No matter how far away you are moving, some things simply don’t change. You’ve still got to pack up everything you own, get it to your new digs safely and then unpack everything. Moving is stressful. So stressful in fact that a recent survey said that 64% of people find moving to be the most stressful event in their lives. 94% of respondents in the same survey said that hiring movers was worth every penny to them. See how short and long-distance moves are different below.
The nature of your move greatly affects your options when it comes to movers, as many moving companies only do local or in-state moves. Local movers are less expensive, often use smaller trucks, have fewer logistics to organize and can be booked in a shorter timeframe. They often charge hourly rates with an additional charge for the fuel used. Long-distance movers are more costly, they typically use large trucks to consolidate items of multiple customers, and have more logistical work to navigate like permits, licenses and potential weather delays.
When you are moving more than 50 miles or to another state entirely, you’ll have a whole lot more on your plate than merely packing and unpacking your belongings. Not only do you need to go through the usual processes like changing your utilities and your address, but you will likely also be changing jobs, schools for your children, pharmacies, doctors and making a whole new group of friends in your new area. Because of these extra complications, choosing a reliable and experienced mover is paramount to a successful long-distance move.
What is considered a local versus a long-distance move?
- Local move: less than 50 miles
- Intrastate move: more than 50 miles but within the same state.
- Interstate or long distance: moves greater than 400 miles or that cross from one state to another.
Cost of Moving
The price differences between moves depend on the following factors:
- Mileage of the move: The longer the distance your things have to travel, the higher fuel costs and driver time will be. Your things will likely need to be loaded and unloaded more than once, as they move from the truck they are picked up in, to the long-distance freight carrier suitable for the long haul they will be making, and back into a truck to be delivered to you at your new address.
- Amount and type of stuff you have: If your place is jam packed with things you can’t live without or fragile items such as an antique lamp collection that requires extra care and protection, the cost will be higher than if you are a minimalist who sleeps on a cot and owns five shirts.
- Weight of your belongings: If you’ve got only a few pieces of furniture but they are all very large and heavy, (think your grandfather’s oak armoire or your Traeger Grill) expect to pay more than you would for a wardrobe rack and electric griddle.
How to choose a moving company
You should aim to find reputable movers with longer histories in the industry. Price is not the only thing to consider when you are choosing a company, factors such as their reputation, insurance, your timeframe, number of movers they will send and the methods of packing should be considered as well. Make sure they are licensed and insured with many years of experience handling your type of move.
Other questions you might have are do they pay fair wages? Or ae they environmentally friendly and do they use reusable packaging or Biodiesel trucks?
Though not as difficult, in-town moves still require a great amount of preparation so you can arrive and depart in a stress-free and accident-free manner. When moving in-town, you may not need to pack your things as securely as you would for a long trip of 400 miles or more, but you will still need to make sure things are safe. Cities are filled with potholes and speed bumps which are not friendly to fragile items.
- It’s a good idea to start prepping at least a month ahead of time for a long-distance move. Prioritize packing the rooms and things that are seldomly used first, working your way towards your daily use items. Do not leave things to the last minute.
- Make a checklist of all of the tasks and spread it out over your calendar so that you can do a little bit at a time and it’s more manageable. Go through your things and choose what you will keep, what you will sell, what you will donate and what you will throw away.
- Research local weather and be sure to have the appropriate attire on hand. For example, NYC and Miami have vastly different wardrobe requirements during most seasons.
- Figure out what paperwork your new Department of Motor Vehicles requires to change your driver’s license and what local utilities companies serve your area.
- Not only will your belongings need to be more securely packed, but you will need more time to prepare and a long-distance move will be more costly. There may be extra legal paperwork that needs to be filed beforehand. During a long-distance move, you will often be given an arrival window ranging from 10 days to two weeks or more. This is the norm. The length of the window is usually because there are other customers who are sharing the same truck as you and also to allow time for traffic or weather delays along the journey.
- When you pack your go-bag, pack enough things to keep you satisfied for the duration of your delivery window so you can keep panic at bay.
Moving Furniture and Heavy Items
To keep costs down, keep only what you can’t easily replace. Every pound counts, so be mindful of that when you size up the Ikea dresser you got from your older sister’s college roommate who originally found it on the curb. Inexpensive, but large and heavy things are best sold or given away if you don’t think it’s worth the hassle of moving. Listing what you want to sell should be one of the first things you do, as it could take some time for the right buyer to show up. Upcycling second-hand or antique furniture rather than buying new is one of the best ways you can protect our environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
Movers Not Shakers are professionals in moving heavy items and furniture. Not only can we handle the couches and king size beds, but pianos and other oversized or overweight items are obstacles our experience teams are used to seeing and overcoming.
Moving tips from the pros:
You never know how much stuff you have until you move.
This is a fact. No matter how many times or how frequently you’ve moved, you WILL, and we repeat WILL, own more things than you ever realized.
Do not underestimate Mother Nature.
If you are moving during the winter months, be prepared for unexpected delays caused by winter weather. In the winter months, it’s best to travel cross country along the southern route to avoid bad weather and delays. Experienced professional movers, like Movers Not Shakers, will be familiar with the best routes in New York City and across state lines. We know how to handle any potential hazards along the way so that your stuff arrives back into your loving arms safely.
Eat your way through the fridge and pantry.
Have some fun getting creative in the kitchen. Play a little game of iron chef, only allowing the ingredients on hand. You will discover new and deliciously inventive dishes as you force yourself to be resourceful rather than go out to a restaurant or the store for ingredients. Few things are more satisfying than opening the pantry on moving day to discover a single packet of oatmeal and some coffee. Food doesn’t ship well, especially over a long distance. Not only does it often get damaged, but unwanted visitors that scurry find it irresistible.
Manage your time wisely.
It’s a good idea to give yourself some wiggle room, especially if you are planning a long-distance move and many other aspects of your life besides your residence will be changing. There will be unexpected things during your moving prep time, like those Mets tickets your friend got and the invite you can’t pass up during your scheduled Saturday-Basement Day. If you leave yourself more than enough time to accomplish the task at hand, you won’t sweat the occasional diversion to the plan and will still feel confident about your level of preparedness.
If you aren’t well enough prepared and moving day is around the corner you may need to say no to your friend’s irresistible invitation. If not, you may find yourself in a pickle come moving day. Know thyself. If you think you might not be able to stay on track, enlist the help of family and friends or hire professionals to come to your aid. Many hands make light work and the experienced movers at Movers Not Shakers are here to help!
Remember, success is when opportunity meets preparation.