How to Move Out of State on a Budget

You're moving! It's an exciting time! A move to a different state can mean new job opportunities, better schools, or being closer to family. Unfortunately, it can also be hectic. Between packing and working, you're setting up your new life. At North American Moving Services, we want to prepare and help you with every step.

Your Options: DIY and Moving Services

There are essentially three options to consider while planning your move: do-it-yourself solutions, hiring a moving service, or utilizing a combination of the two. DIY solutions may cost less upfront, but the time and obstacles involved might not be worth it while juggling a busy life. Moving services may seem pricier, but can save you time and money based on a number of factors.

What is the average cost of moving to another state?

According to ConsumerAffairs, a move of about 800 miles can cost close to $5,000 for the average 3-bedroom home. For 365 miles, the average cost is $3,753. This may sound like a lot, but this number can decrease to fit your budget. These numbers take certain factors into consideration:

  • Date of move
  • Total weight
  • Distance
  • Special items like antiques and bulky furniture
  • Insurance
  • Fuel Prices
  • Storage
  • Use of professional movers

To stay within your budget, it's important to analyze what services are essential to your out of state move and what services you can be flexible on. From this, you can determine what style of move best suits your needs.

DIY Options

Move by car. Moving with your own vehicle is the most straightforward way to move. You determine your timetable, your amount of stops (hotels, rest stops, etc.). Even with multiple vehicles, this kind of move is generally only fit for small loads like moving to or from a college dormitory.

Rent a truck or trailer. This has all the advantages of moving by car, but with more space. Unfortunately, driving a large truck can be intimidating with unfamiliar controls and reduced spatial awareness. Rented trucks and trailers can also be difficult to load large items into securely.

Move by freight or train. Freight and train services generally offer loading and unloading services, but the timetable is more strict, sometimes leaving customers with extended storage times. While freight may be more flexible, train service is limited to proximity to depots.

DIY Costs

These can be the least expensive options if you're prepared to dedicate a lot of time to a move. According to, a 450-mile move renting a truck can be about $800 for a three-bedroom home, making this kind of interstate move the least expensive. However, there are numerous other obstacles and costs to consider:

Miscalculation. In the midst of a move, it's easy to rely on quick calculations. Maybe you forgot to save room for your state-of-the-art grill you haven't used since summer. Gas prices fluctuate, so your fuel budget might have to increase. You might find yourself needing to rent another truck on short notice. Gas prices are not typically included in a truck rental estimate.

Losing Valuable Time. While you confirm details with realtors, meet with your children's new teachers, and make appointments with a new physician, you're working. You're packing, unpacking, and calling that friend that said they'd help you move but is two hours late.

Dealing with multiple companies. Throughout a DIY interstate move, you will more than likely have to deal with storage companies, truck rentals, and loading or unloading services in both your old and new home. As business hours vary, lining up a schedule can be a headache.

Injury. Using friends and family to help move is generally ok for smaller items, but moving furniture without proper posture can result in injury. Whether it's you or a volunteer, an injury can turn a move into a nightmare.

No insurance. If something breaks or shifts due to improper handling or security, you're generally out of luck with DIY options.

Full-Service Options

You can bypass the pitfalls of a move by hiring professional movers. Aside from transportation, out of state moving services can include:

  • Packing
  • Moving insurance
  • Fragile only packing
  • Storage
  • Loading and unloading
  • Installing appliances
  • Assembling furniture

Isn't a Full-Service Moving Company More Expensive?

Generally, utilizing every aspect of a full-service mover can max out your budget. However, so can all of the unknowns of doing it yourself. Budgets for DIY methods are, at best, approximations. There will almost always be something that throws your budget off whether it's gas prices or broken valuables.

Maximize Your Budget: DIY with Professional Assistance

The most cost-and-time effective route is utilizing professional services with some DIY methods. With North American Moving Services, you can have us transport your goods while packing them yourself. Our flexible out of state moving packages let us help you when you need it and keep within your budget.

With a network of 500 moving agents, North American Moving Services can handle it all or just get your goods from A to B. We can tailor our services to fit your interstate moving needs. For mostly DIY out of state moves, we offer:

Full-Service Interstate Moving

If you'd like to leave it all to us, we can do that, too. Our full range of out of state moving services can include:

  • Specialty packaging and Residence Protection Pads
  • Furniture disassembly and assembly
  • Systematic unloading and loading with labeled boxes
  • Climate-controlled storage
  • Vehicles and drivers registered with the Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration


The North American Difference

Backed by more than 80 years of moving experience, our staff can provide you with a variety of predictable, bottom-line, not-to-exceed pricing. Your price will not exceed our in-home estimate based on the services you request. With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, we treat every move with care.

Start your out of state estimate today and let North American Moving Services help you begin a new life the right way.