“These guys were so amazing!”
Reliable Shippers For A Reasonable Price
Estimate moving cost in 30 seconds:
Customer Images
7790 people shipped using ThreeMovers last week

Get The Ultimate Guide On How To Move Across The Country

Published by Chris Townsend

Get The Ultimate Guide On How To Move Across The Country

Moving across the country is a significant life event that can be both exhilarating and daunting. The idea of starting fresh in a new place, experiencing new cultures, and meeting new people is thrilling. However, the logistics of the move, from packing up your life into boxes to finding a new home, can be overwhelming.

Three Movers understands this challenge, having been founded by three college buddies who experienced the struggles of moving firsthand. With over 20 years in the moving industry, we've honed our expertise and are here to guide you through every step of your cross-country move.

Whether you're a student, a family, or a business, our comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential tips and tricks to make your move as smooth as possible.

Understanding the Basics of Cross-country Moving

Every year, countless individuals embark on a cross-country move, seeking new opportunities and adventures. But what drives this decision, and how can one ensure a smooth transition?

Why People Choose to Move Across the Country

The allure of a cross-country move often stems from various reasons. Some are drawn by career opportunities, while others are chasing a dream or looking for a fresh start. The United States offers a vast landscape of cultures, climates, and communities. Moving cross country can mean experiencing a new way of life, from bustling cities to serene countryside.

For many, the decision to move across the country is influenced by personal growth. Perhaps it's the pursuit of higher education, a promising job offer, or simply the allure of a fresh start. The United States, with its diverse landscapes and opportunities, beckons many to explore and settle in new regions.

The Challenges of Long-distance Moving

While the idea of a new beginning is exciting, the moving process can be daunting. Long-distance moves present unique challenges, from coordinating logistics to adjusting to a new environment. The sheer distance means there's little room for error, and meticulous planning is crucial.

One of the primary concerns when moving cross country is ensuring all belongings reach the destination safely. This involves careful packing, choosing the right moving company, and coordinating the moving date. Additionally, there's the emotional challenge of leaving behind familiar surroundings and stepping into the unknown.

Benefits of Hiring Professional Movers vs. DIY

When faced with a cross-country move, one crucial decision is whether to hire professional movers or take the DIY route. While renting a moving truck and handling the move independently might seem cost-effective, it comes with its set of challenges.

Professional movers bring expertise and equipment to the table, ensuring a smooth moving process. They're trained to handle belongings with care, reducing the risk of damage. Additionally, moving companies offer insurance, providing peace of mind. On the other hand, a DIY move might save money initially, but the potential for mishaps, coupled with the stress of coordinating a long-distance move, can be overwhelming.

Planning Your Move: Step-by-step Guide

Embarking on a cross-country move requires meticulous planning. From setting a moving budget to packing up your life, each step is crucial to ensure a seamless transition.

1. Deciding on the Best Time to Move

Timing is everything when planning a move. Factors like weather, real estate market conditions, and personal commitments play a role. For instance, moving during the summer might be convenient, but it's also the peak season for moving companies, leading to higher moving costs.

Conversely, winter might offer lower rates but presents challenges like snow and icy roads. It's essential to weigh the pros and cons and choose a moving date that aligns with your needs and budget.

2. Creating a Moving Budget

A cross-country move can be expensive, but with careful planning, it's possible to save money. Start by listing all potential expenses, from hiring full-service movers to purchasing packing supplies. Don't forget to account for hidden costs, like travel expenses or temporary accommodation.

Once you have a clear picture of the expected costs, look for areas to cut corners. For instance, sourcing free moving boxes from local grocery stores or negotiating with moving companies can lead to significant savings.

3. Making a Moving Checklist

Organization is the key to a successful move. Creating a moving checklist ensures you stay on track and don't overlook crucial tasks. This list should detail every step of the moving process, from notifying the United States Postal Service of your address change to finalizing utility connections in your new home.

A well-structured checklist acts as a roadmap, guiding you through the complexities of a cross-country move. It ensures that you're prepared for every eventuality, reducing last-minute panic and stress.

4. Sorting and Decluttering Your Belongings

Before diving into the packing process, it's essential to sort and declutter. Moving offers the perfect opportunity to assess your belongings and decide what's worth taking along. Not only does this reduce moving costs, but it also ensures a fresh start in your new home.

