Advertising Disclosure

We may earn money from our partners when you click a link, complete a form or call a phone number.

We believe everyone deserves to make thoughtful, informed purchase decisions. As a result, we provide our buyers guides and local guides free for consumers. We may receive compensation from our partners. However, Retirement Living independently researches companies, and the compensation we receive does not affect the analysis of our staff. Retirement Living will not include companies on our guides that do not meet our quality standards. The compensation we receive from our partners may impact how and where companies appear on our site, including the order in which they appear. As an Amazon Associate Retirement Living earns from qualifying purchases.

Retirement Living independently researches companies, and we use editorial discretion to award companies with special recognition (i.e. Great Value) based on our staff's judgment. We do this to help you identify companies that will meet your specific buying needs, and we do not receive compensation for these designations.

Get Insider Access

Get special offers, advice and tips from Retirement Living delivered to your inbox.

7 Cheap Ways to Move Long Distance

Updated: March 27, 2023
By: Jonathan Trout
Jonathan Trout
Content Manager
Jonathan is a former product and content manager for Retirement Living. His background spans sales/marketing, finance, and telecommunications. Jonathan’s expertise in consumer wellness and research-backed data stories helped educate seniors on financial planning, retirement, and community resources. Jonathan graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Environmental Sociology.
Content Manager
Edited by: Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith
Sr. Content Manager
As Retirement Living’s senior content manager, Jeff oversees the product and publishing of all retirement, investing, and consumer wellness content on the site. His extensive expertise in brand messaging and creating data-driven stories helps position Retirement Living as a top authority for senior content and community resources.
Sr. Content Manager
7 Cheap Ways to Move Long Distance

The cost of long-distance moving is expensive, so it makes sense to look for cheap ways when moving across the country, especially when you factor in the cost of moving boxes, finding professional help and leasing storage units. According to the most recent data from the American Moving & Storage Association, the average cost of a long-distance move is over $4,000. Use these seven tips for moving long distance on the cheap and keeping your stress level down, too.

  1. Make a budget and stick to it

    Before you even start packing up your memories into cardboard boxes, the most important thing is to sit down and plan a long-distance moving budget. By drafting out your finances — and giving yourself some wiggle room in case an unexpected expense pops up — you can establish a game plan on how to save and allocate money for the move. This also gives you time to research moving companies and check out prices at competing stores for moving supplies, which helps you save money in the long run and not experience sticker shock when you see how much all that bubble wrap is going to cost you.

  2. Scope out free moving boxes and supplies

    Depending on the size of your home, moving boxes can cost anywhere from $50 for a studio apartment (about 27 boxes) to over $100 for a two-bedroom house (about 54 boxes).

    Chances are you know someone who has recently moved or can put you in touch with someone who has. Use this as an opportunity to score some free moving boxes. Those pieces of cardboard can get expensive faster than you’d realize, so use this as an easy way to cut costs. It might even be worth making a post on your social media community pages to see if you can find any boxes from businesses or neighbors. Plus, you’ll be helping the environment by reusing the boxes.

    Businesses that routinely give away boxes include liquor stores, larger retailers, grocery stores, bookstores, and U-Haul’s Box Exchange program. Visit U-Haul’s website, enter your location and the keywords “Free Boxes” to find someone near you.

  3. Connection and disconnection fees

    Pay attention to when you need to cut off your utilities and cable. The last thing you want is to miss the end of the billing cycle and end up forking over money for something you aren’t even using. Before you move, contact the local water and electric companies ahead of time to find out if they charge a deposit for connecting the service. If you have a good credit history, the utilities may waive the fee. Senior moving services can handle this task and much more for you if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

  4. Rally up friends and family

    Why pay for professional movers when you can just call in a favor to your friends and family? Long-distance moves can be turned into a road trip which can be turned into an extended stay or vacation for your friends or family. You can treat them to a few pizzas as a token of your gratitude, which is way better than the average cost of $25-$50 an hour for professional help.

  5. Compare prices

    Source: Getty

    With the average cost of a long-distance move being a little over $4,000, based on an average weight of 7,400 pounds and an average distance of 1,225 miles, it’s important to compare multiple long-distance moving companies.

    If you do decide you want to hire professional movers, make sure you research your options and compare prices. Don’t just go with the first company that pops up in your search results. Read reviews, talk to former clients and go with the best value. This also helps you figure out the most reliable option. Some companies even offer price-match guarantees. If this is the case, having multiple quotes can save you money. Saving money is worth the time you invested in the research.

  6. Pay it forward

    Do you really need all those shoes? Give your excess stuff to friends or donate it to someone in need. Popular clothing donation places include Goodwill and The Salvation Army. While you’re packing, take the time to reflect on your possessions. Chances are you’ve accumulated some things over the years that you don’t really need now or even remember you have. Now’s the perfect time to part ways and start fresh. And fewer possessions means a lighter load to move, resulting in a cheaper move.

  7. Get creative with packing materials

    Packing supplies can add up quickly, so before you rush out to the store and grab a package of bubble wrap, see what items you already have at home that can be repurposed for moving materials. Do you have some blankets? You can use that to wrap around furniture to avoid scratches. Old t-shirts can be used to wrap around plates and other glassware. Baskets and storage bins can be used in place of boxes and are just as effective. Get creative.