Few things beat the ease and convenience of full-service movers when it comes to moving across the country. A long-distance move usually refers to moving between multiple states. This is important because it then involves the legality of moving goods across state lines. Moving companies need to have authority to move goods across state lines by federal regulators, and carry certain insurance policy requirements. There are also details about the moves that make price quotes more complicated. It is usually important to know the size of your current and new home, the number of floors in your current and new home, the weight of your property and the distance of your move to determine your final moving cost.
The American Moving and Storage Association states that the average cost of an interstate household move is about $4,300 (distance of 1,225 miles) and the average cost of an intrastate move is about $2,300 (4 movers at $200 per hour). Both average moving costs are for 7,400 pounds.
We have a few ideas for handling these moves more affordable as well. As for any moves, a good breakdown of when to hire movers can be found on our previous blog post: “Should You Pack Yourself or Hire Professionals“. In this article, we’ll look at what would be different with specifics to a long distance move.
Before moving long distance, you may want to consider downsizing to eliminate unwanted expenses.
Organize as you pack and label with your name
Packing by area, for example, if you have a desk, you could put everything that goes on it in one box. Creating an inventory list and numbering each box can help you find things quicker when unpacking. It will also serve as a master list to make sure everything arrived. Sometimes moving companies use a truck that includes boxes that belong to another person. Keep your belongings from getting mixed up or dropped off at the wrong location by clearly labeling every box with your name.
Rent a portable moving container
Renting a portable moving container is one of the most popular alternatives to using full-service movers. For starters, renting a portable moving container is much cheaper than hiring a professional moving company. Second, portable moving containers can also double as storage solutions before and after the move. Costs will depend on the length of time you decide to rent the container and the size of the container. In general, renting a moving container for a long distance move tends to cost anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 per month. Compare that to the $4,000 to $6,000 that a professional moving company will likely charge, and you’ll see the difference. To move using a moving container, all you have to do is load your boxes and belongings, and the container company will do the rest. Popular moving container companies include PODS, ABF’s U-Pack ReloCubes, United Mayflower’s container, Go Mini’s, U-Haul’s U-Boxes, and 1-800-PACK-RAT – just to name a few.
Move during off-season
Summer time is the busiest moving season. Schedule wise, with children being out of school, and weather being nice, it is popular. It is also the most expensive time of the year to move. If that’s not an option, moving on a weekday or in the middle of the month can also help save a few dollars. Off-peak times (October to March) rates are generally lower.
Plan around your delivery window
Depending on the moving company, the delivery window for you could be over two weeks after you arrive at your new home. As a result, it’s crucial to plan to live for the first month without whatever you put on the moving truck. A good way to prepare for this is to make an open-first box and keep personal necessities with you.
Rent a moving truck
This can add a lot of stress, but if you’re prepared to also drive a moving truck cross country, it could help you save money. Consider the costs of fuel, insurance and drive time you would be committing to. Costs usually involve a one-way move with a set price, and distance traveled. Keep in mind that truck rentals don’t get great gas mileage. An average 10 mpg is usual – moving 2,000 miles, means it will take around 200 gallons of gas.
Use a freight trailer
Similar to PODS, another way to move is to hire a freight trailer. A freight moving trailer company will drop off a large trailer (28 ft.) and give you three days to load it. After three days, the company will pick it up and drive it to your new home.
Company Re-location Reimbursements
Many times, new positions, especially for long distance relocation, involve a compensation package to help with costs. We highly recommend checking the company’s relocation policies. Many companies will pay for all or part of the move, so it’s certainly worth asking the HR department. If your company does pay for the relocation, be sure to save all moving receipts (even your receipts for moving supplies). This way you’ll be able to document your expenses and get properly reimbursed for the move.
Shipping Restrictions – Items that are Not Allowed
Often, there are Do Not Ship lists as a part of the Move Plan. It includes flammables, perishables, compressed gasses, explosives and other miscellaneous items. Please make sure to read over this list while packing. You can either use or donate these items before moving, or if you can, keep them with you while traveling.