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Moving Across Country? Here’s How to Do It

Whether you’ve moved into a new suite or are preparing to move without selling your house, the process of moving can make plane the calmest of people finger a little stressed. And if you’re preparing to relocate and are moving wideness the country, you might finger like there’s plane increasingly on your to-do list. 

But making the move cross-country doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. We’ll outline all the options for moving long-distance, financing to expect, and tips for saving money as you make the big move. 

Things to consider when moving wideness country

Setting up your cross-country move for success starts with understanding your needs. Consider these important questions surpassing you start planning:

  • Is your new home worthier or smaller than your old home?
  • Are you moving with pets?
  • Are you bringing any vehicles?
  • Do you prefer to pension things easy or pension things cheap?

Your moving expenses can depend on the value of help you need for your move. For example, if you rent a full moving service and need to ship two cars, the forfeit of moving is likely to increase. On the other hand, the increasingly you do yourself, you’ll likely pay less. But just considering you want to pension things inexpensive doesn’t midpoint you have to sacrifice your peace of mind. 

balcony view of the space needle

How much does it forfeit to move wideness the country?

Whether you’re moving from Pittsburgh, PA to the west coast, or from the south to Milwaukee, WI, there are many ways to make moving wideness the country less expensive. Your budget, preferences, and needs will all help you decide the weightier way to move. Depending on your needs, you can consider packing on your own and hiring movers for boxes and larger items. For example, shipping some of your items and towing a small trailer, or plane fitting it all in your car, can save you a lot of stress and money. 

Below is a table detailing the methods you can use with a price estimate for each method. The forfeit will depend on several factors, including: how much stuff you are moving, the weight of your belongings, how far you are moving, how you source your moving supplies, and the time of year you move.

Moving Method How It Works Price Range Pros Cons
Full-Service Shipping Professional movers pack your belongings, fit them on the truck, momentum them to your new home, and unpack your belongings. $4,000 to $22,000 Stress-free, all financing included in the rate, items increasingly likely to be packed safely and securely (fewer items wrenched or lost). Much increasingly expensive than other options, you have less tenancy over the moving process, no storage options.
Moving Container The visitor drops off a shipping container, you pack it, and the visitor moves it for a unappetizing rate. $1,200 to $3,000 Less hassle, can be used as a temporary storage container, can be loaded and unloaded over several days. You may pay for unused space, there’s no temperature control, you need to have space for the container to be dropped off.
Freight Trailer You load a trailer and pay per linear foot of space you used. $900 to $3,200 Usually cheaper than containers per square mile, you pay only for the space you need. No storage option available, your items are less secure than in containers and may be increasingly prone to damage.
Moving Truck You load a moving truck, momentum it to your destination and unload. $1,200 to $2,100 Less expensive than shipping your stuff or using a full-service company, you can rent movers to help with the packing and unpacking. Can be dangerous to drive, expressly for novice drivers, spare fees cut into savings, you’re liable for damages to the vehicle.
Moving Trailer You load a moving trailer and pull it with your vehicle to your new home. $800 to $1,900 Cheaper than a moving truck, you don’t have to pay uneaten fees for gas or tolls. Can rationalization wear and tear on your vehicle, it can be dangerous for drivers who don’t have wits towing trailers.
Personal Vehicle You load your belongings in your personal vehicle. $150 to $600 Inexpensive, convenient, and you can move on your own time. You’ll need to downsize surpassing your move and buy new items when you get to your new home.

Full-service movers

By far, the easiest way to move your belongings is with a cross-country moving company. These companies provide the transportation, plus professionals who pack up your home and load your belongings on a truck. They plane provide the boxes and packing materials. There are no surprise financing as you pay for these services upfront. 

But, full-service movers can be expensive. Plane a small suite may forfeit several thousand dollars, so be sure to compare financing from multiple long-distance movers surpassing you decide which visitor to hire. Popular full-service moving companies include Mayflower Transit, United Van Lines, Atlas Van Lines, Arpin Van Lines, and North American Moving Services.

You can moreover consider using cross-country movers who aren’t full-service. Companies like U-Pack will provide the transportation and optional loading services. You can save money by boxing your personal belongings and/or loading them yourself. 

