Moving within the same city is a great burden filled with patches of anxiety, but interstate moving is a beast that takes on new levels of stress. Even if you know a few people in the new state, or even moving with your family, it can still feel like you are moving to an isolated island filled with uncertainty.
One thing is certain, planning your interstate move early is critical because it provides you with a solid state of mind, so that you can focus on other issues that might arise along the way, and there will be many. A moving checklist is necessary, so that you miss no important details and get to your destination safely with your belongings and your loved ones.
Budget Your Move to Another State.
The average cost of moving to another state is $5,630, according to the American Moving and Storage Association, which uses 7,100 pounds of possessions, the average for a four-bedroom home. Although, Worldwide ERC, a professional relocation service, reports the cost for an interstate move to be closer to $12,459.In comparison, an average in-state move is $1,170. Because of this great discrepancy, it is important that you do ample research months before your move to get the best moving deal. However, do not always go for the lowest price. Make sure you are getting a fair price and an efficient move from a highly rated professional moving company. Examine all charges beforehand because there might be hidden fees in the fine print of the contract. In other words, you have to ask specific questions, so that you do not receive a bill that is not outside of your budget. Get all of the costs in writing and ask the following of your potential movers:
- Is there a “gas fee”?
- Is there a “truck fee”?
- Is there a “stairs fee”?
- Is there a fee for plastic bags, packing paper, shrink-wrap, and masking tape that is sometimes required to assure that your possessions arrive safely during the move?
In addition, you might find out at the end of your move that your “cheap” hourly rate has hidden charges that you did not expect. Los Angeles-based moving professionals Royal Moving charge an hourly fee, but does not sneak in hidden fees like many of their competitors, so even if their hourly fee is a bit more, in the end you will end up paying a lot less.
Usually, long-distance, interstate movers use three factors when determining the cost of your move. These factors include the following:
- The number of items and the total weight of all of the items that you plant to move is the biggest pricing factor. Therefore, it helps your cost to downsize your belongings by selling and donating items that you never use, rarely use, or are not worth the expense to ship across the country. It might even be more cost-effective to sell your old coach and buy another on the other end. We offer tips on downsizing later.
- The distance between your old home and your new residence is the second factor. The moving company typically chargers you per-mile charge, which covers the cost of getting those gas-guzzling trucks down the highway.
- Additional services might include packing your belongings, disassembling your furniture, hoisting large belongings, and storage fees if there is a gap between the move-out date and move-in date. If you pack and disassemble large items, you will save money on the move.
Schedule a Professional Mover ASAP when Moving to Another State
Schedule a professional moving company when you know your move-out and move-in date, so that you are reputable mover will be available. Once you have a professional company scheduled, the relief will cut your anxiety in half.
Once you know your moving dates and you have established a moving budget, you can begin the research to find the perfect mover to get you to your new state. There are critical things to look for when doing your research. Consider the following:
- Interstate movers must abide by federal guidelines provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA requires interstate movers to obtain a U.S. DOT number. The DOT number assures the moving company has a legal license to operate across state lines, so make sure the moving company you choose has one. Ask for it and make sure it is legit.
- Interstate moving companies must provide arbitration if issues involved during the move cannot be resolved in an amicable fashion after the move. If a dispute occurs without a favorable outcome in your opinion, contact the FMCSA, and they will launch an investigation regarding the matter. As you can see, it is important that the moving company you choose han FMCSA-provided DOT number.
- Federal regulation requires interstate movers to give every customer a copy of the “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” brochure. This brochure outlines the ways consumers can find legitimate movers, outlines moving estimates, discusses the required paperwork involved in the process, and provides insurance considerations. In addition, it clearly defines the pickup and delivery standards, as well as the customer’s responsibilities. You can find copy of the brochure at this address.
Beyond the legal things you need to examine, there are other things you must consider when choosing a reputable moving company. Recommendations from friends and families go a long way, so ask around. However, reading reviews on Yelp and Google can be helpful as well. While researching, look for five movers that meet your requirements, and then interview each of them for additional security. Ask the following questions:
- Does the mover use staff employees or freelance workers? Does the mover subcontract any portion of the work? In other words, you want to find a company that uses staff moving crews because companies hold their own employees to a higher standard and hold them accountable for their actions. Furthermore, employed staff usually receives background checks and drug tests. This is not always the case when a company uses outsourced workers.
