How to Choose a Long Distance Moving Company

Call for a free moving quote: (800) 264-6313 or fill out the request form below

We do not offer intrastate moves unless in California.

Need to know how to choose a long-distance moving company and don’t know where to start? Avoid the pitfalls and learn to identify the hallmarks of a reputable mover. This guide will equip you with the essentials, covering everything from checking licensing to comparing estimates. Without any jargon or unnecessary detail, get ready to find the mover that aligns with your needs, gives you peace of mind, and ensures a stress-free transition to your new home.

Key Takeaways

  • It is vital to evaluate potential moving companies in depth, ensuring they are licensed, and insured, and hold industry accreditations like the ProMover logo.
  • Get clarity on moving estimates by understanding the difference between binding (fixed price) and non-binding (can change) estimates and request at least three to compare.
  • Be on the lookout for red flags like suspiciously low prices, a lack of a physical or online presence, and inconsistent communication. Verify authenticity through detailed customer reviews.

Understanding Long Distance Moving Dynamics

Graphic of moving

Relocating over a long distance is not merely about changing your living space. It involves acclimating to entirely new daily patterns and surroundings. Whether you are faced with unforeseen weather conditions, integrating into strange new communities or even saying poignant farewells, these challenges all form part of the experience. Establishing a budget that accounts for unexpected costs will act as your financial guide, ensuring that the move progresses smoothly while safeguarding against strain on your finances. Meticulously wrapping up each personal belonging—from precious family keepsakes to essential kitchen appliances—in sturdy packaging materials takes precedence in your long-distance moving checklist, especially considering items sensitive to temperature changes.

Managing the complexities inherent in distance moves can be compared to solving an ever-shifting puzzle. The process involves more than transporting physical goods. It also requires redirecting everything from utility services to magazine subscriptions—a true transference of one’s entire way of life. When children are involved, orchestrating their transition into new educational settings and daycare options adds another layer that necessitates thoughtful strategy coupled with empathy. Equally important is forging bonds within your newfound community because it’s those very connections that transform mere residences into warm homes imbued with a sense of belonging.

Evaluating Moving Company Credentials

Graphic of moving

Imagine embarking on a country-wide relocation, comforted by the knowledge that your possessions are under the care of a long-distance moving company as reliable as the North Star itself. Initiating this adventure requires thoroughly vetting potential moving companies for their credentials. It is imperative to confirm that any chosen distance moving company is not merely offering grand promises, but also possesses proper licensing and insurance required for these extensive treks.

Investigating their professional credentials mirrors selecting a vessel helmed by an experienced captain. It reflects their compliance with industry norms and dedication to conducting business ethically.

Confirm Licensing and Insurance

A U.S. DOT number is an essential indicator that a moving company is officially recognized by the Federal government, and it provides more than just identification—it offers insight into the mover’s track record, including their complaint log and safety statistics, through a dedicated search tool provided by the Federal authorities. Should you find that a mover lacks both a DOT number and an MC number, take caution. This could indicate that the company might not be as reliable as it appears.

As for insurance, consider it your ultimate security blanket—protection to ensure everything you own is safeguarded during transit. Verifying what types of insurance are available from your chosen moving company should be given equal attention as carefully boxing up your possessions. Confirmation can usually be obtained effortlessly either via their official online presence or with one simple phone call directly to them.

Investigate Professional Accreditations

In the moving industry, professional accreditations act as marks of distinction, indicating that a mover’s procedures align with lofty standards within the sector. The ProMover emblem from the American Moving and Storage Association stands out as an esteemed badge to seek—it signals superior quality and adherence to ethical operations, much like a lighthouse guides ships through turbulent waters.

Honors such as receiving the Angie’s List Super Service Award or holding memberships in notable moving and storage associations serve as guiding stars for reputable firms. These recognitions bolster their standing and demonstrate an unwavering dedication to delivering exceptional service.

