A rental moving truck

DIY move from Illinois to California: a complete guide

An interstate move is a daunting task not to be taken lightly. Many people find it too stressful and intimidating. It will be the same with your DIY move from Illinois to California. Although California is inviting and a great change, performing the move will cause you stress. The best advice here is to get professionals to help. However, although a DIY move is not advisable it is doable. With proper planning, care, and attention it can be done fairly easily.

Preparing for this move

This is a complicated process that demands focus and full presence from beginning to end. There are so many things to do that it may seem overwhelming. Improvising is not a good idea so make sure that you are well organized and make plans that will help you out.

A calendar as a base for planning a DIY move from Illinois to California
Making a detailed plan and schedule is the key to a successful DIY move

This is important as the interstate move can easily become all that occupies you until it is done. To make sure you are on track and in control you should:

  • Define the moving date and make a plan
  • Budget
  • Declutter
  • Pack

Other than making a detailed plan and checklist also consider all of the cost-saving techniques you can use. This move can be very expensive so proper budgeting is key. These facts are true for any move and especially for your DIY move from Illinois to California.


A long-distance move is always expensive. Based on the number of things that you are moving, their weight, and the moving distance you can easily calculate the cost of this move. Being expensive make sure that you budget properly and be sure that you can afford such a move. To be on the safe side also plan for unexpected expenses. Calculating the cost of an interstate move is much easier when you get professionals to do it.

When you are doing it DIY you also have to budget for expenses that aren’t that obvious but can be significant. So plan your budget in detail. Include not only the rental truck fee but also account for insurance, fuel cost, and food expenses. Also, calculate for sleeping arrangements and hotel expenses. These expenses may be significant so do not skip them when budgeting.

Person using a calculator
Make sure that your budget can support your DIY relocation from Illinois to California and all of the unforeseen expenses

Many people plan for a DIY move from Chicago to Cali because they presume it will be cheaper. However, the risks of a DIY interstate move can be quite high and expenses can go through the roof. But if your budget allows for expert packing services, you can find professionals to help you out at least partly. Many movers provide professional packing services that will make your moving prep easier. As they are versed in these activities they will perform a great packing job with proper supplies making it all simpler and easier for you.

Define the moving date and make a plan

An interstate move demands that you invest a lot of effort in this process. The number of things you have to perform can be staggering and occupy you completely. So, as soon as you define a moving date you should start planning. A good plan must incorporate all of the steps you should take and all the things to do. It will help you direct your effort efficiently and keep you organized and on track.

The success of your move will depend on your involvement in the process. While it seems straight forward you can’t do it without a proper checklist and a plan. Without a plan and a clear relocation strategy, you will be inefficient in your moving process. You will also be prone to miss out on some important tasks that will cost you time money and cause stress.


You also have to make sure you declutter your belongings. Many things that you accumulate over time you don’t really need. These things you don’t even use become a big burden during the move. You have to pack them, handle and transport and then unpack. All of this takes time and costs money. The more you have to transport and pack the expensive the move. So, be wise and declutter.

Make an inventory and decide on what you will move with you and what you don’t need and can get rid of. All of the surplus items you can sell, donate or give away. But some things you might want to keep but not move. In these cases, you can look for the right self-storage facility. Explore golansmoving.com in detail as movers often offer a wide pallet of services including storage.

This will come in handy while planning your move and decluttering. In this way, you will make your DIY move much simpler and easier. Your move will be faster and less expensive so take your time to declutter. The sooner you start with it the better.


Your DIY move from Illinois to California will take time. It may take weeks to complete and have all of your things transported to your new home. During this transport, your belongings are at risk of damage. So, one of the more important tasks you have to plan for is packing. Proper packing will make your move safer and your things protected.

People packing cardboard boxes
You can manage packing yourself or get professional packers to help

Take the time to pack properly and make sure to invest in packing materials. When packing for the long haul, adequate supplies are the key to the safe transport of your belongings. So, make sure to buy quality cardboard boxes or get plastic bins for packing your delicate items. Also get enough protective materials such as plastic wrapping r bubble foil, styrofoam, and protective blankets.

Although these supplies may be expensive they are necessary as they provide safety for your belongings. Take your time with packing because time and money invested here will save you a lot of trouble and allow you a less stressful move.

One final note

Many moving guides will always advise against a DIY interstate move. However, it is not that the law that you should abide by. There is no reason why your DIY move from Illinois to California shouldn’t be a success. With proper planning and preparation and a realistic budget, you can do it. So do not hesitate for a minute. If you think you can handle it you should take the step and try. But first, always take the time to read practical advice that will help you out while preparing for and throughout the moving process.

Top places for relocation

Leave a Reply