Cross Country Movers

A cross country move might take you from coast-to-coast, north-to-south, or along any combination of state-to-state routes across the heartland of America. This type of long distance move poses lots of challenges thanks to the miles of travel it entails and the level of organization it requires. Not only is getting all your possessions from one state to the next expensive, trying to scout out real estate or find job opportunities while you’re still living on the other side of the country isn’t easy.

To simplify your cross-country move, hiring a cross country moving company is smart. These logistics professionals coordinate every step of the moving process, ensuring that your items are properly packed and inventoried, secured in the moving truck, and transported to your new home under the care of a trained moving crew. Whether you currently live in a small apartment or a massive single-family home, Great Guys can help you find an affordable cross-country moving service to meet your needs. Request a free quote using the form provided!

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How to Move Across the Country – Best and Cheapest Ways

According to the Census Bureau, about eight million Americans move to a new state each year. Some of these long-distance moves include cross country hauls. If you’re relocating a long way from your current home, there are several ways you can go about the process. Here are five of the best and cheapest ways to move across the country:

1. Sell Most of Your Stuff

One option that enables you to avoid most moving costs is to sell almost everything you own. Then re-start in your new location by purchasing the things you need there. This option may sound drastic, but it could be appropriate in certain situations. For example:

  • If you have very few possessions and most everything can fit in your vehicle.
  • If your furniture and other large possessions are old and worn out and you have been planning to replace them soon anyway.
  • If you are downsizing from a large home to a much smaller one and will need to get rid of many of your things, or if your old furniture will not fit in your new rooms.
  • If you are selling your current home to someone, who wants to pay extra to keep your furniture and appliances and TVs.

If you do decide to pursue this option, you should sell as much as you can so that you will have the cash to buy new items when you reach your destination. If you aren’t leaving things for the next owner, you can sell them by having a moving sale, which you should advertise on Craigslist and Nextdoor among other online venues. You can also sell items individually.

Individual sales may net you a higher price for big ticket items. There are several resources for re-selling your possessions:

  • Craigslist allows you to post individual “for sale by owner” listings in a variety of categories ranging from furniture and electronics to vehicles and books
  • Facebook Marketplace makes it relatively easy to sell in your area
  • Yard sale apps such as VarageSale connect you with potential buyers.

2. Rent a Truck

You can save money on a moving company by renting a truck to drive across country. Then, recruit a few friends or family members to help you pack and load it. Be sure to offer them some drinks and pizza, but even at the cost of a hearty meal, such assistance is much cheaper than professional movers.

If you decide to rent a truck, there are several options for doing so, from U-Haul and Penske to Costco. Read about finding the right-sized moving truck for your needs. To save money, avoid peak moving times such as:

  • The end of the month
  • Weekends
  • Summer

Be sure to search several major rental companies for price quotes because prices can vary widely at any given time among companies.

3. Rent a Cargo Trailer

If you don’t want to splurge on an entire truck, or you want to move your own vehicle while moving your things, you might consider renting a cargo trailer. You can attach such trailers to a car you already own. This convenience gives you the advantage of being able to move both your vehicle and your belongings at the same time.

An aerodynamic, lightweight, and enclosed cargo trailer suits most moving needs. However, if you need to haul building supplies or lots of landscaping items for some reason, you’ll want a utility trailer instead. Cargo trailers typically range in size from 4’ X 8’ to 6’ X 12’ (with a capacity of up to 2,500 pounds), so pick the size that’s right for you. If you rent a trailer that’s much larger than you need, you’ll end up wasting money on both the rental and gas.

4. Rent A Moving Container

Portable moving containers, such as PODs, are sturdy containers with tie-down hooks for securing your belongings while you move them. Many companies offer containers with a ground level design that allows for loading and unloading without a ramp. The most commonly available sizes range from seven to sixteen feet. A sixteen-foot POD will hold three to four rooms worth of belongings, but smaller options are more conducive for a studio or 1-bedroom apartment. Read our guide to portable moving containers to select the company and container size that’s right for your needs.

When you rent a portable moving container, it is dropped off at your home at your convenience. You load the pod yourself, and then the container company transports it for you and delivers it to your new location. The company can even store it for you temporarily. This service feature gives you more flexibility with the timing of your move as compared to a moving company or rental truck. It also saves you money because you aren’t paying anyone to load or unload the storage container.

