Moving across the country to a new city is an exciting endeavor. Of course, if you’ve accumulated a lot of possessions over the years, moving can also be a huge headache. Fear not! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the prospect of shipping everything you own, but if you have a great strategy in place, you can reduce your stress levels considerably. The following is a list of tips to help you out during your cross-country move.
Take an Inventory of What You Own
Create a comprehensive list of everything you own. That way, you can decide exactly what you want to take with you. It may be more cost-effective to leave some things behind. For example, if your furniture isn’t expensive or high-quality, it may cost you more to move it than to replace it. This is also a good opportunity to throw out things you don’t need. You can also sell some of your possessions or give them to charity to lighten the load. After you’re done paring down your inventory list, you may find that you can put most of what you own in your car and ship everything else.
Get Quotes from Moving Companies
If you’ve decided you have far too much stuff to simply shove it in your car and pass the rest on to UPS, you can either rent a moving truck or a hire a moving service.
If you rent a truck, call several different rental companies and get quotes. Compare the prices so that you can determine which company will be the most affordable for you. Before you call, determine the size of the truck you will need, and ask the company how much it will cost for the days and miles that you’ll need it for. Explore the possibility of renting a trailer that you can tow with your car. This option is usually cheaper, but you’ll need to determine if your car has sufficient horsepower to pull the trailer.
If you hire a moving company, contact multiple moving companies, and get a cost estimate for each one before making a decision. Before the company arrives, take photos of everything you own so you have a time-stamped record of the condition of each item. If you decide to insure your possessions, purchase a plan based on replacement cost, as opposed to one based solely on weight.
Ways to Save on Shipping
Books are heavy and expensive to ship. If you’re moving a lot of books, you can ship them through the USPS at a reduced “media mail rate.”
If you’re a student moving across the country to start college, look into Greyhound. They offer shipping services at a discounted rate for students.
If you’re flying to your destination instead of driving, check with your airline to see what their luggage policy is. Some airlines let you check bags for free if they come in under a certain weight limit. You can use this opportunity to pack items you’d rather not leave in the hands of the movers or UPS.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to make your cross-country move without breaking the bank. Do you have any tips for cross-country movers? Let us know in the comments section.
Paul letterman is a freelance writer based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Paul is interested in transportation, truck driving jobs, travel and moving, personal finance, career advice and other fascinating topics.