Interstate Moving Trends: What’s Changing in the Industry

June 3, 2024

The interstate moving industry goes through its own changes and shifts, just like any other. As people’s lifestyles, priorities, and needs change over time, so do the patterns and practices around moving from one state to another. Though it can be easy to think of interstate moves as a straightforward process that remains largely the same, there are some notable ways this sector continues to evolve.

This article will explore the key trends reshaping interstate moves today. We’ll see how factors like more remote work options, downsizing mentalities, and tech innovations are all combining to transform people’s cross-state moving experiences. There are new pain points but also new solutions emerging. Understanding these trends will help you make smarter decisions around any upcoming interstate move.

Some main themes we’ll cover include the rise in long-distance relocations, seasonal moving patterns, DIY versus hiring movers, cost and pricing changes, downsizing practices, role of tech, common mistakes, and tips for first-timers. By the end, you’ll have a better sense of the forces of change in the industry and how to navigate them for a smooth interstate moving process.

Increase in Long-Distance Moves

Over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of long-distance interstate moves covering over 500 miles. According to industry data, long-distance relocations now account for over 20% of total moves, up from just 15% in 2010. This upward trend is expected to continue in the coming years. 

Several factors are driving this growth in long-haul moves. The rise of remote work has allowed more flexibility in where people choose to live. With less need to stay close to offices and headquarters, individuals and families are relocating to lower cost areas or places offering desired amenities and lifestyles. The increased mobility of the modern workforce and desire for affordable housing are key motivations.  

The pandemic accelerated long-distance moves, as remote policies were rapidly implemented. With home now the workplace, many Americans seized the opportunity to relocate outside of crowded, high-cost cities. The broader adoption of hybrid and permanent remote work even after COVID-19 will likely sustain the popularity of 500+ mile moves.

This rise in cross-country relocations has greatly impacted the moving industry. Companies are needing to facilitate more complex logistics and provide expanded services to support longer-distance clients. From packing supplies to storage and vehicle transport, the requirements of these moves can be intensive. However, long-distance moves also offer higher profit margins. Overall, the industry is adapting to meet the changing needs and capture rising demand.

Peak Moving Seasons

The spring and summer months are considered peak moving seasons, with most moves taking place between March and August. According to United Van Lines, over 43% of yearly moves occur during these 6 months. 

The busiest weekends tend to be at the end of May and June when most school years wrap up and leases turn over. Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day weekends are especially popular moving times. Specific dates like June 30th and July 1st also see high demand as many leases expire and start on the 1st of the month.

Moving companies often increase prices during peak seasons and may even implement “peak pricing” on high-demand days. Their crews and trucks are in highest demand when everyone wants to move at the same time. 

To avoid peak pricing, aim to move in the off-season fall or winter months. If you must move in summer, try to avoid booking on weekends or holidays. Mid-month dates like the 15th can have better availability and lower costs. Give yourself flexibility on moving dates if possible. Finally, booking well in advance – ideally 4-8 weeks – can help lock in better rates before peak prices hit.

Hiring Moving Companies vs. DIY Moves 

One of the most important decisions when planning an interstate move is whether to hire professional movers (Two Men And A Truck)or do it yourself (DIY). According to recent statistics, about 60% of people making long-distance moves choose to hire a moving company, while 40% opt for a DIY move. 

Cost and Pricing Trends

Moving between states can get expensive quickly, so understanding the factors that determine pricing is key for creating an accurate moving budget. The average cost of an interstate move is $4,300 for a 1-2 bedroom home, $6,000 for a 3-4 bedroom home, and $7,300 for a 5+ bedroom home according to recent industry research. This includes labor and transportation fees.

Longer moves that cross several states tend to be more expensive than shorter moves within the same region. Moving during the peak summer months is also pricier due to higher demand. The weight of your belongings is another big factor, as movers charge by weight or by cubic feet occupied in the truck. Extra heavy items like pianos or appliances add to costs as well. 

There are several things you can do to lock in the best price when budgeting for an interstate move:

– Get quotes from multiple licensed, reputable moving companies to compare rates thoroughly

– Avoid moving during the peak summer season between May and August if possible

– Be realistic about the weight and cubic feet you’ll need to transport all your possessions

– Downsize and get rid of items you don’t need to reduce weight

– Opt for lower service levels like loading and unloading yourself if you’re able

– Take advantage of discounts some movers offer for off-season or midweek/weekday moves

Having an accurate understanding of typical costs and the factors that influence pricing will enable you to create a realistic moving budget and minimize expenses for your interstate relocation. Comparing multiple quotes is essential to finding the best rate.

Downsizing and Decluttering 

Moving to a new home is the perfect opportunity to downsize and declutter your belongings. Studies show that around 40% of people looking to relocate take the chance to downsize their possessions before the move. This allows them to start fresh in their new home without hauling more stuff than necessary.

Decluttering before a big interstate move has many benefits beyond simply reducing moving costs. It saves you time packing and unpacking. It also reduces stress since you have less to keep track of. Many people feel a sense of freedom and renewal after getting rid of the excess stuff that’s been accumulating over the years.

Professional movers can help make downsizing easier in several ways. They can provide guidance on what items are safe to donate or sell. Movers often have partnerships with charities that will come and pick up donations from your home. Some even offer decluttering services to sort through your things and determine what should stay versus go. Talk to your mover to see if they offer these types of value-added services.

