Author Topic: DIY Interstate Relocation  (Read 681 times)

J.R. Ewing

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Location: Houston, TX
DIY Interstate Relocation
« on: August 23, 2022, 07:19:20 AM »
I may need to do this in the coming months.  Anyone have experience pulling this off frugally without getting divorced in the process?  I'm not talking about a 25-year-old's relocation where you rent the smallest U-Haul and throw your junk in the back.  I'm talking about family of four in a 2600 sq ft house relocation to another state. 

Love to get tips, tricks, hacks, or links.

Cheers.

ak907

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2022, 07:29:05 AM »
  If you want to can hire off craigslist/fb marketplace/home depot/uhaul guys to load your two really big uhauls. In my personal experience the extra muscle is a must unless you have really good friends willing to help you lift all that stuff.

  But it's probably more work than it is worth to coordinate all of that. When we have done it it was for smaller moves and on average the guys were cheaper and more helpful than corporate movers, friendly, happy, helpful and fun. Part of that may have been our active participation sweating alongside them, to the point I crippled myself for a week. But we also had help that was actively destructive. And in that case you have no real effective recourse (not that there is much recource/compensation with most corporate movers despite what they say in most cases). Estimating the number of folks you need and time is a bit of an art form based on experienced as well.

Askel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 791
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2022, 07:33:20 AM »
Kind of disappointed this thread is not about getting a highway moved. :D 

FLBiker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1794
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Canada
    • Chop Wood Carry FIRE
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2022, 07:40:36 AM »
I just posted this on another thread, but when we moved from Tampa to Nova Scotia in 2020, we hired local movers to load the truck in Tampa -- that was some of the best money I've ever spent.  They did a phenomenal job.  It would have taken us 5 times as long (at least) and we would have ended up with a worse result.  Nothing broke, and we fit much more stuff in that truck than I would have thought possible.  We didn't pay for movers on the other end because we had to quarantine for 14 days (and Uhaul wanted us to keep the truck that time) so I had plenty of time to unload it.

I recognize that this is a very small sample size, but we would certainly do it again.  I believe we found them through the Uhaul site itself.  And, like the previous poster, we were moving stuff alongside them.  We'd already packed / boxed stuff, and we had purchased straps, blankets, etc.  They loaded the truck, and really did a good job.

iluvzbeach

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1589
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2022, 07:54:33 AM »
We moved the contents of our 2300 sq foot house + detached workshop cross country in the largest U-Haul offered. We packed ourselves, paid movers to load it on the U-Haul, drove it to our destination and paid movers to unload it. Cost us a fraction of the price it would have to pay a big moving company to do it and wed do the exact same if we were to move again.

P.S. I wanted to pay professional movers to do it all and DH disagreed. He insisted on the above approach and it worked out quite well for us. His way was the right way.

LifeHappens

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12211
  • Location: Tampa-ish
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2022, 08:24:49 AM »
We've done two substantial moves using POD. We did everything ourselves except transporting the POD, but you can certainly hire movers to load it for you. For your size move you're probably looking at 3 PODs total. The nice thing about that service is you can have the PODs stored as long as you need, so you could load 1 at a time and unload gradually as well.

big_owl

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1051
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2022, 08:35:36 AM »
Add me to the group who thought you were trying to get a highway moved....

In any case, yes we've done this.  In my experience pay some movers to do it all. If it's too stressful then just bring in professionals, they'll do the hard work and you guys can just unpack once you've gotten to your new place.  It's not the most.mustachain option but then again, neither is divorce. Just ask MMM about that.   

ChickenStash

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
  • Location: Midwest US
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2022, 08:36:57 AM »
For my last couple of moves, I used movinghelp.com (Run by Uhaul) to find people at each location to load or unload. I rented the truck and did my own driving. I did my own packing/boxing and worked with the movers to load things - they work by the hour so the more I did the less I paid. They were mostly there to move the heavy stuff.

It worked out well each time. The movers were fast and not expensive. I prefer Penske rental trucks but there isn't that big of a difference these days. I used a 26' the last few times towing a car trailer and it wasn't a big deal.

SweatingInAR

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 168
  • Location: NE Arkansas
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2022, 09:04:51 AM »
We've done two substantial moves using POD. We did everything ourselves except transporting the POD, but you can certainly hire movers to load it for you. For your size move you're probably looking at 3 PODs total. The nice thing about that service is you can have the PODs stored as long as you need, so you could load 1 at a time and unload gradually as well.

Pretty much the same here!

