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How to Do a Cross Country Move

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.

About the author

Praveen Rajarao

Praveen Rajarao is an Entrepreneur and in his spare time blogs on his website –http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com and http://www.pbgeeks.com. His topics range from blogging to technology to affiliate programs and making money online and how-to guides. Daily Morning Coffee is also accepting Guest Posts from Professional Bloggers at this time, take a look at “Write For DMC” page for more details on the same.


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  • Always document everything when you have other people handling your things. And that’s a great tip for students! Media Mail and Greyhound. I’d not thought to check student rates!

  • Praveen great post you have got here. Moving to a new country is exciting as well as difficult. But you can make your move easy if there is self planning. Of course you can do it your self and also take help of moving companies. But before this it’s on you what you want to move and what you don’t want to move, it’s only your decision. So as you have told making a list is good it will help you a lot. But one thing that I would like to add if you pack and label your items then it safe your items and also helps you to find them easily so for this one can use boxes after that prioritize boxed items you will want to access most. It makes your move easy.

  • What a great list of tips for moving to a new country. Moving to a new country can be exciting and stressful but we can make it easy if we have great strategy for this. And we can this after reading this great post.

  • I think you mentioned one of the hardest things for people moving long or short distances: what to keep and what to throw away/donate. After many moves growing up, I can tell you that we could’ve gotten rid of a lot of items, but didn’t, and I’m sure it made our moves more expensive, and more of a hassle than they needed to be.

  • Inventory. This is what we were missing last month when I helped my sister and her husband move to their new house. About a week later I started getting calls because they couldn’t find stuff that they “thought” they had.

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