Moving for Less
A Frugal Long-Distance Move
Do-It-Yourself Moving Tips
Moving on a Dime
Cheap Cross-Country Move
We are preparing to make a cross-counrty move. We have done this many times in the past and I know how expensive it can be. I was wondering if you or any of your readers had any money saving tips for cutting moving expenses? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank You.
I also recently moved across the country and found a great service to avoid paying those outrageous U-Haul fees. We found a company called Movex Load Consolidators which is especially useful if you just have a small amount to move, like an apartment-full. What they do is bring a giant truck to your house and you load all of your belongings into it and put up a large piece of plywood as a divider. Then, they take it to one of their main shipping areas where they fill the rest of the truck with commercial goods that need to be shipped to the same area. So in a way, you are sharing the cost of the truck with some company.
The cost was about $500 cheaper for us than a U-Haul. The best part is, you only pay for the amount of space that you use. So we used 3 feet of the truck (the truck is 9' x 8') and just paid for that. If we had used less, we would have paid less.
Plus, you don't have to worry about driving the truck yourself, we took a leisurely drive across the country. We just let Movex know when we would be arriving and when we wanted the truck there. It is all very flexible as long as you don't have to have your stuff in the next day or two!
Try a Railroad
Several railroads ( Burlington Northern for one) will transport your belongings by piggyback truck for a lot less than movers or even renting a truck. They will deliver the trailer to your house, you load it or have it loaded, they pick it up, put it on the train and then deliver it to your new home. We moved a large household and shop 2300 miles for $1700. We had good service and no problems.
Moving Smaller Items
We moved to Iowa from Hawaii five years ago. We couldn't afford to pay movers. We sold the big stuff and mailed everything else. We have quite a number of books and book rate is very inexpensive. A few years ago my mom moved as well, and she mailed most of her things as well. Make sure you number the boxes and keep a good inventory of what's in each box so that if one gets lost you'll know which one and what was in it. We mailed 20+ boxes, a little at a time for a fraction of what a mover would cost.
Debbie in Centerville, Iowa
Take the Bus
Local school systems often have a routine replacement plan for their school bus fleet. Check the school systems in your surrounding communities. At the time of our move, we were able to buy a school bus in the 8 to 9 year old category for less than the cost of renting a good sized TRAILER from the Midwest to the West coast. We gave away and sold the seats, and calculated the volume of the inside space. A trailer hitch (step down variety) can be mounted to tow an additional trailer. The vehicle can be sold at the other end of the move to be converted into a camper for hunters or a utility vehicle for contractors. Look for a two speed rear end which will give better highway speeds and fuel economy.
Whatever you decide to move your stuff in, be sure to get the inside measurements early in your planning. Use those measurements to measure out an equivalent area in your present home (we used baby powder to mark the area on the carpeted floor) Fit your boxes into this pre-planned area and you will know exactly how, and if, it will fit.
Jan M. B.
Cheaper Moving Truck Rental
The cheapest way to move is to rent a truck and drive it yourself. Call around to several rental companies before you rent, and call the local numbers. Local companies are charged storage fees by the national chains if they have too many trucks on the lot. If the company needs to move a truck out of state, they may be very willing to work with you on the price. Hire somebody to load it if you don't have the skills or the back to do it yourself. Professional loading is important because the load must be balanced properly (most of the weight towards the front of the cab) and the items must fit tightly together to prevent shifting and rubbing. Some companies will rent and load the truck for you and then unload it at your destination -- you do the driving and save!
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Postal Service Moving Kit
If the subscriber is going to rent a moving truck and do the job themselves, be sure to get a "moving kit" free from the post office. In it there are some tips and ideas for saving money and being organized. BUT the biggest bonus is a 10% off coupon for a rental truck (Ryder, I think). It helps out a lot!
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