Relocating across the country is always thrilling; however, it often comes with a heavy price. It’s understandable if you’re looking for a cheaper way to move across the country. Considering the average cost of hiring out-of-state movers (moving 7,500 pounds of item weight to 1000 miles away destination) is $4,890, it’s logical to opt for a cheaper option.
Luckily, there are budget-friendly options you can opt for and still achieve a smooth transition. Utilize money-saving opportunities, like renting a moving truck or container and shipping your belongings, or consider DIY moves or discounted moves.
Choosing the cheapest option for moving cross country may not be the optimal choice, but if it works, why not? Let’s explore different ways to save your hard-earned money when moving across the country.
1. Declutter, Sell Or Donate Unnecessary Items
Decluttering and downsizing are among the most efficient ways to attain a budget-friendly cross-country move. Take a systematic approach to identify items that you genuinely need for use in your new house. Evaluate items that have lost utility over time and are no longer valuable and discard them.
Bolster your budget by turning other belongings into valuable resources. You can sell them in specialty stores or online platforms like eBay, Amazon, and Facebook, among other places.
In addition, attain greater satisfaction by donating some of your belongings to neighbors, friends, and strangers. You can choose to donate heavy and oversized items, as it might cost a lot more to move them than to repurchase them.
By following these tips, you will cut down on your belongings’ weight, reducing transit costs and the need for packing materials.
2. Opt For a DIY Move
A DIY cross-country move is one of the cheap ways to move across the country. Indeed, all you have to do is load your belongings in your car or truck and get going. However, this option demands more time and effort in executing every moving task.
A DIY move is not always as cheap as it seems. It comes with enormous expenses. Some costs incurred are:
- Gas expenses
- Need for packing supplies
- Renting a truck
- Need For Moving Assistance
- Insurance coverage
It’s best to be well-prepared and proactive. Keep a positive and organized DIY mindset throughout the move for better results.
3. Use Container Services
Employing container services is an excellent and flexible way to move across the country. These containers are a better alternative compared to full-service mover service.
Containers offer more than just moving. You no longer need to worry about delays as these containers can serve as storage before and after moving. Such flexibility gives you room to pack at your own pace and alleviates the stress of tight schedules.
Renting a container is substantially cheaper than hiring a long-distance mover. The monthly rent cost typically ranges around $3,000, which is an attractive option compared to hiring a mover, which costs somewhere between $4,000 to $9,000 for a move.
You can easily find a container size that fits your needs from popular moving container companies like PODS and Go Mini’s, for example. Moving containers is a game changer for budget-conscious individuals relocating across long distances.
4. Rent a Moving Truck
Save thousands of dollars by renting a moving truck from a reputable company. It’s one of the most common and cost-effective ways to move across the country.
Renting a truck facilitates a DIY move option. However, you’ll have to choose a truck with good gas mileage to get the most out of it and incur less gas costs. A typical truck for renting uses around 10mpg. If you’re moving for a 3,000-mile journey, the truck will consume about 300 gallons of gas.
Calculate the gas costs you are likely to spend depending on your truck mileage to get to your destination.
Rental fees can vary depending on the truck’s size and rental duration. Several reputable companies offer truck rental services.
5. Use a Freight Trailer
Are you stressed and confused after discovering that no interstate moving company matches your budget? Worry not. Haul your belongings across the country with a freight trailer instead. It’s the best ways to move cross country on a low budget.
Once you contact a moving trailer company, the company will deliver a 28-foot freight trailer to your doorstep They give you ample time (usually 3 days) to load your stuff.
The company picks it up on the scheduled moving day and transits your belongings to your new place, where you’re given plenty of time to unpack your belongings.
It’s a flexible and cost-effective option as you have control over your items.
Among the most popular are:
- Estes SureMove
- Old Dominion Household Services
Using a freight trailer is often cheaper than hiring a full-service mover. According to HireHelper, the average rate of leasing freight from Old Household Services for a long-distance move is $2,918.
6. Ship Your Belongings
Although an underestimated option, shipping your belongings is a practical solution for individuals with smaller items or looking to move specific items like vehicles. Depending on your needs, you can choose from specialized shipping companies or trusted carriers like USPS, FedEx, and UPS.
They provide you with options like ground, air, and expedited shipping for you to choose from. It’s a practical and convenient way to move or send packages to your new address.
7. Find Free Moving Boxes and Supplies
If you opt for hiring a mover and still want to minimize the cost of moving you incur, you can handle some tasks by yourself. One common Do-It-Yourself task is packing. To cut down the packing expenses further, find some free boxes and materials and utilize them.
However, the challenge comes now to finding those free supplies. Here are various sources:
- Online marketplaces (like Craigslist)
- Local liquor stores
- U-Haul Box Exchange
- Ask your friends and family
- Join Freecycle groups
- Reach out to local grocery stores
- Visit local offices
Need to save some money? Then, put in the effort of looking for free packaging material.
8. Reach Your Employer to Pay for Your Move
Explore the possibility of having your employer pay for your moving expenses. It’s a cost-effective strategy that depends on where you work and the company policies.
Inquire the Human Resource Department about any company’s relocation policies and patiently await their feedback. You can also ask for help directly or ask someone with an excellent reputation to put the word and get your employer to help.
Numerous companies provide relocation assistance and even partner with a preferred cross-country mover. If your company grants you the opportunity, save all the documents and receipts (moving supplies, transportation, lodging, and any other additional costs). By keeping receipts, you can receive full reimbursement quickly and relocate with ease.
9. Hire Moving Labor
Moving comes with different and tiresome activities. Handling these activities can make you feel exhausted or caught up in some activities and overlook others. To achieve a successful move, each moving procedure must be executed adequately without underestimating any.
If it calls for additional labor, consider it when handling a DIY move or minimizing moving costs when dealing with a professional mover. You can source labor from HireAHelper or College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving.
With hired moving labor, loading and unloading, packing, disassembling, and even assembling becomes easier. Hired moving labor also offers supplementary services like junk removal, which can help streamline the relocation process.
For overall efficiency, you can supervise to have more control over your possessions.
10. Seek Help From Friends and Family
Are there friends and family around you? Then, cut labor costs and ease physical and emotional burdens by seeking assistance during a move. Turn your move from a lonely affair to a come-together party where you drink champagne with your old high school friends while packing and loading.
Their help is invaluable; they bring even more labor and finish things on time while you all get to socialize. Express your gratitude through gestures like gifts, putting their favorite songs, and offering them meals and refreshments.
11. Search for Discounts
Substantially decrease the moving costs by seeking discounts and promotional deals. Invest your time researching movers offering discounts, maybe during off-seasons (fall and winter) or first-time use of their services.
Don’t stop there. Look for discounts or referral benefits from moving container providers, truck rental companies, or retailers specializing in moving supplies. Visit their websites and scroll through their social media pages.
In addition, subscribe to their newsletter to stay updated and seize any discounts that pop up. Follow up on loyalty programs if you have been a member for an extended period.
For current or former military members, we have some good news to share. Find and inquire about military discounts on sites like:
- Budget Truck Rental
- North American Van Lines
Don’t Break The Bank For a Cross-Country Move
These 11 cost-effective strategies can help you relocate while on a tight budget. Choose the ones that align with your needs and implement them in your moving plan. Plan ahead, be resourceful, and uncover all available ways to help you save a dollar. What are you waiting for? Prepare and embrace your new life chapter with fewer expenses.