If you're planning a cross-country move, you may be investigating the variety of services available to help you make the process easier. While there are enough services for hire to essentially allow you to leave your home without packing a single item and arrive at a fully furnished and unpacked home on the other side of the country, these services can come at a cost. One way to reduce costs is to do as much prep work yourself as possible. Read on to learn more about the steps you can take to prepare for your packing services and movers to allow them to work as quickly (and therefore cheaply) as possible. 

Get rid of hazardous items

Because moving companies aren't permitted to transport many hazardous items -- like paint, fireworks, or propane tanks -- you'll need to either make alternative transportation arrangements for these items or dispose of them in a legal and environmentally-friendly way. This will help you eliminate a hefty disposal fee when you leave these items behind for the moving company (or for your real estate agent). 

Purge still-useful items

Once you've gotten rid of your trash, you may need to purge even further -- paying movers to pack and transport unwanted or unused items across the country is inefficient and unnecessarily expensive. Even just going through your closet and donating clothes that haven't been worn in the last year, or going through the other rooms of your home and trashing or donating items that haven't seen the light of day in years can significantly reduce the amount of belongings that will need to be packed, saving both time and money.

Separate your valuables and necessary items before the move

To avoid inadvertently having needed items made inaccessible until after boxes are unpacked at your new home, you'll need to separate them before the movers arrive. These items can include spare glasses, medication, important documents like birth certificates and Social Security cards, and gadget chargers or battery packs. 

Organize (if you have time)

If your home is normally in a state of disarray, taking some time to organize like belongings with like can help streamline the process for your movers and ensure that the unpacking process will go equally smoothly. If you've already purchased a home in your new location, you can also evaluate its floor plan to determine where you'd like to place specific items prior to the move.