How to Prepare for Moving Across the USA
Moving across the USA country is a huge undertaking, and the costs can add up quickly. Many factors affect moving expenses, from the season to what service options you choose.
Traditional movers will typically provide you with an estimate before the move, but these can vary from the actual cost. Portable containers and rental truck pricing are based on weight, which can increase or decrease your bill.
The first step in preparing for a long-distance move is to downsize and declutter your home. This is a great way to save money, as well as time and energy during the moving process. Homeowners and renters can do this by holding garage or yard sales or donating items to charity.
Once your home is decluttered and you have the right supplies, you can start packing. Remember that durable and heavy items should go on the bottom of your boxes while light and fragile items should be placed on top. It is also a good idea to label each box by room or category. This will help your movers understand what needs to be handled with extra care and attention.
If you are going to move yourself, don’t forget about notifying the post office of your new address and forwarding your mail. It is important to do this at least a month before your move date. You will also want to pack a travel bag with items you’ll need on your moving day and during your first few days in your new home. This should include a change of clothes, toiletries, medications, your laptop or tablet, chargers and important documents.
If you decide to hire a full-service moving company, they will handle the rest of your packing and transportation process. Keep in mind that movers will charge by the weight of your belongings and the size of your moving container or rental truck. Depending on the size of your household, this may result in higher costs than you initially expected. You will also be required to pay a deposit upfront, and this will usually come off your final cost. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has caused labor shortages within some major moving companies, which can also cause prices to increase. Nonetheless, these increases are not likely to be significant. Most people will still be able to find affordable movers and shipping options.
When you’re ready to load up the truck, start with heaviest items and large furniture, like sofas, beds, dressers, and appliances. These serve as strong base items to distribute the weight evenly and prevent damage to lighter or more fragile belongings. Wrap these pieces with furniture pads and moving blankets for extra protection.
Next, start loading boxes on top of your base items. Be sure to stack them correctly, with heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on top. Fill in any gaps between boxes with blankets and clothing, distributing the weight evenly to protect your belongings from shifting during transit.
Once all your boxes are loaded, it’s time to load up the rest of your belongings. Be sure to pack your most delicate items in well-labeled boxes with plenty of padding, securing them with packing tape. If you’re unsure how to pack certain items, ask your local movers for help or consult an online resource.
The last step is to load your rugs, making sure to roll them up and use mover’s wrap to keep them secure. Be careful not to lean a rolled rug against other uncovered items, as the gritty padded material can scuff other rugs and furniture.
Depending on your unique situation, it may be more cost-effective to hire full-service cross-country movers to load your belongings into their truck and haul them across the country. This option is typically the most expensive, but offers the most convenience and peace of mind.
However, if you’re on a tight budget or want more flexibility with scheduling, consider a U-Pack portable moving container. With a U-Pack shipping container, you can save money on labor costs by hiring friends and family members to help load your belongings. You’ll still be responsible for fuel costs and vehicle rental, but you’ll have more control over when and how your belongings are loaded and unloaded.