Interstate moving guide

Get Your Free Estimate

    badge badge badge badge badge badge

    You may have heard that moving is a tough process. There is so much to do – from planning and logistics to finding suitable Miami moving companies over packing, loading, driving, unloading the truck and finally unpacking everything. This is true even when you are moving within the city. But when the time comes to move a bit further down the road – well, that’s when the real fun starts. Interstate moving is a lengthy and difficult process. It is one that cannot really be done successfully without the help of a professional moving company. However, it never hurts to start preparing on time. And that is why we are here today! In this guide, you can find out all you need to know when moving out of state!

    What is interstate moving anyway?

    The first question you might ask someone is what it actually means to be moving interstate. Is there any difference between an interstate and long distance move? Should you be looking for long distance movers Florida or the interstate ones?

    Well, purely technically speaking, interstate moving includes all moves that cross the state line. This can happen during either of these cases:

    1. when you are moving to another state, so you cross your own state lines;
    2. when you are moving within the same state, but you cross state lines to get to said city.

    Both of these moves are interstate ones, and your best bet would be to call an interstate moving company that can help you with the process. This is because the moving company will need to have a unique number in order to operate across the state lines. This is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is called a USDOT number. You can think of it like a moving company’s ID number. With it, you can check for any complaints against the company – or just the most important information pertaining to it.

    However, you shouldn’t worry! You are not alone in this endeavor! When looking at the total number of moves within the United States, you can see that the majority of them are actually interstate moves! In 2018, there was 60.51 percent of people moving across state borders, contrasting the 39.49 percent of those who moved locally. The numbers were even higher in 2017 – 65.51 percent of people moved interstate, while only 34.49 percent of them moved within the state borders.

    How to have a successful move?

    Now that you know a little bit more about what interstate moving actually is, it’s time to talk about how to have a successful experience. First, keep in mind that for a move to be stress-free, you need to start planning very, very early. Experts recommend beginning at least two months before the move. This gives you ample time to prepare all the paperwork, plan all the items and routes – and just be ready for the moving day to arrive. Other than that, there are a couple more steps you need to take:

    1. do thorough online research about interstate moving and other topics;
    2. start looking for interstate movers Florida;
    3. vet the companies and get the estimates;
    4. plan the budget;
    5. plan the packing process;
    6. sort out the paperwork;
    7. move, move, move!

    Online research is the first step to interstate moving

    One of the first things you will want to do when you need to move across the state line is thorough research. And what better place to help you than the internet. The internet has a huge database of all sorts of helpful tips, tricks and information you can use. However, from time to time, you will need to think about the information you are getting – and how true it is.

    You should begin searching for information about your move as soon as you know you are moving. There are many things that you should inform yourself about, so the more time you give yourself – the better. First, of course, you need to find cheap movers Miami who can help you with the move. And since there are a lot of movers out there, you will need to be extra careful with what they are offering you. For example, there are companies that will let you book your move three months in advance – while others will accept only thirty-day moving time. Of course, there are other ways to find movers too, and we will discuss them later.

    Learn about the place you are moving to as well

    You should also research the city and the state you are moving to. If you are looking into starting a new life there, then you need to be sure it will suit you well, right? In order to do this, of course, you will need to know your priorities. Then, you will need to research the job and housing market there. For example, you will want to look at the most popular destination spots – and wonder why they are on the list. In 2018, these were the most popular states for moving into:

    1. Vermont
    2. Oregon
    3. Idaho
    4. Nevada
    5. Arizona
    6. South Carolina
    7. Washington
    8. North Carolina
    9. South Dakota
    10. District of Columbia

    most popular stated for moving

    The main reasons were usually the retirement, change of lifestyle and growing a family. So, if one of these suits you as well, you might want to find some cheap housing or good schools in these states before even thinking about interstate moving.

    Start looking for the movers

    We already started talking a little bit about how you can go about finding interstate movers in Florida. You can find a lot of useful information online, but you should not stop there. As you might imagine, the Internet is not the best place to trust. There are ways in which people can game websites or even simply advertise themselves for what they are not.

    To stop this, you should ask around for moving company recommendations. Talk to anyone – your friends, colleges, neighbors! You can enver know who had some moving experience and can tell you something about a company. Even better, they can tell you about a bad moving experience and which company you should avoid at all cost! Whatever information you gather will help you a lot!

