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How To Hire Cross Country Movers

Learn the best ways to hire cross-country movers for a long-distance relocation and avoid common scams to ensure you are paying a fair price.
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How To Hire Cross Country Movers
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In this article

You trust a pilot to fly you across the country, so trust cross country moving companies to do the same for your stuff.

Long-distance moving can be one of the most difficult and stressful life events if you let it; in other words, if you do it yourself.

Don’t do it yourself.

If you plan to move across the country the cost to hire movers practically pays for itself.

Fortunately, whether you’re moving down the street or coast to coast, the process is the same. Simply start by researching all of the long distance movers in your area. Then, only proceed to contact the ones with a lot of experience, all the licensing required and that are recommended by friends/ family or have positive reviews.

From there, collect your moving quotes, select your moving company, and before you know it there will be a moving truck in your driveway.

There may be a little more to it than that, so we’ve got it all covered.

What to do when you hire movers?

Do yourself a big favor and don’t wait until moving day to ask for help.

Instead, hire a moving company and let them give you the best moving experience. It will be much better than the one where you made the truck rental for the wrong day (we’ve all been there).

If you’ve never hired out of state movers before, it’s actually much easier than it seems. For the highest quality movers and the best moving experience, there are just a few things you’ll want to make sure you do.

1. Get a reliable moving inventory

This might as well be the most important thing that professional movers do. The inventory accounts for ALL of your belongings, so you want a clear and reliable one. The bulk of the moving costs will also rely on the inventory, so make sure you get a good one from your movers.

2. Make sure they do a walkthrough

This goes with the inventory. A moving estimator will do a walkthrough of your home to complete the inventory, and determine exactly what and how much you want to move. You’ll be able to spot the difference between a good estimator and a poor one, based on their walkthrough.

If they only glance through rooms and don’t ask any questions, you’ll end up with a poor estimate. Instead, be sure they are asking questions and peering in every nook and cranny to get a clear picture of everything you need to be moved.

3. Don’t hire movers with multiple names

Chances are you’ve never heard of this one, but with a little digging, you may find companies that say “doing business as” (or DBA) with another, different company name. This helps companies avoid being assessed by the Better Business Bureau, so watch out, you definitely don’t want them.

4. Don’t pay a deposit

Or at least not a significantly large one. If there is one thing that you can count on with moving companies, it’s that payment is not required until the end, the very end, when your belongings finally get where they need to be. If a company is asking for a large deposit upfront, they are likely not reputable, and there’s no guarantee that your stuff will ever arrive if you’ve paid in advance.

5. Pack your personals

Pack small, fragile items, as well as personal items first, and pack them yourself. Also, pack a day or two’s worth of essentials that you can use when you arrive while everything is still inboxes.

You might also consider doing all the packing yourself and simply let the movers do the heavy lifting and loading/unloading. This way you know your stuff is put away carefully and not broken. Broken items will only cost you more in the end.

6. Beware of extra fees

No, there is no such thing as a narrow street surcharge, a stair fee, or an extra room cost; the moving company will give you an estimate of the average cost, and that is that there should not be any additional or hidden fees at the end.

7. Be a contract expert

Keep in mind there’s no such thing as a “guaranteed quote”. There are estimates, binding estimates, and non-binding estimates, but there’s nothing guaranteed. Make sure you understand which you are signing and which you are getting into with your moving company before it counts.

8. Be kind

Whether they’re being paid a large sum or not, the fact is that movers are doing you a huge service and a favor. While movers are there, be kind and helpful. Offer small drinks and refreshments whenever you can, perhaps even provide some lunch. Whatever you can do to go the extra mile to make them feel appreciated will help them do a better job for you.

9. Stay out of the way

Of course, the most important thing you can do once you hire professional movers is staying well out of the way. Even if you think you want to help, you should really just let movers do what they do best- move!

What will movers not pack?

While this may seem like an odd question, the answer is nothing. There is next to nothing that professionals will not pack.

When you hire moving services it is their job to complete the job thoroughly. This means packing it all up and having the packing materials and the expertise to do so.

That being said, there are a few things that are just plain obvious that movers are not allowed to pack or move:


  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Nail polish remover
  • Or similar chemicals


  • Propane tanks
  • Paint
  • Gas
  • Aerosols
  • Charcoal
  • Lighter fluid


  • There are actually specific laws regarding the transport of plants from state to state. Be sure to check the laws in the area where you’re moving to for any plants that may require being quarantined or are just not allowed at all.


  • Movers will never move an animal, even if it’s caged or very well behaved.


  • Usually, this applies to only the perishable food, but be sure to check with your moving company first.


  • This is more of an obvious, personal preference more than anything. No matter how trustworthy your moving company is, is there really anyone else you want handling that jewelry that’s been passed down four generations? As a rule of thumb, you should always pack your own personals.

What can I expect from a full-service mover?

For the easiest way to move, choose a full-service move. A full-service move means just that, everything that’s associated with your move gets done for you.

Movers will even do all the dirty work, like disassembling all your furniture AND putting it back together. If you’re wanting to save yourself a little stress and heartache the next time you move, choose a full-service move.

Especially for a cross-country move, this is one of the easiest, smartest ways to move; so all you have to worry about is adjusting to your new home.

The average cost for a full-service move is right around $900 and will take the professionals at least 10 hours for the “packing up” process, and more for the unpacking.

With a full-service move, you essentially don’t have to lift a finger, however, you should do a little lifting before the movers get there. This is how you prepare for a full-service move.

Create your own inventory

This is more of a recommendation than anything else, but we highly recommend it. Although the moving company will create their own inventory, it is best you create an itemized checklist all yourself. This way you can keep track of your belongings and ensure nothing goes ‘missing’ along the way.

Pack a few things for yourself

Again, this is just a recommendation. If you truly don’t want to lift a finger or pack a single thing, don’t, but we highly recommend packing your personals. Keep a small box of important things, like official documents, with you. Also be sure to pack a change of clothes, toiletries, phone chargers, cash, and snacks that will last until you get to your new place.

Unplug everything

This is just a helpful tip you can do before the movers come. If you unplug, unhook, and empty as much as you can, it simply makes it easier for the movers to get the job done faster and more efficiently.

Remove flammable objects

As you already know, movers won’t move flammable or combustible objects. Remove these items from the house so that they do not get left behind, or worse.

Occupy your children and move your pets

If there’s one thing full-service movers definitely need, it’s space. Ensure that children and pets stay out of the way so that the professionals can just work. They’ll be grateful and so will you, for a faster, better job well done.

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