needs and travel distance, and calculate the total cost of a DIY move before you begin calling moving companies. That way, you have an idea of what you will be saving as you gather estimates in order to determine if doing it yourself is really worth the time and effort.
3) Scheduling a Professional Interstate Mover
You will want to schedule a mover as soon a you know your move-out and move-in date to ensure that an expert moving company is available. Having a professional scheduled will greatly reduce your stress level because there is now a guarantee that an efficient moving crew will be there to load your possessions on the day of your exit to another state.
While you are looking for a “bargain price”, cost should never be the determining factor when choosing a moving company to do a state-to-state move. This isn’t your average move. You won’t be following truck down the road a few miles to a new residence; you will be entrusting everything you own to a team of movers who will be rambling down highways unsupervised for a pretty significant period of time. You need a company that you can trust, and finding those trustworthy professionals requires serious research. Check on Yelp, Google, and other reviewing sites for 5-star state-to-state movers with a home base in your area. Do not settle for anything less.
In addition, check with the U.S. Department of Transportation to make sure that your interstate mover is properly licensed, and that your belongings will be insured by a credible provider in case of theft, loss, or damage. If you are in the Los Angeles area, Royal Moving is your 5-star professional that will provide you immaculate service.
Finally, get an estimate in writing, and make sure that there will be no hidden charges at the end of the move. Do your best to find an all-inclusive moving package, so there are no surprises.
4) Downsize Your Possessions as You Pack
Interstate movers often calculate your moving expenses by weight. Therefore, it is time to purge those things that you haven’t used in FOREVER, and forever in this case is about a year. Make three piles:
- One pile for trash, which includes items that no person would ever want.
- One pile for donations, which include gently used items like clothes and furniture that are not worth moving or do not meet your standards of style anymore,
- One pile for valuable pieces of property that can earn you a bit of money to help cover moving costs.
Selling your items is much easier in the Internet age. Websites like Craigslist provide a virtual market for quick deals and you never have to leave your house.
5) Find Free Moving Boxes to Reduce Moving Expenses
Since moving expenses are pretty hefty for an out of state move, you will probably want to cut your costs as much as possible, and getting free boxes and other moving supplies will help in that respect. Again, Craigslist is a great place to find folks in your area that would rather give away their used boxes than trash them. For example, in the Los Angeles area, a quick Craigslist search in the “free stuff” section coupled with the search term “moving boxes” reveals 35 listings, and some of them include packing supplies. Other places to acquire free boxes include liquor stores, bookstores, large department stores, and grocery stores.
6) Label Your Moving Boxes for Efficiency
Once you have your boxes, free or otherwise, and begin packing, it is essential that you label each one, so that the movers know which room to move your containers once they arrive at your new residence. It is also helpful to take a picture of each container’s contents and label the photo and the box, so that you know the exact contents of each one, which will make unpacking an easy task.
7) Transferring Utilities and Other Services
With any move, transferring utilities and other services is a hassle, but a move to another state adds complications. First, remember to get you and your family’s records, shot records, and school records. Don’t forget your dry cleaning. Also, you will want to cancel any local club affiliations that you have, including gym memberships. In addition, your prescriptions will need to be transferred to a pharmacy near your new home.
As far as utilities, it will be an entirely different world on the other end. For many utilities such as gas, electricity, water and sewer, you will need to schedule a connection as soon as possible, but you absolutely must give them at least a week notice, or you could be without those service when you move into your new residence. The same goes for Wi-Fi and cable in many situations. Also, make sure you arrange to have your utility service shut off at your current residence on the day of your move, and give them your new address, so that you will receive your final bill, or you may never see it, and that could lead to trouble with a collection service.
8) What to Expect and What You need to do When Moving Day Arrives
It is critical to let the moving experts do their job once they arrive. You want the task to be done expediently at this point in your journey, and they are trained and have moved hundred of homes, so you will only slow them down by offering amateur advice to them. Other things to consider:
- Have everything packed BEFORE the movers arrive.
- Empty dresser, desk, and storage drawers.
- Clearly mark fragile items.
- Make sure that the movers have a place to park and easy access to your residence.
- Do not leave your residence because the moves might have a question.
- Exchange contact information with the movers.
- Tip the movers on both ends of the shipping.
9) Pack Your Car and Take a Road Trip (or Don’t)
Unless you are selling your car because you are moving to a pedestrian-friendly city like New York City, you will need to pack your car with items that you need on the other end. Since it is possible that you will beat the moving truck to your new residence, you will need to pack essentials for up to a week. The following are items you will want to bring with you:
- Several changes of clothes
- Toilet paper
- Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
- Bath towel and wash cloth
- Shower curtain
- Plastic eating utensils, paper plates, and paper towels
- All-purpose cutting knife
- All-purpose cleaner
- Trash bag
- First-aid kit, and prescription and nonprescription medicine
- Took kit
- Flashlight, candles, and lighter
- Important records
- Small electronics
- Chargers for phones and other electronics
The other option is to ship your car, but a road trip across state lines can be cathartic. The open highway provides a nice break from the life you left behind to the new one that is ahead. It allows you to clear your mind of all the chaos and stress that accompanied your move, while giving you time to do some future planning along the way. If a road trip isn’t an option, it could take a while for your car to arrive by way of car transport, which typically runs from 40 cents to $1 per mile.
10) Planning for the “Delivery Spread”
Many moving companies use large trailers, and pack more than one customer’s set of belongings in it in order to cut costs, and those savings are passed on to you. There is a catch, though; there is not typically a guarantee on the exact time and day that the moving company will pick up or drop off your belongings. Instead, the movers give you a “delivery spread”, which is a period of time when they will arrive that can be as long as several days in length. The movers attempt to do the best they can to reduce the number of days, but they cannot account for all the things that might occur as they move from customer to customer to load and unload trucks. Once you are within the delivery spread, the moving company should be able to narrow the time of pick up or delivery as they get closer to your destination.
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