    Only then should you start researching online and creating a list of moving companies. By the end of this process, you should have at least ten companies that you are ready to call and talk to.

    Vet the moving companies

    Once you have your list, it’s time to vet the companies and get their estimates. You do not want to even think about interstate moving without having a vetted company to be your partner. How can you do it? Well, there are multiple ways in which you can go about it!

    First, there is the US DOT number we mentioned. You can use both this number and the company’s Motor Carrier (MC) number to gain valuable information about it. If you run into a company that doesn’t have these – then they do not have the license they need for interstate moving. You do not want to work with such a company!

    a laptop will be a must when interstate moving
    Use the internet for finding useful information.

    You can check this information at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFETY website. Use either the USDOT or the MC number to learn the necessary information about the company you are screening. You will also be able to see if the company you are working with is a broker, carrier or freight forwarder, which all have different meanings. Carriers are the ones you will hire directly to carry your items. Brokers will find the carriers for you, and freight forwarders use a couple of carriers to transport your goods.

    Consider interstate moving by yourself

    Of course, there is an option that you can move across the state borders by yourself. A lot of people choose to do this, according to AMSA’s study of interstate moves. They found out that, out of 3 million surveyed moves in 2018:

    • 45 percent decided for an unassisted move;
    • 33.3 percent decided to simply rent a moving truck and drive it themselves while
    • 21.7 percent hired professional movers.

    moving yourself vs. hiring movers statistics

    However, this is often highly unadvisable. Interstate moving is a complicated process, and you will be better off doing it with professional help. The movers can sometimes seem like a bigger expense, but they are not in the long run. Without them, you might have to deal with significant expenses due to property loss or damage on the move. When you include these risks in the process, then picking professional services is a clear choice!

    Get an estimate

    If you decide to go for a moving company, then it’s time to get a moving estimate from those you deemed good enough after being vetted. This is another important step in the interstate moving process. The estimate will tell you a lot about the moving company, but it will also affect your budget.

    When it comes to the moving estimates, the company representative should come to an in-home inspection. If the company offers to do it over the phone, then you can be sure you are working with fraudulent movers. This is important – no one can tell you exactly how much your move will cost unless they pay you a visit. Otherwise, they are just doing some guesswork based on previous experience and the number of bedrooms. Another thing that can tell you you are working with an unreliable company is if they do not hand you a booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”. All companies are required to do this by the government law.

    shelves you will need to pack during interstate moving
    Let the estimator see everything.

    When the estimator comes, don’t be surprised if they want to see everything you have. They might ask to open up your cupboards and wardrobes, and even see your attic. This is normal – they want to know exactly what you will take with you so they can give you a proper estimate. You should also note the items of extraordinary value at this time. The only things you don’t need to show them are the items you will personally carry with you. Documents, passports, some mementos and valuables – items like these are usually best left with you in the car.

    Budget is important during interstate moving

    By now, you have probably realized that interstate moving isn’t cheap. This is one of the main reasons why so many people decide to move alone, after all. The American Moving and Storage Association say that the average cost of an interstate move falls around $4,300. However, moving by yourself isn’t cheaper! You need to get yourself a truck or a container, buy moving supplies and similar items. The list can easily go on, and if you count the time you lose and the damages you can suffer, then this can reach way over $4,000 with ease!

    This is why you will need to plan the budget carefully. First, you will need to figure out how much you can spend on the move. Then, you will want to subtract the moving company costs from that sum. Afterward, you need to think about all the other moving expenses. You should also add extra cash for unexpected things that might occur. A smart idea is to see if your employment plan is covering the move – if you are moving for work, then this should be a norm. Talk to your employer about it on your next logistics meeting.

