How To: · Packing Tips

How to: Move across the country, cheaply!

Cheap Move

As some of you may have read from previous posts/my info page, I’m moving to Colorado (from Atlanta, GA) for graduate school! It’s been very stressful trying to figure out how to get my crap out there in the cheapest possible way. Because let’s be honest, I’m still living the cheap-college-give-me-free-shit life.

Here I will list my thought process on the moving situation, plus tips for you guys that are also moving or thinking of moving across the country!

My first thought when moving was: Do I want to keep all of my cheap furniture or buy all new crap when I get out to Denver? 

  • So, I’ve had cheap Bed, Bath, & Beyond furniture and a Big Lots mattress all through college. I was trying to figure out what option would be the cheapest or most beneficial in the long run.
  • I calculated the price of buying all new CHEAP furniture again (so looking at BBB and Big Lots prices again to calculate the overall price of getting the same furniture I currently have).
    • The price of getting new furniture was going to be more expensive than it would be to just ship out my current cheap furniture. And since this is the last set of cheap furniture I want before buying a house, I figured I shouldn’t buy any more cheap stuff.

So, after deciding to ship all my current furniture, I had to decide how to get it out there. Do I want to drag it along with me (in a box attached to my car or separate moving truck) OR should I just send it all in one of those PODS boxes?

  • Driving 22 hours to Colorado is a far distance to drag along an attachable U-haul. Plus you can’t drive as fast with those things connected, not to mention that my car doesn’t even have a trailer hitch (so I would have had to pay to get that installed). So I eliminated the attachable moving cart.
  • Driving 22 hours to Colorado ALONE is also unbearable, which is what would happen if I drove my car (which I wanted out there with me in Colorado) and my boyfriend drove the loaded up U-haul truck behind me. Or vis versa. So I eliminated getting a U-haul truck.
  • So it was decided to get one of those PODS-like boxes and just ship my crap, since this was the most convenient & logical option for me.

Now, the big decision: Which moving company should I use to rent a moving box?

  • I looked up the major companies across the U.S. that provide these box rentals/shipping services. I came up with only three surprisingly (most of the companies are local moving only): U-haul, PODS, and PackRat.
  • I called each company to get an estimate on same-day packing, shipping out to Colorado from Atlanta, and same-day unloading. The cheapest option I found was U-haul’s U-Box. They had a flat rate of around $75 for a full month of a U-Box rental. The only thing that sky-rocketed the price was gas to get my crap out to Denver – understandable. So, I set everything up with them online, which was a super easy process and they were all very nice and helpful.
    • It was significantly cheaper to pick up the Box and bring it to my house to load rather then have them drop it off at my house to load.
    • It was also much cheaper (like $200 less) to make multiple trips to the local U-haul, once I was in Denver, to unload all of my stuff. I also have street parking so that would have been an issue with parking the Box somewhere to unload.

UBox

Here are my approximate costs from U-haul for those who like to see the numbers:

  • $75 for a month rental of U-Box (Way more time than I needed but they don’t do anything less than monthly fees)
  • ~$1,000 in gas to ship everything out to Denver (~1,400 miles across the country)
  • Fees & Taxes, etc.
  • Total was less than $2,000 through U-haul – other companies I called would have been over $2,000

Still pricy for a broke graduate student but the most logical option for myself! Have any cheaper ideas or suggestions?! Leave any questions or comments below!

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