Deciphering Moving Estimates

Graphic of moving

The moving estimate is the central beacon guiding your relocation budget, a crucial figure that can shape your overall experience with moving. Grasping the distinction between binding and non-binding estimates equates to appreciating the subtle differences between tumultuous sea voyages and tranquil maritime journeys. A binding estimate represents an agreement fixing your expenses based on the mover’s preliminary assessment. Conversely, a non-binding estimate resembles more of an educated guess which could fluctuate depending on actual weight and services upon completion of your move.

To ensure you are well-equipped to traverse through various pricing terrains confidently, it’s advisable to procure no fewer than three different estimates from multiple moving firms. This strategy will afford you a broad spectrum of choices when plotting out potential financial routes for your upcoming relocation.

Types of Estimates Explained

A binding estimate acts as your economic safeguard, guaranteeing that the cost given is what you will be charged, regardless of how turbulent the moving process becomes. In contrast, non-binding estimates are comparable to embarking on a voyage guided by a weather prediction. The ultimate price may wax and wane with real-life circumstances—a risky endeavor that could bring unforeseen financial destinations.

Inquiring about binding estimates when selecting a moving company can help you navigate toward an economically stable relocation without the sudden squalls of fluctuating moving expenses.

Obtaining Accurate Estimates

A moving estimate serves as the definitive guide to the financial terrain of your relocation. To achieve accurate pricing, federal legislation mandates that moving companies conduct a visual inspection of your belongings. This thorough scrutiny guarantees there are no concealed pockets or surprises in your cost projection. It facilitates custom-tailored services, making sure you don’t overspend on superfluous additions or overlook essential assistance.

Conducted either through an in-person walkthrough or virtual assessment, the objective is to provide you with a written estimate that delineates all possible expenses you might face—ranging from the smooth sailing of basic charges to any potential vortexes of extra fees lurking beneath.

Specialty Services and Customization

Graphic of moving

Selecting a moving company that provides an array of specialty services can be likened to opting for a vessel designed to carry various types of goods. For valuables such as heirloom pool tables or cherished grand pianos, entities like Sterling Van Lines employ specific equipment dedicated to safeguarding these treasured items. The ability to customize your move gives you the freedom and flexibility to relocate on your own schedule and according to personal preferences. From extra packing materials to thorough handling of distinct belongings, these features signify movers who genuinely prioritize customer satisfaction.

Tailored Services for Unique Items

A moving company tasked with relocating sensitive pieces like pianos or precious artwork must embody the elegance of a ballet performer combined with the meticulousness of a skilled surgeon. Sterling Van Lines offers this high degree of professionalism, backed by thirty years in the business, guaranteeing that your prized possessions reach their destination just as they were when entrusted to them. Their offer includes custom crating for objects such as chandeliers and gentleness in transferring antiques – all part of an orchestrated package designed specifically around individual needs.

The service provided transcends mere transportation. It’s about preserving cherished memories unscathed—something Sterling Van Lines has successfully achieved for years. This allows melodies to continue resonating long after everything has been settled into place.

Flexibility for Last-Minute Moves

Occasionally, the symphony of life may present an unforeseen melody that necessitates a rapid relocation. In such instances, movers who specialize in eleventh-hour moves step in as your impromptu maestros, deftly orchestrating your prompt transition with expertise. They deliver services specifically designed for these critical circumstances, including swift shipping and instant departure options, guaranteeing that your abrupt change is managed seamlessly.

Clear pricing and communication are essential foundations for executing a last-minute move successfully. It’s important to select a moving company that epitomizes transparency rather than one shrouded in enigma.

Recognizing Red Flags

Graphic of moving

As you set sail on your relocation voyage, keep a watchful eye out for potential pitfalls. Beware of moving companies that tempt you with exceptionally low quotes. They may be baiting a trap, waiting to spring unforeseen expenses upon you once your possessions are secure aboard their vessel and beyond your control. A firm that frequently rebrands itself could be attempting to navigate away from infamy by flying under an unrecognizable ensign.

Monitor both the mover's digital presence and physical existence, along with how regularly they maintain contact. These are indicators of whether their operation is robust like a well-crafted ship or on the verge of sinking into obscurity.

Spotting Suspicious Behavior

As you sift through customer feedback, seek out comprehensive accounts that vividly describe the moving company’s level of service. Phrases such as “satisfied” and “peace of mind” might suggest a reliable mover. Be cautious about ambiguous or excessively flattering statements that may conceal reality.

