What Is the Best Way to Move Cross Country? Checklist

What is the best way to move cross country

Moving across the country is no easy task, and it can be even more challenging than international relocation in some cases. The thought of relocating to a new home hundreds or thousands of miles away can be overwhelming, considering the potential complications that may arise during this significant transition.

To ensure a best way to move cross country,  it’s crucial to take it seriously and be well-prepared. That’s why we’ve put together this essential moving across the country checklist. By dedicating just 5 minutes of your time, you can gain valuable insights and make your cross-country move more straightforward, streamlined, and cost-effective.

Take a moment to read the following 20 tips for moving cross country, which will provide you with a better understanding of the challenges that lie ahead and help you navigate the process of relocating to a different part of the country.

Stage One: Serious Tips for Moving Across the Country

Getting ready to move across the country requires impeccable organization on your part – know what things to do before you move across the country in order to take full advantage of the weeks, days, and hours you have until your moving date and keep the stress level to its minimum while keeping the efficiency as high as possible.

1. Follow a Moving Checklist

No matter the distance between your current home and your new one, moving entails a multitude of tasks that are solely your responsibility. The sheer number of these tasks can be overwhelming, leaving you unsure of where to even start. Additionally, the order in which you complete these pre-move chores is crucial for effective time management.

To make the most of your limited time, it’s essential to create a day-by-day or week-by-week moving checklist that is tailored to your specific needs. This checklist should include personalized and prioritized tasks related to your move. By following a well-organized plan, you can stay on track and ensure that all necessary tasks are completed in a timely manner. Don’t waste valuable time – take control of your move by setting up a detailed checklist that keeps you focused and efficient.

2. Higher Cross-Country Movers

When you make the decision to move across the country, you will inevitably face the common dilemma of whether to hire professional movers or handle the move yourself. However, due to the considerable distances involved in cross-country moves, such as from New York, NY to Los Angeles, CA (2,800 miles) or Miami, FL to Seattle, WA (3,300 miles), opting for professional cross-country movers is the surefire way to ensure a smooth and problem-free household relocation.

The complexities and logistics of long-distance moves make it impractical to attempt a DIY approach. There are numerous hidden costs and challenges associated with self-moving that become evident when you consider the overall picture. That’s why it becomes increasingly clear that relying on the expertise and services of highly-rated cross-country movers is the best choice for a seamless and stress-free move.

3. Compare Mover

Soon enough, you’ll come to realize that embarking on a cross-country move by yourself is not a wise choice due to the significant distance involved, as well as the increased costs and risks associated with covering the extra mileage. When faced with the challenges of a complex long-distance move, your best course of action is to reach out to a reputable cross-country moving company and enlist their high-quality services.

Now that you’ve decided to hire professional movers, the question arises: which one should you choose? The truth is, you won’t be able to determine the right long-distance mover for your specific needs until you conduct a thorough comparison of multiple cross-country moving companies in your area. It essentially boils down to making an informed decision after carefully assessing various factors such as pricing and additional services offered by each company.

4. Request Cost Calculation

It’s no surprise that the cost of a cross-country move is typically higher than a local move. However, the real question is, how much higher will it be?
To gain more clarity and peace of mind, it’s crucial to have your moving costs calculated well in advance of your moving day. This will provide you with a better understanding of how it will fit into your family budget.
Instead of relying on online or phone estimates, it’s highly recommended to request in-home surveys from reputable cross-country moving companies. These surveys will allow moving company experts to assess your specific moving needs and provide you with more accurate and realistic price quotes.

5. Inventory your Home

Are you aware of the specific items you intend to bring with you to your new home?
While it may seem appealing to leave behind all of your household belongings and only take a few valuable personal items, this scenario is more like something out of science fiction rather than reality.
To have a clear understanding of what items you will be moving to your new house or apartment, it’s recommended to create a comprehensive home inventory. As you go from room to room, it’s important to decide the fate of each possession, whether you will keep, sell, gift, donate, or recycle it. Having a clear plan for each item will help streamline your moving process.

6. Moving Furniture Across the Country

When it comes to furniture, the question of whether to move it to your new home or not requires careful consideration.

Furniture items are typically large and heavy, which can make the moving process more challenging and costly. It’s important to weigh the options and determine if it makes financial sense to pay for professional services to pack, load, transport, and unpack your current furniture.
In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to purchase new furniture upon arrival at your new location instead of incurring the expenses associated with moving your existing pieces. However, if you have valuable or sentimental antique furniture that holds significant value, the decision may lean towards transporting those specific items.
Ultimately, it’s a difficult decision, but evaluating the costs and logistics involved can help you make an informed choice and minimize the number of furniture pieces you need to move.

