Moving Local vs. Long-Distance: Differences, Difficulties, Tips, and Tricks.

Much like snowflakes, people, and moving companies, no two relocations are alike. But there are two main types: local and long distance, and while they have their similarities, there are specific tips and tricks that go along with each one.

So what are the differences? How should the distance of your move change the way you prepare? And how can you have the best moving experience, regardless of how far away the destination lies? Hopefully, Elite’s moving and storage experts can answer some of those questions right now.


Moving Locally

What is a “local” move

Though different moving companies have different definitions of local, most consider anything under 100 miles (sometimes 50) to be a local move. Longer than this, even if in-state, is generally considered an intrastate move—a sort of middle-ground classification. This is a common occurrence, especially within bigger states like California, Florida, Texas, or even Illinois, where you can travel hundreds of miles within state lines.

An exception to this is when it comes to crossing state lines. A move that crosses state lines—even if you’re just moving down the block—is considered a long distance move.

How a local move differs

In general, local moves are significantly easier to plan and can typically be completed in a single day. You can worry less about children and pets because the move is relatively short and quite manageable. The fuel costs incurred on a local move will also be considerably less because of the short distance traveled.

The thing that most significantly marks a local move as different from long-distance, however, is the method of pricing. Local moves are generally priced by the hour with an additional charge for the amount of fuel used by the movers.


Tips for a local move

  1. Prepare your new home (if possible).  Depending on how much time you have and whether someone else is currently occupying the space, you may be able to prepare your new digs before moving day. Anything from preliminary cleaning to painting, construction, and setting up will be so much easier before you have a whole home’s worth of boxes taking up space.Depending on your situation, you may even be able to set up full rooms beforehand, which can be especially helpful if you have children or animals to occupy on moving day. Getting some toys or an animal habitat set up can save you both one more thing to move and the stress that a grumpy pet or child can cause.
  2. Get help from friends and family.  One of the greatest things about a local move is that you’re not alone. All your friends and neighbors from your old home are relatively close and may be willing to help you out if you play it right. Bribe them with baked goods, work on your puppy-dog eyes—whatever you need to do to get that extra help will be worth it.
  3. Get the kids and pets away for the day.  Sometimes kids can be good helpers on moving day, but they can also get in the way. The same can be said for pets, although with no opposable thumbs, they’re even less likely to be of use. But even more importantly, moving day can be stressful for them. Being entirely uprooted, the chaos of strangers in the house, the sense of everything changing—it can be overwhelming.Sometimes the best thing to do is just to get them away from it all, whether that means trusting your kids or pets to a friend, a kennel, a family member, or even planning your local move for when the kids will be away at school.
  4. Put thought into your booking time.  Time of the year, day of the week, time of the day—there are lots of things to consider when it comes to timing your move. Not everyone has complete say over when they move, especially if you have to move in a rush, but if you have the time to consider it, think about what would work best for you. The weekends are often more free for most people, but they’re also busier. Summer is the most popular season, but its popularity makes it slightly more costly. Finding the right balance and the right time can take a lot of thought, so make sure you figure it out early and don’t leave the decision to the last minute or up to chance.
  5. Start early.  At Elite, our moving experts are well versed in the process, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t occasional hiccups. Sometimes things just take longer than expected, and it’s better to be safe than sorry, so starting earlier in the day can be extremely helpful. In the hot summer months, this also means the bulk of the work can be done when it’s still relatively cool, and both you and your possessions are less likely to be damaged by the heat.


Move local with Elite

Elite takes pride in our 15+ year history as Chicago-area mover. Although we have experience moving all across the country, The Windy City will always be our home. Our movers are trained to pack your home for safe transportation, and they can do it within hours. 
Our packing service includes packing materials such as plastic covers, bubble wrap, packing paper, boxes, and crates, and our trucks are always equipped with additional boxes and packing materials for purchase. We’ll pack some or even all of your belongings—whatever you need.

In the event your new home is not ready for you on the moving date, Elite Moving & Storage will also provide local customers with storage in our climate-controlled and secure Skokie storage facility. To make it even easier, we will prorate your storage cost daily, so if you need to use it for just a few days during your local move, you will not be billed for the entire month.

 Elite’s Local Moving Package includes professional moving consultants who will be with you every step of the way, a guaranteed hourly rate, loading and unloading, a fully equipped truck, a professional crew, and more! To see the full extent of our local moving options, visit


Long Distance

What is a Long Distance Move

A long distance move, like the local move, has no set definition. It differs based on your moving company and where you’re moving to. But as a general rule of thumb, if you’re moving more than 400 miles or moving out of your state, you can consider it a long distance move.


