A Simple Guide to Planning Your Cross-Country Move

Moving from one side of town to the other is tough enough, but cross-country moves are downright daunting. There are many decisions associated with the planning of your move, not to mention costs. However, if you take it one step at a time, you’ll be surprised by how simple the process can be.

Andrew Charles, Partner
3-minute read

For the most manageable, stress-free, and affordable interstate move, use the following guide to navigate the process.

Find a moving company

As soon as you’ve made the decision to move, it’s time to start asking for price quotes from cross country movers. Don’t put it off! The farther in advance that you book your moving dates, the more money you can potentially save on your move. Additionally, make sure you conduct thorough research and choose a moving company with a great reputation for quality service and communication.

If you’re overwhelmed with quotes from multiple companies vying for your business, or you’re worried about falling victim to a moving scam, then you have the option of using a brokering service like Moving APT, which has already verified the best in the business.

Declutter and purge

Even if you don’t plan to downsize when you move across the country, it’s generally in your best interest to move only what you absolutely need. The more weight you load into a moving truck, the more you will have to pay your movers. Do a detailed walkthrough of your home and identify items or furniture you can sell, donate or take to the dump in order to scale down your household goods.

Decluttering can be overwhelming, but a good rule of thumb is to throw out anything you haven’t worn or used in the last year. You can use your savings from your cross-country move to upgrade and replace anything you need.

Get organized

If you opt for a full-service move, your packers will label each box with the name of the room they’re packing so they’ll know where to put the boxes on the other end of the move. It can be tempting to move items from room to room during the organizing process, but unless you’re willing to go searching for your bathroom towels all over your new home, you’ll likely benefit from leaving everything in its place.

Ahead of your pack-out date, use a moving checklist to keep up with your preparation to-dos. This way, you’ll be able to answer any questions the movers have about your household goods, and you’ll be prepared for a smooth and simple process.

As your pack out progresses, you and the movers will create a written inventory of your items. Once you reach your destination, you’ll use this list to verify you’ve received everything they moved from your home. If any items are missing or damaged, you may be able to file an insurance claim for reimbursement.

Decide when to schedule your move

If your relocation is time-sensitive, then you may not have as much flexibility in your moving schedule. Moving companies are busiest in the summer because families often wait until kids are out of school before making huge transitions. Therefore, prices are higher in peak seasons due to demand. However, if you’re able to take your time and plan out each detail of your move, then you may be able to save money by booking movers during the non-peak season from late fall to early spring.

You’ll also want to have a contingency plan in case of severe weather or other situations that can negatively impact your move. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time for packing, loading and traveling.

Be strategic with your supply budget

The cost of boxes, packing paper, moving blankets and tape add up quickly, making even a DIY more costly than you originally planned. Therefore, it’s important to look for deals where you can find them. Check Facebook Marketplace for free or cheap recycled boxes, and start saving your Amazon shipping boxes. Use towels, clothes, and linens to wrap, pad and protect breakables instead of buying bubble wrap. Additionally, if you foresee several major moves in your future, you can invest in large totes and storage containers, and avoid buying cardboard boxes altogether.

A cross-country move doesn’t have to break your spirit or your bank. By following these steps and giving yourself the time and space to plan, your interstate relocation will seem like the best decision you ever made.