Coast to coast moving is anything but easy. As far as level of complexity and moving costs are concerned, only international moving can challenge it for the prize of the toughest type of residential moving.
To help make things easier for you, and thus reduce the unhealthy build-up of stress, we have prepared this special selection of coast to coast moving tips to guide you through that very transitional period.
Regardless of the east coast starting or destination points (Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Jacksonville, Miami, etc.) or the big west coast cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, etc.), your best bet for “enjoying” a hassle-free and low-cost move across the country is 1) to be prepared for the challenge ahead through spot-on moving tips, and 2) to partner with one of the best coast to coast moving companies out there.
Must-know coast to coast moving tips
To get a taste of the specific challenges you will be facing when moving from the east coast to the west coast, or vice versa – moving from the west coast to the east coast of the country, here are the major points you should be well familiar with before you enter the busy preparation period.
Ready for some useful coast to coast moving tips?
- Second only to moving overseas, moving from one coast to the other within the United States is the toughest type of residential moving one can undergo in terms of money, planning, level of complexity, and stress.
- No cross country moves can possibly match the great distances that coast to coast moving involves: moving from New York, NY to Los Angeles, CA is approximately a 2800 mile relocation trip, an east coast to west coast move from Boston, MA to San Francisco, CA is roughly 3100 miles, while relocating from Miami, FL to Seattle, WA is a jaw-dropping 3300 mile journey across the entire country.
- Unlike in-town or local moves, Do-It-Yourself attempts at moving coast to coast are well beyond the realm of feasibility as driving a rented truck thousands of miles away cannot possible prove to be more cost-effective than following the well-trodden path – choosing cheap coast to coast movers to transport your furniture and other household items for you (cheap as in affordable).
- Because of the greater distances your shipment will cover, moving from coast to coast is a great opportunity to lower your costs by doing something as simple as going through your stuff again and choosing to take only the things you do need /read below for details/.
- Coast to coast moving can be really tough on your budget so you must take every chance to bring down the final cost. Since there isn’t one magical formula that can do that, you should take advantage of the various cost saving techniques that you will be presented from the very beginning. You’d be glad to learn that the 3 major ways to save money when moving cross country are: 1) find affordable long distance movers, 2) move only the items you will need in the foreseeable future, and 3) pack up your things by yourself, if possible.
Packing up your household for a local move and protecting your stuff for a journey of a few thousand miles require a radically different approach when it comes to investing time and efforts. Stronger cardboard boxes, generous use of bubble wrap and packing paper, and most importantly – strategic usage of padding materials will guarantee to some extent the well-being of your items, especially the more fragile ones. Are you up to the packing challenge?
- Packing by yourself can save you some valuable dollars but some moves are just suited better for professional packing services. Emergency moves (too little time to pack at your own pace), the presence of heavy items (heavyweight furniture pieces, an upright piano, a big (gun) safe, a hot tub, large kitchen appliances, etc.) or the existence of articles of high value (a pool table, antique furniture, a priceless piano, etc.) are not the right time to prove your packing skills as the risk of property damage and personal injuries is too great to be justified in the end.
- Professional packers from top rated coast to coast movers should be adequately insured so that your prized possessions can stay protected at all times.
- Days and days of driving in one’s car across the entire country is not an idea that will appeal to all home movers. If you’d rather fly to your destination and leave your household stuff with a trustworthy coast to coast moving company, then you should definitely think about how your own vehicle will reach the new address. The cost of moving a car from coast to coast will vary from one auto transporter to the other, so contact a few good coast to coast auto movers, request car transportation quotes, compare them carefully and choose the company that will take the best care for your vehicle for a reasonable price too.
Coast to coast movers: what you must know
Here’s the thing: you can’t entrust your prized possessions to just any moving company that promises to get the job done. You need to do your homework right and do all of the following 3 tasks prior to hiring a reputable long distance mover: price estimation, quote comparison and legal status verification.
- Request on-site price estimation from different moving company representatives – still the best way to know the approximate moving price in advance. Remember that any coast to coast moving companies that refuse to visit your home for accurate estimation of the moving costs are not worth having your relocation job.