How does a long-distance move differ?

A long-distance move should be started months before to prepare adequately. It is not merely enough to focus solely on packing possessions safely and carefully; you must also focus on the trip itself. Prior preparation for the long-distance move is a must. Be sure to plan navigation routes, hotel options, and additional stops.

Interstate movers will also be required to have additional legal paperwork. They must have a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the proper insurance. Ensure that your long distance moving company has a USDOT number, is registered with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), and has proper insurance. Remember to never sign any contract without having a written estimate first with a long distance moving quote.

Speaking of moving quotes, long distance move pricing generally comes down to three things: the amount of the items being moved, the distance between the origin and the destination, and the total weight of the items. Note that moves between states will also mean movers will be paid under two different labor laws. One state may have lower wages than the others, so expect either an increase or a drop depending on your destination.

At Elite, however, we don’t believe in using weight as a factor. Though weighing seems more exact, it may result in you paying more than expected. There is no way to weigh your furniture before your actual move, so until the move is complete, all you have is a rough estimate of the price. You don’t know what you’re actually paying until it’s too late. We make it simple–you give us a list of items that you want to have moved and we guarantee your price for that list as described. No unexpected changes or last minute price bumps.


Tips for a long distance move

  1. Update important documents like your license.   Changing your address requires updating your information in a lot of different places. However, it gets even more complicated when you’re moving a long distance. You may need to update your driver’s license and registration and other important documents. Make sure to plan ahead and research what all needs to be updated in plenty of time before your move.
  2. Label boxes with your name.   When you move long distance, your boxes will most likely be placed on a moving truck that includes boxes that belong to other families. This is actually fairly common. To keep your belongings from getting mixed up or dropped off at the wrong location, clearly label every box with your name. For boxes you’re very concerned about losing, you might even consider including your phone number, just in case the box is dropped at the wrong house.
  3. Triple-check your belongings before the movers leave.   Hopefully, while you were packing, you created an inventory list of all your belongings. With this list in hand, you can make sure that your movers bring everything that’s yours into your new home. You should double-check and triple-check this list before your movers even leave. This way, they can quickly figure out what happened to any missing items.
  4. Pack boxes with distance in mind.   This is often forgotten when it comes to long distance moving tips. Though our best packing hacks definitely still apply, a long distance move requires some additional packing effort. For example, you should take extra care with fragile items by wrapping them in bubble wrap, paper, and old t-shirts. Pack fragile items together to keep them organized and ensure that your movers know to take extra care with these boxes.Elite can even help, we offer packing services that put more than a decade’s worth of expertise into packing your boxes safely, and even if you’re doing it yourself, we have all the packing supplies you need available for purchase directly from us so you never have to worry about broken or damaged items just because you didn’t quite buy enough bubble wrap.
  5. Figure out where everything will go in your new home.   Before moving your five bookshelves and king-sized bed across the country, you need to figure out if they’ll fit in your new home. Instead of going off of square footage, try to measure how much open floor space there is in the apartment or house. That way, you won’t be frustrated when you move your bookshelf all the way to your new home, only to find out that the square footage isn’t quite as open as you thought.


Move cross-country with Elite

Elite Moving & Storage specializes in long-distance relocation. We have been serving thousands of families throughout the continental United States for 10 years with a 99% success rate. We strive to provide exceptional customer service by offering easy-to-understand quotes without hidden fees, and we ensure a convenient and efficient moving service. Here are just some of the special services we offer for long-distance moving.

Express Delivery

you are starting a new job or travelling right after the move, or if you simply don’t want to wait, Elite Moving & Storage offers an Express Delivery service for our clients. Elite Moving & Storage will load, transport, and unload your belongings within 1-6 days, depending on the distance. Call your moving consultant for details and pricing.

Unpacking Services

Don’t want to live surrounded by boxes after your move is complete? Ask about our unpacking service. Our movers will unpack all boxes and place your belongings in the correct drawers based on your instructions. There’s no need to lift a finger. Ask your moving consultant about the unpacking service.

To learn more about Elite Moving and Storage’s long distance moving package, visit

Let’s Get Moving

We’re from the Celine Dion school of moving: Near, far wherever you are, we believe that the move must go on. From down-the-block to coast-to-coast, Elite Moving & Storage has you covered. We’re here to help save you time by handling all aspects of your relocation, so that you can focus on what’s important. We strive to ensure that our movers, storage personnel, and office staff provide a moving experience sure to start your new life adventure on the right note. VIsit our website for more information or to get a free quote today.