Stay Informed, Stay Ahead


Request A Moving Quote

Stay Informed, Stay Ahead


What Not to Take on a Cross Country Move: Streamlining Your Relocation


Embarking on a cross country move presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Deciding what to take with you can be daunting, as each item incurs additional weight and ultimately cost. It's essential to declutter and prioritize, considering whether the value of transporting each item outweighs the cost. Moving is an ideal time to streamline one’s belongings, focusing on essentials and items of sentimental or considerable monetary value.

In preparation for a cross country move, reviewing everything from appliances to personal items helps determine what hasn't been used in recent months. Unused or seldom-used appliances, outdated electronics, and duplicate household items often do not merit the space they will take up in the moving truck. Not only does this selective process aid in managing moving expenses, but it also simplifies the process of setting up a new home, ensuring that a mover's energy and resources are invested wisely.

Detailed planning is critical when confronting the logistics of a transcontinental relocation. Movers you engage must be reputable and capable of handling the intricacies of a long-haul move. Opting to take fewer possessions can simplify these logistics, allowing for a smoother transition to a new beginning. With every non-essential item off the moving list, individuals can reduce stress and enjoy a more streamlined move.

Prohibited and Non-Essential Items

When planning a cross-country move, it's crucial to be aware of items that are not permitted to be transported due to safety, legal, or practical reasons. Understanding what falls into these categories can save movers time and prevent potential complications during the relocation process.

Hazardous Materials

Prohibited hazardous materials generally include substances that pose a significant risk during transport. These items often cannot be moved by professional movers:

  • Paint: Flammable and can emit harmful fumes.

  • Motor Oil and Anti-Freeze: Pose leakage and contamination risks.

  • Solvents and Pool Chemicals: Highly reactive and potentially explosive.

  • Pesticides: Toxic nature makes them dangerous to transport.

  • Bleach and Cleaning Supplies: Can cause chemical reactions if spilled.

  • Nail Polish Remover: Flammable and contains chemicals like acetone.

  • Car Batteries: Contains acid and can leak corrosive liquid.

  • Chemistry Sets: Various chemicals can be hazardous.

  • Matches and Darkroom Chemicals: Pose fire hazards.

  • Fertilizer: Can be combustible.


Items that are considered non-essential and perishable should not be packed for a cross-country move due to their nature to decay, spoil, or die:

  • Food in Glass Jars: Risk of breakage and spoilage.

  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Can deteriorate and attract pests.

  • Refrigerated Items: Will not stay fresh during a long move.

  • Open or Half-Used Food Packages: Spillage and spoilage are likely.

Heavy Appliances

Certain heavy appliances may be impractical or prohibited by movers for a cross-country move due to logistical constraints:

  • Washing Machines: Need special handling and can retain water causing mold.

  • Dryers: Complicated to move due to size and safety precautions.

  • Refrigerators: Must be defrosted and cleaned, and can trap moisture.

  • Dishwashers: Often excluded because they require specific moving conditions to prevent damage.

Decluttering Strategy

A successful cross-country move hinges on minimizing excess, ensuring one relocates only what is necessary and valuable. This strategic approach includes assessing personal items and deciding which to sell, donate, or discard.

Assessing Your Belongings

Each individual should begin by sorting their possessions into categories, such as clothing, kitchenware, and personal items. They must be critical during this process, considering the practicality and emotional value of each item. A general rule to follow is that if an item has not been used for over a year, it is likely not essential. Key considerations include:

  • Condition of items: Identify and set aside items that are damaged or no longer functional.

  • Usage frequency: Items that haven't been used recently should be flagged for removal.

  • Replacement cost: Consider if an item can be easily and affordably replaced after the move.

Selling or Donating Unwanted Items

Once the sorting is complete, individuals should decide on the most appropriate avenue for dispensing their unwanted items. Selling provides an opportunity to recoup some expenses and can be done through online marketplaces, garage sales, or consignment shops. When selling items, one should:

  • Evaluate market value: Research prices for similar items to set fair and competitive prices.

  • Present items attractively: Clean and take good photos of the items to increase sales potential.

Alternatively, donating proves to be a philanthropic and practical solution, especially for items like old towels and sheets, which many animal shelters accept for animal care. Clothing that no longer fits or is slightly damaged also makes excellent donations. Organizations generally welcome the following items:

  • Clothes: Garments should be in decent condition, free of any severe damage.

  • Home goods: Sheets, towels, small appliances, and furniture can be useful to others.

Adhering to this decluttering strategy will greatly facilitate the moving process, allowing individuals to start afresh in their new location with only what they truly need or cherish.

Practical Moving Tips

When planning a cross country move, one must consider cost-effective strategies and efficient packing methods to streamline the process and save resources.

Cost-Saving Measures

Moving Cross Country on a Budget:

  • Downsizing: They should sell, donate, or discard items not used within the last six months, such as outdated appliances or duplicate household items.

  • Comparison Shopping: They must obtain quotes from multiple moving companies to ensure they receive the best rate and service that fits their budget.

Tips for Moving with Minimal Funds:

  • Free Supplies: One can obtain free moving boxes from local stores or online marketplace giveaways.

  • DIY Moving: If possible, they can opt to move themselves by renting a truck, which is often cheaper than hiring professional movers.

Packing Efficiently

Strategies for a Systematic Packing Approach:

  • Inventory: A comprehensive inventory should be made to keep track of items and to decide what to take.

  • Essentials: Essential items such as important documents, medication, and a change of clothes should be packed last, in a clearly labeled "Open First" box.

Guidelines for Specific Circumstances:

  • Single-person Move: They should focus on packing light, as this allows for more mobility and potentially cheaper travel options.

  • Last-minute Packing: When time is limited, one should pack room by room, clearly labeling each box with its contents and intended room in the new home.

Why Choose Moving Forward For a Cross Country Move?

Moving Forward is your best choice for moving across the country. When you move a long way, it's super stressful doing everything yourself – packing, loading and unloading. But with Moving Forward Moving Company, you get rid of that stress. They've been doing this for more than ten years, so they're one of the best out of state movers or commercial moving company in Charlottesville and Richmond. What's cool about them is they're a small, local business, which means they give you more personal attention than the big companies. You work with the same team from start to finish, and you talk directly to their staff until your move is all done. For an easy, well-managed long-distance move, Moving Forward is the way to go. Contact us now to learn more or get a free moving quote!

More Posts