Consider donating unused items or organizing a garage sale. Remember, the fewer items you move, the lower the moving costs. Plus, decluttering can be a cathartic process, allowing you to let go of the past and embrace the future.

5. Packing Tips for a Long-distance Move

Packing for a cross-country move requires careful consideration. Given the long distance, it's crucial to ensure that belongings are packed securely to prevent damage. Investing in quality packing materials, from bubble wrap to sturdy boxes, is a must.

Labeling boxes clearly can save time during the unpacking process. It's also wise to create an inventory list, especially when hiring professional movers. This list will be invaluable in ensuring all items reach their destination and in settling any potential insurance claims.

Read More: Bryan Full Service Movers Near Me

Choosing the Right Moving Company

Entrusting your belongings to a moving company is a significant decision. It's essential to do thorough research and choose a company that aligns with your needs and budget.

1. Factors to Consider When Selecting Movers

When scouting for moving companies, several factors come into play. Reputation, experience, and cost are primary considerations. It's also essential to ensure the company has the necessary licenses and insurance to operate across state lines.

2. Understanding Moving Quotes and Contracts

Before finalizing a moving company, it's crucial to understand their quotes and contracts. This includes deciphering the fine print and being aware of any hidden charges. A transparent contract lays the foundation for a stress-free move.

3. Checking Mover Reviews and Credentials

In today's digital age, reviews play a pivotal role in decision-making. Checking online reviews and testimonials provides insight into a moving company's reliability and customer service. Additionally, verifying credentials, like affiliations with professional moving associations, can offer added peace of mind.

4. Questions to Ask Potential Moving Companies

When interviewing potential movers, it's essential to ask the right questions. This includes inquiring about their experience with cross-country moves, their insurance coverage, and any additional services they offer, like packing or storage.

5. Red Flags to Watch Out For

While there are many reputable moving companies, it's essential to be wary of red flags. This includes companies that offer suspiciously low quotes, those that demand large upfront deposits, or those that lack proper licensing. Being vigilant can save you from potential moving scams and ensure a smooth moving process.

Read More: Clifton Full Service Movers Near Me

Packing and Preparing for the Move

The process of packing and preparing for a move is both an art and a science. It requires meticulous planning, the right materials, and a systematic approach to ensure everything reaches its destination in one piece.

1. Essential Packing Supplies

The foundation of a successful move lies in having the right packing supplies. Investing in quality materials ensures your belongings are protected during the long journey. This includes sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, and protective coverings for furniture. Remember, skimping on packing materials can lead to damages, increasing your moving costs in the long run.

While many opt for free moving boxes from local grocery stores, it's essential to ensure they're in good condition. Additionally, specialized boxes, like wardrobe or dish packs, can make packing specific items easier and more efficient.

2. Packing Fragile and Valuable Items

Fragile and valuable items require extra care during a cross-country move. From heirlooms to electronics, ensuring these items are packed securely is paramount. Begin by wrapping each item individually in bubble wrap or packing paper.

For added protection, consider double-boxing, where the wrapped item is placed in a smaller box, which is then placed inside a larger box cushioned with packing materials.

Valuable items, like jewelry or important documents, should be kept with you during the move. This not only ensures their safety but also provides peace of mind.

3. Labeling and Organizing Boxes

A systematic approach to labeling and organizing boxes can save hours during the unpacking process. Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to. For added efficiency, consider creating a color-coded system where each room is assigned a specific color.

Additionally, maintaining an inventory list can be invaluable. This list helps keep track of all boxes, ensuring nothing goes missing during the move. It also aids in the unpacking process, allowing you to prioritize and organize more effectively.

4. Preparing Large Appliances and Furniture

Large appliances and furniture pieces present unique challenges during a move. It's essential to prepare them adequately to prevent damage. For appliances, this means defrosting refrigerators, draining washing machines, and securing all moving parts.

Furniture pieces, on the other hand, might require disassembly. Ensure all parts are labeled and kept together, and use protective coverings to prevent scratches and dents.

Remember, while DIY disassembly might save money, certain items might require professional handling. It's essential to weigh the risks and decide accordingly.

5. Tips for Packing Personal Vehicles

If you're driving to your new home, packing your personal vehicle efficiently can save multiple trips. Start by ensuring all essential documents, like the vehicle's registration and insurance, are easily accessible.

