Your moving costs will be largely determined by their weight and how much space they take up. Thinning out your possessions can slash your moving costs and even help you put some extra money in the savings jar.
Cut your anxiety levels in half by downsizing ahead of time. You’ll have less to pack, move, plan, pay for, and worry about if you start early.
Quick tips for downsizing before a long distance move
Have a garage or rummage sale. Ask your neighbors if they want to join for more exposure and help.
Donate items to the Salvation army or local thrift store. In many states, they’ll pick up your old furniture or electronics for free.
List your items for free on Freecycle.
Sell your items on Craigslist, OfferUp (app) and LetItGo (app).
Donate to your local homeless center or women’s shelter.
Stop hoarding! Throw away or recycle anything that you don’t need.
Get moving quotes early to save a small fortune.
Unsure of whether you’ll need cross country movers? It doesn’t hurt to check pricing now.
Failure to compare moving quotes ahead of time can be expensive. If you wait until the last minute you can end up in a vulnerable position.
This can lead to:
risking outrageous fees and less options,
putting yourself at high risk for moving scams, and;
having your possessions split into two or more trucks that arrive at different times and are harder to track.
Don’t underestimate the difficulty of moving cross country by yourself! Find the help you need!
Take full advantage of those “cross-country moving quotes” as far in advance as possible. They’re free and don’t obligate you to a thing.
If you take this step early in the process, you’ll have plenty of time to take advantage of specials and discounts. You’ll also have the chance to check out the moving company’s online reviews at places like Yelp, Angie’s List and the BBB.
Our short form takes one minute or less to fill out. Provide us with the basic details of your move and we’ll match you with free quotes from up to 6 of the most qualified movers for your job. Instantly compare their rates to find the cheapest moving company for your move.
Click here to find the cheapest cross country moving movers now!
Use the competition to negotiate better pricing.
make movers compete for your businessWhen you find a lower price from one company, talk to the others and let them know about it.
Ask if they’re able to match or beat the quote. If not, ask if they can come down enough to make the price closer.
This is a strong bargaining tool.
Many moving companies will consider your request and often counter with a better price. This is especially true for cross country moves due to size and scale (and potential for making them money).
What’s the cheapest time of year to move?
best time to moveThe best discounts and deals from moving companies usually run from late fall to spring.
Most people avoid moving when the kids are in school.
If you’re flexible on the date, you’ll get a better discount if you move on a weekday that school is in session.
Moving companies are typically overwhelmed with business all summer long. If you move in the off-season you’ll usually get better rates, more options, and movers who are less stressed.
Ask the right questions and save a lot of headaches.
Some questions you need to ask your movers include:
Are there any fees that aren’t included in my quote? Be sure to request that all fees are included in your quotes.
Will my items ship together in one truck? Avoid having your items split into 2 or 3 shipments that will arrive at different times and be hard to track.
Will my items and property be insured? If so, what are terms of coverage and how does the claim process work? Believe it or not, some companies don’t include this.
Calculate the costs of a DIY cross country move. Be realistic. When compared to your free quotes, how much will you actually save after all the extra time and effort you put in?
Choose the best way to move for you as early as possible for the least amount of stress and better deals.
DIY Option # 1: Truck or trailer rental
woman unloading moving truck rentalAre you going to be moving your own furniture across the country?
Renting a truck or trailer to move your things is almost always the least expensive way to move.
Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most stressful ways to move. There’s a lot of physical work involved, a lot to plan for, and it puts you more at risk for accidents.
If you plan and prepare well, though, you can make the process much simpler and save a lot of cash.
Here are three trusted companies that rent trucks or trailers for cross-country moves. My personal favorite is Budget because they have the cheapest rates and plenty of money-saving specials.
Budget (special: 20% off)
DIY Option # 2: Box & Furniture Shipping Services
home boxed up ready to ship for moveShipping your things is another great DIY moving option, especially if you’re traveling light.
Shipping prices can fluctuate throughout the year, so it’s important to call around and check prices to see if this option will save you money.
Here are some of the most popular freight shipping options for your move:
UPS Shipping & Freight
DIY Option # 3: Portable Moving Containers (PODS)
If you don’t mind packing and loading your own possessions and furniture, then portable moving containers might be a smart (and inexpensive) choice for you.
How does portable container moving work?
portable moving container podThe container company will bring the moving container to your home and set it up outside, usually in the driveway.
You’ll have anywhere from three days to an entire month (depending on the container company) to pack and load your things into it.
On moving day, they’ll pick up the storage container and drive it to your new home across the country for drop-off.
When you are finished unloading everything into your new home, they will pick up the container. That’s it!
Tip: If there’s room left in your container, let the company know about it. Sometimes, they can find someone else to share it with you, and this will cut your costs quite a bit.
U-Pack is my favorite because of their great coverage within the U.S. plus their low prices. The price is usually close to moving truck rentals that you have to drive yourself.
If you’d like to find out more about container moving, here are two companies I recommend:
What is the cheapest way to move across the country?
Take a bus or hop on a train!
If you’re not attached to your bulky furniture or electronics, and you can fit your possessions into a few boxes, then you’re in luck.
Traveling by bus or train for your cross-country move makes it possible to move for under $100.
If you’re able to keep your possessions to under 150 pounds, this might be a good money-saving option for you.
You can start by checking with the companies listed below for pricing quotes. They’ll tell you their current weight limits and price-per-pound. Their pricing does tend to change annually.
Cut costs by getting free moving supplies.
Don’t spend money on moving materials when you can get them for free.
How to get free moving boxes
Get free moving boxes from your local grocery or department store. They usually have a surplus of packing boxes that they’re happy to give away for free.
Craigslist’s free section and Facebook marketplace often have free moving boxes. It’s a great way to recycle, and you can return the favor by giving yours away after the move.
For a complete list of 21 places to get free cardboard boxes for moving, check out this article.
How to get free packing supplies for your move
Repurpose and use clothing, drapes, coffee filters, pillows, and comforters to pack your fragile items.
It’s an Eco-friendly way to pack and much cheaper than purchasing expensive supplies.
There’s an app for that! Plan and organize.
apps for planning a move
The best piece of money-saving advice I can offer for cross-country moving is to plan ahead!
Want to use an app to help you plan your move? Here are three amazing apps that will bring order to the chaos.
Sortly: A dedicated app to help you prepare for moving. This one’s my favorite moving software because it’s full of color and helps you plan out your move in detail.
Meistertask: A free project software app that will send you email reminders daily.
Workflowy: Great if you want to keep it simple. It’s the simplest, most efficient outlining software on the planet. And it’s free.
Planning for a cross-country move will save you a ton of cash no matter which method of transportation you choose.