How Much Does It Cost to Move Across the Country?
| Moving Tips | Deidra Poltersdorf
If you are planning a cross-country move, you will need to speak with a cross-country mover to establish an idea of how much your relocation will cost. Every move is unique, with no common price. The amount you pay will depend on a range of factors, but there are always steps you can take to lower the cost.
Cost of Hiring a Cross-Country Moving Service
You have three options when moving across the country. You can rent a vehicle and trailer, use a done-for-you container service, or hire professional movers to help. Note, all costs provided in this article are estimated for moving a 3-bedroom, moderately furnished home 1500 miles.
DIY by renting a truck or trailer for about $3,000. Container services are good alternatives to moving yourself and cost about $4,500. Professional movers with full services cost around $1,000 per room, but this is really depending on the weight of the items in each room. Some people will have a few light pieces of furniture and others will have items stacked to the ceiling. The only way to get a true, accurate estimate is to discuss your inventory with a professional mover.
Cost of Do It Yourself
Renting a truck or trailer can be a low-cost alternative — approximately $3000 — to container services or professional movers. If you have very few belongings that don’t require special care, moving yourself might be an option. It should be noted that you lose the protection and peace of mind afforded by professional help. Moving can be daunting, and having an experienced ally can take things off your plate, provide additional moving and packing resources, set up storage for you upon arrival, and perform most of the heavy lifting. Furthermore, if you do move yourself across state lines, it’s important to know what type of protection your belongings will have if something happens to them on the move.
Cost of Moving with Container Services
Containers services are a popular alternative to moving yourself, and for about $4,500 you have some of the benefits of a professional moving company without the overhead costs. Packing and loading are usually done by you, while transport is handled by the company. Because these services vary in feature offerings and price, they may not be a great solution if you have large-screen TVs, fine artwork, or special moving needs. Because these services take a budget-friendly, hands-off approach, you may find that these moving services are not as helpful as a full-service national moving company.
Cost of Moving Cross Country with Professional Movers
Professional movers can cost upwards of $7,500, depending on the size of your house and the number of belongings. It usually costs around $1,000 per room, and that includes a full-service experience from planning to moving day.
Most national movers will have checklists and planning resources, and some will provide extra hands or packing materials to help prepare for the move. Interstate moving companies offer protection for valuables in transit, and they’re usually prepared to move items that require special shipping or handling instructions. Some may even have storage options to avoid clutter during the unpacking process. Ultimately, hiring a national moving company may cost a bit more financially, but offers peace of mind and a commitment to quality service before, during, and after your move.
Cross-Country Moving Timeline
- 12 Weeks – Choose your method of moving, and decide how you’d like to travel to your new home. Purchase any tickets for planes or hotel accommodations early to keep costs low, and start to take care of any professional services, important documents, and special considerations for your move.
- 8 Weeks – Create a list of your most valuable possessions and speak with your moving company about valuation protection during the move. If you have any heirlooms, grandfather clocks, pieces of fine art, or expensive electronics, ask about specialty moving to see if extra protection could give you the peace of mind you need.
- 4 Weeks – With one month left, have a garage sale for the items you aren’t taking with you! Post flyers, create signs, and use social media for a better turnout! Schedule disconnect and transfer dates for services such as Internet, phone service, and utilities. Set up a date for mail forwarding to begin, and change your address with online services, bank accounts, and other bills.
- 2 Weeks – Double check everything. Make sure your boxes are labeled for easier moving and unpacking, with special handling instructions on the outside if necessary. Deep clean your house and start using food up from your pantry. Invite friends or family over to share the food you won’t be taking with you, and spend quality time with them before you leave.
- 1 Week – By the last week, you hopefully feel prepared and ready to move cross country! Fill any prescriptions for your family members or pets and make sure your first night bag is packed and ready to go!
- Moving Day – It’s here! Welcome your movers and direct them to your belongings. Sign your bill of lading and discuss any last minute questions or concerns. Make sure you perform one last walk through before leaving and check to make sure all doors and windows are locked!
Cross-Country Moving Tips
- Pack an overnight bag for your first night. Keep everything you’ll need upon arrival in one place, so you can relax and settle into your new home without searching through boxes for basic supplies.
- Prepare early and plan far in advance with a “moving notebook” to keep track of valuables and store copies of your most important documents.
- Organize a yard sale before you leave to lower moving costs — and help pay for expenses.
- Follow a moving timeline to help you prepare for important milestones. Make sure you transfer or close local service accounts and search for new ones before you move.
- Talk with your moving company about options for valuation. Valuation offers protection and peace of mind for your belongings during the move.