If you are planning a long distance move or a cross country move, there are more factors involved than when you move across town or to a city or even a state nearby. Here are some of the things you should know about moving cross-country without going broke or insane:
Don’t Always Go with the Lowest Price
It can be tempting to choose the moving company or moving broker that offers the lowest price, but that doesn’t mean you will get the best value nor the best experience. In some cases, companies underestimate your final price by not asking all of the proper questions and by not being thorough as to the items and potential packing services for your fragile items. You should do a lot of research on any moving company you are considering, and make sure they actually come visit your home before giving you an estimate. Don’t trust phone estimates, either.
Think About What’s Worth Moving
Do you think everything in your current home is worth taking to your new home? A lot of your stuff probably isn’t. Think about this — is it really worth the cost of moving your old 15-year-old sofa when you could buy a new one for close to the same price when you move? TVs can also be expensive to move, and name brand smart TVs can be found for only a couple of hundred dollars, so it might be worth it to sell the old TV and buy a new one when you move to a new home.
Speaking of Selling…
If you do decide to sell things, Craigslist, Offreup, Market Place are great options. One of the best things to do is put everything you want to sell up on the site, and then choose a day to be your “Craigslist Day.” This is the day you set aside a couple of hours and have anyone who wants to buy your stuff come pick it up. This way, you can get rid of everything at once without having to wait around for people each day. If the weather permits, you can always arrange a garage or yard sale over the weekend.
What About a Party?
If you have stuff you don’t think is worth selling, but you want to get rid of it anyway, consider a “Take My Stuff” party. This is where you invite your friends and family over to sift through stuff that you can’t sell or can’t donate, like open spices from the kitchen or that half used bottle of windshield wiper fluid.
Donate the Rest
If you have some things that are in decent shape, but you still don’t want to take them on your cross country move, consider donation. Many organizations such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Move For Hunger, Red Cross are happy to take your stuff, and you might even get a good tax break if you donate enough or if you donate objects that have some value. Some organizations will even come to your home and pick up the items you wish to donate.
Make a Move
Now that you have just the things you really want to move, you can take a big sigh of relief. Get an estimate from a local moving company that completes a physical or video walkthrough for those things, and you will know that you are only moving the things you absolutely need, and anything you don’t, you can buy once you move. An experienced moving coordinator will be able to break down your estimate into specific details and let you know if certain items are worth taking or not. For example, if you are moving from Los Angeles to Miami and have a ten year old double dresser, it may cost you to transport it anywhere between $250 to $400. At that point, if it’s not worth as much as the transportation cost, you’re better off selling it, giving it away, or donating it and buying a new dresser.
When you look at the big picture, you are really going to save money, time, and most of all, your sanity, when you go through these steps.