5. Hire Professional Cross Country Movers

Hiring professional cross country moving companies isn’t the cheapest way to relocate, but it may be the best. Moving can be a serious headache and consumes loads of your time. Splurging for professional movers has a lot of benefits:

  • It will save you time wrapping, packing, loading, unloading, unpacking, and breaking down boxes. You could use that time to focus on wrapping up work, finding a new job, or tackling another moving to-do.
  • Professional movers are specifically trained to pack your belongings in such a way that they will remain safe. They use a wide variety of packing materials to ensure that your possessions do not become damaged in transit.
  • When you hire professional movers, the company insures your belongings against loss or damage.
  • Professional moving companies also offer other services, including storage, to make your relocation seamless.
  • It’s the most stress-free way to move.

When looking for a cross-country mover, make sure to comparison shop for the best deal. Through the Great Guys platform, you can set your moving parameters once, then get rates from up to four moving companies. Our moving quotes are always free!

A Note About Moving Your Vehicle(s)

Except for option two, renting a truck, you can drive one of your vehicles across the country at the same time as your things. But if you choose option two, or you have more than one car that requires moving, you’ll have to consider how to get it from point A to point B.

Options for moving your vehicle include:

  • Hire someone to drive it across the country for you. If you have a friend who wants to take a road trip vacation, you can both benefit by allowing him to drive your car.
  • Rent a cargo trailer to carry one of your vehicles while it is attached to another one of your cars.
  • Use an auto transport service, which can shrouip your car by train or trailer to its destination.

Average Cost of Moving Cross Country

The average cost of moving cross country is $5292, based on the average price of the 20 most popular moving cross-country routes as published by moving.com. Expect to pay anywhere between $3000-$10,000 for cross country movers, depending on how large your household is and how far you are moving.

In addition to hiring a moving service, you’ll want to factor in the following expenses when planning your cross country moving budget:

  • Moving Supplies & Equipment: To adequately pack your items for a long-distance haul, you’ll need boxes, tape, bubble wrap, plastic wrap, and moving blankets. Additionally, if you’re tackling a DIY move, you might need to rent equipment like an appliance or furniture dolly, so you don’t strain your back.
  • Cost of Gas & Car Tune-Ups: Before any long road trip, it’s smart to take your car in for a tune-up. In addition to changing your oil, most auto shops will also check your wiper blades, tire pressure and alignment, the battery, and fluid levels. Factor in the cost of this once-over, as well as the price of gas for all the miles ahead.
  • Lodging & Food: The most common cross country route, from New York City to Miami, FL, is 1278 miles, or an estimated 19+ hours of driving. To prevent fatigue on the road, you’ll want to plan at least one overnight stop en route. Other routes, like New York to California, take even longer. Be sure to plan out stops, so you get adequate sleep on the trip. In addition to paying for hotels or lodging, also prepare for food costs. You might be able to supplement meals out with non-perishables from your pantry. Set these items aside in a particular place as you’re packing up your kitchen.
  • Security Deposits: If you’re moving out of or into an apartment, consider the costs of a security deposit. Renters stand to lose hundreds or thousands of dollars on a security deposit if they fail to thoroughly clean the rental unit before handing over the keys to the property manager. You’ll need this money to pay a 1-2-month deposit on your new apartment, so make sure you take the time to clean-up!
  • Utility Deposits: In addition to a security deposit, you’ll have to pay deposits to start utility services at your new home. Check with the local providers of gas, electricity, cable/internet, and water in your new city to see how much it will cost to start each service.
  • Car Transport: If you have more than one family car or you’d rather not drive your vehicle yourself, you’ll have to pay an auto transport company to ship it for you. Get a free quote on auto shipping through Great Guys!
  • Alternative Transportation: If you ship your car and hire movers to handle the rest, you’ll still need a way to get you and your family to your new home. While a plane is the fastest way to from your current city to the next one, you could arrange to take a bus or train as well! Make sure to research your options and include the cost of alternative transportation in your relocation budget.
  • Storage: If you’re moving at the last minute or haven’t had time to figure out your living arrangements in your new hometown, you might need to place your things in storage for a while as you sort things out. Arrange for storage through your moving company to keep things simple!
  • Temporary Housing: While you’re searching for an apartment or house, you may need a temporary place to stay in the meantime. Factor in the cost of temporary housing when planning your move.
  • Vehicle Registration: Finally, when moving to a new state, you’ll need to pay to register your vehicle and obtain a new driver’s license. In some states car registration is a low, flat rate, but in other states, the cost of registration depends on the value or weight of the vehicle. Check your state’s registration fees so that you can budget accordingly.
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Coast-to-Coast Moving Routes & More

