Moving Blog
October 31, 2016

Learn All About What to Expect from a Long Distance Move

There are few events in life that are both as exciting and as scary as moving long distance. You’re going to be in a brand new city with brand new people, places, and things to learn about. Where’s the best pizza place? What types of recreational activities are available for both adults and kids? Are your kids going to adjust alright to their new school and teachers? With so many questions and concerns about your new home town, we don’t want you to worry about the move itself. Let’s go into some of the details on what you should expect from a long distance move and how you can better prepare for it.

What is a Long Distance Move?

Usually when people think about long distance moving, they’re thinking about going from one side of the country to the other. However, a long distance move is usually described as any move where you’re traveling more than 50 miles to get to your new home. This means that it can easily include a move from one side of a state to another or even from one city to another. Due to this broad definition, the actual mileage you’re going to need to cover is going to dictate the requirements that go into the process.

What Should I Expect from a Long Distance Move?

Every move is unique, and while there are quite a few processes that overlap with all moves there are also a number of factors that will be determined based on your specific needs. These include:
  • Are you just moving yourself or an entire family? If you’re just moving yourself, you’re going to have far fewer possessions to pack and transport. You won’t likely need as big of a truck or as many extra sets of hands to help. Well, unless you have a lot of hobbies, sporting equipment, or some kind of collection. Conversely, if you’re moving a family of 4 you’re going to have a LOT more stuff to deal with. You might end up needing several large trucks, vehicle moving services, and a lot more help from friends, family, or third party companies.
  • Moving with pets. Dogs, cats, fish, birds, and every other critter all need special consideration when moving long distances. You need to have crates for them that are able to be secured tightly in your vehicle. If your destination is a day or more away, you’re going to need to find hotels that allow animals. You’ll also need to plan for rest stops for your pets along with your passengers. If your pet gets car sick easily, you might want to ask your vet about some solutions to help make the drive easier on them, which will result in a more peaceful move for you.
  • If I hire a moving company, how long will it take for my stuff to arrive? The answer to this question is based primarily on how far you’re moving. Well, that and a few regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). If you’re just going across state, it should only take a day for your possessions to arrive at your new house. However, if you’re going across country, the move could take several days to cover the mileage. Here at A-1 Freeman, we provide a delivery window based on your specific move and needs.
  • Move Day is typically a busy one. Make sure that everything is packed and ready to go prior to the big day. The absolute bare essentials should be put into a box the morning of the move and marked accordingly. Moving companies will give you a list of items that should never be packed or sent with movers, but as you might guess that includes medicines, keys, paperwork that will be needed during your move timeline, and any special toys that Sally or Billy simply won’t go to sleep without. The trucks will be loaded up, everything will be secured, things will be double checked, and your movers will then set out on the road.
  • Be prepared to tip your movers. A small gratuity at the end of the moving process will be a welcome gesture to your movers. Only really worry about tipping for the work performed, not necessarily the drive itself. You don’t want to base the tip on the cost of the move, since the majority of the cost will be associated with the mileage travelled and not necessarily how long it takes to load and unload the truck. The general consensus and a good place to start would be with about $10 per person for every 4 hours.
How Should You Prepare for a Long Distance Move?

Getting your stuff ready for a long distance move isn’t that much different than getting it ready for a move down the street. One of the things that you’ll need to pay attention to is to make sure that your boxes are packed properly. During a short move, you have a much lower chance of something falling over, tipping over, or settling in general. However, with a long distance move, if you don’t pack your boxes properly with the right amount of fill and protective packing materials, you’re running a much higher risk of something being damaged. For the best information on properly packing your stuff like a pro, take a look at our in-depth guide.

You want to make sure that you have your utilities and services in order prior to the move as well. Your current utilities should be moved over and put in the new owner’s name, and you should contact the proper service providers in your new town to schedule a time to get everything set up. Cable, phone, and other things like that can wait till you’re settled in, but you definitely want to make sure that the electric, water, and gas are in place for when you arrive.

Be sure to forward your mail, inform all the people who are important to you of your new address, and maybe even throw a going away party for your kids and you. This can help ease the transition to your new city, and give everyone one last time together for a while. Depending on the type of new residence you’re moving into, and how outgoing you are, you might even prepare small and simple basket for neighbors. And make sure to include your contact info.

Long Distance Moving Might Mean Needing Extra Storage Space

As you’re getting ready for your long distance move, you might notice that you aren’t going to have room to store everything at the new place right away. Or you might want to delay moving absolutely everything in while you make changes, customizations, or repairs to your new home. When this happens, you’re going to need to look into temporary short term or long term storage options. Here at A-1 Freeman, we’re a dedicated partner of North American Van Lines. This allows us to easily provide our customers with on demand storage services anywhere in the country. Our contracts are month-to-month, so you can easily store your stuff for as long as you need without any commitment.

If you’re looking for more of a self-storage option, you can easily find companies near your new home with a quick search on Google. Each self-storage company is different, so you’ll need to find out the length of their contracts, how much their down payment is if they exist, and other details from each of them.

A third option available to you is a pod or deliverable storage container. These units are delivered to your door, and you can pack them on your own schedule. When you’re ready for your move, the company will then swing by to pick up the unit and take it to your new home. The process can then be reversed and you can unload the container on your schedule. It’s a great way to get some extra storage space within your reach while you settle into your new town. Do take note of any housing edition, apartment, or city bylaws and covenants that might prohibit having temporary storage on property or the length of time it is allowed.

Don’t get Scammed by Long Distance Moving Companies.

There are a number of things that you need to be aware of when it comes to choosing a long distance moving company. By performing a bit of investigation and asking a few key questions, you’ll be able to find someone who you can trust has your best interests in mind.
  • Are they certified? The American Moving & Storage Association has a standard set of rules that all reputable movers should follow. If they aren’t certified by the AMSA, you should be wary.
  • Are they fully licensed and insured? Make sure that your mover meets the minimum required liability insurance before signing any contract.
  • Get the final contract in writing ahead of time. There should be no surprise charges on moving day or after the move unless you personally are making modifications to your requirements.
  • Are they properly equipped for everything you need moved? Can they safely move your piano, pool table, appliances, and other bulky items?
  • How are they talked about in their reviews? Take a look at some of the more popular websites and see how past customers have seen them. This includes:
Other Things to Consider when Moving Long Distances

There are several miscellaneous things that you should keep in mind when you’re planning for a long distance move. Are you moving yourself? If so, you’re going to need to rent a large enough truck to transport all of your possessions in one trip. You’ll need to pack your boxes efficiently, pack the truck to its fullest, have or purchase moving blankets, a moving dolly to save your back, and have your route planned well in advance.

A move across state will normally only require you to drive there, but a move all the way across country may require you to fly there depending on your schedule. One of the problems that pop up with flying to your destination is that you’re going to need to hire a company with vehicle moving services to help get your cars to you. And depending on the availability of, or your desire to use, public transportation, you might need to rent a vehicle until yours arrives. You’re moving company will be able to help you with the details of this arrangement.

Here at A-1 Freeman, we can help you with all of your moving needs. We have just about every moving service available that you can think of. If you need help with your long distance move, give us a call today or fill out our simple quote form. We’ll be able to provide you with an initial estimate, and get you started on the road to your new home ASAP.

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