The Cheapest Way to Move Out of State From Coast to Coast
According to the latest census data, in 2021, over 8% of Americans lived in a different state than they did a year prior. And while this number is slowing down, moving at some point is inevitable.
You may need to move for many reasons, such as a new job, you want to be closer to family, or you're moving somewhere more affordable. Whatever the reason, moving is expensive, especially a trek from coast to coast. It can be a pain if you don't plan it right.
So what's the cheapest way to move out of state and to another coast? Start with these tried-and-true suggestions to make the journey as affordable and efficient as possible.
How to Find a Reputable Moving Company
You might save more by going the DIY route, but it's a lot on your shoulders, and not everyone has the time or the support to pull it off. You need to think about truck rentals, packing, loading, lifting, driving, and more. You could go the DIY route and ask friends and family members to help, but there's always a chance that furniture could get damaged and valuables could break.
It's a lot of hassle compared to going with a full-service moving company that handles everything for you. A coast-to-coast move is difficult enough; why add extra stress when you can find affordable moving companies instead?
So you want cheap state-to-state movers. Now you need to find a company you can trust.
There are a million moving companies out there, but not all of them will treat your possessions with the care they deserve. Here's what you need to consider to find a good deal while still paying for quality service.
You might be able to find licensure information on the website, but if you can't, you can always ask. The company should be more than happy to provide you with the details. If they don't give you the information, it could be a scam!
We're fully licensed and insured for optimal peace of mind. Our highly trained movers are also careful with all your possessions. We know that certain items, such as pianos and antiques, require an extra careful touch.
You can rely on us to handle all of your belongings with the utmost care, from packing and loading to transportation and beyond.
While it's always good to save a buck while moving, you want to ensure you're protecting yourself and avoiding moving fraud.
There are certain red-flag indicators you should always avoid, such as:
- No local address
- No information about insurance or FMCSA registration
- There is no business email
- A lack of an online presence
- Few online reviews
- Demanding a deposit before you sign
- No written estimate
- An offer that's too good to be true
- The company demands a large cash amount before the move
- The company can't answer your questions or avoids answering
Getting wrapped up with unprofessional movers or scammers will cost you more in the end. Sometimes, you won't be able to get your money back.
A good sign you're dealing with a professional and trustworthy company is if they have a good BBB rating. The Better Business Bureau rates a business based on complaints, how they interact with customers, and how they handle issues and concerns.
Good Reviews and Testimonials
If a company has been in business for some time, it should have some good online reviews and testimonials.
Before reaching out, read some of the reviews to learn more about what the company does well, how comparable their rates are, what to expect during the process, and how their customer service measures up.
As you begin your search for the cheapest way to move out of state, reading customer reviews is one of the most valuable tips we can give you. Often, you'll find mentions about how affordable the service was to book or what a great deal the move was when you consider all the factors involved.
Get Moving Quotes
Whether it's an intrastate or interstate move, you should always get some quotes before you commit. Getting quotes and estimates can tell you more about what you should be paying based on the complexity of the move and the other factors involved.
If it's your first move from state to state, you might not have any idea how much it should cost. For instance, maybe you need movers to go from California to Texas. That's a lot of miles, but how much should you set aside—$5,000, maybe $10,000?
Before you can get the best deal, you need a ballpark range in mind.
For reference, the average cost of a long-distance or interstate move is somewhere around $5,000. However, the exact cost depends on many factors, such as the exact mileage, how many rooms worth of boxes you have, the weight of your belongings, and more.
That's why the best way to get an accurate estimate is to ask the moving company and provide all the details.
Create a Moving Checklist
Moving costs more than many people think, especially when you add in all the unexpected or unplanned expenses. You need to set a budget that will keep your expenses in check and prevent you from overspending.
One of the best ways to save money is to create a moving checklist several months or so prior to the move.
Add up all your expenses, including packing supplies, food, transportation costs, and whether you need a storage unit. List these costs to get a ballpark estimate and try to stay within that range.
If you plan on packing your items yourself to save money, you'll need:
- Boxes in various sizes
- Packing tape
- A marker
- Packing paper
This is the bare minimum of what you'll need. But if you want the move to go as smoothly as possible, these are some optional purchases you should get:
- Bubble wrap
- Moving blankets
- Fragile stickers
- Packing tape dispenser
- Mattress bags/covers
- Mover's plastic wrap
- Specialty boxes (wardrobe, TV, dishes, etc.)
