Author Topic: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?  (Read 7161 times)

ECCAmA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« on: January 10, 2016, 07:21:09 AM »
I was at a party last night where one of the other guests told me that she is planning to move from our current city (Boston) to Seattle in the spring. Since my husband and I are very likely moving West for grad school this year, we asked her about how they're moving all their stuff and she insisted that one of those moving PODS is the best deal (she quoted about $4,400 to move everything in their three-bedroom house).

Can anyone comment on whether that's actually a good deal? My husband and I live in a 510-square-foot apartment and will be able to get rid of some larger items (bed, kitchen table, large kitchen rack, etc.) before we move ourselves. We also have some family heirlooms that I'm a little skeptical about entrusting to a POD. We'll be heading to either CA, WA, or CO. Has anyone ever done a similar move and do you have any recommendations for keeping costs down? I guess the choices are between a POD, a U-Haul, a big moving company, and shipping things piecemeal and we'd like to find the ideal combination of low-hassle and low-cost. Thank you!

Kaplin261

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 319
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Richmond Va
    • Michael Foutz
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2016, 07:52:50 AM »
This is one of those situations where living a life with no emotional attachment to materialist things is helpful.

rockstache

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5820
  • Age: 2015
  • Location: Northeast
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2016, 08:05:44 AM »
I've done this a few times. By far the cheapest thing to do is get rid of (sell) everything you can possibly bear to part with, and rent a truck to do the move yourself. You get to oversee how your stuff gets packed to best prevent damage. It's a lot of work, but it's the cheapest way. When you get to your destination, hit craigslist to buy back all the stuff you sold.

sparkshooter

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2016, 08:12:04 AM »
Getting rid of stuff (to an extent) reduces costs. However, buying the essentials when you get to a new place can also be expensive, even if you pick up everything second hand. You'll also be at a disadvantage for actually finding the stuff you need at a good price - you will be very busy, won't know the lay-of the land, won't know the good thrift stores, etc. 

Anecdote: I moved from Wisconsin to Toronto, Ontario - I got rid of a ton of stuff before moving and wish that I would have kept more of it. The cost to repurchase stuff that I needed was much higher than if I had paid to move a bit more stuff.

As far as moving some stuff - my SO and I used Upack and would absolutely recommend it. (http://www.upack.com/). We priced out basically every option, including driving a uhaul ourselves. At the time, upack was cheapest (once you counted in the gas for the uhaul) and we didn't have to do the driving ourselves. The numbers may work out differently if you have a car that can tow a large trailer - renting a uhaul trailer is much cheaper than renting the truck itself. We were charged around $950 USD for the move, all in. Some of that was an additional fee for dealing with customs.

With upack, you pay per linear foot of space you take up in a commercial-size truck (with a minimum of 5 linear feet). You don't have to commit to a specific amount of space until the truck is all loaded, which is nice. Overall, we had a very smooth experience with upack, even though it was more complicated because of immigration/customs clearance.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 08:17:20 AM by sparkshooter »

icemodeled

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • Location: Southwest FL
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2016, 08:14:05 AM »
To me that is a lot, but probably normal for using those PODS. I bet others are even higher. I have heard costs up to $10k or more for moving companies! We will be moving 17 hours away and plan to sell 80% of what we own. 3 bedroom, 2000sqft house. Our furniture is used and old anyways so we rather not drag it with us. The 20% were taking is smaller things and a mattress. We will use a uhaul to load it up and drive ourself to the new home. I think we estimated around $1000 for the uhaul rental and gas. We plan to drive straight there, so no hotel stays. Will pack a lunch/snacks to and probably hit a few rest stops along the way for quick breaks. Where were moving has tons of consignment type shops. We will use those and Craigslist to slowly rebuy furniture (I already found a beautiful dining set for only $40, looks new! If only we were there already).

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8277
  • Location: Don't Ask
  • Resting up for 2020
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2016, 08:16:22 AM »
The cheapest way is to get rid of anything that doesn't fit in a backpack, then hitchhike. A step up from that is keeping stuff that fits in a car, renting one, and using a ride share program to get another passenger to share the costs.