In 2021 I moved from AZ to FL using uhaul's ubox service. We sold the house in AZ and had the stuff stored for 2 months before buying a house in FL. They stored the uboxes at my local uhaul store and I was able to access them several times. We even shipped our two cars for less than $1k each. With perfect hindsight, it would have been smarter to sell one or both in AZ, but moving them made sense at the time. The hardest thing about this move was deciding to stay in the origin house until the last moment. We should have moved the dogs and travel bags out a day or two earlier. My final act in that house was to shower and then throw away my gross moving clothes (shoes and all) because I didn't have anywhere good to put them!

Last week I completed a move from FL to AR and it was the same story, but we had family to mooch off of at our origin and we drove the cars. WAY easier.

If you have to store your stuff for some amount of time, ubox or pod are the way to go! Nobody wants to load a truck or storage unit multiple times. I self-packed, but did not move much furniture. I would hire movers if I had a bunch of heavy and/or nice furniture.

zolotiyeruki

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5622
  • Location: State: Denial
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2022, 02:32:50 PM »
Our last big move was 11 years ago.  We were a family of six (four little kids), moving out of an 1100-sq-ft home.  We rented and filled a whole 26' Penske truck.  We brought most of our appliances with us, and I used Sketchup to plan how we would fit everything in the truck.  In one section of the truck, I built a platform 5' off the floor, which allowed us to more effectively stack boxes all the way to the ceiling.  If memory serves, it was about $2k for the truck rental, but the gas!  Oh, the gas was probably another $1k.  We also rented a car trailer.

If you go this route, I'd recommend getting the car trailer (where the whole car sits on the trailer), rather than the dolly (where the car's front wheels are on the trailer and the rear wheels are on the ground).  It makes maneuvering much easier if you have to back up.

Another option: Several years ago, my brother (family of ten) moved using ABF (upack.com).  They park a 28' semi trailer in front of your house for a few days, you fill it up, they drive it to your new house, you have a few days to unload it.  You pay by the linear foot of trailer that you use.  In theory, if you don't use the whole trailer, ABF can use the remaining space for other freight that's going the same direction.  Advantages:  you don't have to drive it, and it's a bit bigger than the equivalent Penske or Uhaul.  Disadvantages:  less time flexibility, more expensive (at least, last time I checked).  Also, they have a calculator to estimate how much of a trailer you'll need, and from what I've heard, it underestimates what you'll use, and exceeding the space you reserved costs a bunch extra.  On our next move, this is likely the approach I'd prefer.

Other thoughts:  Before you move, declutter.  Get rid of stuff.  Purge.  Sell stuff that will be easy to replace in your new location.  If you take the cost of an ABF trailer and divide it by the internal volume, it comes out to something like $4/cubic foot.  So, a rule of thumb:  for an item you want to move, look at its volume, multiply it by 4, and guess what it would cost to replace it in your new place.  Or whether you'd even bother replacing it.  Suddenly, a lot of furniture gets a lot harder to justify moving.  So do box springs, guest beds, bulky kids' toys, sawhorses, work benches, patio furniture, trash cans, bikes, fertilizer spreaders, tomato cages, wheelbarrows, fire pits, exercise equipment, floor lamps, table lamps, general home decor....the list goes on.

We're hoping to move in a year or two, and now that we're a family of 8 (including three teenagers!) in a clown-sized house, the prospect of moving all that stuff is very daunting indeed.  The more you can declutter, the less stress you'll have.

Other advice:  start packing WAY in advance, and have everything ready to go on the truck before it arrives.  That way, you'll make the best use of the help you have, and you may avoid the need for extra helpers altogether.  Loading stuff on the truck should be the second-fastest part of moving (unloading being faster).  The only things NOT boxed up on moving day should be 1) your cleaning supplies and 2) stuff that can't practically be boxed up.

Planning how to pack things in the truck was a huge boon for us, because it allowed us to take everything we wanted.  That truck was packed tight enough that without that planning there's no way it would have all fit.

Cranky

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3850
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2022, 11:19:14 AM »
We made an interstate move with PODS last year.

We got rid of about 50% of our stuff - we had been in the old house for 25 years. I did all the packing and we did most of the loading ourselves, but we did hire a couple of guys through the site PODS recommended to carry stuff up from the basement. They were fast, cheap, efficient and strong!

Moving is never fun, but it went pretty well.

Sibley

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7465
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: DIY Interstate Relocation
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2022, 12:21:37 PM »
Declutter. Massively. No more "oh, I might need this", or "I loved this skirt, if I just lose 20 pounds", no more 5 duplicates of something - get rid of it. This is hard for the people who have a hard time getting rid of stuff. Figure it out.

The more you have, the more expensive the move is. If you can use a smaller truck, or only partially fill a truck and the company can put other stuff in the back, that will reduce your costs.