Are you moving states? Perhaps you’re making a move from Houston to Rathdrum, Idaho? We must admit it’s a great choice. Although small, Rathdrum is a great place to settle in if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of big cities. 

However, given the incredibly long distance between Idaho and Texas — 1600 miles — the move itself may cost you anything between $1,500 to $6,000, and the number may go up based on the weight of your shipment, and the distance traveled. But the good news is that you can save time and money when moving interstate with some strategic planning and foresight. Here are seven tips you can consider. 

1) Make a moving checklist

Moving into a different state isn’t as simple as moving into a new neighborhood. The best way to keep yourself on track and organized during a cross-country move is to use a moving to-do list.

Whether you create your version or customize one of the dozens available online, a comprehensive moving checklist will tell you what you need to do and when; so that you may go through the process with as little stress as possible. Make sure your list covers all facets of the relocation, such as moving with seniors, kids, or pets. 

2) Plan your logistics wisely. 

Maybe you plan on staying in an extended hotel or Airbnb before buying a house in Rathdrum. In that case, consider keeping your unused belongings in Rathdrum storage units until you get settled in.  

Perhaps you have already bought your dream home in a nice neighborhood. If a road trip is your favorite way to travel, you may be tempted to reserve a truck with Penske, U-Haul, or Budget to drive across the country with all your stuff. 

Remember that a road trip to Idaho from Texas means roughly 30 hours of non-stop driving, even if you take the fastest route. Driving longer than eight hours on a single day is not safe, even if you allow for basic stops for food or fuel. So, think through how you will manage the trip before getting on the road.

3) Choose your moving date wisely

You’ll find rates for moving services skyrocket between May and September, as this is the busiest time for people to relocate. If you want cheaper moving rates, try to plan your move at a different time of the year. 

Moving anytime in winter — other than Thanksgiving Day and Christmas week through New Year’s Day, of course — will get you a good bargain. 

However, if you must move when there’s no snow on the ground, schedule your moving date sometime in March or April, when rates are more competitive than peak season. Also, pick a weekday and not a weekend, preferably in the middle of the month, when the demand for movers is relatively low. 

4) Look for free packing supplies

Compared to the move’s total cost, extra expenses on packing materials may seem negligible. In the long term, though, all the small ways you may cut costs on your interstate move can amount to considerable savings. 

Search ecommerce marketplaces that sell boxes and shipping supplies for a low price. Gather second-hand boxes from bookstores, supermarkets, or recycling drop-off sites. Reach out to friends and neighbors who moved in or out recently and ask them if they can pass on their used packing materials to you for little to no money. Buying cheap packing supplies will leave you with enough cash to spend on truck rental, shipping, and other unforeseen expenses. 

5) Opt for consolidated shipping

You should consider consolidating your move, particularly if you only have a studio or 2-bedroom apartment to relocate. 

  • You save money: Moving companies often only utilize two-thirds to three-quarters of a trailer’s capacity, but you are charged for the entire space. A consolidation service will combine your less-than-truckload (LTL) shipment with others going in the same direction to fill an entire truck. You’ll only be charged for the volume of space occupied by your freight.
  • You reduce the risk of potential damage: Unlike LTL’s hub-and-spoke distribution strategy, which involves several points of contact, the consolidation model involves far fewer touch-points on the product as it travels from the shipper to the consolidation center to the receiver/consignee. If fewer people are handling the product, there is less of a chance that it may be harmed in transit.
  • You get your freight on time: Often, multiple shippers consolidate their shipments on an airplane. Although consolidated air freight comes with a higher price tag, it ensures that your cargo is delivered exactly where it needs to, safely and fast. In contrast, ground shipping is cheaper but can be delayed by a few hours due to bad weather or road shutdowns. 

6) Pack light

To move bulky and heavy items like furniture and sports gear, you may need to upgrade to a more expensive and larger moving truck. Some long-distance moving companies base their rates on weight, so it’s best to get rid of heavy items before the move. Because if you don’t, moving these items can cost more than buying new ones after the relocation.

It’s generally a good idea to lighten your load before packing. You can save a lot of money by removing clutter, selling unwanted stuff, and donating usable items before you move. The simpler and cheaper your relocation, the less you must pack. The fewer boxes you have to unpack from, the faster the process will go. 

7) Check if your new employer will pay for your move

Well done on landing your fantastic new role! If you plan on moving for work, don’t forget to ask your firm about its relocation policies. If your firm covers cross-country moving, keep all receipts, even the ones for moving supplies. Drop an email to the HR department — many employers pay for the relocation in full or part. 

Final Word

Moving cross-country is hard. There are several aspects to planning a long-distance move, from packing up your entire household and scheduling moving day tasks to finally settling in your new home. Follow the above tips to make the process faster, cheaper, and less stressful.