packed boxes for moving day

How to move to another state - choosing a long distance moving company.

Moving can be scary, overwhelming, and stressful. A long distance move can be even more problematic. Choosing the right long distance moving services makes all the difference. This how-to move to another state guide will help you understand what you'll need to find the correct long distance movers and options best for your state to state move.

First, assess what you will be taking with you. Downsizing during a move is often necessary and saves time and money.

Set a moving date and prepare a moving checklist. Keep important milestones in mind so you are not scrambling to get important things done during the move. On moving day, while the trucks are rolling out of the driveway, no one wants to call schools to enroll their kids or utility companies to ensure the lights are on.

State to state move Vs. Local move

What is different about a long distance move? First and foremost, the most significant difference in a state to state move is the risk of damaged or lost items. Moving for longer distances naturally means your items are traveling further inside a moving truck, being bumped and jostled along the way. Movers take great care to protect your items. Yet, during an interstate move, it is highly recommended that your moving company provides full value insurance coverage. Good insurance protects the customer and maintains the reputation of moving companies.

Secondly, a long distance move requires reputable moving services that are timely and reliable. A great indication of the reputation of the moving service you choose will be their timeliness for the in-person quote. Therefore, pay close attention to the movers' arrival time at the time of the quote. Watch for if they are professional and thorough. Being thorough means asking questions and accounting for what items to move. Therefore professionals ask about what you will and will not be taking and look in closets, storage space, and cabinets. These actions indicate a good-standing history and allow preparing a more accurate quote.

Further, some state movers load with one set of employees and unload with another during a cross country move. This method leaves for possible complications in the reassembly of larger items. If possible, look for relocation movers who use the same crew in the old state and your new city. Additionally, renting a moving truck for long distance moves means hiring movers separately. In this case, you're likely to end up with two completely different companies for packing in the original state and unloading at the new home. This dual company method provides complications regarding liability if something is damaged. For an interstate relocation, this is not recommended.

Finally, often during cross country and interstate moves, you should debate if you need storage. Consider, are you moving everything with you now? How much room does the moving truck have? When you get to the new state, do you have the room needed, or are you storing items? Storage is often a good idea for long distance moves that movers must ponder. Seek the services of a professional moving company that helps with storage options. If you decide the service is unnecessary, no harm, but at least you had the opportunity available.

Decide what moving services you need.

Hiring movers largely depends on your finances and your health. Many other factors may play a part, but finances and health often set the standard for who is doing the heavy lifting. Under the moving company of your choosing, getting help with heavy lifting saves on possible injury and protects your belongings with insurance. As an added benefit, a moving company sticks to your timelines without the guilty feelings of asking friends and family to pitch in. Also, suppose you're unfamiliar with driving a large truck long-distance. In that case, you take the extra risk of unknown driving conditions, not to mention road hazards. Hiring movers protects against these perils and more.

Do you need help packing? Experienced companies often offer moving services for packing, loading, and unloading their trucks. Why should you hire a moving company to help you pack? Moving is a highly stressful time. Furthermore, in learning how to move to another state, some additional responsibilities and tasks require your attention. Doing everything yourself increases the burden on top of already stressful times. The minimal cost associated as an added expense is worth it here! If you have a small pocket of extra funds in the moving budget for moving expenses, the suggestion is to spend it on help packing. As it grows closer and closer to moving day, most people begin panicking. The relief you feel will almost pay for itself. So, concentrate on all the other essential steps accompanying a long distance move. Let your moving company do the packing.

How to discover a reputable moving company.

  • Ask for an in-person quote.
    • A quote should be thorough to be as accurate as possible. The review should include questions on what you bring and if there are additional storage areas with items to pack. The reviewer should look in the garage, shed, and any additional space.
    • Laws governing long distance movers require moving companies to stick to their quotes. By law, movers may not charge more than 10% above a nonbinding quote.
    • In TN or FL - GET A QUOTE.
  • Ask questions when interviewing state movers.
    • Skilled movers with years of experience are well versed in their industry and should answer most questions immediately. If they seem to waver or are unclear with their answers, consider other options.
    • See our list of 'questions to ask your long distance mover' below.
    • Watch for obvious red flags for fraud.
  • Look at their moving vans.
    • A professional mover owns their vans and trucks. The vehicles are often well labeled with the company's name. Movers who show up in rented, non-distinct moving trucks may be a new sole proprietorship or a possible scam. Be leary of unmarked vehicles.
  • Ask interstate moving companies if they are licensed and insured.
    • All licensed interstate movers are given a U.S. DOT number by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). You may verify their license # on the FMCSA's site.
  • Always check references and online reviews.
    • Along with reviews, ask friends, coworkers, and neighbors if they have recommendations. Those who have used a moving company will likely give you the most valuable information about their experiences. Word of mouth is still the best way to begin your search for top-rated movers.
  • Look at their rating on the Better Business Bureau.
    • Moving companies with a bad track record often get complaints lodged against them. The Better Business Bureau keeps records of all complaints, making it easy to view public records.

List of questions to ask your long distance mover:

  • Are you a licensed interstate moving company?
  • What kind of liability coverage does your company provide? Can I get additional full replacement value insurance?
  • Have you had any formal complaints lodged against your company?
  • Has your company used other names? Note: multiple name changes may indicate problems.
  • Can you provide a binding quote or a not-to-exceed estimate?
  • Are there any extra costs, such as for stairs?
  • Is there a deposit? Note: reputable movers never demand cash. Accept nothing over a 25% deposit.
  • Do you provide lower prices for a weekday move?
  • What moving supplies does the company supply, and what will I need to pay for?
  • By what means can I contact the movers during the move?
  • What storage options do you offer?
  • How are specialty items handled - grandfather clock, piano, expensive artwork, pool table, motorcycles, etc.
  • What is my responsibility to move with me? (expect perishable foods, pets, chemicals, jewelry, high-priced collectibles and art, guns & ammo, outdoor equipment, etc.) Note: Often there are rules for moving firearms across the state line.
  • What is the correct process if I need to file a claim for damages? How soon should I expect a response?
  • Ask if the company offers any discounts - student, senior, AAA member, veteran, etc.
  • What is the cancellation policy?

Pro Tips:

Tip - To prepare for the moving company, know where the movers will need to park at the new address. It is helpful to relay parking and unloading details accurately to the movers before leaving.

Tip - If moving in the rain, keep towels in the truck to whip off all items as they get put on the moving truck. This step reduces the likelihood of puddles forming in the truck bed and water damage weakening your boxes.

Tip - Remember to bring all items you'll need on arrival. Always keep important documents such as birth certificates and SS# with you. Also, make sure you have a list of emergency numbers with you at all times.

Tip - Set aside an overnight bag for each of you. This idea is not about worrying that your movers will not arrive. Conversely, having an overnight bag for a long distance move is helpful when you arrive too exhausted to sort through items in preparation for the following morning.

Ready for an interstate move?

We hope our article gave you valuable tips on how to choose a long distance moving company. True Friends Moving Company would love to help you move from state to state or to a new location locally. Professional moving services available in Tennessee and Florida. Fully licensed and insured, your items are safe being moved with True Friends - the best interstate movers. Our job is to bring you home!