By:
Kayla Coco-Stotts
Posted:
April 2, 2024
Article type:
Moving Help & Tips
Applies to:
Interstate Moving

How to Move Across the Country By Yourself, Using a Portable Storage Container, Or With Full-Service Movers

Moving across the country can seem like a daunting task without the right amount of preparation. Sure, there’s packing boxes and hauling unwanted items to the nearest donation bin. But actually picking up your life and moving it across the country takes a lot of time and energy.

However, before any moving prep or packing can happen, you have to figure out how you’re going to accomplish your upcoming long-distance move across the country. With all the planning involved, it's important to explore all your options before selecting the cross-country moving method that works best for you. We’ve provided a general guideline to help you understand the costs involved and the different ways in which you can accomplish this approaching long-distance move.

How to Move Across the Country: The Different Ways You Can Make it Happen

It’s no secret that local and long-distance moves can get done pretty much anyway you can imagine. The scale of work involved can range widely. You and your buddies can spend two weeks cramming your clothes by the car-load into the trunk of your beloved Buick LeSabre. Or, you and your buddies can celebrate in your new pad as you wait for movers to arrive with your belongings loaded carefully onto their semi-trailer truck.

However, every method of moving across the country you may select comes with its own pros and cons. This is particularly true when evaluating the work you have to do and how much it costs. Let’s investigate the most popular methods people choose to conquer their cross-country moves.

DIY Move

Do-It-Yourself moving (or DIY moving, as we like to call it), is typically the most popular among younger folks moving away to college or to another state for a new job. As the name suggests, this form of moving is the most hands-on of our picks.

To put it bluntly, DIY moving is a lot of work. With a DIY move, you’re responsible for the following:

  • Securing a vehicle, rental truck, or trailer to drive your items across the country
  • Packing all your household goods into moving boxes
  • Procuring packing materials and equipment, such as dollies, furniture carts, protective wrapping for large furniture items, and more.
  • Moving your items out of your home and into your chosen vehicle/trailer
  • Driving yourself and your items across the country to your new destination
  • Unloading and unpacking all items once you’ve arrived

If you choose DIY moving as your way of accomplishing how to move across the country, know that you’ll need to accommodate the tasks listed above within your moving timeline. Expect a DIY move across the country to take you around a month to accomplish. Much of that time will be spent planning, packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking.

How Much Does It Cost to Move Yourself Across the Country?

Though a cross-country DIY move will cost you time and energy, it can be a cost-effective option for movers on a strict budget. In general, it costs anywhere between $1000-$2000 for a DIY move across the country. This includes pricing for packing materials, gas for the journey, moving equipment rental, and moving boxes. Keep in mind that DIY movers can expect to pay more if they need to rent a truck for their move, which’ll cost around $100 per day.

Portable Storage Container

An alternative method for accomplishing how to move across the country can be found with portable storage containers. Though they can be more costly than DIY moving, they relieve moving customers of some of the burden that comes with cross-country moving. Here’s a look at the customer responsibilities involved in renting a portable storage container for a move across the country:

  • Procuring your portable storage container from a vendor of your choosing
  • Arranging the drop-off of the portable storage container at your home. If you’re a renter you’ll need to confer with your landlord or leasing office beforehand
  • Packing all your household goods into moving boxes
  • Getting packing materials and equipment, such as dollies, furniture carts, protective wrapping for large furniture items, and more.
  • Moving your items out of your home and into your portable storage container
  • Unloading and unpacking all items once you’ve arrived

As you can surmise, renting a portable storage container to accomplish a cross-country move takes some of the burden off you for your move across the country. The portable storage container company drops off and picks up the container, but you’re still responsible for packing, loading, and unloading. It’s not the easiest in terms of work involved, but it generally takes less time to arrange than that of a DIY move.

How Much Does a Portable Storage Container Cost for a Cross-Country Move?

The cost of your move will vary depending on the amount of items you’re moving, the distance the portable storage container will travel, and the route it will travel. However, for a standard two-bedroom home moving across the country, you should expect to pay between $8000-$12,000 for your portable storage container. This doesn’t include the cost of packing materials, moving equipment, and the cost required to get yourself to your destination.

Full-Service Moving Company

Finally, full-service moving companies, particularly those who offer interstate moving services, know exactly how to move across the country. Full-service movers are a great choice for customers who want to alleviate most of the work involved in moving. Doing so can help busy families or people better enjoy the journey to their new homes.

Full-service moving companies include loading, furniture wrapping, transport, and unloading in the base price of their services. But many also offer add-on services like packing, providing packing materials, disassembling & reassembling furniture items, and storage. Full-service moving companies can be as involved as you’d like when you’re determining how to move across the country.

If working with a full-service mover for your cross-country move, you’ll be responsible for the following:

  • Contacting your full-service mover and scheduling your move
  • Packing and disassembly if you choose to do so yourself
  • Driving yourself and your family to your new home
  • Unpacking and reassembly (though you can have your movers do basic reassembly as an add-on service)

Full-service movers are designed to make moving easy. A lot of what they do is handle heavy lifting and logistics so you can focus more on the positives of your cross-country move.

How Much Does a Full-Service Move Cost for a Cross-Country Move?

Just as with pricing for portable storage containers, the cost of your full-service, cross-country move will vary depending on the amount of household goods and the journey between your starting location and your destination. However, for a general figure, a two-bedroom home will cost between $9000-$15000 to move across the country with full-service movers.

If you want more information on pricing, you can visit our online quote funnel to receive an immediate ballpark quote for your cross-country move.

Have Questions on How to Move Across the Country? We Have Answers

At Bailey’s Moving & Storage, we believe in educating moving customers on their options when it comes to local moving, interstate moving, and international moving. We’re a full-service moving company who seek to dispel any mystery surrounding how to move across the country and even around the world.

If you’re still left with any questions regarding moving, feel free to give us a call at 888-260-5717. Or you can check out our Learning Center for more articles like this one.