- What experience does the moving company have with interstate moves? How does the moving company train their employees before they begin doing interstate moves? The moving crews that work for the company you choose should be highly trained and have experience with an out-of-state move.
- What does the moving company do to properly protect fragile belongings? The moving company you choose should not stumble over this simple question that is fundamental to any professional mover.
- What options does the moving company provide for basic insurance and additional insurance? Your moving company should cover your personal belongings against any accidental damage or theft. The company should also give you options to you to boost you coverage if you feel the need to do so.
After interviewing five potential candidates, narrow your decision to the three best moving companies. Now, you will want to a get an in-person estimate from all three companies. A professional moving company understands the importance of an in-person estimate for a move that cross state lines. It is a big deal. Get all three bids in writing, and from there, you are set to make a decision on the best moving company option for your budget.
Plan for the “Delivery Spread”
Many moving companies use semi-trailer trucks that haul long trailers, and these trailers hold more than one customer’s set of possessions to cut costs. While the moving company passes those savings on to you, which is a good thing, there is a catch. Usually, there is no guarantee on the exact time and day when a moving company will pick up and drop off your belongings. Instead, moving companies give their customers a “delivery spread.” A delivery spread is a period of time when the moving crew will arrive, and that window can be as long as several days in length.
Moving companies attempt to reduce the number of days in the window, but they cannot account for the numerous things that could occur as they move across state lines from customer to customer, and load and unload trucks. As the moving company gets closer to your destination, the window should begin to narrow, so it is crucial that you keep a solid line of communication between you and the moving crew during the spread. Get the phone number of the supervisor on the moving crew, so that you can get an update as often as you find it necessary, in order to keep your sanity, and make sure they are on schedule.
Downsize Your Belongings as You Pack to Reduce Moving Costs
Interstate movers typically calculate moving expenses by the weight of your belongings. So, it is a good idea to eliminate the things that you haven’t used in a long time or don’t need anymore. Make three piles of items as you pack your belongs:
- Make a pile for trash, which includes broken and dated items that no person would ever want. Consider that even charity organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army will not accept broken or stained items, or items that are outdated to the point where they have no practical use anymore
- Make pile for donations, which include gently used items such as furniture that is in good condition, but not worth moving across the country, or clothing that you have not worn in a year or more because they do not meet your standards of style, or clothing that does not fit your kids, partner, or you. If you have enough items, such as a few pieces of furniture or several bags of clothes, many charity organizations will pick up your donated items in order to save you time.
- Make a pile for valuable items that you do not want anymore, and that you can sell quickly online, at a consignment store, or in a garage sale, so that you can earn a bit of money to help cover some of your moving costs. Selling your items is super easy in the Internet age. Websites like Craigslist provide a virtual market for quick deals, and you don’t even have to leave your house.
When Moving Day Arrives, You Must be Prepared
It is crucial that you allow the moving experts do their job without interruption once they arrive. You want the moving crew to get your things in the truck in an expedient fashion, so that you can begin your journey to a new home. If you did your homework, you hired highly trained individuals who have moved hundred of homes, and you will only slow them down by offering your amateur advice to them. Also, do the following to ensure an efficient moving experience:
- Have everything packed and disassemble before the movers arrive.
- Empty dressers, desks, and storage drawers because the do not move furniture that is packed with possessions.
- Mark your fragile items in a very clear way.
- Make sure that the moving crew has a proper parking spot before they arrive, and provide them with easy access to your residence.
- Always stay at your residence until your all of your belongings are on the truck because the moving crew might have a question for you.
- Exchange contact information with the crew foreperson.
- Tip the moving crew fairly on both ends of the move.
You can look at an interstate move into uncharted territory as a grim proposition, but a move of this magnitude also provides you with the opportunity for a new beginning. There are adventures, interesting new challenges, great hopes, and newfound independence on the other end of your move that can be glorious in their own way. Regardless of your psychological state as you plan your move, it is important to prepare yourself for critical tasks. The more organized you make the process, the more pleasant the experience will be, as you leave your old life behind for new beginnings, so start planning today.
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