Cross Country Move Guide

Random Observation/Comment #669: New adventures are meant to be scary and exciting. We’ve got plenty of time to change.

Daft Punk at the Airport

This isn’t my first time moving. I know this because I already have a full blogpost of lessons learned around packing. What’s new to me is a cross country move in the middle of a pandemic. There were a lot of parts to move and a lot of moving parts :).

Each of the topics covered will have their own lists of 30 tips/lessons learned associated to them, but here’s the end-to-end weighing our options for each major decision.

Deciding to Move

So things are a bit crazy, but there’s a significant opportunity to redefine how and where you want to live. We decided to move pre-covid when we were writing this post on 30 Requirements for a Home almost a year ago. We weighed the pros and cons of raising our daughter in the city and options for property in the tri-state area. Denver won out for a lot of reasons; blogpost about this to come. Perhaps one of the factors for not moving would be the complexities I’m about to list.


Start a moving google doc and Airtable of tasks with your significant other.

These topics included:

Packing and Transport

Consider how you’re going to move the bulk of your stuff cross country. Maybe it’s easier to just start over with new furniture to save yourself from the headache. You can put together a spreadsheet of all the things you want to move from your current place and see if it’s worth the cost of move. For the move itself, I personally suggest using as a full service container drop off, pick up, and delivery package.

Note that only works if you have a driveway and you’re moving House-to-House. If I was moving Apartment-to-House, I’d probably rent a uhaul and do a single day move if you’re going from an apartment to a house. Luckily, we had our parents house as an intermediate space for storing and packing the Pod.

The 8’×17′ pod 1 month rental end-to-end cost around $3000. It breaks down to ~$2500 for the actual drive and ~$200 for storage for first month (discounted for months after).

Use the Hire-a-Helper they recommend because they will do a much better job at packing the pod and stacking than you ever will. It was actually really impressive to watch “the Magician” at work.

Getting There

We thought about the safest and least painful way to get from NY to Denver. The one thing that made us lean towards taking a flight is 4-hours of misery versus 3 days of misery (+lots of driving). Delta wound up having a light flight as they do not book the middle seats. We also upgraded to Delta Comfort+ with choice of being the front seat so our toddler had the extra space. Overall, I think it would have cost more in energy and for food/stay if we did drive. If we didn’t have a kid, we would have totally made a road trip out of it.

Interim Period

We arrived to Denver about a month early from our close date. We wanted to shelter-in-place and also work out any other logistics (like buying a car). During this interim period, we rented a large SUV (to fit the suitcases from the airport to the house) and got an Airbnb for a month. Airbnb for a full house with a backyard in Aurora for ~$3000 a month was a pretty solid find.

House, Finances and Insurance

There’s a lot of steps for closing on a house. Since we’re new owners, there was a lot of new things to Google. For the mortgage, we used to see some anonymous rates and find the right down payment, length of loan, rate, and opportunity cost for cash. We were able to lock in a 2.5% rate, which seems pretty good. For insurance, we used which is like kayak for aggregating insurance price comparisons for auto and home. We’re probably going with Progressive.

Buying a Car

I went down a rabbit hole of watching Youtube videos on how to negotiate and how car dealerships are a part of a 3-tier broken purchasing process. I have a whole list of 30 that described my full process and tips/tricks. Things are also a little different due to the pandemic. There seems to be more contactless online-first pricing with fewer room for negotiation on fees. This has lead to a higher demand in Used car purchases. Surprisingly not a lot of good deals since new car supplies have halted/decreased in volume to maintain supply/demand.

For the car type, we decided the requirements:

  • SUV to pack the necessary large items for ski trips
  • 4WD for snow roads
  • Winter weather package of features
  • High Safety rating
  • Price point and finance package

We are currently deciding between the Subaru Forester Sport and the Toyota Rav4 XLE Hybrid. Both seem like great cars, so we’re excited to do some at-home test drives!

Welcomed by the Bison of Colorado


We’re looking forward to settling into our new home and getting over the logistics part of this. Time to go to Home Depot all the time and think about how to renovate.

~See Lemons Move Cross Country