Starting the New Year with a cross-country move? If you’re planning to move anywhere north of Nashville, pack up your T-shirts and buy some longjohns — it’s been a frigid winter in many parts of the country! Don’t worry, though. There’s plenty of good news too. You’ve bypassed the emotional stress of moving during the holidays. You can save some money by making your move right now. And your move can be nearly seamless, if you use these five awesome tips:

1. Do your research.

If your company is moving you to a new location, find out exactly how much of the bill they’re willing to help with. Depending on your skills as a negotiator you should be able to recoup a percentage of your moving costs or a traveling stipend. But don’t stop there! Your accountant can help you deduct job-related moving costs from next year’s taxes.

Investigate the cost of hiring a full-service cross-country mover. Although this can be an expensive option, it’s definitely the least stressful one. And remember, this is the slowest time of year for movers. You may be able to agree on a price that’s much lower than peak season rates.

2. Pare down.

Getting lean and mean is an absolute necessity! Empty out your storage unit, clear the garage, purge the attic and dump the junk drawers. If you have items that haven’t been used in a year, get rid of them. The last thing you want to do is drag useless stuff with you.

You may want to start with a garage sale, then donate what’s left to a worthy organization like Goodwill. Old electronics like cell phones and computers can be recycled at Best Buy. If some of your furniture or appliances are old and worn out, consider getting rid of them rather than paying to move them. Then use the money you saved to purchase something new for your new home.

3. Get organized.

Start collecting your supplies well in advance of the move — and make sure you’ve got plenty of them! Sharpies, duct tape or packing tape and good sturdy boxes are your essentials. You can save a bit of money by finding good boxes at the grocery story. Produce boxes make great sturdy covered moving containers. Go for the banana and apple boxes for the big stuff, and tomato boxes for the little stuff.

Do your packing one room at a time, and label each box by room and by contents. Take the time to label on at least two sides of each box. This will save you the hassle of rearranging stacks of boxes while you’re unpacking.

4. Hang on to the special items.

If you’ve got small items that are especially valuable, by all means keep them with you! Pack those special photos, keepsakes and jewelry safely and put them in the trunk of your car if you’re driving, or insure and ship them separately. The rule here is simple: if it can’t be replaced, keep it safe.

5. Make it a group effort.

Now is the time to call in all your favors. Invite your family and friends over to help you pack, order some pizza and make it fun! This can be a real life-saver if you’re loading and driving a rented moving truck.

Still don’t have enough help? Consider hiring a few reputable day laborers — or give us a call. From packing to loading to full end-to-end transport services, we’re here to make your move seamless and safe.

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