How to Move Across the Country

Moving Across the Country

Are you considering a cross-country move? Maybe you’ve just been offered your dream job on the West Coast or have decided that you’re ready to live in Arizona’s year-round sunshine. Or maybe you’re moving back to New York to be closer to family.

No matter the reason for your long-distance move, trying to manage it by yourself can be absolutely overwhelming. Plus, going it alone can be far more expensive than you’d expect. If you’re like most, you have an ultra-busy life and simply don’t have the extra time to properly plan an interstate move. But if you don’t plan properly, then poof, your relocation can quickly turn to unneeded stress, or worse, disaster.

Long Distance Moving Options

A state-to-state move is definitely an adventure. But thankfully, you have options when it comes to how you want to manage your out-of-state move:

Sell Most of Your Belongings

The fewer things you have to move, the easier it will be on you and your budget. Of course, be sure to take into consideration replacement costs of belongings once you get to your new home.

Rent a Moving Truck

This do-it-yourself choice offers flexibility in your move, but it’s not always the most affordable. Check moving truck companies’ policies and pricing before you decide. Also, consider the additional costs that add up with a DIY move such as fuel, added insurance, tolls, lodging, restaurants, and more.

Rent a Moving Container or Pod

Probably one of the most cost-efficient methods, moving or portable storage containers provide double-duty and allow you to store your belongings during your move. However, this isn’t an option for most dense urban homes like co-ops, apartments, or condos. And some HOAs or municipalities don’t allow containers.

Tow a Trailer

If your vehicle can safely tow a cargo trailer across the country, and you feel comfortable towing a heavy load, this option can be very cost-effective. The largest cargo trailer holds several rooms of furniture so this option is best for small households. Don’t forget to include your on-the-road costs like fuel, lodging, etc.

Hire Full-Service Professional Movers

Without a doubt, this is the option that will save you the most time and stress. Professional long-distance movers like The Movers NYC are experts at packing, lifting, loading, and safely transporting your belongings. Plus, we bring all the necessary moving supplies with us. You won’t have to do a thing on moving day except maybe offer your movers a welcome mid-morning snack and coffee.

Cost of Moving Cross Country

A cross-country move to or from NYC usually costs between $5,000-$10,000. The total cost of your move will depend on several factors, including:

  • The distance of your move
  • The volume of household goods for transport
  • Time of year
  • Required services

Tips for Planning a Cross Country Move

It’s no secret that planning is the ultimate key to a successful cross-country move. If you take the time to plan each step carefully, your move can be an efficient, hassle-free adventure. These key tips will help you plan a successful long-distance move:

1. Plan Your Move

Write down everything that needs to be done from the moment you know you’ll be moving to the day you move into your new home. Even if you’re a mellow go-with-the-flow type, a written plan will provide the grand scope of your move so you won’t have any surprises. There are tons of to-dos with a long-distance move, and overlooking something can distress even the mellowest mover.

2. Stay Organized

You can organize and plan your move on your computer or in a dedicated notebook. If you’re a digital organizer, scan all receipts and moving-related records. If you’re a paper-pen person, keep all these documents in a “moving” folder. Either way, commit to staying organized – these documents will especially come in handy at tax time. Oh! And don’t forget to keep your computer backed up on a regular basis throughout your move.

3. Downsize and Purge

We all have drawers and closets full of things we simply don’t use. The cost of any move – whether DIY or full service – depends on the volume and weight of your stuff. Dramatically cut your moving costs by purging your household. Think in terms of sell, donate, or give away.

  • Sell furniture and more valuable items on Craigslist, eBay, or other online classified websites. Have a garage sale. Consign saleable items.
  • Donate things to your favorite local charity.
  • Gift items to family, friends, or those in need.
  • Flammables, corrosives, and poisons aren’t allowed on moving trucks. Responsibly dispose of and recycle non-allowable items.
  • Note on nostalgic items: No matter how much space they take up or how much dust they collect, many people just can’t let go of nostalgic items. It can feel like a betrayal to give away a family heirloom, photo, or a knick-knack – so consider this option to soothe your guilt: Place all your nostalgic items on a counter or table. Then take photos and make an online photo book. Voila! You have a treasured album of all those things you love and now you can give them away.

