Tips for Making a Cross Country Move

9 TipsTips for Making a Cross Country Move

If you’re going to be making a move across the country, you have a bevy of things to take into account, and cost concerns that must be addressed before you sign the rental agreement and start packing up your house. Take these tips and tricks into consideration towards making your cross-country move.

Plenty of Time

If you’re planning on moving across the country be sure to give yourself the right amount of time. A generally accepted rule is to start your planning at least eight weeks prior to your scheduled moving date. Depending on where you’re moving, your costs could vary drastically. By giving yourself a longer period of preparation time, you can make adjustments to your budget as necessary and not be caught unawares by unforeseen expenses without time to come up with the funds.

Moving for Professional Reasons?

If you’re moving because of a new job or a reassignment, ask the company what they can do for you. In most cases, your employer will cover the costs of your move, or at least put a good portion of money towards it. Even if they don’t cover the entire cost, oftentimes they will offer a stipend or an agreed upon percentage of the expenses.

Determine How You Will Move

Unlike a cross-city trip where you can make multiple trips, planning for a cross-country move requires more work and foresight. Your options include packing everything in your car—not applicable for those trying to transport furniture and an entire household of items. If you’re looking to do it yourself, you can rent a U-Haul or similar truck service, or you can shell out the money for a professional moving company. If you do choose to utilize professionals, make sure you shop around and get the best estimates before making a decision.

Consider Your Timing

You’ll need to be wise about your moving time, especially if you’re trying to make this move on a budget. The five-month span between May and September are the most popular months to move; in fact, 70 percent of all moves throughout the year happen in this interval. Because of the high demand for professional movers and rental supplies, moving during this time will mean less flexibility and higher prices. If you have a say in the matter, try to move during the off season to save yourself some cash. Another hint on timing: Weekends are the most expensive time during the week to move, so shoot for weekdays if possible.

Have a Lock on Documents

It’s easy for things to get lost in the shuffle when moving entire households, but make sure you take the steps required to keep all sensitive and financial documents safe and in order. Gather all important documents, including social security cards, birth certificates, wills, deeds, and any other important items you may keep in your possession. Organize them into folders for both ease and peace of mind, and keep them on yourself during the move—don’t pack them and worry about theft or accident.

Protect Your Personal Information

Before you even think about handing over sensitive information to a potential landlord, use the services of company like and keep it protected. This way, you’re not making yourself vulnerable to scammers, and they still have all the necessary information they need, including your credit score, and criminal and eviction histories.

The Great Purge

You never realize the sheer amount of stuff we acquire until it’s time to move it all. Anything you have that isn’t used or doesn’t have sentimental value should be tossed, given to charity, or sold in a garage sale. The overall cost of your move will be most affected by the weight of your items, and cutting down in poundage will definitely slash the expenses you have to put out.

Take Inventory

If you’re having your items shipped, moved by a professional company, or even if you’re loading up the back of your own truck, it’s essential that you take inventory and be diligent with your labeling process. Take photographs of everything you’re packing and identify each wrapping or box with a clear word description.

Use Sturdy Materials

Instead of using cardboard boxes, consider using recyclable and reusable boxes from a company like instead of paying for overpriced cardboard boxes that may fall apart in transit. When you do get to packing, don’t skimp on the cushioning between items, as items will most definitely shift during the long commute across multiple state lines.

Making a cross-country move is no small feat, and there are bound to be stresses that come up. With a bit of foresight and planning, you can make it as stress-free as possible while also protecting your budget.

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