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The first decision you will probably make when you calculate cross country moving costs is whether you will move yourself or hire a mover. Whichever choice you make, you will need to make a cross-country moving budget. If you move yourself, you may need to rely on the kindness of your friends and relatives, assuming they are reliable. You should also factor in the risk of injury to yourself and anyone who helps you.

Comparing the Cost Per Pound

In order to accurately compare the costs of moving yourself vs. hiring a mover, you need to consider all of the costs to move across the country. Professional movers consider all of these things when they charge per pound or per hour or per mile. Charging per pound is perhaps the most common method of charging for the cost of moving long distance. You may want to use $1 per pound as a rule of thumb when you calculate your cross-country moving budget. You may find that it will cost you more than $1 per pound to move yourself.


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Your cost per pound when hiring a mover could be reduced if you don’t schedule your move for the first or last of the month, or don’t schedule your move during July. Weekends are also peak times for movers. If you schedule your move during a non-peak time you may realize significant savings. A mover can give you a more accurate estimate if they can come out and see your house in person.

You can also reduce your costs by reducing the amount of pounds you have to move. Consider having a garage sale a few weeks before your move, or giving away anything you don’t really need. This can save you money even if you move yourself, as less stuff could mean having to rent a smaller truck and having to pay for less fuel. Fewer items also means fewer trips up and down stairs and in and out of the truck.

Length of Cross-Country Move and Car Transportation

Other important things to consider are that some of your moving expenses may be tax deductible, and that your employer may reimburse you for some of your expenses if you are moving because of your job. Moving yourself could mean having to take more time off work to load your belongings and drive them across the country. If you need to place items in storage you may end up spending more time and money on this if you do it yourself than if you hire a mover to do it. Professional moving and storage companies, including Black Tie Moving, work with such arrangements all the time.

One thing that many people overlook when making a cross-country moving budget is transporting their car. If you move yourself, you will either have to tow the car behind the rental truck on a trailer, or pay to have it transported. It may cost less to tow the car yourself, if you have the necessary driving skills. If your car is several years old, you may want to consider selling it and buying a new or used car in your new location.

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