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How to Move Cross Country: The Cheapest and Best Options

Moving cross country may seem like a daunting prospect. If you've never done it before, it certainly is. However, there are steps that you can take to ensure your journey and that of your possessions, is as smooth as possible. This short guide aims to give you the tools required to make the process as stress-free as possible and save you money in the long run.

By working out your options before you leave, you get the best deal and the peace of mind knowing that your valuables are in safe hands. Whatever reason you have for moving, whether it's an exciting new job, to be closer to loved ones, or something else completely, you'll want to make sure that you're saving as much money as possible to kickstart your new life in the best way possible.

How Much Does It Cost to Move Cross Country?

The true price of moving cross country is dependent on several factors. Things such as how much you have to transport, how you want to transport it, and, of course, where you are transporting it to and from.

There are 3 primary ways most choose to move cross country:

  • Hiring a professional moving company
  • Using a container service
  • DIY (do-it-yourself)


Hiring a professional moving company


Professional moving companies generally charge several thousands of dollars for cross country moving services. A general rule of thumb is that you should expect to pay around $1,000 per room full of items that you're moving.

There are, of course, different companies with different offers and different price ranges, but you should still expect to pay somewhere in the vicinity of $1,000 per room. For the majority of people, this is expensive and would take a large chunk of their savings to cover which may make this an unsuitable option.

Using a container service


Using a container service is considerably cheaper than using a moving company and can cost several thousands of dollars less than a professional moving company, though it comes with more effort on your part. For example, you'll generally manage the loading and the unloading, while the company takes care of the actual transportation. This hands-off approach may not be suitable for everyone and it's probably best to avoid this when transporting valuables.

DIY (do-it-yourself)

DIY Move

The final option is the do-it-yourself method. This should cost you anywhere in the ballpark of $3-4,000 and is definitely the cheapest method out of the three detailed here. However, saving money in this manner does come with its downsides. Moving is a daunting process and it can be even more challenging without professional help. Also, it's physically demanding, so if you're not used to lots of heavy lifting or driving long distances, you may struggle.

It's fair to say that working with a professional moving team is the best option, albeit the most costly. As such, it's important to think of steps you can take to reduce that cost. Thankfully, there are many ways in which you can reduce the cost of moving cross country. As such, it pays off to take the time to weigh up all your options and take appropriate steps. If you're looking for ways in which to dramatically reduce the cost of your move, the next section of this guide is for you.

How to Move Cross Country: Tips for a Cheaper Transition

It's remarkably easy to save money from your long distance move, all it takes is determination and some careful planning. It's never too early to prepare for your move and the sooner you get started the more likely you'll avoid feeling rushed and instead be able to focus on settling into your new home.

Only Take What You Need

Letting go of your possessions is difficult at the best of times, never mind when you've got a big move on the horizon. To reduce the price you pay to move cross country, you need to be ruthless. Do you really need to take your tattered old chair that you've had for over a decade, or can you get a new chair at your destination? By meticulously going through everything you own and preparing to take just the things you need, you can potentially shave thousands off your bill.

Sell Your Bulky Items

The biggest things are the most expensive to ship and can often work out costing about the same to transport as they would to buy again. Using sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to sell your furniture can help you to cut down the prices you pay for moving and also help you recoup some of the costs towards your new furniture. It's best to do this as soon as possible as leaving things until the last minute could mean you end up letting yourself be lowballed by potential buyers, being forced to pay to take it to landfill, or even end up having to take it to your new home with you.

Donate to Charity or Friends and Family

Everything that you don't take or sell you can donate. While charities can be rather fussy about what they will or won't accept, you're almost guaranteed to find friends and family out there with much less discerning tastes. Join Facebook groups for people based in your area and list items as being free when collected. You'll be surprised at what people will take and it'll be a massive weight off your shoulders - sometimes literally, depending on how you plan to move.

Get Packing!

After the first two steps, you should have shifted enough dead weight to start packing. As you open draws and closets that you haven't been in for a while, you're likely to find yet more things to get rid of. With the big day looming, it's tempting to throw things in the trash. If you're sure you won't miss these items, go ahead and do it. It's important to be well-prepared before the day of your cross country move, and if you're running around arranging sales, it's likely to interfere with your plans.

What to Look for in a Cross Country Moving Company

Trusting people you don't know with literally everything you own is a major commitment. As such, it's vital that you do your research before choosing a cross country moving company. Doing this provides you with the peace of mind you desire as well as reducing the likelihood that something will happen to your possessions. Word of mouth recommendations are invaluable so check-in with people you know who have just moved home and see if they can help guide your choices.

Discover everything you can about potential removal companies before you even contact them for a quote. This means reading online reviews and checking out their prices before you contact them for a quote. Keep an open mind and shop around and you're almost certain to find a quote that beats the first quotes you find.

A company that offers a packing service can save you considerable time and effort, but this comes at a cost. If you have a bit of wiggle room within your budget, this is something that you should definitely consider, as it will reduce the amount of time that you dedicate to the moving process. Making sure that your prized possessions are adequately protected should be your priority, so don't be afraid to double check with your shortlisted firms that they'll take appropriate steps.

Choosing an established business is a must. The longer a company has been in business, the more time they've had to perfect their craft. Working closely with a business that has had the time to settle into its niche can help ensure you get the best possible service out there.

One such company is Allied Van Lines. We are well on our way to approaching over 1,000,000 successful moves in the United States over the past 15 years. With over 80 years of experience, we are the number one choice for your cross country move. Wherever you are, we're never too far away. Call us today for a custom quote.