To move cross country is stressful. Period. It’s even more of a hassle if you failed to prepare and plan beforehand. You’ll be facing an array of decisions, go through the arduous job of packing and unpacking, and travel long miles from your old place to your new destination.
Moreover, you need to spend a few bucks in order to make your move cross country a success.
Luckily, you can minimize the burden of your move cross country by following these few simple steps. These tips will help make your move less costly, more convenient and manageable.
In this article, I’ll give you some helpful ways of lowering your moving costs to move cross country while earning extra cash that you can use for your cross country move budget. In addition, I’ll also tell you how to choose the right “move cross country” movers, and get the best deals from them and so on.
In general, this article offers a comprehensive guide to move cross country. If you follow all these steps, you’ll surely enjoy a hassle-free move cross country experience.
STEP 1: REDUCE AND DECLUTTER
The general rule to move cross country is that the more you carry with you, the more expensive the move will be. To avoid this, you need to reduce the number of items that you’ll want to transport. Downsize and declutter. I know it’s hard to go over your things and decide which ones to take and which ones to leave, but remember, if you want to lessen the work needed for packing, planning and moving, then declutter for your cross country move.
How to reduce and declutter? Here are some quick tips:
- Go over all your items and look for those which you no longer use or seldom use. Using a sticky note and a marker, label the items which you use every day, etc. Any item that you use only once a year, especially those that you no longer use, should be placed in a garage sale or given as a donation to local thrift stores, NGOs, homeless centers or shelters.
- Check the condition of your belongings – furniture, appliances, etc. It’s more practical to buy a new couch than spend some cash in moving a 5-year old, worn-out one. The savings could be even greater for a move cross country.
- Aside from organizing a garage sale, you can also list your items on Freecycle. It’s an online community composed of people who are giving and taking stuff for free from others. Simply put, a modern way to reuse and recycle.
- Another method to earn money from your old stuff is by selling them online through apps like OfferUp and LetItGo. Of course, you can also sell your items on Craigslist or Ebay.
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to throw out overused and dilapidated items. Again, you can always buy a new one in your new place.
STEP 2: PLAN AHEAD OF TIME AND BE ORGANIZED
A moving checklist is one of the most important things that you need in order to accomplish this huge task. A moving checklist shows a detailed description of the things that you need to prepare and do before, during and after the move. Here’s a great example from RealSimple.com. Don’t forget to keep this list with you at all times. In addition, make an inventory list to keep track of all the stuff that will be shipped to you when you move cross country. You will also use this once you start receiving your items as well as claiming your insurance, if in case, one of your items get damaged upon delivery.
Talking about inventory lists, thanks to technology, you can now download some useful apps that can help you to stay organized during the entire move.
One is MoveAdvisor – Home Inventory. It’s easy to use because it gives you a detailed digital map of your home. In each room, you can place all the stuff that you would like to bring with you when you move cross country. Another great app is Sortly. It’s very user-friendly and I like how you can create a virtual inventory of all your belongings which makes it easy to recognize which item goes to which room and so on.
Also, you need to consider the people whom you’ll be bringing with you on your move cross country. Do you have children? Will there be any pets, senior citizens or PWDs coming with you? If your answer is, ‘YES’, then you also need to take them into consideration when planning for your move cross country. How do you plan to accommodate them?
STEP 3: CONSIDER THE TIME AND DATE TO MOVE
There are also peak and non-peak seasons when it comes to moving. It’s useful to know which time is best to relocate because it can affect the overall cost of your move. For example, you can get the best discounts and specials if you’re moving anytime between late fall to spring.
This is because most families would choose to move during the school break. Just think about how overwhelming it is to relocate during this season. However, if you don’t have kids, then you can get a great discount if you chose to move on a weekday while school is still in session.
In the summer, moving companies are usually very busy and the rates are more expensive since it’s the peak season. In contrast, doing a move cross country during the off-season would usually give you discounted rates, more options, special offers and a team of movers who’re not-so-stressed.
In addition, check the weather at least days before the actual move cross country. You wouldn’t want to move during a bad storm or severe winter weather right? Always, have a backup plan ready for these situations.
STEP 4: START LOOKING FOR A CROSS-COUNTRY MOVER AS EARLY AS YOU CAN
Q: When should I ask for a moving quote?
A: As soon as you’ve finally decided that you’re moving.
Asking for a moving quote to move cross country, months or at least 30 days before the actual move will save you some money. Don’t wait for the last minute. You wouldn’t want to be a victim of moving scams, don’t you?
Plus, most of the websites of moving companies offer a Free, No-Obligation cross-country moving quotes so better take advantage of this as much as possible. Keep in mind that knowing how much you might spend would save you from getting charged with outrageous fees.
Furthermore, asking quotations from different moving companies would give you better options. You can compare the prices they gave as well as the services they provide. Plus, you can also benefit a lot from the specials and discounts that moving companies would offer.
A good tip: Don’t be afraid to negotiate to get better pricing. Let the other moving companies know about the low offer that you’ve been given and ask whether they can beat the quote or even match it. If not possible, then ask them for their lowest offer.
Moving companies would consider your request because they know that they can earn much from cross country moves.
Also, since you don’t need to rush things, you can check each moving company’s profile as well as online reviews on their website as well as on Yelp, BBB and even on Angie’s List. Furthermore, don’t forget to ask your friends or colleagues for referrals as well.
moveOn Moving offers a free, no-obligation quote that’s easy to understand. Simply give us the basic details of your move and we’ll provide you with excellent options. Depending on the date of your move, we’ll also offer you some specials and discounts.