While a traditional cross country move might evoke images of blazing a trail from the East Coast to the West Coast along the iconic Route 66, this is just one of many popular cross-country moving routes. According to data from moving.com, here are some of the most common places Americans are moving from and to:

  • New York to Florida
  • California to Nevada
  • Illinois to Arizona
  • New York to Georgia
  • New Jersey to Florida
  • New York to California
  • Illinois to California
  • California to Texas
  • Florida to New York
  • California to Arizona
  • Florida to Georgia
  • Illinois to Georgia
  • New York to California
  • California to New York
  • New Jersey to California
  • Illinois to Texas
  • Florida to California

Cross Country Moving Services

If you plan to work with a cross country moving company, you’ll find that most national companies offer a wide array of moving services. Find help with the following:

Small Moves

It may seem like a lot of effort to move the contents of a small studio or 1-bedroom apartment across the country, but the assistance of a mover makes it a breeze. Most long distance movers offer a consolidated shipping option for small moves. Movers pick up your load as well as shipments from other households on a similar moving trajectory. Combining customers’ things on a single truck makes your modest household relocation more affordable.

Moving Supplies & Shipping Boxes

Get all the gear you need to get your home packed for your upcoming moving. Movers have access to top-of-the-line moving products, including moving boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, movers’ wrap, and more. Ask your mover about including some of these packing necessities in the cost of your move.

Furniture Moving

A professional furniture moving company makes shipping furniture across the country simple. Upon arrival at your home, your moving crew will work to disassemble furniture that’s too large or fragile to relocate in one-piece. This service includes taking apart beds, couches, tables, and armoires, if applicable. They’ll wrap each item with moving blankets, to protect the upholstery and other finishes from getting marred during transport. Furniture is secured in the moving truck using tie-downs and ratchet straps to ensure it doesn’t get jostled or tipped over while on the road.

Piano Moves

Not only are pianos massive and heavy, but thanks to thousands of tiny parts and pieces, they’re incredibly fragile and damage-prone. Moving a piano on your own takes a lot of patience, skill, and strength. Because these pieces are so valuable (and often invaluable), it’s usually worth the cost to hire a professional to do the job. Whether you need help moving an upright passed down from your grandmother or a brand-new, custom-crafted concert grand, Great Guys helps you locate long distance piano movers who specialize in this type of move.

Car Shipping

A cross country move can put lots of unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle, not to mention, it’s expensive to keep filling up the tank on a long road trip. Instead of driving, thousands of Americans choose to ship their cars across the country using a professional car transport service. Find rates from the nation’s top auto shipping services on Great Guys.

Apartment & Residential Moves

No matter where you currently call home, whether a minimalist downtown loft or a luxury home in a tony suburb, the Great Guys Moving network has movers to help you move on to your next place! Residential moving services work swiftly to pack your residence, boxing up everything from clothing to fragile china to the sports equipment cluttering your garage. Then, they expertly load the moving truck and safely transport your things to your new house. Tailor the move to your needs and budget with consolidated or expedited service.

Full-Service Moves

With a cross country move, movers are on a tight timeline, so it’s essential that your entire house is packed and ready to go when moving day arrives. Regardless of how small or large your current residence, getting everything wrapped, boxed, and crated might seem an impossible chore. Instead of tackling this step on your own, you could request a full-service move. Most interstate movers offer packing and unpacking services to streamline the moving process and minimize the work you must do.

