Moving is such a pain in the a**.
I recently packed up my bags and moved halfway across the country (1300 miles) for a new job.
That’s also why the posting has been so sporadic. So for you guys who follow each post, my apologies. I’m getting back in the swing of things now, finally.
To preface this article, I’m a young guy. And I don’t have a trust fund.
Which means I don’t have a lot of money.
So trying to move all of my stuff from point A, to point B, 1300 miles apart, was not easy. Especially considering it was directly through mountains.
Here are some things I learned that I hope other people moving might find helpful.
A Practical Guide To Affordable Moving
1. Don’t Ditch Everything Unless You Have Too
I gave a quick read of related articles that other people have posted on this subject online.
A common line of advice is “sell everything and buy new”.
But who really wants to do that?
Do you know how much effort and time it would have took to take pictures of everything, post them on Craigslist, and deal with the hassle of meeting 500 prospective buyers? And every one of them will haggle the price on you?
Well, if I equalized it out, probably a lot less than minimum wage. Considering the price I had to pay to originally buy everything and then buy new AGAIN.
Plus, I think people tend to forget that not everyone wants to live a minimalist lifestyle.
It’s not easy buying everything new when you start a new job and struggle to find time to build your entire home from scratch. What, you think that computer desk comes pre-made? HA, good luck bud!
Or the problems with ordering it and waiting a month for it to get delivered in the first place.
Way to break in your new home without a bed or a couch for 3 weeks.
And there is another point to consider as well. Furniture and other home-necessities cost a lot of money. Buying them all at once does one thing: it incentivizes us to cheap out.
Very few people looking up affordable moving have the disposable income necessary to buy an entire homes worth of quality items brand new. So, they get a few good items and the rest is junk that will break in a year.
Then, you’re paying more to replace it later.
This is the cheapest option upfront, without a doubt. Pack a car full and leave everything else. But if you can, avoid it. It’s the worst option by far for the long haul.
2. Uhaul May Not Be The Cheapest Option
If you cross out “ditch everything and drive your car” you mainly have 4 options:
Moving companies are ridiculously expensive.
PODS are expensive.
Relocube is a bit more affordable if you do terminal-to-door or terminal-to-terminal delivery (have to call and ask them about the former).
Uhaul/Penske/Budget tend to be the “big dogs” for the do-it-yourself option.
But one thing interesting I found out, is that Uhaul is not really cheaper than a relocube. And Uhaul tends to be the cheapest of the 3 do-it-yourself movers.
Consider this: relocube cost me about $1300 to move the 1300 miles. I did terminal-to-door delivery. This means I deliver it first to their terminal to load up, and then they drop it off right outside the door of my new place. You load/unload yourself, just like moving trucks or PODS.
I borrowed some friend’s time and moved the stuff to their terminal near my old place. Then, they dropped it off outside my new place 1300 miles away less than a week later.
Uhaul, on the other hand, would cost me about $800 when you include the cost of the van, insurance, one-way journey, and miles driven.
But that isn’t all.
You can’t forget you’re driving a giant freaking van for 1300 miles. So, factor in gas.
10 mpg (if you’re lucky). 1300/10 = 130 gallons needed. Price of gas $3. Cost of gas = $390.
Cost of Uhaul $800 + cost of gas $390 = $1,190
So Relocube costs $1,300, and Uhaul cost $1,190.
I would have only saved $110 by choosing Uhaul.
But there is an important caveat here we should also consider: TIME.
It is terrible driving those moving trucks. Couple that in with a 25 hour drive? No freaking thanks. It’s bad enough in a car.
You’re saddled with a speed governor on those big trucks, and it is horrific trying to go up/down mountains in them and not blow the brakes.
The personal price of not having to deal with that drive varies by person. For me, I would easily list it at $400-$500. It’s a huge time sink, and a complete hassle.
With Relocube, I just put all my stuff in a cube, and walk away. Next thing I know, it’s outside my new home. I move the stuff in; they come pick up the cube.
Easy, no hassle. Makes the stress of moving a lot less.
Plus, I fit a TON in that cube. It looks small, but here’s what I fit in there:
- Full bed (Queen mattress, box spring)
- Full bed set (Headboard, bottom pieces, backboard, etc.)
- Computer desk (Taken apart)
- Full sectional couch (big one, at that)
- 2 dressers
- Gun safe
- Dining table and 3 chairs
- All of my clothes/shoes
- Wardrobe box (one of the big ones from Home Depot that fits a ton of clothes)
- New Microwave in box
- Printer (in box)
- All of my tools (about 3 boxes/bag’s worth)
- And an assortment of other Home Depot boxes (about 4 small ones, 5 medium ones, and one long-length one for wall pictures)
That’s a ton of stuff. Easily enough for a 1 bedroom apartment or studio.
It doesn’t seem like it can fit it, but I made it work. Took some time moving things around and getting dimensions, but it was phenomenal.
Everything else fit in my car. I didn’t have to throw anything away.
All I’m getting at is this: Consider relocube if you’re doing a long move and want to save money. This is best for those of you not having 2 bd+ places, as that would require you to get 2 relocubes. I haven’t done the cost/price analysis on that, but you can easily find it by checking them out.
Important sidenote: I’m not endorsed or paid by them in any way, I just personally found it best to suit my needs.
Take it into strong consideration if you’re heavily leaning toward a moving truck. On long distances, those things are terrible. Whereas every other option is insanely expensive.
3. A Note About Long Distance Riding
If you are set on using a moving truck, even after reading the above section, use Penske. They have the best trucks.
It will cost you about $100 more (sometimes), but trust me, you want them if you’re going over 600 miles.
The other trucks are known to break down or otherwise be in rough shape sometimes.
You do NOT want to be stuck with one of those and break down. Or be riding in a truck that can’t get up a mountain or have potential brake problems. Wouldn’t it be delightful to be stranded in the middle of an Arizona desert in July while already stressed about moving because your truck broke down? Yeah, not really.
Same goes for the “Vans”. Some people try to save a quick buck by using a moving van instead of a moving truck. This will work for shorter trips as they are decently enough reliable and cheaper on gas. But you do not want them long distance for the same reasons.
Penske’s trucks are newer and typically have fewer miles. So if you’re going a long way, use them. The other moving trucks are not your friend for long drives.
4. Take Plenty of Time to Chill Out
Moving is stressful. You’re going to go bald at a rapid pace if you don’t relax a bit.
I took a copious amount of de-stress time during this process. Whenever things got a bit too much, I’d just remind myself that it doesn’t really matter. Everything will work out in the end.
And it did.
And it will for you too.
Do whatever you need to do to relax for some time. This is a big life change, but it’s a fun one too, if you let it be.