Preparing Yourself for a Long Distance Move

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Long Distance Moves

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Any move that goes across state lines or is more than 50 – 100 miles (the number varies by the different moving companies) within a state is considered long distance. Unlike local moves, which are a pretty simple and straightforward, long-distance moves require a lot more time, preparation, and paperwork, among other things.


While local moving companies often charge for the time it takes to complete the move, long-distance movers determine their prices based on the weight of the shipment. Therefore, if you are moving long distance, every item that you bring can add to the final price of your move. To avoid being surprised by the weight of all of your goods, you can always use the weight calculator before you move.

Since the price of your move will be determined by the weight of your goods, you may want get rid of some of your belongings before moving. There are several things you can do to lighten your load (and lower the cost of your move). For instance, you can:

Finding a Mover

After you know where you are moving to and how much you will be bringing, you can start selecting a moving company.

You can begin your search at, where you can get free long-distance moving quotes from several reputable movers. checks its companies' licensing and insurance qualifications monthly so there's less for you to do during this often stressful time.

Each company you consider should have the proper licensing and insurance needed to legally perform an interstate move. The companies should have a United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) number and (for older companies) an Interstate Commerce Commission Motor Carrier (ICC MC) number.

There are also regulations required by each individual state, and the long-distance mover must be licensed in each state where it operates. In addition to licensing, each company should have the proper insurance required by laws of the state they operate in.

TIP: For a quick way to see if the company satisfies insurance requirements, check to compare the required and filed insurance amounts.

Before You Move

After you hire a long-distance moving company, you can start planning for life in your new location. For instance, you should find out what you need to do to apply for a driver's license in your new state. The website has plenty of information regarding each state's policies for obtaining licenses. Also look into auto insurance requirements and have your current agent prepare a file of your records to take to your new agent. If possible, try to stay with the same insurance company to ensure an easy transition.

There are several people you should inform about your impending move. Your list of important people and organizations to tell should include:
  • Doctors and other healthcare providers
  • Banks
  • Schools
  • Employers
  • Insurance Companies
Aside from letting these people know about your move, you will also have to secure new services in or near your future home. Furthermore, you'll have to file your change of address with the post office, so you can receive mail at your new place.

You will also need to inform your utility providers about the move about one month in advance. Be sure to provide them with your new address to receive the final bills.

Let them know when you would like the services turned off, which should be the day after you vacate the home. At the same time, you will need to contact the utility providers in your new location and set up accounts.

you should have electricity, gas, and water turned on one day before you move in to your new home. You might want to give yourself several days between moving in and having your telecommunications hooked up so that you can decide where each component will be placed before holes are drilled and wires are run.


As your move approaches, you can start creating a list of everything you need to bring with you. Since your goods will be traveling a long distance, you'll want to take extra care when packing them. When packing your clothes, use wardrobe boxes for suits, coats, and other items that need to be kept hanging. Your more durable clothing items can be folded and packed into boxes. Shoes should be packed in their original box.

TIP: Label any boxes that you pack yourself as "P.B.O." (Packed By Owner) so that the moving company does not charge you extra for packing them. Though, keep in mind that if you pack boxes yourself, the moving company can't be held responsible for broken items inside the boxes. If there is visible damage to the boxes, such as water marks, then the mover may be responsible for damages.

While you can pack your clothes and other objects yourself, it may best to have professional movers wrap up and pack your furniture and other large items. You might also want to have your movers handle your antiques and artwork.

Before putting anything in the truck, though, the moving company will prepare a Household Goods Descriptive Inventory document, which lists all of your goods and their condition prior to the move. You will be asked to review this list and sign it before your items are moved.

There are several items you should pack yourself and carry with you as you move to your new home, rather than having them placed on the truck. Plan to take any irreplaceable things as well as some necessities your will need for your first day in the new home. These items should include:
  • All important documents
  • Your medications
  • Any valuables
  • A couple changes of clothes
  • Toiletries and towels
  • Anything else you would need in case the moving truck is delayed in bringing your things to your new home


When moving your household items a long distance, it is a good idea to have everything insured. Regardless of your moving company's expertise, there is still the chance that your belongings can be damaged as they are packed up, when they are on the road, and as they are being brought into your new house.

Though very rare, there is the possibility of total loss of your goods, whether due to theft, fire, or natural disaster. Therefore, you should get insurance to protect your goods from the wear and tear involved in a move and from the possibility of something worse.

TIP: Before procuring outside insurance, find out if your current home insurance provider will cover your goods during a move. If so, don't spend the extra money on additional insurance.

If your home insurance doesn't cover your goods during a move, you will have to obtain third-party insurance. You can either find a company to insure your move on your own, or you can use one affiliated with your moving company.

For the most comprehensive coverage, you should get full value protection. With this service, the moving company will repair, replace, or give you a cash settlement for all damaged items, up to the declared value of the shipment.

Moving In

Once the moving truck arrives at your home, let the movers know where you want them to put your furniture and other large items. After your belongings are unloaded, inspect them for any damages that may have occurred during shipping. If everything is in good condition, you can sign the Household Goods Descriptive Inventory. If you happen to notice some damage after signing, it can be difficult to file a claim and be compensated by your moving company.

After everything is unloaded into your new home, you can start getting settled. Of course, you don't have to unpack everything all at once. However, you will want to begin by unpacking the necessities, such as bathroom and kitchen supplies. Over the next several days and weeks, you can finish putting everything away and making your new house into a home.

Author :

on August 27, 2009 - Moving Expert
Rate this guide Long Distance Moves
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1 Comment

Mark | Commented on April 3, 2013 at 01 : 18 AM
good information you have provided . Thank you


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