Appliance Moving

From refrigerators to washing machines, your household likely has several hefty appliances that make your life more convenient. If you’re taking these machines with you when you move, you’ll be glad if you leave the moving part to someone else. Appliances are cumbersome and difficult to relocate, and if lifted the wrong way, could cause damage to your home, or worse, injury to yourself or someone else. Cross country appliance shippers can get your appliances across the country in a snap. They have the right equipment and know-how to get each appliance onto the truck safely, making quick work of what might seem challenging to a non-professional.

Pool Table Movers

Pool tables require expert precision to move. Moving a pool table in one piece is impossible, due to its weight and dimensions. To relocate these massive game consoles, movers must disassemble the table by first carefully removing the pockets, rails, and felt, then taking apart the slate and frame. Moving each slate piece requires a team and the proper equipment to prevent breakage or injury. Once successfully moved to a new location, workers must reassemble the table with careful attention to detail. If you’re looking to move a pool table cross country, we can help you find movers who specialize in pool table relocations. These moving companies can complete the entire process – from taking the table apart to transport to reassembly at your new home.

Art Transport

Whether you have oil paintings or a collection of one-of-a-kind sculptures, transporting your art across the country takes considerable effort. Each piece must be carefully wrapped in non-acidic, non-abrasive materials, then boxed or custom-crated to ensure protection during each step of the relocation. During transport, it’s essential to shield artwork from fluctuating temperatures and excessive jostling. It’s best to move art in a climate-controlled vehicle with air ride suspension for maximum protection. Hiring a mover who specializes in art shipping and handling is the best way to ensure the safety of your prized collection during a cross country move. From packing to installations, the art movers in the Great Guys network can help with the entire moving process.

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Moving Across Country Checklist

Unless you’re relocating on short notice, you likely have a few months to plan the logistics of your cross-country relocation. While moving several states away might seem daunting, approaching the move one step at a time keeps it manageable and orderly. Here’s a helpful cross country moving checklist to keep your relocation on track.

2 Months Out

Establish a Moving Budget

The expenses of a cross-country move can add up quickly. According to industry data, the final bill for your relocation could easily cost between $4000-$10,000. From hiring movers to transporting your vehicle, make sure you set a budget for all aspects of your move. Establishing a budget now helps set expectations and keeps expenditures from getting out-of-control.

Find Movers and Compare Rates

With a long distance move, it’s almost impossible to hire movers at the last minute to transport your belongings. Not only can cross country moving companies book up weeks in advance (especially during summer months), but it also takes time for the moving company to plan the logistics of consolidating your shipment with other loads. It’s advisable to start shopping for movers at least two months before your move date. Great Guys allows you to compare rates from up to four cross country movers that service your moving route. After getting initial quotes, be sure to schedule an in-home estimate with two or three of the top candidates. Following a walkthrough of your home, each moving company will provide a more accurate quote based on a comprehensive inventory of your household goods.

Decide How to Get Your Car(s) to Your New Home

Instead of road tripping across the country with the entire family, you might decide to ship one or more of your family vehicles. Most traditional moving companies do not offer auto transport services, so you’ll need to contact different providers to request car shipping quotes. Great Guys works with a network of auto transport companies, allowing you to request a quote for shipping your vehicle when you ask for your moving quote.

Start Purging

One of the easiest ways to cut down on moving costs is to get rid of anything you no longer use or no longer want. Decluttering every closet, drawer, and cabinet takes lots of time, so it’s best to get started as soon as possible. By selling or donating things like unused wedding gifts, long-forgotten books, and worn-out furniture, you’ll reduce the weight of your shipment. Lower shipping weight means a cheaper move! Experts recommend separating items into “sell,” “donate,” and “trash” piles. To sell your items, plan a garage sale or post individual items, like furniture, on sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and OfferUp. For anything you donate, don’t forget to snag a tax receipt so that you can write off the donation on your tax return.

Make a Household Inventory

Once you’ve gotten rid of your unwanted possessions, you should make a household inventory to help you keep track of everything during the move. This list also comes in handy if you ever need to make insurance claims down the road. There are loads of excellent apps for this purpose, including Sortly, III Inventory App, Belongings, and Encircle. These apps let you snap pictures of your items and automatically back up your list with cloud storage.

Keep a Moving Binder

Consider creating either a paper moving binder or an electronic file on your computer to store all the information about your move. Filing data in one place makes tracking your expenses easier and keeps the relocation organized.