When you get there, only replace the bare minimum, and stalk the craigslist free section and sidewalks on trash pickup says to get what you need for free.

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 309
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2016, 08:21:10 AM »
When I moved to and from Texas, I had so few things I just mailed them. If that is not possible, I think the PODS is comparable to the cost of a u-haul and doing it yourself. Uhauls out of Boston are expensive compared to many places (although I think this varies seasonally), you pay for the gas (and they get pretty low mileage, especially loaded with all your stuff), and since it is a 3,000 mile trip you are probably going to have to pay for some sort of accommodations on the way. At least, I wouldn't be able to drive straight for that long even with a partner to swap out.

But it is easy enough to figure this out yourself. Get a quote from pods, go to U-hauls website and get a quote from them, calculate gas costs, flights, etc.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 08:26:28 AM by vhalros »

Shane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
  • Location: Independent
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2016, 09:14:48 AM »
As several other posters have suggested already, my vote is for selling EVERYTHING that won't comfortably fit into your car and driving yourself to Seattle. That you're even considering spending $4K+ to ship stuff to the West Coast mystifies me. What could you possibly have in a small apartment that would be worth four thousand dollars? Just dump everything on CL in Boston, and when you get to Seattle you can slowly repurchase only the things you really need.

If you haven't already, you may want to check out this thread in which they're discussing how LITTLE VALUE household goods really have.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5557
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2016, 09:17:17 AM »
The last time I moved, it was with two checked bags and a one-way flight.  I rented a furnished room at my destination.

I did keep (renting to friends) my house, so I didn't have to sell all of my tools/etc (I've been an amateur mechanic for 10+ years), but if you have a small apartment you probably don't have a lot of stuff.

myrax

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2016, 09:27:40 AM »
When I moved cross country via Amtrak, the luggage allowances were very generous. I think after two free boxes that could be up to 50 pounds, it was $20 each for the next three boxes. You can also take your bicycle for an extra $25, including the box. I moved all of my books, clothes, and kitchen items for less than $100 and slept on the cardboard box my bicycle came in until I found a cheap mattress. As an added bonus, taking the train across the country is incredibly beautiful and you will meet interesting people also moving cross country in coach.

ECCAmA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2016, 09:36:05 AM »
I should have added that we don't have a car in my original post - we'll buy one on the other side when the time comes (all the more reason to save money on the move...). That means that we can't just fit everything into our car and ditch the rest.

While I think that we'll likely end up being ruthless getting rid of all our free/IKEA furniture, there are family items as well as important documents we need to take with us (yeah yeah, those documents need to be scanned...working on it!) that will take up at least a decent amount of space. If we were to do a Uhaul, I think we'd plan to drive about 8 hours per day or so, so we'd definitely need to make stops and pay for hotels.

Thanks for all the info so far - very helpful!

Kaplin261

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 319
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Richmond Va
    • Michael Foutz
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2016, 10:39:31 AM »
I should have added that we don't have a car in my original post - we'll buy one on the other side when the time comes (all the more reason to save money on the move...). That means that we can't just fit everything into our car and ditch the rest.

While I think that we'll likely end up being ruthless getting rid of all our free/IKEA furniture, there are family items as well as important documents we need to take with us (yeah yeah, those documents need to be scanned...working on it!) that will take up at least a decent amount of space. If we were to do a Uhaul, I think we'd plan to drive about 8 hours per day or so, so we'd definitely need to make stops and pay for hotels.

Thanks for all the info so far - very helpful!
You can fly and carry on one bag and check one large bag. A 13x25 box should ship for about $25.

SeanMC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2016, 12:28:06 PM »
The unfortunate reality on cross-country or long distance moving is that it just IS much more expensive to sell/move/replace OR to move stuff across the distance. The way to avoid this is to have less stuff to begin with. It doesn't help someone who has stuff now and a good reason for moving.

Another option is shipping things as cargo through greyhound. Some amount of hassle in dropoff or pickup, but cheaper on the price for the size/weight of the items.