Next, prioritize items you'll need immediately upon arrival, like a change of clothes or essential toiletries. Remember to keep fragile items, like electronics, with you in the car to prevent damage.

Lastly, ensure all items are secured to prevent movement during the drive. This not only ensures the safety of your belongings but also prevents potential distractions while driving.

Read More: Danbury Full Service Movers Near Me

On Moving Day: What to Expect

Moving day is a culmination of weeks, if not months, of planning. While it's natural to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety, being prepared can ensure everything goes off without a hitch.

1. Final Preparations Before the Movers Arrive

Before the movers arrive, ensure all boxes are packed, labeled, and accessible. Create a clear path for easy movement, removing any potential tripping hazards. If you've opted for a full-service moving company, ensure all items you wish to transport personally are set aside.

It's also a good idea to prepare a moving day essentials box. This box should contain items you'll need immediately upon arrival, like toiletries, a change of clothes, and essential kitchen items.

2. Understanding the Moving Process

Once the movers arrive, they'll typically conduct a walkthrough to get a sense of the job at hand. This is an excellent time to highlight any fragile or valuable items. Understanding the moving process, from how items will be loaded onto the truck to the expected delivery window, can alleviate anxiety.

Remember, communication is key. Ensure you have the contact details of the moving company and the driver, and keep them informed of any changes or requirements.

3. Keeping Track of Your Belongings

As your belongings are loaded onto the moving truck, it's essential to keep track. This is where your inventory list comes into play. Not only does it ensure all items are loaded, but it also aids in the unpacking process.

For added peace of mind, consider taking photographs of valuable items. This can be invaluable in the unlikely event of damages or disputes.

4. Tips for a Stress-free Moving Day

To ensure a stress-free moving day, start by getting a good night's sleep. Stay hydrated, take regular breaks, and ensure you have snacks on hand. Remember, while it's essential to oversee the process, trust your moving company. They're professionals trained to handle the challenges of moving day.

Lastly, keep essential documents, like the moving contract and any insurance papers, easily accessible. This ensures you're prepared for any eventuality.

5. Handling Unexpected Challenges

Despite meticulous planning, moving day can throw a curveball. Whether it's inclement weather, a delay in the moving truck's arrival, or unexpected road closures, it's essential to stay calm and adaptable.

Having a backup plan, like an alternate route or a list of nearby hotels, can be invaluable. Remember, challenges are temporary, and with the right attitude, they can be easily overcome.

Safety Tips for Long-distance Moving

Moving long distances can be a complex endeavor, and ensuring the safety of both your belongings and yourself is paramount. With the right precautions, you can mitigate risks and ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

1. Protecting Your Belongings

The safety of your possessions is a top priority during a cross-country move. Using quality packing materials, like bubble wrap, sturdy boxes, and packing peanuts, can prevent damage.

For fragile items, consider double-boxing or using specialized boxes. Additionally, when loading the moving truck, ensure heavier items are at the bottom, and everything is securely tied down to prevent shifting during transit.

2. Ensuring Personal Safety During the Move

Your personal safety is just as crucial as the safety of your belongings. If you're driving, ensure your vehicle is in good condition and plan your route in advance, avoiding risky areas or roads.

Take regular breaks during long drives, stay hydrated, and avoid driving during extreme weather conditions. If you're hiring a moving company, ensure they follow safety protocols, from the handling of items to the driving of the moving truck.

3. Handling Moving Scams and Fraud

Unfortunately, the moving industry isn't immune to scams. Be wary of companies that offer suspiciously low rates, demand large upfront payments, or lack proper licensing. Always research potential moving companies, check reviews, and verify their credentials. A legitimate moving company will be transparent about its services, costs, and terms.

4. Preparing an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is essential for any long-distance move. This kit should include first aid supplies, essential medications, non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, and basic tools. Having these items on hand can be invaluable in case of unexpected delays, breakdowns, or other emergencies during the move.

5. Staying Informed and Connected During the Move

Keeping informed during your move ensures you're prepared for any eventuality. This includes monitoring weather conditions, being aware of road closures or detours, and having a list of emergency contacts. Additionally, ensure you have a way to communicate, whether it's a charged phone with a reliable service provider or a satellite phone for more remote areas.

Cost-saving Tips for Cross-country Moving

A cross-country move can be a significant financial undertaking. However, with some savvy planning and research, you can make the most of your budget without compromising on quality or safety.

