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Posted in Moving Preparation, Moving Tips&Tricks on January 19, 2023
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Cheapest Way to Move Cross-Country

Are you planning to relocate and want to find the cheapest way to move cross-country? From packing to transporting precious belongings, cross-country moves can be overwhelming but also costly without proper preparation. However, with a few simple strategies, you can make your relocation smoother and more affordable – so we’ll cover all must-know tips for keeping expenses on the lower side during long-distance relocation.

If You Don’t Have a Lot of Stuff, Ship Them via Train or Bus

Both of these methods are efficient, cost-effective ways to relocate your possessions across the country. Another great thing about shipping by bus or train is that it’s usually fast, which can be extremely helpful if you have a last-minute relocation and are in a hurry to get settled into your new place. However, keep in mind that both of these means of transportation have weight and dimension limitations you need to consider – so they are suitable only if you need to relocate a few boxes worth of stuff.

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Rent a Relocation Truck

Relocation truck rentals are a popular choice for those looking to save money on relocation costs. The cost of renting a truck depends on the size of the truck and how far you’re going. However, keep in mind that packing, loading, and unloading a relocation truck can be time-consuming and physically demanding work, so make sure you ask your friends and family for help.

People loading a truck before cross-country moving
Renting a relocation truck is one of the options if you wish to prepare a DIY move

Cons of Performing a DIY Relocation

Renting a relocation truck and relocating on your own can seem like a great option at first. After all, it’s cheaper than hiring white glove movers (unless you hire Long Distance Movers), and you get to do things your own way. But before you decide to tackle your relocation on your own, consider the following potential pitfalls of DIY moving.

Time Commitment

Relocating to a new home can be an incredibly time-consuming process. Packing up all your belongings, loading them into a truck, driving to the new location, unloading everything, and unpacking after the move is no small feat. If you’re short on time or don’t want to dedicate multiple days or weeks to the relocation itself, then a DIY move may not be right for you.

Physical Labor

As mentioned above, organizing a relocation requires physical labor. Not only is it a physically demanding job, but also unsafe for those who are not prepared for the weight and effort involved. On top of that, most rental trucks don’t have ramps or other tools available to make lifting heavier objects easier, which means you’re responsible for finding ways to safely lift and transport large items and avoid injuries while doing so.


Although it may initially seem like a cost-effective solution compared to hiring professional long-distance movers, there are hidden costs associated with DIY moving that add up quickly. For example, you need to count on the cost of fuel, accommodations, food, packing materials, and so on. On the other hand, if something goes wrong during the relocation and some of your relocation inventory gets damaged, you will be the one responsible for covering those costs, as well as any repairs needed afterward.

Get More Than One Relocation Quote

One way to make the transition easier on yourself and your wallet is to get quotes from several relocation companies. However, if you decide to get white glove moving services, you need to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.

Researching different relocation companies before making a decision is key. Make sure you look into their customer reviews, as well as any awards or certifications they may have received. You should also check what kind of services they offer, such as storage options and packing services. Knowing what each company offers will help narrow down your choices and make an informed decision about who you want to work with.

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential companies, it’s time to start comparing prices. Every white glove moving company has its own unique pricing structure, so make sure you understand exactly what is included in each quote before making a final decision. For example, some companies may include additional fees for packing materials or storage services – fees that could add up quickly if you’re not aware of them beforehand. Before signing on with any company, it’s important to ask questions about their services, policies, and procedures in order to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the day of the relocation.

Ask About Possible Discounts

Be sure to ask about any discounts that might apply so that you can get the best possible deal – some movers, such as Long Distance Movers, are able to provide you with a one-month free storage service or offer discounted auto transport if you opt to combine it with their relocation services. Keep in mind that some companies may not advertise their discounts openly, so be sure to ask directly when speaking with them about their white glove moving service.

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When Looking for the Cheapest Way to Move Cross-Country, Pick the Right Relocation Date

When you’re planning a move to another city, it pays to think about when it is going to happen. People often underestimate just how much the time of the year affects relocation costs. If you’re thinking about relocating in the summer, for example, note that it isn’t the best choice for saving money.