When I priced the PODS unit (last spring) for a cross-country move, it was much more expensive than either a Uhaul rental or just hiring an all-in-one moving company service. It depends on what you're moving, how much stuff, the price of fuel, etc.

Also - what are the items you are moving that are heirlooms? Are they fragile? How will they handle moving? In general, insurance is poor in the moving business (people typically have other insurance on stuff anyway), and things WILL break.

If the only reason you are taking these items is because they are so important to you that they really are not replaceable or should not be treated like commodities, then I'd suggest you move them in the way that protects against the risk of damage - typically this means they are always under your control or sent with a more reliable shipper than routinely handles fragile items. If it is not worth it to you to make this choice, then chances are that you should prob not bother moving them in the first place. The older I have gotten, the more I oppose moving stuff simply because it belonged to someone I care about.
 
I would also scout the local craigslist in advance too and get a sense of what items regularly come up and at what price when deciding what is worth moving. Don't forget to factor in cost of pick-up (car? truck rental? gas?), your time, and how long you can go without the item.

I second the advice above that it is actually easy to get rid of too much stuff and then pay more after moving to replace.

Last, factor in uncertainty. I moved cross-country twice, and "half-cross country" two other times. I am likely to move again within the US across a long distance. Employers picked up the tab for some but not all of these moves. I am still looking for the "best" way to do things. I would have made different choices the first few times if I was honest about how many more moves were likely in my future. If you are moving for grad school, there is a good chance you will move again for a job too. So when you think about what to move, think about how many times you are willing to move that same item.

annegables

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2016, 02:36:04 PM »
I have moved a family across the country several times.  For long-distance, one-way moves, renting a Penske is almost always cheaper than a UHaul.  Please, price the difference.  It can easily be $1000 difference.

If you are going the route of renting a truck and have a realistic fear of getting bedbugs from used, soft, non-washable items like mattresses, couches, stuffed chairs, then keep all that stuff.  Things like kitchen tables store very flat and pack well.  If you are crunched for space, wooden chairs are the most easy to replace on the other end.  I lean minimalish, so I like living lightly, so take this for what it is worth.  Purge clothes, books, papers, and all other stuff.  Go over everything you own with a critical eye. This is not so much because of the cost of moving, but because you have the flexibility to rent/buy the space you need, not the space your stuff needs.

I cannot stress that last sentence enough.  We have saved easily about $100k just on living costs in the last decade because we are able to live in smaller spaces in HCOL areas because we have less stuff.  Dont pay for that extra bedroom to house your stuff.  Critically evaluate what kind of space you really need and want, and then adjust your stuff accordingly.  Moving is a great "natural" way to force this change.

ECCAmA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2016, 06:26:40 PM »
Fortunately, leaving in 500 square feet for the past 5 years has really helped prevent too much "stuff" accumulating, but we can definitely do better  - I'm not giving up my books, but we have board games and puzzles and other bulky items that we just don't use enough to justify taking up all the space. Thanks for the moving tips, everyone - noting for when the time comes!

slugsworth

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2016, 07:29:55 PM »
I recently culled my books, what did it for me was looking at the price of them on amazon. Most of them where very inexpensive.

I have in the last mailed books media rate. . . actually making them general delivery address as I want sure which apt I would be taking over I arrived.

Another random moving tip to consider if with of you is a student is using the student advantage card to ship boxes using greyhound package express. The card gives a 40% discount and they ship from one greyhound station to another one and gold the boxes for 2 weeks at the destination.

Again, getting rid of stuff is the best option, but if you have to ship items, those are two cheap options.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 06:41:29 PM by slugsworth »

Jacana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
  • Location: Back in the DMV :(
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2016, 07:46:32 PM »
A former co-worker moved from FL to CA on a shoestring. She sold her beat up old car, bought a beat up old pick up with a bed cover for nothing and rented a little 4x8 box trailer. She put her mattress in the back of the pick up with her houseplants, and slept on it when she couldn't find a cheap place to stay. All her other belongings fit into the trailer (she didn't have much). When she arrived, she sold the truck for more than she paid, and bought a beat up old car. I talked to her after, and she said the only problems were when she hit the real mountains out west and swore the truck wasn't going to make it over. The only non-mustacian part was she paid pros to move her heirloom piano safely.