Think Through Travel Plans

Whether you’re driving your car to your new city or catching a flight, now’s the time to think through how you’re getting to your new home. Book your plane tickets or map out the road trip and book hotels along the way.

Look for Housing

Finding a home in an unfamiliar city takes lots of research. Start your search for the perfect place by homing in on a specific neighborhood. If you can’t make an in-person visit, use apps like Walk Score, Wikihood, and Suburb Scout to read up on neighborhood stats, crime rates, walkability, and more. Once you pick two or three top contenders, you can start your house or apartment search. While there are lots of apps available to assist with finding housing, contacting a local realtor or apartment locating company, so you have boots on the ground is optimal.

Start Gathering Moving Supplies

You’ll need lots of packing supplies to get your household boxed up and ready for the move. If you’re trying to save money by using recycled boxes, now’s the time to start scrounging around for them. You can scoop up free moving boxes from family and friends, your neighborhood grocer, big box stores, liquor stores, or Craigslist.

1 Month Out

Book a Moving Company

At this point, you should already have compared estimates from moving companies in your area. One month before your move, make sure you have a signed contract with your moving company of choice.

Transfer School Records

Make sure you contact your children’s school to arrange for a transfer of records so that the little ones can make a smooth transition to their next school.

Start Packing

Most moving companies recommend starting the packing process at least a month out. If you look around your home, you might be surprised at how many items you haven’t used in weeks or months. Start by packing infrequently used or seasonal things, like books, your DVD collection, winter clothing, Christmas decorations, serving ware, etc. As you get closer to the moving date, you can tackle the rest.

Gather Important Documents

As you pack, gather your essential documents, like birth certificates, social security cards, and passports, in one place. You’ll want to keep these documents with you during the move, instead of packing them away in a box for the moving truck.

Make Arrangements for the Pets and Kids

If you have small children or pets, arrange for someone to watch them during the move. It’s best to send them to a friend or family member’s house on moving day, to keep them everyone safe while the movers load the moving truck. Be sure make these arrangements in advance, as getting a sitter at the last minute could prove tricky.

Notify Your Landlord

If you’re renting a place month-to-month, give your landlord a 30-day notice to let him know you’re planning to move out.

Work on Your Floorplan

If you already know where you’re moving, you can start thinking through the floorplan for your new home. Go old school and sketch out the rooms and furniture yourself or use one of the multiple floorplan apps available for this purpose. It’s helpful to have a plan in place, so you know how to label boxes, and so you can communicate where everything goes when the movers arrive.

3 Weeks Out

Have a Garage Sale

Remember that pile of things you set aside to sell at the beginning of this whole process? If you haven’t had lots of luck selling them off online, now’s the time to have a good, old-fashioned yard sale. Read our garage sale tips here.

Squeeze in Final Check-Ups

You may want to take the opportunity to visit your doctor(s) and get refills on any medications you might need before your move. If you have already chosen a doctor in your new city, then fill out the paperwork to forward your medical files to the new practice.

Plan for Your Pet

All states have laws regarding the entry of animals into the state. If you have pets, make sure to research the legal requirements before transporting your animals to your new home. Some states, like Hawaii, have a mandatory quarantine period, while other states, like Alabama, require each pet to have a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI). Once you know the requirements, you can schedule an appointment with your vet to get the necessary shots and paperwork. You’ll also want to restock on any medicine your animal needs, ask about micro-chipping, and even request anxiety medications to help your pet cope with the move.

2 Weeks Out

File a USPS Change of Address

At least two weeks before your move, file a change of address form online through the US Postal Service. This form takes just minutes to complete and ensures your mail gets routed to your new address after a specified date. Also contact your financial institutions (bank and credit card companies), subscription services, your insurance company, and any other critical parties to notify them of your address change.

Schedule Your Utility Services

When moving across the country, chances are, you won’t be able to transfer existing utility services. Be sure to schedule the cancellation of your current services a day or two after your move out date. When scheduling turn-off, make sure you give yourself adequate time to clean your home after the movers leave. If possible, schedule turn-on of essential services before your arrival at your new house. At a minimum, you’ll need working lights and water to make moving-in efficient.