    Knowing your budget – and how the moving companies rank their estimates – can help you negotiate the moving price. Do not be afraid of this. You never really know just how a company might decide to help you with the move. If you are, for example, willing to push the moving date into the off-peak season, then you might save some money on the moving costs! In 2018, this was how people were moving:

    1. June – 13.11%
    2. August – 12.09%
    3. July – 11.72%
    4. May – 10.49%
    5. March – 9.05%
    6. September – 8.71%
    7. April – 8.42%
    8. October – 7.17%
    9. February – 6.40%
    10. November – 6.09%
    11. January – 3.49%
    12. December – 3.26%

    most popular months to move

    The packing process

    Once you are all settled up with the moving company, you need to consider packing. Packing is a tough and long process even when you are moving on a local scale. When it comes to interstate moving, it will become even harder. This is because you need to go through each of your rooms and decide what you will take with you and what will stay behind. Obviously, you should do this even before the moving company sends their estimator.

    People often find this hard to do. Saying goodbye to your things can be tough, but it is a decision you need to make. Remember, the fewer items you pack, the cheaper your move will be! You might even opt to go for a minimalistic approach and only pack the essentials! If not, then you will have big decisions to make. One useful rule is to think about the last time you used an item. If it was more than six months ago, then you should probably leave it behind.

    At this time, you should also consider getting packing and unpacking services from your movers. The packing process is quite long and will take a lot of time. Instead of wasting your time on packing, you can let the professionals take care of it. Meanwhile, you can focus on other aspects of interstate moving – like sorting the paperwork or even just saying goodbye to your friends.

    Use your packing supplies carefully

    When it comes to the actual packing, you will want to pack non-essentials first. These are the items you are not using at all at this time, and you will not be using them from this point until the moving day arrives. This can be anything from books, decor items and even your electronics. Conversely, you will want to pack your essentials the last.

    Think about the items and the materials you will use. The more padding and safety you add – the safer your items will be. However, this will only increase the cost of your move. It is a line you will need to tread carefully. When it comes to the moving boxes, there is one simple rule. The small boxes are for heavy items and the large one for the light ones. Everything in between will go in the medium boxes!

    Dealing with the paperwork might be tough

    A couple of weeks before the moving day arrives, you should start sorting through the paperwork you need to do. First, you will want to be sure to cancel your utilities. You can do this by calling all your utility companies and informing them about your move. A smart idea would also be to call the utility companies in your new city and arrange for them to be turned on. There is nothing worse than arriving at a cold house after a long day (or days) of moving.

    piles of paperwork won't be as big when interstate moving
    Deal with the paperwork before it piles up.

    These can include anything from cable and internet but should include water, gas, electricity and sewer. Also, make sure you don’t forget about satellite and security systems if you have these. Another thing you need to set up is mail forwarding. You can do this fairly simply on the USPS website. Another option you can consider is to get a PO box in your new home.

    Of course, you should not forget about your friends and family. Inform everyone of your decision to move and the moving date on time. This will give you a lot of time to plan all the meetings with them. You can take them out for coffee and get to say goodbye. However, don’t let this make you sad! Moving means you are starting a new life! There will be a lot of chances to meet new people and make new great friends – and they will only add to the great group you already have!

    Settling down in your new home

    Even when you are done moving, there will still be paperwork to do! First, you will need to establish legal domicile for all tax purposes at your new address. This happens in the case of you moving interstate to a new permanent address. You can find out how to do it by visiting the state’s website.

    Afterward, you will need to set up a new driver’s license. Again, this is not too hard to do. All you really need is to visit the local DMV. However, you should make sure to check what your state requires you to have. There might even be a time window to do this, or you will need to retake the test. Usually, you will need to show your old driver’s license and the proof of residency, as well as the proof of your social security number and some other ID card.


    To conclude, there are a lot of things you need to consider when moving across the state borders. There are a lot of people moving – with a lot of reasons. To give you a picture of it, here is the research AMSA did in 2016:

    • 45.3% wanted a new home or another housing option;
    • 27.5% was family-related;
    • 19.5% was work-related;
    • 3.2% left for college;
    • 4.5% was for other reasons.

    an overview of the reasons why people move

    As you can see, the reasons for the moves vary by a huge margin. And just like the reasons differ – so do the moves. This is why one international moving guide cannot really cover every single point of your move. To get the best moving experience possible, your best bet would be to call professional movers. And Orange Mover Miami is just the company for you! But let us not talk too much about us! You will see why we are the best once you call us and set up the move! Moving across the states doesn’t need to be hard – with the good movers at your side! We are waiting to begin your great cross-country adventure with you today!

    Latest Posts