Another friend of mine moved from FL to Seattle, drove cross country in a 2 door sports car with his cat and all his belongings. Couch surfed through some parts, and napped in rest stops and parking lots to make good time in other parts.

Apparently not having stuff is indeed the way to go.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5557
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2016, 10:15:07 PM »
A former co-worker moved from FL to CA on a shoestring. She sold her beat up old car, bought a beat up old pick up with a bed cover for nothing and rented a little 4x8 box trailer. She put her mattress in the back of the pick up with her houseplants, and slept on it when she couldn't find a cheap place to stay. All her other belongings fit into the trailer (she didn't have much). When she arrived, she sold the truck for more than she paid, and bought a beat up old car. I talked to her after, and she said the only problems were when she hit the real mountains out west and swore the truck wasn't going to make it over. The only non-mustacian part was she paid pros to move her heirloom piano safely.

Another friend of mine moved from FL to Seattle, drove cross country in a 2 door sports car with his cat and all his belongings. Couch surfed through some parts, and napped in rest stops and parking lots to make good time in other parts.

Apparently not having stuff is indeed the way to go.
That sounds awesome! My cat spent a fair amount of my NH->AZ drive chilling on a blanket on the dashboard of the moving truck. It was a great trip. : )

Sailor Sam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4136
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Steel Beach
  • Semper...something
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2016, 11:11:16 PM »
I move every 2-3 years, 3 of which have been cross country moves. Ejecting all your earthly goods is definitely the cheapest, but alas, I've accumulated some things I do like keeping. Here's the system that works well for me.

1. Ruthlessly cull your possessions

2.1 Check craigslist and freecycle for moving boxes. Obtain.
2.2 If needed, buy any further boxes, packing paper, and cardboard inserts from Uhaul. They allow you to return unused boxes later.

3.1 Pack
3.2 Dishes you care about should be packed in the specially made cardboard inserts. Dishes you don't care about, just use paper
3.3 If they're small enough, and precious enough, consider having the heirlooms professionally crated. I mean, figurines you can wrap yourself, but paintings I have crated.
3.4 Furniture pads and giant rubber bands can also be purchased. Furniture you care about should prob be wrapped.

5. Obtain truck. Check all the major companies for price comparisons. Be extra sooper sure to compare apples to apples when looking at mileage, insurance, etc. You may need a spreadsheet. I've never run into a situation where they-pack companies are cheaper, but it could exist. Or a hybrid company like PODS.

4. Distribute items
4.1 Books I ship via UPS for FedEx ground. Pots and pans also usually go via ground mail. Someone upthread mentioned amtrak and greyhound. Probably good to comparison shop here, too. Shipping these separate seems to really lighten the truck, which improves gas mileage. Same logic works for full service and hybrid companies.
4.2 Furniture goes in the truck. Heirlooms go into the truck.
4.3 Clothing, vital papers, and the stuffed rabbit from childhood go into whatever vehicle I'm personally driving.

I'm sure there are lots of other systems that work, but this is the one that works for me.


junglejim83

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2016, 01:12:55 PM »
I think a bit depends on where you are moving too and your time constraints when you get there.  Where i live in northern NJ, people seem to have an inflated idea of what furniture is worth on craigslist, as compared to San Francisco where we furnished half of our apartment with nice stuff from the street corner and CL for next to nothing. Finding decent stuff on CL would take a while.

Take a look at what it might cost to furnish a new place where you are going and then combine that with the time it might take to find decent deals on furnishings.  If you are in a time crunch you might end up making bad purchases. Be realistic about what you can pull off. 

ON another move I paid about $300 to get a hitch installed on my jetta and I towed a 4x8 uhaul.  The trailer cost under $200 for a 1600 mile trip.  And the hitch is something i still get to use and prevents me from "needing" an SUV.

