I have lived in California, New Mexico, Vermont, and Florida – all in the last 5 years. Obviously I move quite often, be it for a job or just a change of scenery, so it’s important to me to able to reduce moving costs whenever possible. While I have used everything from U-Haul for do it yourself moves all the way up to full-service movers like Allied or Mayflower, but recently I have discovered the absolute best way to move – which happens to also be the cheapest.
My most recent move was a 3,000 mile haul across the country. I had a 10 X 10 storage room of stuff to move, and most of it was already packed up securely and ready to go, as that’s the way I put it into storage back when I did. I knew I finally wanted to move my stuff to where I was living, so I needed to get some estimates on moving expenses. Let’s take a look at those estimates I received along with a cost comparison to the method I finally decided to go with.
Full Service Movers
I contacted three different full-service movers – Allied, Mayflower, and United. Full-service movers both pack up your belongings on one end and unpack them on the other, meaning you don’t really have to do too much work other than box up your goods in your home before they arrive. (You could hire them for that too, but that gets really expensive.) After filling in some online estimate sheets outlining my belongings, I received emails back from each one with dollar amount that they wanted for my move. Not a single one came in under $4,200! That’s quite a lot of money to move my rather small amount of belongings and an amount I wasn’t willing to pay them. So it was on to figure something else out, leaving the full-service movers behind. They were certainly not going to help reduce moving costs this time around.
Move Everything Myself
My next option was to investigate hiring a U-Haul or Budget truck to move my belongings myself. I thought that this would come in as a much cheaper alternative, but it turns out I was wrong; it actually would have cost about the same. The truck rental itself came out to around $2,000, the gas would have cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000, a plane ticket out to where my storage facility would run about $200, and then I would have had to pay for food and hotels on my drive back. I was looking at somewhere near $4,000. Doing all the work myself would have cost the same as having someone else do it all, so that would have been a rather stupid choice. A DIY move was out of the question, for sure.
Pack It Myself, Have Someone Else Drive It
The third option, packing a trailer myself and having a company drive it for me, turned out to be the best way for me to reduce moving costs this time around. U-Pack brings a trailer to your location and drops it off, you pack it up, they come get it and drive it your new home. They leave it there for three days and you unpack it into your home. Total cost for the amount of goods I needed to move? Just $2,000. That’s quite a savings!
However, there was one problem in that I wasn’t anywhere near my storage facility. Well, the company has movers you can hire as well, so I hired them to move my stuff out of storage and into the trailer for me, with my friend overseeing the entire operation. This cost me $500, which is on the pricey end of what hiring guys to pack a truck should have cost, but they were licensed and insured with U-Pack and weren’t just some random guys off the street. Once they packed up my stuff, U-Pack drove the trailer to my new location and I unloaded it. Total cost, including the movers on the loading up side, was $2,500. Not bad at all, considering I only had to do the work on unloading!
So, full service movers would have cost $4,200, moving it myself would have cost around $4,000, and hiring a ABF/U-Pack trailer and movers cost me $2,500. That’s a savings of $1,700 over full-service companies, and it was absolutely painless – even taking while care of it from a distance! If you are looking for ways to reduce moving costs next time you have to move or relocate, I suggest you investigate every option available to you. By loading and unloading a trailer that someone else drove for you, you could save a lot of money over full-service and DIY moves. I know that’s how I will be doing my next move!