7. Moving across Country with Children

Moving across the country with children brings additional challenges and concerns that can make the relocation process even more difficult for parents. It’s important to anticipate and prepare for these challenges in advance to minimize stress and ensure a smooth transition for your children.
To help you navigate this process, we offer a comprehensive Moving with Children Guide. This guide provides detailed information on what to expect and offers practical tips for preparing and supporting your child based on their age group, whether they are a baby, toddler, pre-schooler, school-age child, or teenager. It covers not only the transition between homes but also the adjustment to a new environment and lifestyle.
By consulting our Moving with Children Guide, you’ll gain valuable insights and strategies to help your children navigate the move successfully, easing their transition and minimizing any potential difficulties along the way.

8. Moving across the Country with Pets

Moving across the country with pets adds an extra layer of responsibility and care to your relocation process. Pets have unique needs, and it’s important to allocate time and attention to ensure their safety and well-being before, during, and after the move.
Whether you have a loyal dog, a graceful cat, a lovely bird, beautiful fish, or an exotic pet, they are sensitive to changes in their environment and can sense when something significant is happening.
Keep in mind that professional cross-country movers are not permitted to transport pets, so it’s your responsibility to make suitable arrangements for their transportation to the new state. Prior to the move, it’s essential to schedule a visit to the veterinarian to ensure your pet’s health and well-being. Additionally, try to maintain their routine as much as possible during the transition.
By prioritizing the needs of your pets and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a smoother and less stressful move for both you and your beloved animal companions.

9. Making up your mind: Driving or Flying?

While your long-distance mover will handle the transportation of your belongings, it’s important to consider how you and your companions will reach your new address. The most common approach is to drive your own car when moving across the country. If that’s your plan, remember to have your vehicle serviced before the moving day to ensure a smooth journey. Additionally, make sure to plan your car trip well in advance to avoid any last-minute complications or hasty decisions.
Alternatively, if you choose to fly to your new home, you’ll need to make arrangements for transporting your car across the country. Contact several reputable car shipping companies to obtain price quotes and compare their offers in terms of pricing and conditions. This will help you select the best option for moving your car safely and efficiently.
Taking the necessary steps to prepare your vehicle for the journey or arranging for its transportation will contribute to a more seamless and stress-free relocation experience.

10. Change your Address

Relocating across the country brings about numerous changes in one’s life, including the need to update your postal address. Naturally, when you move across the country, your address will change too—it’s a logical consequence.
To ensure a smooth transition, it’s recommended to change your address with the United States Postal Service (USPS) approximately two weeks before your move-out date. By doing so, you can ensure that your mail continues to be delivered to the correct address without any disruptions.
Interestingly, you can also change your address shortly after the move, but this carries a slightly higher risk of important mail getting lost in the process.
Fortunately, there are four different methods to change your address: 1) visiting the nearest USPS office in person, 2) changing it online, 3) making the request over the phone, or 4) submitting a change of address form by mail.
By following the appropriate steps to update your address with USPS, you can ensure a seamless transition of your mail to your new location.

11. Change Home Utilities

In certain relocation situations, it’s essential to update your home utilities unless you want to find yourself unpacking in the dark at your new place.
To ensure a seamless transition, make sure to contact your current utility companies and schedule the disconnection of services at your current residence about two weeks before your move-out date. Timing is crucial here, so it’s important to complete this task in advance.
Next, reach out to the utility providers in your new state and arrange for the reconnection of essential services such as electricity, water and sewage, gas, Internet, cable TV, telephone, waste removal, and other utilities needed in your new home.
By proactively managing these utility changes, you can avoid any unnecessary disruptions and ensure that your new home is properly equipped with the necessary services upon your arrival.

Considerations for Choosing a Moving Method to Move Cross Country

When deciding on the best way to move cross country, several factors should be taken into account. Consider the following key considerations:

Distance and Time Constraints: The distance you need to travel and the timeline for your move can significantly impact your choice of moving method. Longer distances or tight schedules may require more efficient and time-saving options.

Distance and Time Constraints: The distance you need to travel and the timeline for your move can significantly impact your choice of moving method. Longer distances or tight schedules may require more efficient and time-saving options.

Budget and Cost Considerations: Moving expenses can add up quickly, so it’s essential to assess your budget and consider the cost implications of each moving method. Balancing affordability with convenience is key.

Size and Quantity of Belongings: The volume and nature of your belongings play a role in determining the most suitable moving method. Large furniture, fragile items, and special equipment may require professional assistance or specific handling.

Personal Preferences and Priorities: Each individual has unique preferences and priorities when it comes to moving. Consider factors such as control, convenience, and the level of involvement you prefer throughout the process.

Reliable car shipping across the country with AutoStar Transport Express!

Get a Free Quote

Options for Moving Cross Country

DIY Moving with a Rental Truck: Renting a truck and handling the entire move yourself can be cost-effective and provide more control over the process. It involves packing, loading, driving, unloading, and unpacking your belongings.

Hiring Professional Movers: Professional moving companies offer comprehensive services, including packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and even unpacking if desired. This option provides convenience and expertise but comes at a higher cost.

Shipping Belongings: Shipping your belongings can be a viable option, especially for smaller loads or when you prefer to travel light. This method typically involves using freight or shipping services like AutoTransport Express to transport your packed boxes and items.