That said, it is an amazing feeling to clean house and go.  If you have a little time on this journey (if you are driving) ship everything you can via freight and get rid of everything you can't.  you will have an opportunity to visit some amazing places if you are driving cross country.  You could have the chance to visit several national parks on one trip and have it be part of or little more than the cost of moving, that is a rare opportunity. it is more stressful and limiting on your adventures if you are loaded to the gills and afraid things will get stollen.   Jump on that if you can.

ketchup

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3947
  • Age: 28
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2016, 01:46:02 PM »
Most long-distance Mustachian move I've witnessed was three adults, all their worldly possessions, two dogs, and five cats, in a 2009 Kia Spectra5 hatchback driving 1700 miles in ~32 hours of nearly non-stop driving from Phoenix to the Chicago area.  Granted, all were young (19, 21, and 23) and had very little in the way of belongings apart from the pets and the car.  Total cost of moving was probably no more than a hundred bucks a person.

If you are coming from a 510 square foot apartment, you can't have too much in the way of tricky-to-move items apart from furniture.  If you're dumping that, you should be able to deplete your stuff down to the ability to cram everything into some sort of rental vehicle.

Good luck.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2342
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2016, 03:41:03 PM »
I've helped a friend load a U-Pack trailer for a move to annother state (a few days earlier they had emptied a POD that they used while getting their house sold). They told me that U-Pack was much cheaper tha PODS for long distance moving. The trailer was a full-size freight truck trailer. It has a ramp, but the deck is much higher than a U-Haul, so it was a little more work to load, but not really that much more. If you can't purge all your bulky items, it is certainly worth checking as you shop for the right solution to your move.

Smokystache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2016, 05:47:15 PM »
I have moved a family across the country several times.  For long-distance, one-way moves, renting a Penske is almost always cheaper than a UHaul.  Please, price the difference.  It can easily be $1000 difference.


If you decide to rent a moving truck, definitely go with Penske over U-Haul. There are several reasons for this:

a) Penske seems to buy new trucks, rents them for ~20-50,000 miles and then sell them. Every Penske truck I've ever been in has seemed new and had fewer than 20k miles. And the fully loaded, full-size moving truck was actually able to accelerate up the mountains of E. Tennessee!!

b) Penske's reservation system is better. Learned that after I had reserved a U-Haul and then had friends be ready on a Saturday morning to help load it. Went to pick it up and they said it would be there by 5pm. That's not what I was planning on. Penske's reserves a specific truck to be picked up at a specific time - not U-Haul's "you might get some truck at some point before we close today. You wanted a 10 ft truck? Well, we've got a 24ft truck so have fun paying for the extra gas".

c) Most importantly (in terms of money), check several different pick up and drop-off locations. My parents moved from Iowa to Florida using Penske and found that if they dropped off the truck at the second closest location to their new house, they would save $800. The distance between the closest and second closest drop-off location was about 8 miles.


jawisco

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 194
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2016, 07:00:03 PM »
My wife moved to Wisconsin by shipping via UPS.  She shipped 42 boxes and average price of each box was $25, so it cost about $1000 total.  The biggest thing she shipped was an Ikea futon that came apart. 

She moved a LOT of stuff for that $1000.  This method of moving also gave her the freedom of a relaxed pace - she shipped them over the course of 3 weeks, a few boxes at a time, slowly clearing out her apartment.

Downside is you can't bring anything big, and for some folks, that is a deal breaker.  If it was just one or two items like a dresser or couch, you could put it on a pallet and take your chances...

ECCAmA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2016, 05:00:09 AM »
Ooh, thanks to the posters recommending Penske! I always think of Uhaul first just because I know the name better, but it's a good reminder to check out competitors. I'm loving the tip to find the cheapest (not necessarily closest) drop-off location, too!

I think shipping books at the media mail rate will be the way to go too - thanks for that tip!

hypocrispy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Location: Central Mass
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2016, 07:24:29 AM »
I've done two multi-state moves in the past year. I think I definitely could have done it cheaper, but maybe my experience will add a frame of reference for you.