Be alert to grievances regarding careless treatment or significant timeline delays—these are red flags signaling possible problems ahead. Your chosen moving company should play the role of a trustworthy participant in your personal story, not that of a villain.

Verifying Customer Feedback

Reviews from customers act as a collective voice, either extolling the virtues or expressing grievances regarding a mover’s performance. Accolades such as Sterling Van Lines’ achievement in securing the Angie’s List Super Service Award echo with consistent customer satisfaction and approval. When reviews repeatedly highlight traits like professionalism and efficiency, these become recurring motifs that indicate where the moving company excels.

To discern genuine critiques, focus on those accounts rich with personal anecdotes while avoiding deceptive praises that could mislead like tempting but untruthful sirens’ calls.

Inquiring About Additional Moving Support

When navigating the complexities of the moving process, explore various supplementary services provided by full-service long-distance movers to ease your transition. These amenities encompass a range of options such as:

  • Vehicle Transportation
  • Defensive wrappings for your possessions
  • Consignment monitoring, with firms like Sterling Van Lines offering transparency throughout the stretch of your belongings’ transit.

Such provisions guarantee that every piece from your personal collection reaches its destination in harmony.

Seize opportunities for potential savings available to military members or during non-peak periods. These can be akin to unearthing hidden gems within the extensive sea of relocation costs.

Packing and Unpacking Services

The climax of a relocation process is typically found in the packing and unpacking stages. Directed by professional packing services, akin to a maestro with their baton, adept moving teams meticulously encase and safeguard your possessions with exceptional attention. This includes everything from heirloom china sets to delicate electronic equipment—all treated reverently by trained personnel.

For the unwrapping phase, full-service movers go beyond merely dropping off boxes. They skillfully coordinate where each possession should go, providing you with the comfort of effortlessly transitioning into your new abode.

Storage Options

During the orchestration of a long-distance move, there may arise moments when your items need to be securely tucked away as you fine-tune the arrangements in your new abode. Moving companies provide these pauses with their storage solutions, granting both flexibility and security for your goods. For unexpected halts in the moving process, short-term storage acts as an ideal pit stop. Meanwhile, long-term options play out like prolonged notes—providing ample time needed to get everything set for what’s next.

Ensuring that your belongings are under vigilant care is critical for mental ease during relocation. With full value protection offered by secure storage services, rest assured that all will remain intact and safeguarded until such time as they’re ready to grace your fresh living space with their presence.

Preparing for the Move with Sterling Van Lines

As you draw closer to the conclusion of your relocation planning, the esteemed movers Sterling Van Lines are at the ready. With over three decades perfecting their craft in this sector, they are adept at facilitating even smaller relocations as well as extensive cross country moving services. When their crew steps onto your stage, they take charge of every aspect of your move from loading and packing to meticulously reconstructing your possessions so that everything falls seamlessly into place.

Ensure you have all necessary moving and packing supplies on hand. Most importantly, don’t overlook an essentials box—it’s akin to a lifeline amid the turmoil of relocating. This vital container should include anything ranging from snacks to crucial paperwork for easy access during transition times.

Understanding Sterling Van Lines' Specialties

Sterling Van Lines has distinguished itself as an expert in small-scale relocations. They provide exceptional service for moves both within the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles and across the vast expanse of the country, guaranteeing that even modest-sized moves are executed to perfection.

The professional movers at Sterling Van Lines focus on transporting goods weighing no more than 2,000 pounds, providing tailored solutions for individuals with fewer possessions yet equally important moving requirements. Their expertise encompasses a wide variety of items including pianos and antiques, showcasing a broad array of capabilities designed to satisfy each client’s distinctive needs.

Planning Your Move with a Minimum Weight Requirement

The harmonious performance of relocation that Sterling Van Lines orchestrates reaches its zenith when there is a starting threshold of 400 pounds. By meeting this requirement, they are enabled to offer their best rates and guarantee meticulous attention to detail for each possession, akin to the dedicated focus on a solo performer in the limelight. Guaranteeing at least 400 pounds in your move with Sterling Van Line means their complete array of services will be at play.