The bottom line is that downsizing before an interstate move allows you to focus on the essentials. This creates less work for the movers, reduces your costs, and gives you a fresh start in your new residence. With some strategic decluttering, you can ensure the moving process goes smoothly.

Technology and Moving

Technology has fundamentally changed the moving experience in recent years. From planning to coordination and loading, technology is making interstate moves far smoother.

AI and sophisticated algorithms now allow moving companies to provide instant cost estimates and accurately predict timing for an upcoming move. Customers can get quotes in seconds, rather than waiting days for an in-person estimate. This allows for quicker decision making when choosing a moving company.

Specialized moving apps help customers manage every step of their move. These apps provide checklists for essential pre-move tasks, inventory trackers, expense logs, route planners, and more. Customers can coordinate all the logistics for their move from the convenience of their smartphone.

On moving day, technology assists movers in carefully loading and securing belongings in the truck. RFID tags on furniture sync with smartphones to generate optimal loading plans. Fragile items can be tracked in real-time. After unloading at the destination, customers can digitally sign for delivery and payment right on the movers’ mobile device. 

From planning to payment, technology removes much of the hassle and uncertainty from moving between states. Companies continue to integrate the latest innovations to provide a streamlined, stress-free moving experience.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Moving to a new home in a different state can be daunting. With so much to coordinate, it’s easy to make some mistakes along the way. Being aware of the most common blunders can help you avoid stress and headaches during your interstate move.

Not Decluttering Enough

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not decluttering and downsizing enough before their move. Trying to move a home full of clutter to another state will cost more in moving fees and be a hassle during the packing process. Take time in advance to declutter room-by-room and consider donating, selling, or trashing items you no longer need. This will reduce the number of boxes and weight for your move.

Underestimating Costs 

It’s easy to underestimate the total costs associated with an interstate moving. From transportation, packing supplies, movers, and incidentals, expenses add up quickly. Get binding estimates from multiple movers and expect there to be extra fees not included in initial estimates. Budgeting more rather than less means fewer financial surprises down the road.

Poor Packing Techniques

You can avoid damage to your belongings by using proper packing techniques. Wrap fragile items individually in packing paper or bubble wrap before packing in boxes. Use crumpled paper or packing peanuts to cushion items inside boxes. Don’t overload boxes to the point of splitting. Securely seal boxes with strong tape. Mark boxes clearly with “Fragile” or the room they should go in. Take time to pack carefully to avoid breakage or loss.

Forgetting Essentials

With so much to coordinate for your move, it’s easy to forget essential items. Many people forget to pack medications, toiletries, phone chargers, cleaning supplies, and other necessities they’ll need right away in their new home. Make a master checklist of these types of essentials you’ll need during the move so you don’t find yourself without something important on moving day.

Tips for First-Time Movers

Moving to a new home in a different state can be an exciting but stressful life change. Interstate moving first time?, planning ahead and being prepared can help make the transition smooth. Here are some key tips for first-time long-distance movers:

Start planning early – Begin organizing, decluttering, researching movers, and making arrangements at least 2-3 months in advance. This will give you time to handle all the logistics without being rushed.

Notify important parties – Alert your bank, doctors, subscription services, employers, etc. about your change of address. Fill out a change of address form with USPS.

Obtain records – Request transcripts, gather medical/dental records, veterinary records for pets, proof of insurance, etc. You’ll need these for new service providers.

Strategize packing – Sort items room by room. Label boxes clearly so you know what’s inside. Pack an essentials box with things you’ll need right away.

Consider mover options – Decide whether to hire professionals or rent a truck for DIY. Get estimates and check reviews for movers.

Travel preparations – Book hotels on your drive if needed. Get your car tuned up for the long haul. Arrange for pet care.

Unpack methodically – Have a system for unpacking, starting with essentials. Check items for damage. Assemble beds and furniture asap.

Update address – Change over utilities, driver’s license, vehicle registration. Enroll kids in new schools. Meet neighbors. 

Explore locally – Learn the new area, locate favorite restaurants or activities. Scouting it out ahead of time makes move-in easier.

Planning thoroughly and allowing enough time will help reduce headaches during your first interstate move. Being organized, labeling possessions clearly, and unpacking in an orderly manner will also make the transition go more smoothly.

The Future of Interstate Moving

The interstate moving industry is poised for continued growth and innovation in the coming years as more people relocate for jobs, retirement, or other life changes. 

Some predictions indicate the industry will grow steadily at 2-3% annually, driven partly by millennial migration to urban areas and baby boomer relocations upon retirement. As the U.S. population continues increasing, so will the demand for interstate moves.

Technology will play a bigger role in relocation services, improving efficiency and customer experience. Apps and online platforms may allow real-time tracking of shipments, virtual surveys of homes, AI-assisted packing, and drone transportation for smaller items. Virtual reality could also enable digital walkthroughs of new homes before moving. 

Many companies are developing self-driving moving trucks to reduce costs and risks. This could significantly impact long-haul transportation over the next 10-20 years. There is also a rise in moving concierge services catered toward busy professionals needing end-to-end relocation management.

Sustainability is another priority, with eco-friendly practices around materials, packaging, and transportation. More companies may offset carbon emissions or use electric vehicles. Consumers increasingly prefer responsible movers.

Overall, the interstate moving industry aims to enhance customer experiences through technology, customization, and innovation while addressing changing consumer needs and priorities. Exciting developments lie ahead as companies adapt to market shifts and leverage emerging technologies. The move to greater personalization, flexibility, sustainability, and tech-enabled services will shape the future.