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Stretching Your Budget on Cross-Country Moves

Congratulations on your upcoming relocation! Moving anytime is stressful but a cross-country move can seem daunting. If you’re paying out of pocket for your relocation expenses, then this article is for you! Below are our tips for stretching your budget and making the most of your cross-country move experience.

Know Where You’re Going

Chances are, you know the city and state you’re headed to. But will you rent, buy or stay in temporary housing? These are all decisions you should try to make early on. Here’s why:

  • Shipment Weight– The majority of your move cost is based on the weight of your shipment. Knowing if you’re moving somewhere that’s larger, smaller or a different layout can change what you plan to move. For example, if your current home has a formal dining room and your new home has an eat in kitchen, decide whether you want to take your formal dining room furniture. Eliminating that set will lower the cost of your move, since there’s less going. An overall rule of thumb; don’t pay to move things you don’t plan to use anymore!
  • Parking Restrictions– In major cities like Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York, the cost of parking permits or meter bags can be a few hundred dollars. That can be an unexpected expense that helps to know upfront. Your move coordinator can arrange these permits/bags for you, but it’s helpful for you to point out if they’re needed at destination. If you’re not sure, we can help you find out- just be sure to mention it!
  • Storage– If you don’t have a new residence yet, we’ve still got you covered! We offer storage solutions to hold your items until you’re ready for delivery. Our secure, indoor warehouses provide short-term and long-term storage options. If you think you may need storage, your sales representative can include that cost in your quote up front.

To Pack or Not to Pack

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Are you packing on your own, or do you want the movers to pack for you? Packing on your own can be a substantial cost savings, but it’s quite the job to take on yourself. Here are some considerations when deciding:

  • All or Nothing?– Luckily, packing services are not all or nothing! We can do as little or as much as you’d like. Common items customers prefer for us to handle packing are TVs, artwork, dishes and breakable items. We can provide a quote for packing only the items you point out during your pre-move survey appointment.
  • Handle it for me!- We are happy to provide all packing for you. This may be a great option if you’re moving quickly, or just want it handled for you. During your pre-move survey, your sales representative will inventory all of your loose items and determine how many boxes are needed to complete your job. This calculation is included in your move estimate. On the pack day, the crew will remove all items from closets, cabinets and around your home. These will all be expertly wrapped, protected and placed in the proper box for a cross-country move. All boxes are labeled with the items inside, the room they came from and the packers initials.
  • I’ve got this! – Packing all items on your own can be a great way to stretch your budget. First, you want to make a schedule and plan for how to begin. The best areas to start packing are storage rooms, attics, basements and garages. Begin packing items and areas that are least used and work your way through. Your kitchen and common spaces will be the last to be packed, since those are used the most. We suggest getting some paper plates and disposable utensils, so you can have your kitchen packed and ready at least a day before the movers arrive. Set a realistic plan for packing and try to spread it out over several weeks, if possible. This will ensure everything gets packed properly instead of being rushed, as well as getting everything done on time. Slow and steady packing will save you frustration in the end! Also, check out our How-To Videos and Packing Articles to get a clear idea of what you’ll need to get started.

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Head in the Clouds or Pedal to the Metal?

The cost of your cross-country move will be the majority of your total relocation budget. However, making sure to budget enough for your actual trip is crucial. Here are some things to consider:

  • Driving- If you’re planning a road trip over several days to get to your cross-country destination, be sure to research the realistic cost of these items:
    • Gas- This can be a large expense for a long road trip. Plan ahead and know what to budget by using the AAA Cost Gas Calculator.
    • Lodging- Setting aside enough money to cover your lodging can be a challenge. If you’re wanting to save money on the lodging during your trip, think about these possibilities:
      • Friends or Family- Take the opportunity to visit friends or family along the way, as well as staying the night with them. It’s a great way to reduce cost while catching up with loved ones.
      • Camp Grounds- Staying in a camp ground, especially one with permanent facilities, can be an adventurous and economical option! For example, KOA offers campsites for tents, cabin rentals and RV parking in every state.
      • Hotels and Motels- These are certainly the easiest option! However, if you’re travelling with a family or pets, some additional planning is needed. Bring Fido is a great resource for finding specific pet friendly hotels, restaurants and events worldwide. The AKC also featured a great article about pet-friendly hotel chains and what to pack when travelling with your pets.
    • Food- Packing your own food in a cooler, or setting a daily budget is a great way to reduce cost while travelling.
    • Don’t forget to have fun!- If you’re planning to do any sight-seeing or tours on your journey, be sure to look into admission costs beforehand!
  • Flying- If you don’t have the time, ability or interest in a road trip, then flying is for you! Here are some things to think about:
    • Airfare- Start looking at flights to compare costs as soon as you decide to fly. However, experts advise buying tickets approximately 64 days before the departure for the best price. Travel + Leisure offers some great tips for saving money on your airfare. It’s best to plan your flight for at least the day after the driver is scheduled to load, since we can’t be sure what time he’ll finish up. Avoid travelling on load day, if possible.
    • What about my car?- When flying to destination, you’ll want to decide if you plan to ship, have someone drive your car, or sell your car before leaving. Corrigan can provide a quote for shipping your vehicle, which is a separate quote from your household goods quote.

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What If Something Changes?

No problem! We can easily adjust your move quote and services needed before the move starts. It’s important to update your sales representative and move coordinator if you make any changes to your inventory or services. Not only can this save you money if you’ve removed items or services; it helps our operations team and drivers properly plan their shipments. If you make any changes, just let us know ahead of time!

While moving can be a big project, we’ve got your back. As your relocation partner, we’re dedicated to doing everything we can to provide you with an easy, stress-free cross-country move. We wish you the best as you start this new and exciting journey! Contact us today to schedule your free in-home or virtual estimate.

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