Moving is expensive! And moving cross-country... yikes, those costs can REALLY start to add up. After all, distance = time = money! It doesn't help either that it feels like one of those wasteful expenses: you know, the ones that you don't really get anything out of. There are ways to limit the costs, however, and I have a few tips that can help you save some of your hard-earned money in the long run.
A great way to spend less is to move less. This is the perfect opportunity to get rid of some stuff. If you were moving locally sure it might make sense to load up the truck and take everything with you but for a long distance move that's never a good idea. You don't want to waste money moving things that you don't really need; they take up space, add to fuel costs, etc. So trim the fat and save some dough.
The first real expense when you're moving – boxes! I know what you're thinking, why not just grab those free boxes out of the dumpster behind the liquor store. Well odds are they're probably not in great condition. Not only do you run the risk of all of your bedding always having that slight Crown Royale scent, but boxes that are exposed to the elements can start to wear down. And you're shipping long distance – remember. You want to make sure your items arrive in one piece, right? After all you're not really saving any money if you have to replace items on the other end. My suggestion – price shop. I know it can be time-consuming, but it's worth it in the long run. And don't just check with the usual suspects either like U-Haul and UPS try hardware and home improvement stores too, like Lowes and Home Depot. Often times they have good prices especially since they're trying to compete with the more well known box sellers.
As far as packing materials try to use stuff you have on hand. Blankets and towels are a great option, you've got to move them anyway why not put them to good use. You can use paper towels to wrap up some smaller items. They're cheap and easy to come by, you probably already have some you can use. I particularly like the Viva: they're really soft and do an excellent job. However, on really fragile or expensive items it is best spend the money on good packaging materials like bubble wrap.
Believe it or not, there is a right time to move! Or I guess I should say a more cost-effective time. The peak moving season tends to start in May and end in September. During this time, you'll have more competition for materials, trucks, labor, etc. and you'd be kidding yourself if you think these companies don't know that, so prices can certainly skyrocket. Now I'm not suggesting you try and move during the middle of the winter, believe me, that has its own set of challenges, but there is a sweet spot between March through April and September through October when the weather is still decent but there is far less competition.
Contrary to popular belief, the “do-it-yourself” option is not always the least expensive route. I know, I know before you eye-roll and close your browser tab, hear me out. First there are the truck rental fees, which are more expensive when you are moving cross-country because you will not be returning the truck to the same location. Second, fuel charges, those rental trucks get about 6 to 10 miles a gallon, that's right, you'll be dropping some serious cash on gas. Third, Hotel and food expenses, you're going across country so yes, you're going to need to stop to eat and rest along the way. Your dream of storming the country with little sleep, pouring a bag of nuts in your mouth with one hand, while flooring the moving truck just might be a little far-fetched. Finally, think of your time. Sure, you may not think that's worth much. Just think of all the things you can be doing instead of driving a moving truck across the country, and remember time is money. (Spoiler alert: The country is big, and not all of it is exciting. There are a LOT of corn fields out there. And Desert. Corn. And desert. Corn and..."ZZZZZZ")
Give us a call to help with your move. We won't answer questions about corn fields, but for other moving inquiries: we have you covered. Not only can we save you money off doing it yourself, but we also do all the work! And we'd love to get your move out on the foot! For more moving tips check out this PDF.