How To Move Across The Country

By PropertyClub Team
Aug 23rd 2020
Moving across the country can seem intimidating, but if you plan accordingly and prepare yourself, you can make even a long-distance move go smoothly.

Historically, studies have shown that the average person will never live more than 40 miles away from where they grew up, but that’s starting to change. But in a new age of remote work, people are becoming more mobile, which means that cross-country moves are becoming more commonplace than ever before. 

People choose to make cross-country moves for a wide range of reasons. Sometimes, it’s career-related. Other times, it’s because they are moving in with someone they love. Or maybe they’re moving to enjoy a better lifestyle in a state with lower taxes and living costs. 

For some others, deciding to move away can also be a way to get a fresh start in life. 

If you’re one of the many Americans considering relocating cross country, the notion of a long-distance move might be an unnerving endeavor. It’s not a typical move, that’s for sure. Here’s how to make the move happen without a hitch.

  1. Find a home that you would like to live in, and do extra research. Moving to a different state means that you won’t have as much knowledge about the lay of the land as you would moving to the next town over. To make sure that your move goes off without a hitch, make sure that you do research on the town and pick the right home for you.
  2. Get a job lined up. If you’re a freelancer and work in a home office, this step isn’t always necessary. Technically, you don’t need to do this step if you are confident that you can find a job in your new state. However, it’s always better to ensure that you have a job lined up before you move.
  3. Close on the home, or get rent ready. This is a must if you want to move to the area, simply because trying to find one while you have all your stuff in storage might be a nightmare. Ideally, you’ll take a tour of the neighborhood before you move there. 
  4. Be prepared to sell a lot of the stuff you own. When you’re moving across the country, the price to move all your stuff skyrockets. You will most likely need to sell some of your items just to make the move affordable. Having a yard sale, using eBay, or just doing consignment work can all be beneficial here.
  5. Find a portable moving container, a large freight truck, a U-Haul, or a full-service company. Portable moving containers are usually the cheapest, followed by U-Hauls. With these options, you will have to pack up everything yourself. If you get a full-service company, they will pack things up for you. 
    1. Get quotes. To make sure you get a good price, call around and ask at least three companies to give you a quote. Ask what the quote includes and what add-ons you can get.
    2. Consider the perks and pitfalls of each option. If convenience is key, a full-service mover is going to be your best bet. If you’re looking for a cost-effective choice, looking into portable moving containers that double as storage is best.
    3. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. Many places will offer discounts, but only if you ask. Military and corporate discounts are the most common, but there’s a chance that you might be able to swing something if you ask politely. 
    4. Don’t be afraid to do some of the work. You can save a ton on labor if you do.
  6. Choose your moving date. It’s worth noting that the moving date you choose can impact the price of moving across the country. We suggest making a mid-week move to try to cut down on pricing. However, if you are in dire need of a move, you can always do it during the weekend despite the higher pricing. 
  7. Set a forwarding address for your mail within the week of your move. You should also wrap up any subscriptions you have sent to your home and close out any utilities in your name there.
  8. Get some moving supplies and start packing, if you have to. You can often find resources that will give you free boxes (such as dumpsters from local retail) and start wrapping up your items. If you have professional movers who do packing for you, you can skip this step. 
  9. Book a hotel or sublet for the first few days (or weeks) in your new location. It can take several weeks to move your items into your new home, and that means you may need a place to stay. Packing a light travel bag and just finding some temporary housing can help you bridge that gap and make the move easier. 
  10. Upon move day, load up the items (or have your movers load it for you) into the truck. This will be an all-day affair, and it will be pretty difficult to do at times. When loading everything up, keep a suitcase, your IDs, and your laptop with you. You will need to have some basic goods when you get to your sublet.
  11. Figure out what you want to do with your car if you have one. It is possible to find cross-country car transport services, but they often cost around $500 to $2000 for a single car. If you don’t want to pay that money, you can drive your car to the location you want or sell it. 
  12. If you are not driving the truck yourself and are not driving a car cross-country, then book a flight to your location and ask that movers call you when they arrive. The moving company should give you a general estimate of the day when they will bring by all your things. Take a taxi to your sublet and live there until things settle.
  13. Unpack, update your driver’s license, get new utility subscriptions, and settle in. This is the final step to being a new member of a brand new community. It can be a little scary at first but don’t worry. Once you get used to your brand new state, you’ll find that it can quickly begin to feel like a home away from home.