1. Finding Discounts and Deals

Many moving companies offer discounts during off-peak seasons or for certain groups, such as students or military personnel. Additionally, check for online deals or promotional offers. Even small savings can add up, especially in a cross-country move.

2. Comparing Moving Options

Before settling on a moving company, get quotes from multiple providers. This allows you to compare services, costs, and terms. Remember, the cheapest option isn't always the best. Ensure you're getting value for your money and that the company has a reputation for reliability and professionalism.

3. DIY vs. Full-service Moving Costs

While hiring a full-service moving company can be more expensive upfront, it can save you time, effort, and potential damages. However, if you're on a tight budget, consider a DIY move or a hybrid approach, where you handle packing, and a professional company manages transportation.

4. Understanding Hidden Moving Fees

Be wary of hidden fees when planning your move. This includes charges for fuel, tolls, or additional services like packing or storage. Always read the fine print and clarify any ambiguities in your moving contract. Being informed ensures you're not caught off guard by unexpected costs.

5. Tips for a Budget-friendly Move

Planning is the key to a budget-friendly move. Start by creating a detailed moving budget, accounting for all potential costs. Look for areas to save, whether it's sourcing free packing materials, decluttering to reduce moving volume, or scheduling your move during off-peak times. Remember, every dollar saved can be used to settle into your new home or explore your new community.

Why Choose Three Movers: Your Trusted Partner in Cross-country Relocation?

Navigating the complexities of a cross-country move can be daunting. That's where Three Movers steps in, offering a seamless, stress-free moving experience tailored to your unique needs.

At Three Movers, we pride ourselves on being more than just a moving company. We're your partners in transition, ensuring every aspect of your move is handled with professionalism and care. Our services include:

  • Full-Service Packing and Unpacking: From delicate heirlooms to bulky furniture, our team of experts ensures every item is packed securely and unpacked with care at your new home.
  • Customized Moving Plans: Every move is unique. We work closely with you to create a moving plan tailored to your specific needs, timeline, and budget.
  • Safe and Secure Transportation: Our fleet of modern moving trucks is equipped with the latest safety features, ensuring your belongings arrive at their destination in pristine condition.
  • Storage Solutions: Whether you need short-term storage during your move or long-term solutions, our secure storage facilities are designed to keep your items safe and easily accessible.
  • Transparent Pricing: With Three Movers, there are no hidden fees. We offer transparent pricing, ensuring you know exactly what you're paying for.
  • Experienced Professionals: Our team comprises seasoned professionals trained to handle every aspect of your move with precision and care.
  • Customer-Centric Approach: Your satisfaction is our top priority. From the initial consultation to the final delivery, we're committed to exceeding your expectations.
  • Nationwide Network: With a vast network spanning the country, we ensure timely and efficient moves, no matter the distance.


Moving across the country is a significant life event, filled with both excitement and challenges. With the right partner by your side, it can be a smooth and memorable experience. At Three Movers, we're committed to making your cross-country relocation as seamless and stress-free as possible.

Whether you're moving for a new job, family, or simply a change of scenery, trust in our expertise and dedication to guide you every step of the way. Ready to embark on your next adventure? Contact Three Movers today, and let us make your moving dreams a reality.


What is the best time of year to plan a cross-country move?

While many prefer to move during the summer months due to favorable weather and school breaks, moving during the off-peak season (fall and winter) can often result in cost savings and more flexible scheduling.

How do I ensure my belongings are safe during the move?

Hiring a reputable moving company like Three Movers ensures your items are packed, transported, and delivered with utmost care. Additionally, consider purchasing moving insurance for added peace of mind.

How far in advance should I book my moving date?

It's advisable to book your move at least 6-8 weeks in advance, especially if you're planning to relocate during peak season. This ensures you get your preferred date and ample time for planning.

Can I track my belongings while they're in transit?

Yes, many modern moving companies, including Three Movers, offer tracking services, allowing you to monitor the progress of your shipment in real-time.

Are there items that moving companies won't transport?

Yes, most moving companies have a list of prohibited items, including hazardous materials, perishable goods, and certain plants. It's essential to discuss this with your moving company in advance.

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

Email Me

4.8/5 average star rating

Do You Want To Get Your Quote Instantly?

Get your quote and answer any questions you have by calling us:

Female Customer
© Copyright 2024 ThreeMovers.com