- Scissors or a box cutter (for unpacking)
Many people underestimate how many boxes they'll need, making multiple runs to the store to get more supplies. After some time, this becomes a hassle, especially if you're working on a tight timeframe.
Imagine you can only pack after work, and it's 8 PM when you realize you're out of packing paper or boxes. It's a frustrating experience, which is why people often go the route of hiring movers to pack their belongings.
Declutter to Reduce Weight
At this point, you can begin to declutter and get rid of items you don't want to take to your new home. After all, the more you have to move, the more you have to pay. Movers will quote you based on weight and the space that your belongings take up in the truck.
One of the best ways to reduce that weight is to cut down on what you own. Go through your belongings and get rid of duplicates, old or broken items, and stuff you plan on repurchasing when you settle into your new home.
Here are some suggestions for decluttering:
- Old tools in the garage
- Yard equipment
- Small appliances
- Old and broken-down furniture
- Pots, pans, and bakeware
- Old clothing
- Extra linens
- Unused electronics
- Camping and sports equipment
- Unneeded pet supplies
- Extra craft supplies
- Books you've read
- Junk drawers
Give yourself more time than you think you need to go through your home and declutter. Cleaning out the kitchen and the garage can easily take an entire day.
Donate what you can and toss what you can't donate. You'll save money on transportation this way.
As a bonus, you'll have less to pack, which means you'll need fewer boxes too.
Decluttering also helps you to create more room, which helps you prepare your home for moving day.
Save Where You Can
If you're packing your own belongings, buying all the necessary packing supplies can really add up. Before you know it, you've spent hundreds of dollars.
If you're moving state-to-state, you want to save in any way you can to keep costs low.
Ask for Free Boxes
One idea is to get boxes from friends or family members that have them on hand. You'd be surprised how many boxes you can get by just asking around.
Search for free boxes to find local options. You can often find people in the neighborhood offering up free boxes as long as you come to pick them up.
You can also ask around some stores near you, such as Starbucks, bookstores, liquor stores, Walgreens, and more. If you're lucky, they may still have a bunch lying around from their last shipment. This is a good way to find nice, sturdy boxes too.
You can also post a request for free boxes on social media. Craigslist and Facebook are great for this. Often, friends and family will ask around for you.
If you're really lucky, you may not need to buy boxes at all! However, make sure the boxes you use are in good shape. You don't want them collapsing during the move.
Pack the Right Way
If you want to avoid any of your items breaking, you need to make sure you pack the right way. This saves you from paying for any replacements if something does break.
Never overload your boxes. You might think you're saving money by reducing boxes, but you're just creating more problems. Overloaded boxes are heavier to carry, they risk the bottom falling out, and items on the bottom can get squished.
Many moving boxes have a weight limit printed on the box. Check to see if you're exceeding that limit.
Save bigger boxes for bulky but lightweight items, such as pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, etc.
It's better to use more small to medium-sized boxes rather than a ton of big ones when you can. For instance, books are extremely heavy, and you need a small, sturdy box for them.
That said, boxes should always be full as they're stacked in the truck. You don't want a half-packed box to collapse since it wasn't packed correctly.
Learning to pack the right way takes skill, which is why it's often best to leave it to the professionals. A moving company knows how to pack your items with care, how much weight a box can have, the right size box to use, and so on.
Choose a Cheaper Moving Date
If your move is somewhat flexible, you can save money by changing the moving date. The time of year you choose to move can have a huge impact on the final cost.
Avoid peak moving times, including weekends and the summer months. Peak times include the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Booking a mid-day and mid-month move can save you more than you might think. Try to move between October and April if you can.
Ask About Relocation Policies
If you're moving due to a new job, you might be able to save by having your employer pay for the move. Ask about their relocation policies. Many companies will pay for either part or all of the move.
If this is the case, make sure you keep all documentation, including receipts for moving supplies, equipment, etc.
Obviously, this is the best way to save on your move. Not every company will offer this option, but it never hurts to ask!
The Cheapest Way to Move Out of State
Be sure to try all of these methods if you're searching for the cheapest way to move out of state and across the country. Moving doesn't have to be a pain, as long as you take the right steps.
If you're planning a move soon, whether that's to another state or another neighborhood, you can rely on us! We provide a variety of moving services at competitive and affordable rates.
Hiring professional movers can cost you less than doing it yourself; just contact us to get a free moving quote to find out how much you can save!