Moving containers

Moving container companies are a unconfined option when moving wideness the country to help you save money while keeping things low stress. You segregate the container size, and the visitor drops it off at your soon-to-be old home. Then you can pack your container when it’s most user-friendly for you. When the container is ready, the visitor picks it up and ships it to your new home. As a bonus, your container can act as a portable storage unit. This is a unconfined option for someone relocating to temporary housing, like a rental home or an apartment, surpassing moving into their new home.

The main drawback with moving containers is that you’ll need to have space for the container. This can be tricky in urban areas or if you live in an suite or co-op. Popular moving container companies include Pods, U-Pack, SmartBox, Zippy Shell, and 1-800-PACK-RAT.

Freight shipping

Freight shipping allows you to reduce the expenses of a cross-country move. You pack your belongings into a trailer and pay only for the space you use. Most companies use bulwarks to secure your items, but accidents can unchangingly happen. Be sure to pack fragile items thoughtfully or save them for personal transport. Popular freight companies include SureMove, U-Pack, Estes, Conway, and FedEx Volume.

In wing to traditional freight shipping, you can moreover ship smaller groups of items with Greyhound and the postal service. 

Moving truck

Looking for a DIY moving solution? Renting a moving truck is one of the most popular ways for moving wideness the country. The forfeit of moving is relatively low, but you’ll have to do a lot of the work yourself. However, you can lighten your workload by hiring movers. If you want movers, but are working on a tight budget, consider hiring someone from a visitor like TaskRabbit. 

Keep in mind that moving trucks often come with spare fees for things like mileage and tolls. Be sure to read the contract thoughtfully surpassing like-minded to the terms. And make sure to consider purchasing insurance. Car insurance doesn’t unchangingly imbricate a moving truck, so it’s important to understand your policy coverage. Popular truck rental companies include U-Haul, Penske, Budget, Enterprise, and Home Depot.

Moving trailer

If you want to stave spare expenses, and you have a vehicle that can handle it, renting a moving trailer is a unconfined option. A moving trailer is increasingly cost-effective than a truck and usually has a cheaper rate and fewer fees. 

However, pulling a trailer puts a lot of stress on your vehicle. Be sure that your car can handle the hitch and trailer weight surpassing deciding on this option. Popular moving trailer companies include U-Haul, Penske, and Budget.

Personal vehicle

If you need to save money— or are looking to downsize — you can pare lanugo your personal belongings to just what fits in your personal vehicle. While this may not work for larger households, it could work if you’re moving wideness the country on your own. You may be worldly-wise to imbricate some of your expenses if you sell some of your belongings in a yard sale or online. Plus, using a personal vehicle is a much increasingly well-appointed option for a long road trip.

drone photo of houses in a neighborhood with the ocean

How to reduce your financing when moving wideness the country

Even though moving navigate country is expensive, there are still ways to save money during your move. Here are some tips for wearing financing on a navigate country move: 

  • Downsize surpassing the move. Not only does this save significantly on moving costs, but you can moreover make a little uneaten money by having a garage sale or selling on an online marketplace like Craigslist. And don’t forget to donate what you can’t sell. Those donations can be tax-deductible. 
  • Take on increasingly of the move yourself. Packing everything yourself can help you save on labor costs. And if you momentum the moving van, you can save on hiring professional drivers. You can moreover wipe your old home yourself instead of hiring professional cleaners. The increasingly work you take on, the increasingly money you save. 
  • Don’t buy moving supplies. You can get sturdy boxes from your local wine and spirits shop, grocery store, or big box store and use blankets for moving pads. Use old newspapers as packing materials or save the packing materials when you order things online. 
  • Move during the slow months. Moving financing are highest between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If your moving stage is flexible, try to move outside the peak season. 
  • Move midweek. If you have to move during the peak season, try to move in the middle of the week. Weekend surcharges are worldwide considering weekends are the busiest time to move. 
  • Mail your media. If you have a large mishmash of books and papers, you can mail them to your new home for less. The post office offers discounts for “media mail.” 
  • Negotiate for relocation costs. If you’re moving for a new job, ask for financial support from your new employer. Just remember that you’ll need to pay taxes on that money at the end of the year. 
  • Ask friends and family to help. The increasingly people you have helping you pack can certainly make moving that much easier. But that doesn’t midpoint you have to rent professionals. Asking trusted friends and family to help you pack can be a less expensive option than hiring a professional moving company. Just be sure to offer them something in return for helping. 
  • Follow the speed limit. While it’s the law, driving the speed limit can help you save on gas. This is expressly true when you’re driving a rental truck or towing a trailer. Rental trucks often get 10 miles to the gallon or less. When you speed, your fuel efficiency plummets.
  • Look for discounts. Some companies offer referral discounts and other ways to save on their services. You can ask the visitor directly for discounts or options to save. Don’t forget to trammels out message boards for tips from others who’ve recently moved.
  • Compare financing from multiple companies. Gather moving quotes from several moving services surpassing you decide on a company. You may be worldly-wise to use a low quote from one provider to lower financing with another. 
  • Save your receipts. You can often deduct your moving expenses from your state taxes when moving to a new state. Speak with your tax counselor surpassing you move to understand increasingly well-nigh the process.