Summer is typically the peak season for movers, meaning that prices of long-distance moving services are usually higher than other times of the year due to high demand. It also means that companies have less availability due to their busy schedules and may have difficulty fitting you in, which could lead to extra charges or long waits. Therefore, if your reasons for moving allow it, instead of organizing a relocation during the summertime, plan to move in the winter since it’s the cheapest time of the year to move.

A man in winter gear during cross-country moving
While it might be cheaper, winter relocation doesn't come without certain challenges

Purge Through Your Home and Get Rid of Items You No Longer Need

Decluttering and downsizing for a move means you’ll have fewer things to pack, transport, and unpack – which translates into more money in your pocket. Once you’ve gone through all of your belongings, you should make a decision on what to keep and what to leave behind. Keep in mind that the fewer items you have, the lower the costs of the relocation will be. Therefore, be ruthless and keep only those items you frequently use, of those that have significant value, monetary or sentimental.

Organize a Garage Sale or Sell Items Online – and Get Some Extra Cash

Garage sales are a great way to get rid of things that no longer serve you and make some extra cash in the process. A few tips for having a successful garage sale include:

  • Advertise your sale on different platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. That way, people who like to attend garage sales will know when it is happening,
  • Make sure your prices are reasonable, so people buy more than one item from your sale,
  • Set up your space in an organized way with clear signage so people know what they’re looking at and where they should pay for their items,
  • Be prepared to negotiate – it’s part of the fun!

Another option for getting rid of unused items is to sell them online. Platforms like Poshmark, eBay, Depop, Etsy, and Mercari are just some you can use – there are plenty out there! Selling online allows you to reach potential buyers from all over the world and makes it easier for them to purchase something from you since they don’t have to leave their homes. If you wish to know how to sell items you no longer need online, take a look at the video below:

YouTube video

Look for Affordable or Free Relocation Supplies

There are plenty of ways to find affordable or free packing supplies so you can get your move done quickly and efficiently – and without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for boxes, one of the best places to start is local businesses. Many businesses receive shipments of goods that come in cardboard boxes, and they would be more than happy to give away these boxes for free. All you need to do is call around and ask if anyone has any boxes they could spare or just stop by a few stores during business hours. You may be surprised at how many people are willing to help out.

If you want something specific but don’t want to spend money on it, try checking Freecycle or Craigslist for items that people are giving away or selling at a low price. You can often find great deals online if you take the time to search through listings. Just make sure that whatever it is that you’re looking for is still available and in good condition before making any commitments.

Make Use of Your Household Goods

With some creativity and preparation, you can save money and time by using items around your home as packing materials. For example, clothes are the perfect padding material, even if you need to pack dishes and other breakables. All you have to do is stuff them into boxes with fragile items between layers to create cushioning that will keep your dishes safe during transit. The same goes for other soft items such as bedding and towels.

Before heading out to buy cardboard boxes and plastic bags, take a look around your home for things that could potentially be reused as storage. For example, laundry baskets are great for holding bulkier items that won’t fit into regular-sized cardboard boxes. And if you have reusable grocery bags lying around, those are great too! Just make sure that any used bag is clean and free from holes before packing anything inside it.

Newspapers are another item that can easily be repurposed when packing up a house. However, make sure you don’t use it for items of value since the ink from the paper can sometimes leave marks.

A person packing clothes in boxes during long-distance moving
By using clothes to pack your belongings, you can make packing even less time-consuming

With a Little Effort, You’ll Be Able to Find a More Affordable Way to Relocate

It may take a little extra work to find an affordable way to move, but it is well worth the effort. By following the relocation tips we provided you with, you should be able to find a solution that fits both your budget and your needs. You don’t need to break the bank to finish your relocation, but keep in mind that it does take some planning. By being thoughtful about your budget and what services you need, you can ensure that your relocation is as stress-free – and affordable – as possible. If you need some professional assistance with your move, feel free to contact us – we’ll be more than happy to help you have a wonderful transition.

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