4. Take Inventory

Once you’ve downsized, take inventory of your belongings. You can use paper and pen or apps like Encircle, Nest Egg, or My Stuff. As you inventory your valuables, organize them so that they can be packed safely together. Jewelry, critical documents like birth certificates, passports, and medical records should stay with you during your move.

5. Decide on the Level of Moving Service

You can do the packing then choose to have a mover load, transport, and unload. Although a full-service move costs more, it includes all packing materials, packing, loading, transport, unloading, and unpacking. If your budget allows, a full-service move is an awesome stress-saver.

6. Choose a Reputable Moving Company

Unless you’re going full-DIY, a moving service can take the infinite hassle and worry from your relocation. The Movers NYC is a fully licensed, insured, and bonded mover that you can completely trust for an efficient and smooth move to or from New York City. The Movers NYC can advise you on our various long-distance moving services. Get your free estimates now!

7. Notify Providers That You’ll Be Canceling Services

At least one month before your move, notify and give your cancellation date to your:

  • Utility companies and cable and internet providers
  • Water, trash, and recycling services
  • Auto, homeowners, or renters insurance
  • Cleaning service, gardener, and other service providers.

8. Update Your Vehicle Registration and Driver License

Prepare to apply for vehicle registration and driver’s license in your new state. Requirements vary from state to state so be sure to check your new state’s requirements online.

9. Reserve Flights and Lodging

Flying to your new home? Book your flight well in advance. Driving? Plan your route and reduce road trip stress by reserving your lodging so you can count on a good night’s rest.

10. Change Your Address

Fill out a change of address form online at Also, submit address changes for magazines, monthly subscriptions, and automated online delivery services like Amazon, Zappos, or eBay.

11. Get Started with Packing and Labeling

If you’ve decided to do your own packing, create a packing timeline rather than trying to do it all at once. First pack things you use the least like out-of-season Items, linens, and accessories. Set up a packing station so you conveniently have all your materials at hand. Cross country movers may combine your boxes with others who are also moving long distances. That’s why it’s important to clearly write your name in addition to the contents on each box you pack.

12. Pack an Essentials Box

Check with The Movers NYC on your delivery window. If delivery will happen after you arrive at your new home, you’ll need to pack an essentials box that you’ll keep with you. Make sure the box contains everything you’ll need until the truck arrives, such as changes of clothes, toiletries, medications, important documents, children’s and pet’s needs, and such.

13. Start Thinking of Your New Home, Neighborhood, and Community

Ask your realtor for a floor plan for your new home. You don’t want to find out on the move-in day that your entertainment center or dining table won’t fit. Also ask for a list of local service providers so that you can open new utility, internet, and other necessary accounts before you move in.

14. Arrange for Kids and Pets

  • Kids: Line up a babysitter or playdate for moving day. Arrange for transcripts to be transferred. Know that is a terrific resource for finding K-12 public and private schools near your new home. To reduce new-school anxiety, try to schedule a tour of the new school and meet new teachers before classes begin.
  • Pets: Order new ID tags and make sure your pets are wearing their tags during your move. Moves are stressful for pets. Consider using a pet sitter, doggie day-care, or neighbor to care for your pets on moving day. The last thing you’ll want is for Fifi to escape from your home on the day of your move. Make sure you have all the necessary pet medication, food, and water to keep your pet happy throughout the relocation.

15. Check-in Two Weeks Before Your Move

Now’s the time to double-check your moving list. Recruit help if you feel you can’t manage everything by yourself. Moving should be a team effort – give family members specific chores to complete.

  • Clean out your locker at the gym, your safe deposit box at the bank, and pick up items from the dry-cleaner.
  • Transfer any prescriptions to your new pharmacy.
  • If you live in an apartment, condo, or co-op, notify your manager of your move-out date, reserve the freight elevator, and arrange parking for the moving truck.
  • Understand your new neighborhood’s parking regulations. Make arrangements for moving truck parking. If you’re moving to NYC, The Movers NYC can handle this step for you.

16. Review Before the Movers Leave Your New Home

After delivery, check that nothing is damaged and review your inventory list to make sure everything is accounted for. For full-service moves, The Movers NYC handles inventory for you, or if you’ve done your own packing, we will number and record your boxes. All professional moving companies require you to ensure that everything was delivered safely and is accounted for.

Congratulations! No matter how you got yourself and your belongings to your new home, you need to sit down, look around,  and congratulate yourself that you did it!