Guide to Long-Distance Moves

Are you wondering how long-distance moving works? Curious about the costs involved? This guide to long-distance moves has the answers to all your questions. 

What Is Considered a Long-Distance Move? 

In general, a move is considered local or short-distance if it’s within the same state or less than 150 miles. Moves that cross state or country lines or exceed 150 miles are considered long-distance. Understanding which type of move you’re about to embark on can help you get accurate estimates and prepare effectively for moving day. 

How Much Do Long-Distance Moves Cost? 

If you decide to hire a professional mover — which is highly recommended, especially for complex, interstate moves — you may be wondering how much long-distance moving companies charge. Here’s what to consider. 

  • Weight and distance: While local moves are often charged by the hour, long-distance moving costs are typically based on the shipping weight and miles traveled. A large scale weighs the moving truck when empty and again when full to determine the weight. You can expect to be charged a fixed amount per pound, plus a fee to cover the miles traveled. Add these together to get your total long-distance moving costs. 
  • Additional cost factors: Be aware that specialty items — such as flat-screen TVs, foam mattresses, pianos, and gun safes — may come with an extra charge due to the complexity of moving these items. 
  • Added liability insurance: If you’re transporting items of extraordinary value, you may want to take out additional insurance on top of the carrier’s standard liability coverage. This offers peace of mind if something happens during the move. 
  • Saving money on a long-distance move: Is using a white-glove mover not cost-effective for you? There’s always the option of renting a one-way truck and hiring local movers to load and unload at each location. However, this can further complicate an already stressful interstate move, so you may find it worth the cost to hire one long-distance mover to handle everything. 

What to Look for in a Long-Distance Moving Company 

It’s wise to collect quotes from multiple movers, but the cost is far from the only consideration you should make. Here are the other qualities to look for in a long-distance moving company: 

  • White-glove moving services: Unlike some van lines, white-glove movers provide efficient, personalized services. One team packs while another loads, and the men loading the truck are the same ones who drive and unload at your destination. This takes the stress out of moving day and minimizes the chance of any unwelcome surprises. 
  • Additional services: If you’re moving, chances are you need additional services, such as packing and climate-controlled storage. Finding everything you need from a single company makes your life a little easier. 
  • Good reputation: To increase the chance of a pleasant experience, hire movers that have established a solid reputation in your community. Reading testimonials, asking friends and neighbors for recommendations, and considering the company’s awards and recognitions are all good ways to find a reputable long-distance mover. 
  • No subcontractors: Subcontracting is risky because it removes your belongings from the company’s care, custody, and control. Therefore, be sure to find a long-distance mover that completes all of the work in-house.  
  • Licensed, certified, and insured: Only hire a mover that is licensed by the state, certified as a Pro Mover, and covered by no less than the standard carrier’s liability insurance of $0.60 per pound, per item. Your belongings deserve nothing less than the best possible care and coverage. 

How to Pack for a Long-Distance Move 

If you have moved across town a time or two, you may think you’re a packing expert. However, long-distance moving is a whole different experience. Save time, money, and headaches with these tips to pack for a long-distance move: 

  • Measure your new home: Before you decide whether to ship your king-size bed and sectional sofa across the country, determine whether your furniture will fit in the new space. Also, consider that selling your existing furniture and buying new pieces after the move may be far more cost-effective. 
  • Downsize: Furniture isn’t the only thing you might want to leave behind. Downsizing means getting rid of anything you don’t want, use, need, or enjoy looking at before the move. 
  • Start packing without delay: Begin with any items you want to take with you but don’t use day-to-day. The earlier you begin packing, the less stress you’ll have leading up to moving day. 
  • Label your boxes: Organize contents as you pack. It’s usually best to pack by room, which makes unpacking faster and easier. Label at least two sides of every box with its general contents and the room it belongs in at your new home. 
  • Keep essentials with you: The day before you move, pack an “open-first box” with everything you’ll need in the first few days. Include clothing, toiletries, towels, bedding, toilet paper, and a few kitchen items. Transport this box with you so you don’t have to worry about waiting on the moving truck. 
  • Pack with long distance in mind: Take care when wrapping fragile items, and consider emptying your dresser drawers if anything could get damaged from being shifted around. 
  • Let the professionals handle it: Sure, you can save money by doing some of your own packing, loading, and unloading. However, you’ll lower your stress level if you leave most, if not all, of the job to a professional mover. By handing off the heavy lifting, you’ll save your back and leave more time to sort out the logistics of moving day. 

With a decade of residential and commercial moving experience, Firefighting’s Finest Movers & Storage is ready to tackle your long-distance move. Our crews provide a customer-focused, white-glove alternative to van lines, making your interstate move as pleasant as possible. We have locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin and can accommodate long-distance moves across the state. To get started, contact us at 844-715-6625 or request an estimate online.