The ultimate cross-country metropolitan move? From New York City to Los Angeles, you’re making the leap from the Big Apple to the west coast’s City of Angels. A whole different feel, a whole different mode of operation, and a whole lot of sunshine. You’ve researched the best place to live once you land, so now it’s time to consider how you’re making your cross-country move. Here are our best tips for moving from NYC to LA as efficient, affordable, and stress-free as possible.
Hire long distance movers with experience
They’ve done this before, so they know how to help you plan your cross-country move right. From helping you find the most affordable way to ship your belongings to making sure you have the right moving insurance, a full-service moving company can take the headache out of the equation. And if you’re curious, they most likely offer additional moving insurance on your move to keep you feeling safe and protected.
Driving? Take the scenic route
There are a few major interstate options for moving from NYC to LA, but unless you’re driving in the dead of winter when icy road conditions are a worry, consider taking I-80 — and leave ample time for side-trips. It’ll take you through some of the most expansive and gorgeous scenery of the midwest and mountain west with plenty of opportunities for side excursions on the Scenic Byways. The Bridger Mountain Byway in Wyoming offers incredible views that you wouldn’t otherwise see from the highway, or take a hike in Utah’s Echo Canyon. At exit 301 in Nevada, you can belly up to the Elko bar that cowboys have been frequenting since 1868.
The only hitch? Do your research ahead of time to find places to stay on your move to LA. The skies are wide and the roads are open, but the towns and hotels are few and far between. Check out AirBnB for some secret sweet spots or even consider CouchSurfing to meet the locals and get more of the flavor of each stop.
Be a moving minimalist
It’s a long haul from east to west, so downsize as much as you can before you make the trip. More than likely it’ll save you money to have a garage sale or give your less-than-necessary belongings to friends and family to save on the shipping costs with less stuff to move. And? You’re moving to the Los Angeles, the sunshine coast! Downsize your winter wardrobe big time. Leave a few warm things with East Coast family or friends to keep you warm when you visit, you won’t be needing that down parka where you’re going. You can also rent a vault at a storage facility for all the items you do not want to take on the journey with you from the east to the west coast.
Fuel up in the small towns
Since the drive from east to west means a whole lot of highway miles, be gas-conscious and fuel up in small towns. Gas prices will likely be cheaper and you can avoid having to navigate the traffic of more major cities.
Pack to the long haul
Your belongings will be spending a long time packed away, so be sure you use materials that can stand up to a week or two on the road. Bumps and turns will mean a lot of shifting around. Be sure dishes and fragile items are well-cushioned with no room for bumping into other things. Boxes designed for glasses, dishware, and specific pieces of furniture can help — and your movers may have crates for rent that will do the job well.
Take what you need with you
It typically takes between two to four weeks for your shipment to arrive on such a long trip so pack your essentials with you rather than on the truck. Make sure you have the items you’ll need so that you won’t be anxiously waiting for your shipment: toiletries, extra clothes, personal documents, and maybe even your favorite pillow. Then take advantage of those two weeks to explore.
A few other tips:
Don’t forget that you only have 10 days after getting California residency to get a new license. That means once you register to vote, filing a homeowner’s tax exemption, or paying in-state tuition. You also need to register your car in California, so be sure all emissions are up to the highest standard — California is strict, and Los Angeles even more so.
If you’re moving for work purpose, you might be able to deduct your moving expenses. The IRS spells it out in detail, so keep your receipts for lodging and gas in case you can cash it all income tax time.
Be sure to register your change of address with the USPS and your bank. That will keep you from getting those pesky Jury Duty notices from New York, and make sure that all important mail makes it to your new home in the sun.