Thursday, March 13, 2008

Need Ideas for Moving on the Cheap

Anyone out there have any good ideas/experience moving across the country inexpensively? We will be moving basic household goods across the country this summer, but leaving almost all our furniture behind (we'd like to bring our bed, a few lamps in addition to clothes, baby stuff, etc.) We looked at PODs, U-Haul and both are around $2000 for the smallest rental, including gas. We are willing to pack very light, but there's no way we can fit everything in our Honda Civic!(there are three of us, including our baby). Any ideas?

Edited to add: Just for background: We currently have a 700 sq. ft. apt. We are moving to a school in MO for 9 months and then moving again to AZ for a year or so and then moving rather permanently overseas. So we will have to make several moves in the next 3 years where we shouldn't need much in the way of furniture, (but will need most of our other household stuff).


Martha A. said...

I would check into shipping the smaller stuff freight on a train. That is what my parents did when we had to move in a car across country! Also, you probably want to leave your bed if that is the only big thing you are bringing as $2000 could buy a very nice bed!
We had to pack it well, but it was not too bad.
Ask friends if they know anyone who has a truck who would want to go on a trip where you pay the gas. It would have to be cheaper than rental and gas! Even put an ad in the paper! Otherwise we found when we were moving for short periods of time it was best to leave all furniture (we did it alot growing up) in storage and only take what we could fit in the car and get makeshift furniture, beds etc while we were there. The house so easy to clean!!! We had so much time to do stuff

April said...

Look into ABF upack. They drop off a truck, you load it, they take it away and you meet up with it at your destination. We moved across the country with a crazy amount of stuff and it was just over $1000, which was a lot less expensive then renting a truck/gas and all the other options we looked into, and we didn't have to drive it! There's usually codes in the USPS "new moving packets" for $50-$100 off, and you can go on their website and tailor your move date to their cheapest available days. It worked great for us.

I found out the prices for each square ft, and I decided how much room we could afford. THEN, I taped off that exact square footage in our front room and that's how I decided what was going and what was going to goodwill! Plus, it made it crazy easy to load come move day. :)


Sue said...

When we moved from Florida to northern Georgia, I checked out U-haul but I found that Penski was the cheaper option by far.

One of the things to take into consideration when deciding what to take and what to leave behind, is how much it's going to cost to replace it on the other end. Going up a size in your rental truck may add to the cost of the move, but that may also allow you to take along more furniture so you won't have to buy it once you get to your new home. So it becomes a game of figuring out which costs less... moving something or replacing it.

And remember to keep all your receipts to file as moving expenses on your taxes next year.

CC said...

When we moved cross country we did the equivalent of PODS (before it was a mega company). It was by FAR the cheapest option for us. My only other suggestion would be if your Civic can pull one of those small trailers that U-Haul rents. But our Subaru could barely get over the Rockies with nothing in tow, I'm really not sure how a Civic will do. LOL!

Mrs. Byers said...

Hi Rachel,
I am delurking :0) I am from the Northwest as well, now residing in Pennsylvania. I have wondered where in WA you are...we lived in Tacoma and Wenatchee, and I am originally from the Yakima Valley. We moved here 18 months ago and by far, Penske was the cheapest to rent from. You could haul your civic with a trailer, usually around $200 (alot less than driving it and putting the miles on it) and all ride in the cab. My kids took turns riding wtih my husband in the cab and loved it. We had two vehicles, so each had a little with us. Also, and I am sure you have already done this, but really making sure you LOVE or NEED everything you take with you makes it so much easier on the other end. I didn't go through everything thoroughly before we moved, and my husband packed and brought out things I thought we had gotten rid of. We just had to get rid of there here instead! The other thing we did was to pack a couple of small coolers with food to make meals on the road. We traveled for most of the day and made lunches and had snacks at rest areas and then we usually went out for a frugal dinner when we got to our destination for the day. We found inexpensive motels through the coupon books found at fast food restaurants and rest stops and tried to get ones with a continental breakfast included. We were able to find great deals on motels online too. Just our experience...but I hope it helps!

Rachael said...

Thank you for your ideas! If there are more, keep em coming! Just for background: We are moving to a school in MO for 9 months and then moving again to AZ for a year or so and then moving rather permanently overseas. So we will have to make several moves in the next 3 years where we shouldn't need much in the way of furniture, (but will need all our other household stuff). Thank you again!

JenMarie said...

Don't know of any deals, but do know to not use Olympic Moving and Storage again.

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

Hey, Rachael! Did you see that DR is in Time magazine this week? There will be more people "drinking the Koolaid"! LOL

Samara said...

I used ABF Upack in December and loved them! My other suggestions are:
1) get a PO box in your new town and forward your mail as soon as you move; this way you can notify your banks, subscriptions etc even if it takes time to find a place to live. If you end p moving within the same town, you won't have to change your address again.
2) Have as many yard/moving sales as possible in the weeks/months leading up to the move and budget the profits for the move.

Sir Armstrong said...

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