Moving across country can be expensive. In fact, from coast to coast, the average cost of moving is $10,000. And that’s just for one person! For a family with two adults and three kids (or any other configuration), it’s easy to get up over $20K. That doesn’t include storage costs or even gas money if you have a long drive ahead of you when you move out west or to the east coast.
So, what can you do to save money when moving across the country?
Plan for Moving a Year in Advance
If you’re looking at moving, start saving up about 12 months before moving, so you have plenty of time to save and plan. Of course, sometimes things happen that force you to move on shorter notice. But if you can, try to plan a year.
Planning ahead will allow you to take advantage of discounts and deals offered by moving companies during the off-season (winter). You’ll be less likely to find yourself paying retail month-of.
Start Selling Your Belongings Now!
Sell your larger, more expensive items (i.e., appliances) now through Craigslist or eBay before you move to raise some extra funds for the move.
You can also sell things like furniture and clothes to friends and family if it makes sense. Or you might try a site like Amazon’s Warehouse Deals for gently used large items.
Ask Your Friends and Family for Help
Please take advantage of your friends and family by asking for their help with the move. This includes packing up your belongings, driving a moving truck or trailer across the country, storing your stuff in a storage unit, or even helping you paint before you arrive at your new place!
One great way to do this is by creating a moving team on Facebook. Here’s how it works:
First, create a Facebook event for your move and invite all of your friends and family members who will be helping with the move. Next, set up different tasks in the event description that each person can sign up to help with (i.e., pack, move the truck, etc.).
Now use messengers to tell these friends and family members when the tasks need to be done and make sure you offer them some incentive for helping (i.e., if you need help moving in two weeks, send them a message a week out with all of the information they’ll need). That way, everybody knows what their role is in making your move easier and can plan accordingly.
Find a Moving Company Offering Free Mover’s Insurance
Did you know that the FMCSA requires movers to offer free mover’s insurance? It pays for damage to your belongings resulting from an accident, which is great because accidents happen. The only problem is that moving companies typically require you to be present to take advantage of this insurance when they move your items. Also, some of the top-rated cross country moving companies provides mover’s insurance is also willing to cover your belongings during a move from across the country and not just when they deliver them.
Look For Movers Offering Free Storage or Moving Bags
If you need to store your items for an extended period (for example, if you are waiting to move into a new house while it is being built), then look for movers that are willing to provide free storage for a period of time. If you can’t find a mover offering this, many companies selling moving supplies will sell you large plastic bags that you can use to store your items in when they are not being moved.
Buy Moving Supplies in Bulk
Many moving companies offer a discount to their customers if they purchase moving supplies from them. So, if you need boxes or packing materials, start checking out the costs at different moving supply stores before your move so you can save as much money as possible. If you’re looking for ways to save, consider not buying any boxes or packing materials and instead repurposing items you already have. For example, empty moving boxes can also be used to store items in storage or as a bed for when you first get to your new place.
Let the Movers Do Their Job
The movers know exactly what they are doing, so let them do it! If you want to spend less money, try not asking them to do tasks that you could easily do yourself (i.e., moving heavy furniture). But even if they offer to help, resist the urge and say “no” because it will end up costing you more in the long run.
Talk to Other People Who Have Moved Across Country
If you’ve ever moved across the country, then chances are you know somebody else who has done the same thing. Talk to your friends and family to see if they have any suggestions for how to save money on a cross-country move and even ask them about their own experiences moving from one state to another.
Don’t Make Temporary Storage a Long-Term Solution
Although many moving companies offer free storage as an incentive, you should try not to use it for any longer than necessary. Many people find they never move their stuff out of the storage unit and end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in extra fees. If you decide to get a temporary storage unit, at least make sure you have a plan for when the time comes to move your items out!
Ask Yourself if You Could Do It Yourself
This tip is more about saving money than it is about how to save money. If you are looking to save, consider moving yourself and getting rid of that moving company altogether. It’s possible to do it yourself—it just takes a lot of time and effort.
I hope these tips help you save money on your next move, or at least consider the possibility of doing it yourself. Regardless of whether you hire a professional moving company to do the job, making sure that you have all the right tools and supplies will help make things easier. Look for moving companies offering free mover’s insurance and storage units, buy your supplies in bulk, and don’t make temporary storage a long-term solution. And finally, remember to let your movers do their job and not ask them to do things that you could easily do yourself.