People move, everyone moves – down the street, across the state, even across the country. There’s no doubt the farther you move, the harder and more expensive it becomes.
However, the cost to hire movers stays approximately the same, no matter the mileage. It is always best to get moving estimates first from several different moving companies, but you can rely on most professional movers to charge approximately $25 an hour.
After that, it just depends on the distance of your cross country move. On average if you move approximately 1200 miles it should cost nearly $4300.
Sound life a hefty chunk? Not to worry, you can move across the country with some of the tips and tricks for the cheapest ways to move.
What is the average cost of moving?
Your home isn’t average, your move isn’t average, but you certainly want your cost of moving to be. When it comes to moving, everything is circumstantial. Depending on the size of your home and the mileage of your long-distance move, your moving services will differ from others.
Even still, there are average moving estimates that might help you budget your moving expenses. For example, according to the Average Moving and Storage Association, for any move that is approximately 1200 miles, the average cost is $4300. In-state moves are roughly around $2300, but we’re not worried about in-state moves.
Other important factors that you should be aware of are for hourly costs of moving:
- A studio apartment… $25 per hour for roughly 3 to 5 hours.
- 2 bedroom apartment… $25 per hour for 5 to 7 hours.
- 3 bedroom house… $25 per hour for 7 to 10 hours.
- 4+ rooms or larger… a total of $1500 to $2000 or more.
What is the cheapest way to move across country?
Moving across the country doesn’t have to be as expensive as it seems. It’s all about how much you know, and knowing these tips for moving across the country will make it easy on your wallet.
1. Find free moving supplies
ALWAYS whether or not you are moving across the country, free moving supplies are a must. Why waste money on a box you’re only going to discard later? Free moving supplies may include boxes, bubble wrap, and newspapers.
These can be found by most grocery retailers and also online such as Craigslist and Facebook. People who have recently moved also like to giveaway their recently used supplies.
2. Use a freight trailer
Most people have never heard of this kind of move. Using a freight trailer might even be more cost-effective than renting a truck. With a freight company they drop a trailer off and you have 3 days to fill it. Then a company will pick it up and drive it to your new home. It’s different, but often saves more money; thousands of dollars more.
3. Choose the ideal moving date
If you have the freedom to make your cross country move anytime you please, choose the cheapest time for your budget. It’s true that your move date actually does make a difference as far as pricing ranges go. Most companies are less expensive if you move Monday through Thursday and during the summer.
4. Try a portable moving container
Yet another option that varies from the typical truck rentals is a portable moving container. These are significantly cheaper than rental truck services, and can also be used as separate storage units before and after the move. Whereas you might pay $4000- $6000 on a rental truck, portable containers cost somewhere between $2000- $3000.
5. Ship your stuff
We’ve got plenty of options when it comes to moving across the country on a budget, and shipping your stuff is yet another one. Simply using USPS you can ship large items easily. In fact, if most of your belongings are large objects, this is the best way to go.
6. Speak to your HR Department
Many people are unaware that if you are moving at the request of your job, your company might be able, or be required to pay for the move. There are certain parameters such as moving more than 50 miles away and other factors, but whether they pay upfront or compensate you later, moving for free is still free.
7. Hire help
Keep in mind that hiring professional movers is not the same as hiring a full moving service. Hiring the help is simply hiring the labor, which can give you a real hand. With the added help, some professional moving services offer junk removal, donation drop-off and other services to get the job done faster.
8. Look for discounts
This includes everything from moving on a certain date to finding free moving supplies – pinch those pennies anywhere you can. Other discounts you might be unaware of are through AAA, U-Pack, Budget, and more. Use a moving cost calculator to find some of the best discounts you’ve never heard of.
How to move across the country?
Moving across the country is just moving, only farther. This means there are more steps, more planning, and more precautions that you should take, to make your move as smooth as possible. If you’re not quite sure where to begin, try starting here.
- Plan, plan, plan: If there’s one thing that’s for sure, the farther you move, the longer you need to plan. Start making lists, spreadsheets, whatever it is you need to make it easiest on yourself.
- Make a schedule: Once you plan, make a schedule, and stay on schedule. The last thing you want is to be scrambling last minute to move 1000+ miles away.
- Find the right moving company: Hiring the right moving company begins with getting estimates from as many reputable sources as you can. You have plenty of time to ask for recommendations and read reviews. Once you have a few estimates in your pocket, select the company that fits you best.
- Update your docs: Before it gets down to the wire, updating your documents is a good choice. This includes your license and registration. Don’t leave anything to chance when you move far across the country.
- Get moving insurance right away: You likely never had movers insurance before, but it is helpful when it comes to a long-distance move. With so much at stake, you want your belongings to be safe and securely insured.
- To downsize or not to downsize? If you can’t find a place for all your things in your new home, consider downsizing. Donate, throw away, or give away items that you no longer need. On the other hand, prioritize all the things you do need.
- Pack boxes better: Moving long distance does make a difference when it comes to your packing. With fragile items, you should be more mindful of how you pack them. Use as much bubble wrap, newspaper, and t-shirts as you can, in order to ensure safe traveling.
- Stay organized: Moving long distance is stressful enough, don’t make it harder on yourself by packing boxes at random and not being able to find things when you need them. Pack boxes by room and in order of least to most important.
- Pinch all the pennies: There’s no doubt your long-distance move is more expensive than local moves, so pinch pennies from the start and whenever you can. Free supplies help, but so does donating items since you pay per how much you move as well. Look for discounts on cleaning, packing, even hotels that you might need to stay in during the journey there.
- Leave it to the professionals: You hired professional movers for a reason, if they’re there, let them do it the right way. Staying out of their way also makes the process smoother for you and them both.
- Move your car: Moving across this country means you can drive yourself and your car where you need to be, but if you need to cross oceans, make sure you plan well in advance. There are ways to ship your car across an ocean, as long as you plan ahead.
- Double-check everything- and then some: If you’re moving long-distance, there’s no forgetting anything. Since you can’t simply just ‘go back’ to get your belongings, make sure all the most important stuff goes with you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do movers have to be true to their estimate?
That depends; did you get a non-binding or binding estimate? Just as it seems, a non-binding estimate is NOT binding; movers can change the price based on actual weight and time. A binding estimate, however, takes constructive weight into consideration and will remain the same no matter what.
2. What documentation should I get from my movers?
Hiring movers means hiring reliable, insured, and credible ones. Before coming into an agreement ask the movers for:
- A written copy of the estimate
- Copy of their insurance
- Telephone number and place for complaints
- US DOT “Your rights when you move
3. What do I do if something is damaged or broken?
Even if you packed the property yourself, the movers are still responsible for ‘shipping’ it properly so they are held accountable. If your belongings are damaged you have 9 months to file a claim.
No matter where you’re going, moving across the country doesn’t have to be as dreadful as it seems. In fact, moving anywhere should always be considered a new opportunity and a positive one at that.
Sure there are plenty of things to consider, prepare, and of course pack, but with the right help, specifically professional help, it can be managed.
Don’t let your move across the country take the fun out of experiencing new things. There’s nothing a few rolls of packing tape can’t handle.