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Advice for Relocating Cross-Country

Posted: July 11, 2016

Make Your Move

Moving cross-country can be one of the biggest undertakings of your life. There are a million variables to consider — some of which you have very little control over. But with a meticulously crafted plan and careful execution, you can cut this mammoth project down to size. We’ve got a few helpful tips that’ll get you from New York to LA and everywhere in between — safely and easily.

Securely pack your belongings

You know how you usually just camp out at your local 24-hour supermarket for the boxes that are left over after they stock the shelves? Yeah, those boxes aren’t going to cut it for a cross-country move. Because your items will likely be tossed around over the long stretch to your new city, you’ll need to invest in high-quality moving boxes, and pack everything so that it’s well cushioned.


Don’t get sloppy with security — check out your moving company

If you decide to invest in movers, make sure that you thoroughly vet the company and make sure that they’re an honest, trustworthy organization. The best way to find a mover is through recommendations from friends, family or co-workers. If someone in your circle had a good experience with a company, chances are good that you’ll have similar luck. But if you can’t get a firsthand recommendation, you’ll have to do a quick background check yourself:

  • Check out company ratings with the Better Business Bureau
  • See if a moving company is a member of the American Moving and Storage Association
  • Visit movingscam.com and ripoffreport.com. These sites have a comprehensive listing of moving companies who’ve damaged or stolen property, or otherwise victimized customers

Avoid packing food or liquids

It goes without saying that you should probably leave perishable foods behind, but what about those non-perishables? Things like cooking oil and bottled juices may seem safe to pack and take with you to the new place, but the intense jostling of items in the back of a moving truck often causes them to burst and leak onto your stuff. And you definitely don’t want to kick off your life in a new city with damp, sticky belongings.


Cut corners where you can

Moving cross-country certainly isn’t cheap, so here are a few ways you can save a few bucks:

  • Toss out stuff — If you’re using professional movers, the lighter your load, the less it’ll end up costing.
  • Decide whether or not you should take your car — Shipping a car cross-country will run you about $1,000. If your car is an older vehicle that you don’t plan to keep much longer, consider selling it before you move.
  • Drive yourself — If you’re a family of two or less, consider renting a truck and moving yourself to your new home. You’ll save a considerable amount if you forego hiring professional movers.

Keep your valuables secure

Items like your passport and expensive jewelry should always be kept close by during your move. Ideally, it’d be best to invest in a small safe and if possible, keep it with you at all times. If you’re hiring movers, make sure the safe you select is made from very thick steel — at least 11-gauge strength.

With a little preparation, your cross-country move can be a surprisingly pleasant adventure for the entire family.