Aside from getting a quote, here are some things that you need to ask from your movers:
- Inquire about any additional fees which may not be included in the free quote. Make sure to tell them to include those in your quote.
- Ask whether your items will be shipped in one truck or divided into two trucks or even three shipments. Of course, it’s ideal if your items would be shipped in one truck since it’s easier to track as compared to the second and third option.
- Ask about the insurance they provide, its coverage and claiming process. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if you are going to move cross country.
STEP 5: BE SMART AND CUT COSTS BY USING FREE MOVING SUPPLIES
Normally, one would spend at least $35 on moving boxes but did you know that you can actually get free packing boxes from your local grocery stores or even the department stores? Imagine the amount that you can save from it. However, there are still some establishments who would sell them for a cheaper price.
Avoid getting boxes used for fruits and fresh produce since this is often soft, moldy or bug infested. Best choose the ones used for packing electronic items and large appliances.
Also, you can find free moving boxes on Craigslist Free Items. It’s an amazing way to reuse old boxes. Plus, don’t forget to return the favor and give away yours after your move so another person can use it. Just make sure it’s still in good condition though.
Instead of using bubble wraps, packing peanuts, etc., — Did you know that there are household items that you can use as substitute packing supplies? For example, you can use clothes and linens for padding to protect fragile items. Another tip is to use rigid containers like bottles to store jewelry and other small items. You can also store small stuff inside kitchen drawers and cabinets to save up on space. Just make sure the drawer or cabinet is locked securely and labeled properly.
This method is eco-friendly, less expensive and a more practical way to save up on moving costs.
START PACKING! Wrap, Pad and Label
If you don’t have the time to pack your items, then it’s ideal to hire professional movers who will do the packing, loading and unloading process. However, if you’re confident you can do it with the help of a couple of friends and family, then here are some helpful tips for you:
- Group all the items that go together per room.
- Once separated, start packing each one carefully.
- Label each box. You can also place a list of everything that’s in the box together with the label so it’s easy to know what’s inside. You can also color code or number code your boxes to make it more convenient for you to organize them once they are shipped to your new home or office.
STEP 6: DECIDE WHETHER TO HIRE MOVERS OR DIY YOUR MOVE
You have the option to hire movers from respectable moving companies like ours, moveOn Moving or D-I-Y your move yourself. If you plan on hiring movers to move cross country, make sure to follow STEP 2.
Some Advantages of hiring a moving company:
- You can ship your car, therefore, saving some mileage and gas.
- You lessen your accommodation expense since you don’t need to make any stopovers.
- You lessen the burden of having to pack and unpack your items.
OPTIONS FOR DIY CROSS-COUNTRY MOVE:
- Invite a couple of friends or family members to help you sort, pack and load your items. This will reduce the cost of your move since you no longer need to hire professional movers to do the job. However, if you’re planning to move bulky items like a safe or a piano, then it’s highly advisable to seek expert movers if you don’t want to get them damaged.
- Rent a moving truck or trailer depending on the number of belongings that you have. It’s the least expensive choice. Check out companies like Budget, U-Haul and Penske Truck Rental if you’re considering this option.
- If you have a van or a pickup truck and you don’t have that much stuff to bring with you then you can always load everything in your car. Pack as many items as you can bring in one go. However, you need to prepare a flexible budget that will include expenses for gas, accommodation, food and so on.
- Similarly, you can choose to ship your items, though freight shipping companies like FedEx Freight, UPS Shipping and Freight, uShip and BusFreighter. Don’t forget to check their price-list.
- If you have the time to pack and load your items yourself (or with a couple of friends and family members), then you can you can rent a Portable Moving Container. How does this work? Usually, the container company will send you the moving container and set it outside your place. Depending on the package you chose, you have at least 3 days to a month to use this to load your items. On the day of your move, the container company will pick up the portable containers and ship it to your new destination. Then, once you’re finished unloading everything, they’ll pick up the container and that’s it. If you’re considering using this storage container, check if you have extra room left in your container and tell the company about it. Why? Sometimes, the company can find another person who can share it with you, therefore, cutting the rental cost significantly. U-Haul: U-Box, Two Men and a Truck and PODS (Portable On-Demand Storage) are two great companies to check out.
- Consider traveling by bus or by train. For that, you’ll only spend less than $100. If all your possessions would weigh less than 150lbs, then taking a bus or a train would definitely be a fantastic money-saving option for you. Plan on taking a bus? Book your move cross country with Greyhound or book a cross-country train ride via Amtrak. Remember to check their pricing quote and current weight limits as well as their price-per-pound rate since prices may tend to change yearly.
ADDITIONAL TIP: Since you’re planning to DIY your move, it’s best to stay in affordable, decent motels instead of hotels. Remember, a good room with good food and clean bathroom is all that you need because you’re just staying for the night, and not for vacation. Check out apps like Airbnb or go book a room at Hostels. If you don’t mind staying as a guest in someone else’s home, then you can also book a place using CouchSurfing.com. Just remember to pick a place with excellent reviews.
STEP 7: COORDINATE WITH YOUR UTILITY PROVIDER
Before you move, don’t forget to inform your old utility provider about your plan and coordinate with your new utility providers as to when you want to use their services. You’ll want to avoid paying two separate bills at the same time. Consider when you should cancel your old utility subscription and activate the new ones.
Following this step-by-step guide will help to reduce your moving cost and make your move cross country experience hassle-free and manageable.