Arranging your moving journey with this prescribed minimum weight as part of your plan guarantees an economically savvy crescendo and a seamless transition process.

Feature Image Section

The feature images serve as the opening act of our narrative, creating an atmosphere even before any text is consumed. Ideally, these images would embody Sterling Van Lines’ dedication to exemplary service—possibly displaying their array of vehicles against the serene scene of a setting sun or illustrating their crew meticulously packaging a treasured family artifact.

Far from being simply ornamental, these visuals should load swiftly and adapt seamlessly across various devices. They communicate tales of dependability and trustworthiness while signaling the commencement of a journey handled with utmost care.


As we conclude our journey through the essentials of selecting a long-distance moving company, you now possess comprehensive insight. You’ve grasped the complexity of planning and undertaking a distance move, encompassing both logistical preparations and its emotional aspects. Through our guide, you’ve become adept at assessing movers’ qualifications by checking for licensure, insurance coverage, and professional accreditations. The enigma surrounding cost estimates has been revealed to you as well—you know how critical it is to have services customized for your distinctive belongings and the option for adaptability with unforeseen last-minute adjustments.

The ability to spot potential warning signs in companies and confirm their reputation via genuine customer reviews has become intuitive to you—essential skills that will help navigate away from problematic providers. You are also knowledgeable about various additional offerings provided by distance moving companies such as packing assistance or storage solutions along with exclusive benefits extended by full-service movers like Sterling Van Lines specifically tailored towards small-scale relocations handled with exceptional care.

It’s paramount to remember that an ideal moving company isn’t just another contractor. It’s essentially your collaborator on one of life’s most significant transitions—embarking on a fresh adventure. Making a judicious selection ensures not merely an address change but an elegant step into this thrilling new episode in your life narrative.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I ensure that my moving company is legitimate and reliable?

To make sure your moving company is legitimate and reliable, check for a U.S. DOT number, review their insurance options, and see if they have professional accreditations like the ProMover logo from the American Moving and Storage Association.

What's the difference between a binding and a non-binding moving estimate?

It’s critical to comprehend the distinction between a binding estimate, which secures the cost of moving services, and a non-binding estimate, where charges may shift depending on your belongings’ real weight and the extent of services used. Grasping this difference is essential in order to prevent unexpected costs down the line.

How can I avoid moving scams?

Exercise vigilance against moving fraud by being wary of abnormally low price quotes, companies frequently changing their names, and service providers lacking a robust online presence. It’s essential to check for client testimonials and seek out comprehensive reviews.

Does Sterling Van Lines handle large and complex moves?

Indeed, Sterling Van Lines possesses both the proficiency and the necessary apparatus to transport sizable and fragile possessions like pianos and antiques securely and efficiently.

What should I do if my move is last minute?

Should you find yourself in a situation requiring an urgent move, it’s important to seek out moving companies that specialize in handling last-minute moves. These companies should be able to provide rapid shipping services and have the flexibility for quick departure times while maintaining straightforward pricing and ensuring open lines of communication.

Best wishes for your upcoming relocation!

Call us today for a free moving quote

(800) 264-6313

Get a Free Moving Quote Now

See what some of our happy customers have to say

As a moving company, we are proud of the work we do in helping people to move- and thought we would share a few words from our customers.

Small Move Testimonial
Nothing but excellent things to say about Sterling Van Lines! Moving is stressful enough -- Sterling Van Lines definitely made the process easier for us!B.P. Small Move
Piano Move Testimonial
They moved a very old 1886 Steinway Baby Grand across the country and they did a wonderful job. Sterling had the best price as well. Tim D. Piano Move
Antique Move Testimonial
Sterling moved some antiques from PA to NV for my family. My main concern was that the pieces arrive intact and in good shape, and they certainly did.Shani C. Antique Move
American Moving & Storage Association A+ Better Business Bureau California Moving & Storage Association Illinois Movers’ and Warehousemen’s Association National Association of Senior Move Managers Certified Pro Mover National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO)
(800) 264-6313 Free Quote