3 Mistakes You Might Make on an Interstate Move

Moving homes is a complex process that demands careful planning and execution, especially when you're moving between states. This article discusses three tips homeowners often forget that mean the difference between a hassle-free move and a stressful experience.

1. Not budgeting for the move

Moving across states is significantly more expensive than moving within the same town or city. Therefore, it's important to contact moving companies to get quotes as soon as you find out about the move (hopefully you have a few months' notice). During this time, you can compare and negotiate with the moving company and then start setting aside the needed funds.

A realistic budget should not only include movers' fees, you should also set aside money to move your family members, get accommodation before your things arrive and are unpacked and a contingency fund for emergencies. When researching for a moving company, remember to ask whether there are any additional costs and where they apply. It's better to have a large kitty than to fall short during the move.

If you can't afford the costs, think about organizing a sale for some of your items to reduce the number of belongings to be transported. You can always buy others once you get to the other side.

2. Not getting movers in good time

Only on very rare occasions will you have to move across states with minimal notice. If moving for jobs, most companies will give two or three months' notice to allow you to list your current home, sell it and find a new place in the new city. The best time to start looking for a mover is the day you learn about your move.

Remember that costs can rise because of high-demand seasons, fluctuating fuel costs and other reasons. Securing your mover and signing a contract allows you to benefit from any discounts you got during the low-demand season.

Getting a mover early can also allow you to schedule your move for less-busy days, such as weekdays, when movers often have few people relocating. You're likely to get a bigger crew if their teams don't have to be in five other places on the same day. Also, you'll secure one of the fleet's best vehicles. This means that your move will be executed faster.

3. Signing paperwork before inventory check

Before signing off on the paperwork, it's important to go through your inventory list and ensure that all boxes have been delivered. If your arrangement was for both packing and unpacking, then items should be unpacked and properly arranged before you sign the papers.

If they were only moving and offloading, an easy way to check is to open all the boxes and confirm that your items are intact. You can assign a room to each able family member so that you get through the process faster.

Talk to your movers to see how long they give for inventory checks; most places will allow a day or two following the move. If there's some damage, notify them immediately through the channels indicated (you should know this from your research stage). The sooner you lodge a claim, the more likely it is to be paid.