A new home on the other side of the country thousands of miles away, it is an appealing prospect to leave everything behind and take the plunge into the unknown. Maybe you found an exciting new job or you just met that special someone or you just need a change of pace or climate, Safe Relocation cross country movers are here to help with all the practical aspects of moving to your new home.
How to Move Across the Country?
A long-distance move will automatically involve a number of decisions that will be mostly based on your budget. Can you afford to move all your belongings and is it even desirable to do so? Depending on your cross-country moving company you might find that the price of shipping your belongings is more expensive than their actual value. Let’s go over the menu to find out what options are available.
A full-service plan is the most complete but also most pricey option that moving companies offer. It normally covers your entire household down to your pets and makes the move a breeze. Professional cross country movers come to your house, pack your stuff into boxes, disassemble your furniture, put it all in a truck, and move it to your new home. When you arrive everything is waiting for you being set up by the distance movers and you can start stress-free unpacking of your stuff and decorating your new home.
Next down the list is shipping, you hire a shipping container that is placed in front of your home for a certain period. This could range from a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on your cross-country moving company. Normally you are given ample time to load it all up before they take it away on a long-distance truck. This option is still quite relaxed but not as stress-free as you have to fit all of your belongings into this container. In this situation, you might face some hard choices between the furniture that you have come to love and the size of the container. Remember that shipping your stuff could sometimes be more expensive than you expect, so selling some of your stuff before a move might be helpful. You could also see this move as an opportunity to reexamine everything you have collected over time.
Finally, for the DIY-minded, you can move everything yourself and don’t hire movers. This can be the cheapest option even if you rent a trailer to add some extra space. You can go for Budget Truck Rental to search for low-rate truck rentals next to you. Basically, this will involve you trying to cram everything in your car and potentially trailer, but you will certainly be left with some hard choices for bigger furniture like your couch or your bed. You will definitely need to put up some things for sale or give them away to charity. Some more fun options like a “take my stuff party” might also help to get rid of some unwanted items and provide for a nice final goodbye to your old home. Depending on your packing skills more or less of your belongings can be loaded up. Don’t forget that while you dodge most of the fees associated with a moving company, you are responsible for fuel costs, potential toll fees, and maybe extra insurance on your vehicle. Don’t forget to take into account these less obvious fees when making your plans.
Of course, life is messy and complicated so you might find yourself with a mix of the above options based on your personal situation and chosen moving company.
Planning a cross country move
Start planning as soon as possible to make your move as hassle-free as possible. You will have to, depending on your circumstances, find and get long-distance moving companies. For example, how much does your favourite dresser or sofa weigh? You don’t know and you most likely don’t have the type of scales in your house that could tell you. However, these are the type of questions long-distance moving companies will ask you. So best be prepared, start with deciding how much you are willing to spend on moving and Cross Country Movers and from there you can start deciding what to take and what to leave behind. If you work with a company, you also might want to book them well ahead so that there are no scheduling issues. Unconnected to the move itself don’t forget to update your address, contact utility companies, talk to your insurance agent, etc. these factors are part of any move but could end up more complicated because of the distance that you move, you will most likely deal with a new set of companies and providers so take time to deal with all of this too. Like with all things, start early and evaluate your options carefully.
As outlined above there are numerous ways to go about your move. At the most extreme you leave everything behind and pack only the most important things in a carry-on bag or at the other extreme you have full-service long-distance moving experience complete with packing and unpacking where you never even see the boxes that your stuff has traveled in. It all depends on your own preferences and budget. You might enjoy an adventurous road trip from one side of the country to the other. This can be a nice moment to see some sights or visit some out of the way family. Whatever you do, make sure that you have your ducks in a row well ahead of the moving date.
What are the costs to move across the country?
The average cost of moving varies wildly depending on the type of service, amount, and type of belongings. A full-service move can go easily upwards of 12.000 dollars, remember when we said that this service is mostly used as a part of a corporate moving package. Just shipping your belongings can go anywhere between 500 dollars for a large table to 1000 dollars for your large book collection. Potentially if you can make a mid-week move, your long-distance moving company might give a more favorable rate than on the weekend.
There are 2 main ways in which cross country moving companies will charge you for their services. A representative will come by your house and make an inventory of your belongings and will negotiate a fixed price for everything with you. Alternatively, the company will provide you with a number of container and box volumes, you can then at your leisure fill these and pay shipping fees according to the size and the weight. This second option provides you with more direct control over the final prize and might be preferable. Remember again that your TV might cost a couple of hundred dollars to ship, but that in this time better TVs might have come out for less money. So, do your research, don’t just blindly ship everything.
Aside from your belongings you also have to move yourself, your family, and your pets potentially. It is best to make these arrangements well ahead so that you can catch some cheaper flights and favorable seating arrangements on a plane.
If you know that the move isn’t going to be forever or you plan to slowly ferry across your belongings, putting stuff in storage is a good option if you have already left your house or apartment. This is much cheaper than renting but is still an additional cost that you should factor in, but depending on how long you keep storage, you can probably make some savings.
Lastly, it is important that you consider how to pay for the move, a cross-country moving company will often insist on cash payment. This holds some advantages when considering that you probably will not be able to write checks at your destination. However, this also makes it harder to dispute payment in case of poor handling or other problems. For you, payment with a credit card is preferred since this allows you to more easily dispute charges in case of issues with the actual moving.
Moving across the country checklist
- Allocate a budget for the move, this is the most important factor. Can you pay for a full-service move or long-distance shipping?
- Determine which of your belongings you will take and which you will leave behind. For this step remember that your new home might not have the same space or dimensions as your old one.
- Select a cross-country moving company that has the right formula for you.
- Start packing well in advance and clean your house while you do it. This will save time later and less the chance of last-minute surprises.
- Take into account some other factors than your move itself:
- Landlord, notify your current landlord of your move well ahead.
- Utilities, make sure you cancel your current utilities and set up new ones.
- Employment, if you are not moving for your job best to start early on job hunting.
- Insurance, make sure that your policies will cover you wherever you move to.
- Health records, make sure that you can transfer these to your new health care providers.
- School. If you have children – best to enroll them asap into a new school, so they don’t miss too much education and have a chance to meet new people in the neighbourhood.
- Update your address, make sure that your friends, family, deliveries, etc. can find you. It is also best to leave a forwarding address at your old home.
- However stressful, try to enjoy the adventure.
How to pack for a move across the country
When you have finally selected the optimal solution for your move and whittled down your belongings to those you can’t miss and/or can easily take along. You will have to start putting things in boxes or loading your car and/or trailer. Make sure that you don’t run out of the essential household items in your house until you actually move. So make an inventory list of the things you need until the last day and make a plan to deal with these items. If you have pets, remember to have sufficient supplies for the trip and carrier bags ready depending on your mode of transportation. Make sure that the valuable items are duly wrapped in the packing material. A great idea might be to contact professional packers or full-service movers to assist you and enable a smooth transition during relocation.
As with everything concerning the move, there are things you can start loading more than a week ahead and you will not miss, remember to use your time optimally. Give yourself plenty of time for preparation. Also, whichever way you move make sure that you have sufficient padding for fragile items and try a number of configurations on the loading. Secure enough of packing supplies and foresee them for pieces of furniture too. You might be able to save on the number of shipping boxes you need.
Finally, even the best companies and top-rated cross-country movers might experience unexpected delays during shipment so prepare for this eventuality, make sure you and your family have sufficient clothes and essentials to potentially survive in an empty house for a couple of days. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and you will never be caught off guard.