Take the Car in for a Tune-Up

If you’re driving across the country, make sure to take your car in for an oil change and tune-up before hitting the road. Ask your local shop to give the vehicle a once-over, checking the tires, fluid levels, hoses and belts, brakes, and battery to make sure she’s ready to roll.

1 Week Out

Pack Your Essentials

With a cross-country relocation, it could take the movers a week or two to deliver your things. In the interim, you’ll need a few boxes of things to tide you over. For each family member, be sure to pack plenty changes of clothing, medicine, toiletries, and towels. Also, pack inflatable mattresses and linens, so you have a place to sleep while waiting for the beds to arrive. Keep these essentials boxes with you throughout the move, so you have ready access to everything you need.

Finish Your Food

Most food won’t survive a long haul trip across the country. Skip the grocery store and eat as much as you can out of your fridge and pantry, so less goes to waste. If you have large stores of nonperishables, consider donating them to a local food bank or see if your moving company participates in the Move for Hunger Program.

Prep Your Appliances

If you’re taking some or all your household appliances with you, make sure you prep them first. Defrost your fridge and contact a technician to disconnect the gas line to your dryer. Make sure all appliances are thoroughly dried out to prevent the growth of mold or mildew and check documentation from the manufacturer for specific moving instructions.

Finish Packing

In the final days leading up to your move, finish packing everything. Load up the rest of your dishes, empty your wardrobe and box up the kids’ toys. Moving day is almost here!

Arrange Donation Pick-Ups

If you haven’t discarded everything you’re not taking on the move, arrange a pick-up of furniture and other donations through a local charity. See our list of organizations that will pick up your things for free.

Talk to the Movers

Confirm the moving date and time with your moving company, if they haven’t already done so.

2 Days Before

Clean Up

Once most of the boxes are packed, you can start the cleaning process to get your home ready for the next tenant or owner. This step is imperative if you are renting, so you can get your security deposit back.

Prepare Payment for the Movers

While you might have made a deposit or partial payment already, you’ll need to submit a final payment once the truck delivers items to your new home. Make sure you have a check or credit card ready for this last installment. Additionally, you might want to have cash on-hand to tip your movers.

Moving Day

Drop Off Kids and Pets

If you’ve decided for your children or pets to spend the day elsewhere, drop them off before the moving truck arrives.

Greet the Moving Crew

When the moving truck arrives, be there to meet the crew. Communicate any concerns you might have at the start of the day, so they can make sure to address these issues. Also, verify that the US DOT number listed on the side of the truck matches the number on the bill of lading.

Sign the Paperwork

Once the movers take possession of your household goods, they’ll ask you to sign a bill of lading confirming the inventory of items they have received. Make sure you agree with the provided list, then sign the documents so that they can be on their way.

Finish Cleaning Up

Once all the boxes and furniture are on the truck, you can make a final sweep of the house or apartment. Vacuum and mop floors to remove the dirt or mud movers might have tromped in. Then, give everything a final dusting before handing over the keys.

After the Move

Update Your Insurance

After you settle into your new home, be sure to review your insurance policies. It’s the perfect time to consider shopping for new rates on your insurance since most insurers charge different rates based on the zip code. At the least, you’ll have to make sure your auto insurance is compatible with your state’s minimum insurance requirements, and you’ll need to update your address on all policies.

Take a Trip to the DMV

Most states require drivers to register their vehicles within 30-60 days of moving to the state. To do so, you must present proof of insurance that complies with the state’s minimum requirements. Additionally, you’ll need to get in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles to secure a new driver’s license.

Unpack

It might feel unsettling to have boxes upon boxes mounded everywhere in your new home but resist the urge to get the unpacking done in a rush. Start with the essential rooms first, like the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms, before progressing through the rest of the house. Take the time to unbox things methodically, putting things away in a logical manner, so your new home is nicely organized.

Moving Cross-Country Tips and Advice

Moving across the country isn’t as simple as a move within the same zip code. Here are tips for planning and executing and fast, efficient cross-country move.

1. Use a Moving Checklist

Following a moving checklist is the best way to stay organized and on-track during your relocation. You can use the one we provided above, look through dozens of others online, or create one yourself tailored to your move. To keep your list at your fingertips, upload your checklist to an app like Wunderlist, Google Keep, or Any.do, easily check off tasks or add new ones.

