Interstate moving: Top 5 things you need to know

Interstate movingMore about Ethan Greenfield

The good news? Moving to another state can be quite an exciting adventure for you.

The bad news? Interstate moving is not going to be a walk in the park.

So, when getting ready to move out of state, you must keep in mind these 5 things in order to make your interstate move easier, safer, and of course – cheaper.

#1. INTERstate moving and INTRAstate moving are two different things

The words interstate and intrastate sound very similar. As a result, people generally seem to confuse the two terms, sometimes mistakenly assuming that they mean one and the same thing. If you happen to be moving house soon, then you need to know the difference between interstate moving and intrastate moving.

Interstate moving means that your household goods will be moved across state lines until the destination is reached. Simply put, an interstate move starts in one state and ends in another state, OR it starts and ends in the same state but travels through another state or outside the country.

Interstate moves are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – an agency in the U.S. Department of Transportation. Moving interstate usually costs more than moving intrastate because of the longer distance (generally speaking) and the way the moving cost is calculated – see below.

Intrastate moving means that your possessions will be moved within the boundaries of a single state – that is, without crossing the border of another state.

Intrastate moves are considered local moves (although some moving companies may charge you a long distance fee depending on the exact move distance) and are calculated on an hourly basis – see below. It’s important to remember that intrastate movers are NOT regulated by the FMCSA.

#2. Hiring interstate moving services is the right way to move across the states

Hire one of the best interstate moving companies to guarantee yourself a problem-free long distance move. In case you haven’t already figured it out for yourself, moving hundreds or thousands of miles across the country is NOT the best time to prove to yourself or to your pals that you can still organize and pull off a self-move despite the obvious risks.

No matter how you look at it, interstate moving is simply not suited for brave DIY relocation attempts for several good reasons: the greater the move distance between the two homes, the bigger the self-move expenses will be: the price of the rented moving van will be significantly higher and the cost of fuel can easily become astronomical. Don’t forget to factor in the expenses for insurance, moving equipment, packing supplies, road tolls, parking, food and lodgings on the road. Possible costs connected with property damage and personal injuries are never out of the question either.

Read interstate moving companies reviews to get a better idea of which long distance movers are more trustworthy – that is, have the highest online reputation and highest overall ratings provided by their customers.

See also: Should you hire movers or move by yourself?

#3. Interstate moving costs are NOT calculated on an hourly basis

One important thing you must know when moving to another state is that your interstate moving company will NOT charge you by the hour the way an intrastate moving company would. [How much do local movers cost?]

Instead, your long distance mover will calculate the price based on a number of important factors: total shipment weight, move distance, and extra services.

  • The total shipment weight will have a strong influence over the final bill – the more items you choose to move, the more money you will pay due to the higher weight, and vice versa. In reality, the cheapest way to move interstate is to take only the most essential things with you after you’ve purged your home of anything you don’t plan to use anymore.
  • The distance between the two homes plays a crucial role in the calculation of the interstate moving cost. The move distance remains constant, so there’s nothing you can do to turn that price-forming factor into your ally.
  • The additional services when moving across the country will have a huge impact on the final moving cost. Do you wish to have your items packed professionally? Will your furniture pieces need to be disassembled and then re-assembled at delivery? Each added service will cost you extra.

Learn more: How much do cross country movers cost?

#4. Interstate moving requires meticulous planning and impeccable organization

Moving interstate is all about how well you prepare for the interstate move. Planning a long distance move is not easy at all because you’ll have hundreds of pre-move tasks to complete. Luckily, of all things to do before moving out of state, there are 3 major tasks that you must take care of in order to guarantee the success of your interstate relocation:

  • Find good interstate movers. As already mentioned above, you are strongly advised against organizing a self-move when moving across the states. Do yourself a favor: find a reputable and affordable interstate moving company to take care of your belongings for you. Start the hunt by requesting interstate moving quotes from several long-distance movers.
  • Follow a good moving checklist. It’s crucial that you organize your out-of-state move in such a way as to save as much time as possible. Follow a moving calendar to increase the efficiency of your preparation period. Our one-of-a-kind interactive moving checklist will help you get ready as early as two months prior to Moving day.
  • Declutter your home and pack your items. Remember how moving more household items to the new home will increase drastically the final price? First, purge your home of any unnecessary items to save on transportation costs, and then pack whatever items you can by yourself to save on extra services when moving from one state to another.

Read also: How to plan an interstate move

#5. Interstate moving can and should be made more affordable

It’s important to know in advance that interstate moving is expensive. AMSA – the American Moving and Storage Association – claims that the average cost of an interstate move is roughly $4,300 for a move distance of 1,225 miles and shipment weight of 7,400 pounds.

Of course, your cross-country move may be much smaller than that, but you can still understand the significance and urgency to save as much money as possible during your own interstate move.

When moving to another state, the 3 best ways to save money are:

  • Find an affordable cross-country mover. As already discussed above, interstate moving comes down to entrusting your valuable possessions to one of the best interstate moving companies. And when you do get at least 3 (preferably 5) interstate moving quotes, you’ll be able to compare those price estimates and choose the best on in terms of price, services, and conditions.
  • Declutter your home to save BIG. It’s really simple: don’t take any belongings you don’t intend to use in the future. If you haven’t used an item in over a year, then you don’t really need it. Sell unwanted items to earn fresh cash, or donate some of them to reliable charitable organizations. Either way, you’ll win a cheaper long-distance move for yourself.
  • Pack whatever you can by yourself. Professional packing services can be costly, so do something about it. After all, you can pack your clothes, shoes, and books all by yourself, can’t you? Leave to the pros only items that require special protection, such as large furniture pieces and bulky appliances.

The best packing tips for your interstate move

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