According to The American Moving and Storage Association, the average interstate (long distance) move costs around $4,300. That number is based on a distance of 1,225 miles, and a shipment that weighs 7,400 pounds. That number is certainly nothing to sneeze at, so it’s no surprise that many people are on the search for ways to make a cross-country move cheaper. If you’re trying to save money on your upcoming adventure, here are our best tips to pinch a few pennies on your cross-country move.
Downsize to make your move cheaper
Whether you’re renting a truck, hiring movers, or shipping your stuff, less stuff = lower cost. If you choose to rent a moving truck for a DIY move, a smaller, lighter truck will cost less. What’s more, you’ll save on gas if you’re not hauling quite so much stuff.
If you hire movers, the cost of the move is usually calculated based on the weight of your shipment. So when you get rid of that old couch or pare down your closets, your moving quote will get lower. The rewards of cleaning out the stuff you don’t use are clear!
If you have belongings that are still in good shape, you can even make a little money by selling them. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other apps for selling stuff offer an easy way to list your items. A garage sale is always an option too, though you might not make as much money on each item. For things that don’t sell or aren’t particularly in demand, donate! There are many charities that will be happy to take your items.
Choose an off-peak moving date
The price of renting a moving truck or hiring movers varies day to day and month to month. The warmer months of the year are prime moving time, meaning companies will increase the prices of their moving assistance. Weekends are also typically more expensive due to demand. The first and last weeks of the month are also prime moving time as leases run out. So if you want to make your cross-country move cheaper, move midweek, mid-month, and during the shoulder season. You’re also likely to find a wider array of available companies or trucks, allowing you to compare prices and choose the best deal.
Get your company to help pay for the move
If you are moving cross-country for your job, ask your HR department about moving packages. Many companies will offer at least a little financial assistance, while some will take care of the whole process for you. Sometimes all you have to do is ask! If you go this route, make sure you meticulously save all of your moving-related receipts so you can be reimbursed for your expenses.
Get creative with packing supplies
If you are packing your own moving truck, get creative with your supplies. Those suitcases and duffel bags work well for things that aren’t fragile. Even trash bags can work in a pinch — just be sure to label them so they aren’t accidentally tossed. Plastic tubs are great for stacking and protecting fragile items, too. Recycled boxes can be a great way to save money and resources, but make sure they are still sturdy and tape them up well to prevent mishaps.
For padding, look around your home for items you already have. Towels and blankets can make excellent protection for fragile items, and even your sock collection could be helpful. Prior to your move, save up bubble mailers, packing paper, and any other packing materials that you receive in the mail. The best way to make your cross-country move cheaper is to cut down on what you need to buy!
Rent a truck and DIY
Driving a full moving truck cross-country might sound intimidating, but if you aren’t moving a ton of stuff it might be the cheapest option. It combines the travel, the transport, and if necessary, even hauling your car! Renting a moving truck just requires that you have the patience and diligence to get from point A to point B safely.
Oh, and you have to load and unload the truck too. For this? Save some cash and ask your friends and family for help. Many hands make for light work, and this has never been more true than with moving. Bake some cookies, prepare some coffee, and use your best “please”!
Compare moving rates across companies
If you’re looking to hire a moving company to do the work, comparing moving quotes is key. When you have a large home full of a lot of stuff, the DIY method may not make sense. Comparing rates across multiple moving companies will help you zero in on the best deal to get all of the moving services you need. At Unpakt, you can save an average of 45% on your move! Get a guaranteed quote for your cross-country move today.