Are you looking for the cheapest way to move cross country?
Moving your household goods across state may be difficult, tiresome, time-consuming, exhausting and probably too… costly. And surely, if you are relocating to a new state, you will be interested in making your cross state move not just easier but also more affordable and cheaper. And we have prepared for you a few great tricks that you can use to do just that.
Our hand-selected tips will show you how to move cheaply across country, for they have been designed to save you money and make your move not only less expensive, but also more efficient, better organized and easier.
It is completely in your powers to organize your move in such a way that you may never have to use or hear the words “expensive” or “problem” in a sentence before, during or after your relocation. Yes, it is perfectly doable but you’re going to have to find good answers to a bunch of essential moving-related questions.
Here’s how to move cheaply from one state to another:
How To Choose The Best Cross Country Movers?
The moment you begin your quest to find the perfect combination between high-quality and reasonably priced moving services, you’ll probably get confused by the overwhelming number of moving companies on the market. How could you possible know which one to turn to?
Get free quotes: the best way to get an accurate idea of how much your relocation will cost is to request free moving estimates from several reputable out of state movers (preferably 5) and compare their rates and conditions. Don’t go with the first cross country mover that you get into contact with and resist the temptation to accept an offer that is uncharacteristically lower than the rest – it could be a sign of a moving scam (read on to learn how to protect yourself from rogue movers). And once you have all the written estimates in your hands, it shouldn’t be too difficult to select the best long distance mover – such that works best for you and your unique relocation situation.
- Check long distance movers’ reputation online: it should come as no surprise that each trustworthy moving company tries hard to maintain its good reputation online. Moving reviews are a great way for out of state movers to do a reality check about the quality of their services, as well as to attract new customers. Thus said, you are strongly advised to visit a reliable moving company review website and read what other people like you have written about the cross country moving companies that you have shortlisted.
What Is The Best Time To Book My Move?
In order to move cheaply across the country, you’re going to have to know the best time to reserve your move. There are several things you should know about booking your relocation:
- Book early: have in mind that there’s no such thing as reserving your moving services too early. In fact, practice has shown that it’s best if you do it as soon as you know the date of your moving day regardless of the time frame.
- Schedule it right: if you have any flexibility at all, schedule your long distance move during an off-peak period – the middle of a month, a weekday or anywhere between the low moving season (September – May). Smart scheduling and notable negotiations skills could save you up to 30% of the standard moving rates.
Where Can I Get Moving Boxes For Free?
Brand new moving boxes and packing materials can add up substantially to your moving expenses. However, there are a few good tricks here that you can use to get free cardboard boxes and thus make your move cheaper:
Local retailers: local retail businesses are your best bet for hunting down moving boxes in good condition and in various sizes. What grocery stores, bookstores, office supply stores, liquor stores, etc. do is break down all the cardboard boxes that they no longer need and take them to recycling centers. If you pay them a visit and speak to the respective managers, you’ll most likely end up with more boxes than you’ll need for your cross country relocation.
- Local recycling centers: you could also try skipping the above step and go directly to the place where boxes get recycled, but the availability of good sturdy cardboard containers would be somewhat limited.
- Friends: maybe some of your good buddies have relocated recently and now have no use of the great number of boxes piled up in their attics or basements which can be yours for the asking. Spread the word (including online via your favorite social network) that you’re in need of good boxes for moving out and wait to see what happens.
Are There Non-Allowable Items That Movers Won’t Move?
Time is money, and this axiom is especially true right before a cross country move when the moving preparations are under way at full speed. And what a better way (or to put it better: a worse way) to waste precious time than to prepare your household items for packing and then actually pack them only to find out later that your selected long distance movers won’t transport them!
Every cross country moving company has a list of hazardous, perishable or valuable items that they are not allowed by law to relocate for their clients. Think one step ahead – before getting down to packing your household, make sure you’ve already requested that list of forbidden items to move.
- Hazardous materials: any flammable, corrosive and explosive belongings that you may have can pose a risk to the persons involved in the move, to the moving company’s property and the environment. Such hazardous materials include: aerosol cans, motor oil, antifreeze, gasoline (kerosene), pesticides and fertilizers, chemicals of any sort, paints, weapons and ammunition, etc.
- Perishable food: perishables can go bad quickly and damage your property or that of your movers. Such perishables are usually frozen, refrigerated or fresh foods. Start using up your food supplies about a week before moving day and empty and clean out your fridge or freezer at least 24 hours before the move takes place. Consider donating anything that you haven’t been able to use to people in need.