2. Plan the Logistics

Explore your options and decide how you’re going to get yourself and all your things from one place to the next. U-Haul might seem like the cheapest option, but you could also sell everything you own, use a U-Haul competitor, rent a moving pod, or hire professional movers. Decide what makes sense for you based on affordability, convenience, and your timeline. Don’t forget about transporting your vehicle and planning the details of your road trip or booking other travel.

3. Choose Your Moving Date Wisely

Most people move when school is out, and there’s no snow on the ground. The peak moving season is May through August, which means moving rates also peak during this time. If you want to save money when hiring a moving company, then try to schedule your move outside this window to get better rates. If you move during the winter months, you might even be able to negotiate a substantial discount.

4. Agree to a Consolidated Move

Another way to relocate for less is by agreeing to a consolidated move. If you have a small move (anything from a studio to a 2-bedroom apartment), your things won’t take up all the space on a standard moving truck. The moving company can consolidate your shipment with those of other customers with the same origin and destination, making the trip cheaper for everyone.

5. Purge Before Packing

If you have things crammed in closets, shoved under beds, or hidden in the dark recesses of your cabinets, or worse, still boxed up from your last move, it’s time to bring it all out into the light. Now is the perfect time to declutter and get rid of everything you’ve hoarded and held onto that you don’t want or need. By selling, donating, or trashing these items, you’ll have less to pack, less to put on the moving truck, and less to unpack on the other end.

6. Use Free Moving Boxes

Packing supplies add up. One new box from your local home improvement store costs $1-$3, and you’ll likely need dozens of them to pack everything in your house. Instead of rushing out and buying bundles of new boxes, do the environment and your wallet a favor, and scrounge up free moving boxes. Hound your local grocery store, hassle your friends and neighbors for spares, or hunt through Craigslist postings to find gently used boxes for packing up your home.

7. Pack Carefully

While it’s tempting to throw everything in a box, tape it shut, and call it a day, that’s the surest way to end up with lots of broken stuff at the end of your move. Here are some expert tips to packing the way professionals do:

  • Use padding: Whether you opt for packing paper and bubble wrap or hand towels and t-shirts, make sure you used plenty of padding when packing.
  • Wrap items separately: Wrap fragile items like plates, picture frames, or glassware individually. Doing so will prevent items from knocking against each other and chipping or cracking during transit.
  • Use special boxes as needed: Free boxes work perfectly for most household items, but you might want to invest in some specialized boxes for delicate or expensive items, like wine glasses, artwork, or your flat-screen TV.
  • Use the right-sized box: Extra large boxes are fantastic because you can cram so much into them, right? This thought is great until you can’t lift box packed with over 100-lbs of books. For heavier items, like the books, use a small- or medium-sized box. For lighter items, like towels, bedding, and pillows, feel free to use large- and extra-large boxes.
  • Fill the boxes all the way: Be sure to fill in all the nooks and crannies of your boxes with more packing paper, bubble wrap, or packing peanuts. Removing wiggle room keeps items from moving around when the truck encounters potholes and dips, thereby preventing breakage.

8. Label Your Boxes

Every mover will tell you, labeling is one of the most important steps for keeping your home relocation organized. As you tape each box, write out two labels with the room and a brief description of the contents. Stick one on the side of the box and another on the top, to make it easier to read what’s inside, no matter how the boxes are stacked. You can also add colorful pieces of tape to the boxes that correspond to a color coding scheme. For example, you could use red tape to denote boxes destined for the kitchen or yellow tape to indicate items from the living room.

9. Make Use of Plastic Wrap

Just like Saran wrap makes things easier in the kitchen, the plastic wrap does wonders during the moving process. Buy a roll or two of professional grade movers’ wrap when you’re stocking up on moving supplies. You can use this invaluable tool to help secure moving blankets around furniture and appliances, to adhere pieces and parts to disassembled furniture, or to keep liquids from leaking out of bottles of toiletries and cleaning supplies.

10. Take Pictures

Before packing up your electronics, like your television or computer, take pictures of the backs of each. Snapping a quick photo with your phone will help you remember how to plug everything in as you unpack at your new place.

 

 

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