Are you preparing for a big move at the moment? If this is your first time relocating to a new place, there are a lot of things to consider. However, one major thing to decide on is what kind of movers you’re supposed to hire and how to prepare for that. While local movers should be fine for short moves that won’t take more than a day to do, hiring long distance movers is a better option if you’re moving out of your general area or state.

If you’re looking for the right moving company, you should begin with understanding what kind of move you’re doing. How far away is your new abode? Will you be moving with a lot of stuff? These factors determine the cost of moving as the movers will be carrying, loading, and hauling your belongings to the next destination. Since moves are classified based on location and distance, there are three different types: local, interstate, and intrastate. Understanding what kind of move you’re doing is the best way to determine what moving options are best for you.

Local Moves

A local move would be classified as any relocation under 50 miles within the same state. It is simply a matter of moving within your city or the next but no state lines are ever crossed. Due to the relatively short distance and quick duration of local moves, moving companies will charge you by the hour for this instead of the weight of your moving boxes. This rate will depend on the size of your new home, the items you’re transporting, and how many movers the company will assign to you. Sometimes, a travel fee and material fee may also be added.

It might seem tempting to do a local move by yourself and hire labor outside of a moving company, but understand that knowing how to pack and transport items takes experience. While you might be able to save money, you might find yourself paying more in damages if something were to go wrong during your move. Be on the safer side of things by hiring movers instead.

Intrastate Moves

On the other hand, moves that are in the same state that go beyond 50 miles are called intrastate moves. There is a need to differentiate between intrastate moves and local moves due to the larger size of many states and how some areas may be several hundred miles apart without crossing any state lines. So if you’re moving several cities away from your old home, there are other things to account for with an intrastate move.

Since intrastate moves will take longer to do compared to local moves, expect that moving companies will price their services differently as well. Some movers may provide a flat rate fee for these long-distance moves or they may charge by the hour and by the weight or size of the load that they’re hauling for you. Try to look at different moving companies and ask for an estimate so you can choose the movers that will give you the best deal.

Interstate Moves

Moving between states does not depend on distance, it depends on whether state lines are crossed or not. There are times when moving to the next state may be under the 50-mile limit set by local moves, but there are other factors to consider. You likely need to go with big national moving companies to handle your interstate move as they have branches across the country, making it easier to move across states. Keep in mind that moving companies will price these moves by the weight of the load, the distance of the destination, and the time it takes to get it done. Miscellaneous fees such as toll fees and gas are also part of the final estimate.

Additionally, interstate moves are governed by the rules and guidelines of the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), which moving companies need to abide by. Some understanding of these rules will help you find a reliable company worth hiring. You will also need to register for a USDOT (US Department of Transportation) number for your belongings as they are passing state lines and need to be accounted for. If you manage to arrive at your new home before your stuff does, the USDOT number makes it easier to track your items so you know that they’re on their way to you.

The moving process can be difficult and challenging, especially if this is your first big move. However, being informed and understanding the kind of move you’re doing is an important part of it. Being aware of your move category allows you to budget correctly and prepare you for any surprises and hurdles that may appear along the way. Moving is stressful enough already, but doing your part in researching and planning for it can take a load off your shoulders come moving day.

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