State-to-State Moving Made Easy: A Guide

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State-to-State Moving Made Easy: A Guide

Staff Writer · Mar 12, 2010

State to state moving is complicated, time consuming and expensive. It’s also often stressful. Regardless of how many times you have moved interstate, doing so never becomes simple. However, by following a few guidelines you can make your cross-country move easier.

How Interstate Moving Companies Charge

Interstate moving is expensive. Interstate moving companies charge based on the poundage of your belongings and furniture and not the amount of time your move is anticipated to take. The length of distance, amount of travel time and number of moving men needed make interstate moving much more costly than intrastate moving. After adding the costs of fuel, labor, insurance and any other fees, your interstate move will be exponentially more expensive.

Do Your Research

Because interstate moving is more intricate and expensive, it is imperative for you to do your own research of moving companies and the other specifics of your move. First and foremost, unless you are moving yourself, contact and schedule in-person appraisals from at least three moving companies. An easy way to find reputable companies is to ask friends and co-workers for referrals.

Prior to choosing a company to interview, research the company’s history and any complaints filed against them by checking with your local Better Business Bureau and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the US Department of Transportation. The FMCSA compiles information on movers for consumers. Confirm the moving company’s registration and number with the FMCSA, and if either do not match or are nonexistent do not do business with the company. Check with the FMCSA to see if there are consumer complaints or violations against the company, its subsidiaries or owners. If there are complaints or violations, check into their seriousness and resolution. Keep in mind that it is impossible for a company to completely satisfy every customer and that finding an interstate van line with no complaints may be impossible.

Do Not Go Cheap

While there are a few things you can cut back on or do to reduce your expenses, overall you should not skimp on what you are willing to and actually pay for your move. Be realistic about the costs of your long-distance move and only hire those companies that seem to also be reasonable in their cost expectations. After receiving written estimates, eliminate those that seem excessively expensive or cheap. While it may be tempting to take the cheapest offer, it is not uncommon for those companies to later demand more money and refuse to unload your goods until they receive this extra payment. Additionally, the most inexpensive movers may take longer for delivery, not wrap your furniture correctly or otherwise not sufficiently care for your belongings.

Get Everything in Writing

Everything you receive from the moving company and any other party involved in your move should be in writing and signed by the responsible party. If they are not signed, moving estimates and packing slips will be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce should there be problems. Do not sign your name to anything that relieves any party of responsibility. Keep a copy of all documents in one area until after all goods have been delivered and all disputes resolved.

Think Outside the Shipping Crate

A month before your move begin a list of all the questions you need answered. Walk around your house and consider individual items to see if they will need special handling. Add to the list any new questions that  may arise over the next few days. The purpose of this list is to collect all the issues or potential problems you may encounter so you will be able to investigate their handling. Consider whether you are moving large items, how your goods will be delivered, who will deliver them, and whether you need to move your car.

While the representative and company are professionals, you are in charge of your own move. The more knowledgeable you are the less stressful your move will be. Thoroughly research your needs and any company you consider hiring prior to signing a commitment. Being reasonable in your expectations of the company, the moving costs and your own needs will reduce the amount of work and future problems.

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