Pet and plants: you’re going to have to find an alternative way of transporting your pets and plants to your new home simply because your moving company will not agree to move them. Learn how to best take care of your pets and relocate them on your own – either take them in your car or have them on the plane if you’re flying to your destination. Also, your plants will need to be properly prepared if you’ve made up your mind to drive them to your new residence yourself. Think the whole moving situation through and if there’s a chance that your flowers, shrubs or trees won’t survive the long cross country haul, then donating them to schools or hospitals is the right way to go.
- Valuable items: think twice before handing your valuables over to your long distance movers. In fact, your possessions of great monetary or sentimental value must never leave your side during the entire moving preparations, on moving day and during the actual cross country relocation – important documents (passports, birth certificates, marriage licenses, medical records, etc.), cash, bank cards, tickets, keys, prescription medication, photos, etc. Have in mind that even if you consider appropriate insurance for your valuables, some items are simply priceless and totally irreplaceable.
More information on the subject: Non-allowable items: what to do when movers say no
Should I Rent A Truck And Move On My Own Or Should I Hire A Cross Country Moving Company?
The answer to this question is never an easy one because each long distance relocation scenario is unique. There are many factors that will determine whether moving on your own or hiring the services of a professional mover is the cheapest way to move across country under the circumstances, such as time, money, distance and complexity of the cross country move.
- Time: If you have sufficient time to do all the required tasks until moving day (obviously, the packing process takes the most time and efforts), then you might be able to pull off a self-move successfully. On the other hand, if you’re pressed for time, hiring a moving crew that is used to working around the clock is the option that makes the most sense.
Money: It is believed that performing a DIY move will end up being cheaper than calling in the pros. And while local moves can sometimes prove the above statement true, cross country relocations are a different matter altogether. Choosing a rental truck of the wrong size could be the first money trap that you might fall into: select a smaller moving truck and you won’t be able to fit your belongings and therefore you’ll spend more money for making multiple trips or even renting another vehicle; select a bigger rental truck and you’ll be paying for extra space that you won’t be needing. Throw in the additional expenses for packing materials, gas, lodging and any road contingencies and then you’ll see how the initial seemingly simple self-move calculations get more and more complicated with each passing day.
- Complexity: even if you have reliable friends to help you out with the heavy lifting and you have the confidence and experience in driving a big moving truck all the way to another state, unlike local relocations, cross country moves are fairly tough for a DIY approach. Your final choice should be based on the careful consideration of the two cross country relocation methods (including their hidden costs) and the important factors that will affect the final price.
More information on the subject: Move yourself or hire a mover? How to solve the ultimate dilemma
How Can I Make My Move Even Cheaper?
- Mind what you take with you: remember that every dollar spent on moving an item that you really don’t need is a dollar wasted. Purging your home of all the unnecessary stuff is a very important moving preparation step that shouldn’t be easily skipped. As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t used a personal possession in over a year, the chances are that you never will. So, consider selling such unneeded items (either at a yard sale or online), giving them away to friends or donating to charitable organizations to save much needed money.
- Sell your used furniture: your furniture pieces are the heaviest household items that you possess and their long distance relocation will cost you a lot of money. In most cases, selling your old furniture and then buying new or second hand one when you’ve moved into your new house makes the most sense (unless a furniture piece holds a strong sentimental value for you and you wouldn’t dream of parting with it). In the end, it all comes to weighing your options and choosing the least physically, mentally and financially painful ones.
More information on the subject: Sell your used furniture before moving to save time and money
Ask your moving company for current discounts: being on a tight relocation budget, you can only benefit from asking your cross country movers if they are offering any discounts at the moment. Some long distance moving companies may be willing to work with you and offer you a better deal just to keep you as their customer. Ask, and it shall be given to you, right?
- Never become a moving scam victim: regrettably, there is a small number of dishonest movers that use the highly unethical, and illegal, scam of low-balling their moving estimates just to lure in customers and then hold their household items hostage until they get paid a much higher final price. Also known as rogue movers, such unlicensed moving companies should be avoided at all costs. Check out this informative article to learn of what safety measures you can take to avoid becoming a victim of a moving scam scheme during your cross country move.
Finding the cheapest way to move cross country is directly linked to finding the right answers of all the questions above. Remember that no two out of state moves are alike and that you’re going to have to decide which cost effective options will work best for your unique cross country relocation.
If you have found some other great tips for moving cheaply from one state to another, why don’t you share them with us in the comments below?
Posted on Sep 24, 2014