Combination of Methods: Depending on your specific needs and circumstances, you may opt for a combination of moving methods. For example, you can hire professional movers for larger items while shipping smaller belongings separately.

Pros and Cons of Each Moving Method

Each moving method has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s an overview:

DIY Moving: (Do-It-Yourself)


  • Cost savings compared to hiring professionals.
  • More control over the process and timeline.
  • Flexibility to customize the move according to your preferences.


  • Labor-intensive and physically demanding.
  • Requires careful planning, organization, and driving long distances.
  • May not be suitable for individuals with limited time or physical capabilities.

Professional Movers:


  • Convenient and time-saving.
  • Experienced movers handle packing, loading, and transportation.
  • Insurance coverage for your belongings.


    • Higher cost compared to DIY options.
    • Less control over the process.
    • Scheduling may be influenced by availability and company policies.

Hassle-free cross country car shipping by experts!

Get a Free Quote

Shipping Belongings


  • Easy and time-saving, especially for smaller loads.
  • No need for driving long distances or deal with logistics.
  • Suitable for those traveling by air or other means.


  • Limited to personal belongings and packed boxes.
  • May not accommodate large furniture or special items.
  • Additional coordination is required for pickup and delivery.

Combination of Methods


  • Flexibility to tailor the move to your specific needs.
  • Optimize costs by selecting the most suitable method for different items.
  • Accommodates various circumstances and preferences.


    • Requires coordination and planning for multiple moving methods.
    • Additional costs may be incurred by using different services.

Trust AutoStar Transport Express for Secure and timely vehicle shipping!

Get a Custom Estimate

Factors to Consider for Car Shipping Across Country

If you have a vehicle that needs to be transported along with your belongings, car shipping across the country is a viable option. Consider the following factors:

Benefits of Car Shipping: Car shipping allows you to avoid long drives, reduce wear and tear on your vehicle, and focus on other aspects of the move.

Cost Considerations: The cost of shipping a car depends on factors such as distance, vehicle size, and additional services like enclosed transport. Obtain quotes from reputable car shipping companies to compare costs.

Safety and Security of the Vehicle: Choose a car shipping company with a good reputation and proper insurance coverage to ensure the safety and security of your vehicle during transit.
Ship your car with AutoStar Transport Express, we will provide you with the best services, reliable prices, English and Spanish customer support, etc.

Tips for a Smooth Cross-Country Move

To make your cross country move as smooth as possible, consider these tips:

Plan and Organize in Advance: Start planning early, create a timeline, and make a checklist of tasks to complete before, during, and after the move.

Pack Strategically and Efficiently: Pack systematically, label boxes clearly, and use appropriate packing materials to protect fragile items.

Label Boxes and Keep an Inventory: Label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to. Keep a detailed inventory to track your belongings.

Notify Relevant Parties and Update Address: Inform utility companies, banks, subscriptions, and other relevant parties about your move. Update your address with the post office and important contacts.


The best way to move cross country depends on your individual circumstances, preferences, and specific requirements. Evaluate the distance, budget, size of belongings, and personal priorities to make an informed decision. Consider a combination of moving methods to create a customized solution that meets your needs. In the case of your vehicle shipping consider AutoStar Transport Express as the first priority like others.

Simplify Your Car Transport across country with AutoStar Transport Express!

Get a Quote

Frequently Asked Question

How far in advance should I start planning my cross country move?

It’s recommended to start planning your cross country move at least two to three months in advance. This allows ample time for research, organization, and booking necessary services.

Can I ship my car along with my household belongings?

Yes, you can ship your car separately while moving your household belongings. Car shipping companies specialize in transporting vehicles safely and efficiently.

How do I choose a reputable professional moving company?

When selecting a professional moving company, consider factors such as reputation, experience, licensing, insurance coverage, and customer reviews. Obtain multiple quotes and compare services to make an informed decision.

What should I do with items that I don’t want to bring with me?

Before your move, declutter and dispose of items you no longer need or want. You can sell, donate, or responsibly dispose of them according to local regulations

FAQ 5: How long does it typically take to ship belongings cross country?

The time it takes to ship belongings cross country varies depending on the distance, moving method, and specific service provider. It’s best to inquire with the chosen shipping company for an estimated timeline.

Mark Dugger

Mark Dugger

Born and raised in Southern California, grew up in an athletic environment where he excelled at football, baseball, wrestling, golf, skiing, and water skiing. He chose computers as his professional calling, accepting the position of Systems Officer for a prominent cruise line. For the next ten years, he would circle the globe multiple times, visiting over 100 countries. Mark joined AutoStar Transport Express just 1 year after it was created. He is one of the pillars the company was built on. He started off as a coordinator, he excelled though the years with his hard work and dedication. His job performance not only grew his career but our company and as a whole. Mark now holds the position of operations manager overseeing the engine that makes our company run.
View all posts