How much does it cost to move across country?

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Moving Cross-Country is a big endeavor; it requires loads of planning, budgeting, patience and organization. However, embarking on such a move can be one of the most rewarding and eye opening experiences in your life. 

Cross-Country moves can be expensive and taxing, but the good news is that there are loads of ways to save money on a cross country move. While it may be beneficial to hire professional long distance movers, you can also rent a van (like a U-Haul) or a moving container and attempt the move yourself. We at Oz Moving are here to help you out when planning this big move. 

How much does it cost to move across the country?

If you are hiring professional movers or professional van lines, moving cross country typically costs around $5000 or more. However, if you are on a budget, you can rent a van or PODS (portable container) and drive across the country yourself. If you account for gas costs and motels along the way, this type of moving job may cost you around $1200-$2500. A PODS container starts at around $800 and goes up depending on distance and mileage. You can strap one of these containers onto the back of your car and return them at your final destination.

Another option is to rent a U-Haul Moving Truck. Rates for a cross-country move with a U-haul moving truck rental hover around ~$2000-$3000. This price depends on the volume of the move which is typically accounted for by the size of your apartment/home. A studio/1 bedroom apartment will understandably be cheaper than a 2-3 bedroom house. 

Types of Moving Costs

There are many types of moving costs. The most important being packing, storage, labor, and transportation. There are several ways to save money on moving expenses by deciding what is necessary for your move. 

Packing can be the first major hurdle in a cross-country move. Disassembling furniture and safely packing away valuables can be a huge time suck, which is why some may opt for professional packing and unpacking services. Professional movers can come to your house and pack up all of your stuff in a safe way so that they can arrive on the other side of the country in one piece. Packing services can cost an average of $60 per hour, per person. Often, they may require you to supply the packing materials yourself. 

Cost of Do It Yourself

A DIY move may be the better option if you are on a budget, especially when it comes to packing. You can usually request boxes from a local moving company or pick up your own at a nearby grocery store. There are also ways to get free boxes like recycling old Amazon packages or asking your neighbors or local businesses for extra.

To ensure that your belongings are safely packed be sure to use packing peanuts or bubble wrap. For a more efficient packing strategy you can use old clothes or towels or bedding sheets to wrap fragile items. 

For some extra hands on deck, you can head to craigslist or a neighborhood classified site to pay local movers in your area by the hour. 

Cost of Moving with Container Services

Container Services like PODS and U-Pack can be a more cost effective moving strategy, depending on how far you are moving and the volume of your household goods. A portable storage container company can provide you with a free quote to understand how much your container rental will cost. The average cost of a moving container rental is $3000. Container service companies will usually drop off and pick up the container right to your doorstep for added convenience. 

Be sure that you order the right size storage container so all of your stuff will fit comfortably. There are a number of container sizes to be sure to talk with the rental company beforehand. 

Container service rental companies can also offer storage unit solutions for those who are moving in a hurry and may not have enough time to organize their extra belongings. For instance, if you are moving to LA, you may be able to leave some winter necessities behind and then pick them up later once you’ve gotten settled into your new home. This is a great option to help alleviate unnecessary stress surrounding moving. 

Cross-Country Moving Timeline

If you’ve only ever done local moves before, you may want to familiarize yourself with a cross-country moving timeline. 

  • Cross-Country moving can take up to two weeks, especially when you hire movers. It’s common for you to arrive at your new home way before your stuff does so keep that in mind and bring some necessities with you on the flight there. Be sure to ask movers for their long distance moving schedules to see if they can fit you in, if they already operate a set schedule of fleets. 
  • To plan a cross-country or long-distance move, you should begin arranging your move at least two to three months in advance. However, it’s never too early to start packing and putting away the belongings that you do not use on the daily. 
  • It is important to make a checklist and label your belongings accordingly, to minimize confusion when you arrive at the new location. There’s nothing worse or upsetting than losing precious items, so be sure to stay organized. 
  • Moving is a great opportunity to do some much needed decluttering. Be sure to donate old belongings and sell your unwanted furniture several weeks before you move. You will most likely be living in a state of disarray before you move, so getting rid of some extra stuff will be a huge relief. 
  • Another thing to consider is if you will need a storage unit to put away some additional belongings. If so, be sure to schedule that several weeks before your move, as to clear out your house and avoid extra clutter. 
How Much Does It Cost to Hire Movers?

At $5000+, full-service movers are the most expensive option, but may be the best one depending on your needs. Cross-country movers offer a variety of services; they do the heavy lifting, the pick-up and drop-off all in one. They load the truck safely and arrive at your doorstep to unload your belongings. Getting situated in a new city or town can be overwhelming, which is why the extra price tag may be worth it for some.  To get the best rate, you may want to call a few long distance movers in your area and request a quote.

Comparing cross country moving rates

Interestingly enough, the cheapest way to conduct a cross country move may actually be the quickest. When hiring a long distance moving company, you may have to operate on their schedule which means having to wait up to two weeks to get your belongings. However, if you go the container route, you can expedite the process by moving at your own pace. You can even get the move done in 5 days. This can be a huge factor to consider, especially when DIY moving can be around 33% cheaper. 

Across-Country Moving Tips: Conclusion

The actual cost of your move can vary depending on if you go the U-haul route, the PODS route or the full-service moving company route. The minimum moving price will be around $1200 and can go all the way to $10,000, so be sure to budget well.  

 

 

 

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