Moving from California to Washington, DC

For many, the thought of orchestrating a move from California to Washington, DC can be overwhelming. By choosing the right long-distance moving company and following our tips for preparation, planning, and organization, you can help to ensure that your cross-country adventure is a success.

1. Start Early

The time to start preparing for your move is right after you make the decision to leave the west coast behind and try out east coast living. In addition to arranging for your new housing and putting your current home on the market, now is the time to start making to-do lists and taking inventory of the items in each room. Measure large pieces of furniture to make sure they will fit into your new space or to determine what you may need to leave behind and replace once you reach your new destination.

2. Get Organized

Make yourself a moving binder to help you stay organized and to keep all your important documents, lists, and receipts in one place. In addition to moving applications that you can download for your smartphone or tablet, there is an infinite number of online resources where you can print out moving checklists for easy reference. In addition to being small and portable, your moving binder can save you time, money, and frustration as you can quickly and easily locate the paperwork you need, right when you need it.

3. Choose the Right Moving Company

What should you look for in a moving company? Consider the following criteria before you choose:

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • For a long distance move, it is better to work with an established company with the experience, knowledge, and equipment needed to ensure the safe and timely transport of your items.
  • Check reviews on websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List, and contact the BBB to identify any issues or complaints.

It is important to begin this process early as the most reputable companies are often booked well in advance. In order to secure your preferred dates, try to book your move at least three months ahead of schedule.

4. Downsize

Some moving companies will weigh household contents once they are loaded and the cost of your move is calculated based on this figure in addition to other factors such as a fuel surcharge, time, and labor. You can save a great deal on the overall price by downsizing your possessions and taking only those items which are necessary or meaningful. Methodically work your way through each room in your home looking for items to give away, recycle, toss, or donate.

5. Pack

Start packing your non-essential items well in advance of your moving day, or enlist the help of friends and family to give you a hand. Full-service or partial-service home packing is available if needed and will help to safeguard your items while qualifying them to be insured. Boxes which are packed by the homeowner are not covered by insurance for loss or damage as there is no way to verify the contents of each box or the manner in which they were packed.

6. Get Acquainted

Learn all you can about Washington, DC to lessen the adjustment period, including:

  • Climate: Be prepared for four-season weather including snow, rain, and the heat and humidity of summer.
  • Getting Around: The Metro is a fast, easy, affordable way to navigate your way around the city, though you may want your own vehicle for visiting areas outside of the train’s reach.
  • Cost of Living: Washington, DC is in fifth place on the list of most expensive cities in the U.S.

Moving to or from a different area in the U.S.? Our blog has tips for moving all over the country! Check out our most recent blogs posts here »