In addition to estimating the price of the long distance move, the so-called home survey will reveal possible problems, challenges and difficulties come Moving day – anything from small doorways and narrow corridors to multiple steep stairs and lack of an elevator. Of course, such a visit should also identify any specialty item that requires a little different approach to packing and moving – an upright piano, a big gun safe, a pool table, or even a hot tub (Jacuzzi).
- Ask various top rated coast to coast furniture movers for binding estimates. Yes, it’s possible that you get charged for their issuance but a binding estimate should state clearly what you pay in the end unless the initial conditions at the time of the price estimation change prior to the moving date.
Moving quote comparison
Compare the received estimates, and compare them carefully.
- Did you receive a quote with a final price that is unnaturally low compared to the rest of the quotes? If yes, contact the corresponding company and try to understand the specific reason for that low price, and if they fail to give you a satisfactory answer, you’d better stay away from them as initial low-ball estimates are one of the standard bait techniques of dishonest movers (aka rogue movers).
- Did you receive a cost estimate that is way above what you can afford to pay for professional coast to coast moving services? If yes, then contact the mover that gave it to you and ask them directly if they will be willing to meet you halfway when it comes to the steep coast to coast moving cost. Should they happen to be uncooperative, then chuck away their offer and turn your attention to the estimates that actually fit your budget.
- Did you compare the additional services that appear on the estimates? This is vital: if you need to have your things packed by experienced packers, then you must know just how much that professional packing will cost you. What about all the required packing materials, mostly cardboard boxes of different sizes and packing paper and bubble wrap – are those supplies included in the price of packing or not? Also, if you need to have your items stored for a certain period of time until you are able to receive them at your new address, how much will that storage service cost? It’s the smaller not-that-obvious details that can make the big difference in the end.
Reputation and legal status verification
It shouldn’t surprise you that the best coast to coast moving companies have the best online reputation as well. They actually earn their high ratings by providing exceptional moving services and professional attitude at competitive prices.
- Coast to coast relocation is considered the toughest non-international type of residential moving, so you do need a top long distance mover you can trust. Access good and trustworthy website with coast to coast movers reviews (MyMovingReviews and Yelp, for example) and see what customers are saying about the movers you’re reviewing. This step is important in your preliminary research and can help you avoid problems and headaches later on.
- Are the coast to coast movers you have pre-selected properly licensed and insured? You can easily check their legitimacy by visiting the official page of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and doing a quick search. All interstate moving companies must be licensed by the government in order to transport household goods within the country – that is, they are given USDOT numbers as proof of their legal status.
- Are the cross country movers also accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and members of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA)? Both the BBB accreditation and the AMSA membership are indicators that you can actually trust those coast to coast moving and storage companies.
How much does it cost to move coast to coast?
The cost of moving from east coast to west coast, or vice versa, is something that you should be really interested in knowing as early in the process as possible. And the only good way to learn that price is to request binding estimates from a few movers and then choose the winning bid as explained above. Thus said, you’re not advised to agree to estimates prepared over the phone or via e-mail due to their much higher level of inaccuracy.
Take a closer look at the average costs of moving, including when moving coast to coast. Use the given example costs as a reference to see where you stand and to understand better how the moving price is formed. As a big bonus, your deeper knowledge of the factors that affect that price will give you flexible options in controlling how much you spend on your move in general.
- Move distance. It’s hard to argue that the distance alone from one coast to the other will make your move rather expensive in the first place. No matter how you look at it, you’ve got roughly 3000 miles to cover, and 3000 miles is never a joke.
- Shipment weight. The total weight of your stuff can be a blessing in disguise because that’s where you can really save big money. Slim down the number of your belongings to their minimum, and then take with you even fewer items to optimize the shipment weight. Keep in mind that sometimes it’s cheaper to just purchase new household items in your destination city than to pay to have them moved by the pros.
- Extra services. The best coast to coast movers will offer you a full range of additional services to respond adequately to the varied needs of their customers: packing, unpacking, furniture disassembly, hoisting, storage, and so on. Each additional service will cost you extra, of course, so it’s a good idea to request only the ones you do need and can’t really complete on your own.