garage with expensive white car and vintage maroon car

What to expect shipping your car wideness country

If you don’t want to momentum navigate country or don’t have the ways to momentum your car to your new home, you’ll likely need to ship your car. While the process may sound daunting, shipping your car is fairly easy- you just need to segregate a shipper. The shipper will come to your home or nearest drop-off terminal to pick up your vehicle. Then your vehicle is transported to your destination, either your home or a drop-off terminal nearest your home.

“One of the biggest benefits of shipping your car when moving navigate country is the value of time and money you will save,” said wheels industry expert Emily Kordys. “Most car shipping companies offer customizable services, permitting you to segregate a pick-up and wordage window that weightier fits your schedule withal with the type of transport you want for your vehicle. Shipping your vehicle moreover protects your vehicle from wear and tear and potential forfeiture that can end up costing you hundreds of dollars.” 

You can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,100 to ship one vehicle navigate country. However, your financing can be higher or lower depending on several factors.

  • Distance: The remoter you need to go, the higher the fee. Most companies tuition per mile.
  • Time frame: If you need your car soon, expect to pay a rush fee. You may moreover get a unbelieve for “no rush.”
  • Car size: As larger cars weigh increasingly and take up increasingly space, they moreover forfeit increasingly to ship.
  • Type of transport: Unshut transport, shipping your car on an unshut trailer car carrier, can forfeit up to 40 percent less than enclosed transport. 
  • Time of year. Summer tends to be the most expensive time of year to ship.
  • Pick-up and drop-off. Door-to-door services are usually increasingly expensive than terminal-to-terminal.
  • Type of vehicle. If you have luxury or xerox cars, it can forfeit increasingly to transport. 

Average financing to ship a car navigate country

Below is a table showing the stereotype forfeit to ship a medium-sized vehicle. This is intended to requite you a rough estimate of costs. Your very financing may vary.

Distance Open Transport Enclosed Transport
500 miles $600 $900
1,000 miles $1,000 $1,400
1,500 miles $1,100 $1,600
2,000 miles $1,300 $1,800

If shipping your car(s) fits your budget, then it’s time to get things ready. Here’s a moving checklist to help you ship your car:

Research shipping companies: 

  • Get quotes from three to seven (or more) shippers
  • Choose a visitor and set a date
  • Call your insurance wage-earner to learn well-nigh special coverage for shipping

Have your car inspected:

  • Your mechanic should inspect the engine, tires, battery, emergency brake, etc. 
  • Wash your car and fill up your gas tank
  • Perform a visual inspection of your vehicle and record your odometer number

Drop off your vehicle:

  • Remove anything decorative from the exterior of your vehicle
  • Remove personal items from your vehicle
  • Disable alarms

Pick up your vehicle:

  • Perform a visual inspection of your vehicle upon receiving it
  • Update your car insurance, registration, and license in your new state

Moving into a new home is a ramified process, and figuring out how to move navigate country can make things plane increasingly complicated. But with research and shielding planning, it doesn’t have to be flipside stressor on your list. Outlining your budget, time frame, and the number of items you plan on moving can help you determine a plan that works weightier for you and your cross-country move. Surpassing you know it, you’ll be enjoying your new home and exploring a new city. 

*Redfin does not endorse any of the agencies or services mentioned. Redfin strongly recommends that consumers make informed decisions, and independently verify a service provider will meet their needs.

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