Moving cross country is absolute hell. I’ve done it more times than I care to admit, and it really never gets easier. I think I have lived in 5 houses since I have been married, one move was a 90 minute drive and it was quite stressful. Especially when you have to move pets that far. I wish I had used a moving company! However, with a little preparation and elbow grease, the whole thing can be smooth as silk, and I’ve compiled a list of all the bits and bobs you need to think about before embarking on this grand (traumatic) adventure.
- Choose how you’ll do it first. You have a couple of options when it comes to the move. Obviously you could do it yourself (not the best, in my humble opinion), choose a container service, or hire a professional company. The latter is my personal favorite. Cross country moving companies are equipped to deal with all the nitty gritty work that needs to be done to ensure a smooth move, so that you don’t have to. Yes, they cost a little more, but isn’t your sanity worth it? If you truly insist on doing it yourself at least rope in a couple of family members and friends to ease the pain!
- Use a moving cost calculator. A whole website dedicated to helping you find the best pricing? Hallelujah! Yes, you don’t actually have to do too much grunt work to find your best moving company, just a couple of keywords and a few clicks and you’ll have all the options laid at your feet.
- Plan the costs. Once you’ve got it narrowed down to a couple of companies you’re interested in, you’ll start getting online moving quotes. You’ll need to be ready with information to help the company give you an accurate estimate. This will include what type of furniture, items, packing, fragile items, distance, possibly a checklist, and definitely weight. Have all of this ready before you start approaching companies. You may be offered a binding or non-binding estimate. Binding is best, as it means you won’t pay more than what the original estimate is.
- Ask about insurance. Most professional companies offer protection for lost, broken items, though it may be an extra fee. Hopefully you’ll have done your due diligence and the company should be trustworthy and able to care for your precious cargo, but it’s always good to have some reassurance.
- Additional expenses. You may hear about a shuttle fee, which essentially means your goods will be brought out of densely populated areas via a shuttle and then into a larger truck, that might not be able to reach your front door. This service can cost an extra couple hundred dollars, so find out about it beforehand and whether it is really necessary. Another possible fee might be for storage of your goods if your new home is not ready for unloading. The cost will be based on volume, and time.
Above all, do plenty of research before making your decision. You have the internet available to you, so make full use of it. Read plenty of reviews and trust your gut when entrusting all your belongings to strangers.