Moved from Chicago to Mississippi. I didn't pay for this one, the company I worked for did. They hired a crew to come to my house and pack up all my belongings. On the next day they loaded it up in a van line/semi. It cost the company around $9k and I'm sure they were getting a break. That doesn't include the mileage on my car to drive down and hotel nights. And the move was only about 700 miles. It was really nice not having to lift a finger but its also incredibly violating to have someone go through all your stuff. And you will invariably beat your things there so will have to spend a few days without your stuff.

Just recently I moved from Mississippi to Massachusetts. Boyfriend and I rented a UHaul and hired a friend's kid to help up load the thing up. Got free boxes from a local warehouse. Two humans, one cat, two ferrets, and that truck packed to the ceiling and towing my car. That was a fun four days (not). I did end up paying for professional movers on arrival. All told it cost me about $4.5k including truck, meals, hotels, and movers.

Definitely purge purge purge. I got rid of a TON of stuff. There was most literally a pile of stuff for the craigslist, freecycle, and garbage folks and I still barely fit all my stuff in the truck. It was bad enough, the truck had trouble making it up some of the mountains in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3957
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2016, 07:53:53 AM »
Another vote for ABF U-Pack trailers, door-to-terminal for long distance transit is the cheapest without much additional hassle - did it in 2008 without any problems. Absolutely the cheapest method out there, and you don't have to worry about driving a truck. Absolutely cheaper than PODS. The only thing to remember is that it's freight. That means you're responsible for packing things well enough to prevent damage and minimize items getting dirty, but you encounter that with any DIY method.

Never use UHaul if you can help it - the only exception is trailer rental, and don't bank on reservations. Penske truck rentals for local transit over U-Haul always. Did that for the ABF terminal to home leg there in 2008. Usually cheaper, easier to deal with, and far better trucks as has been pointed out. There's also Budget truck rental and Ryder worth pricing.

Those are the cheapest, highest quality options for long distance and local DIY moves. As has been repeatedly recommended, it helps to purge oddball shaped stuff like kitchen tables, desks, and some chairs. Use lots of furniture pads, cargo straps, pack things well, and treat it like freight. Make an inventory and shipping manifest as you go. MovingScam is still a good resource, even if the forums have slowed over the years.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 07:55:54 AM by I.P. Daley »

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5557
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2016, 02:02:51 PM »
I have moved a family across the country several times.  For long-distance, one-way moves, renting a Penske is almost always cheaper than a UHaul.  Please, price the difference.  It can easily be $1000 difference.


If you decide to rent a moving truck, definitely go with Penske over U-Haul. There are several reasons for this:

a) Penske seems to buy new trucks, rents them for ~20-50,000 miles and then sell them. Every Penske truck I've ever been in has seemed new and had fewer than 20k miles. And the fully loaded, full-size moving truck was actually able to accelerate up the mountains of E. Tennessee!!

b) Penske's reservation system is better. Learned that after I had reserved a U-Haul and then had friends be ready on a Saturday morning to help load it. Went to pick it up and they said it would be there by 5pm. That's not what I was planning on. Penske's reserves a specific truck to be picked up at a specific time - not U-Haul's "you might get some truck at some point before we close today. You wanted a 10 ft truck? Well, we've got a 24ft truck so have fun paying for the extra gas".

c) Most importantly (in terms of money), check several different pick up and drop-off locations. My parents moved from Iowa to Florida using Penske and found that if they dropped off the truck at the second closest location to their new house, they would save $800. The distance between the closest and second closest drop-off location was about 8 miles.
+1 on Penske.  They make U-Haul look terrible in practically every possible way.

pagoconcheques

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
Re: Most Mustachian way to move cross country?
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2016, 02:54:00 PM »
Get rid of stuff. 

We simply capped what we kept at the limit of what fit in our station wagon with both of us in in it.  We prioritized for clothing, cooking utensils and newish electronics. We stored a few boxes of books with relatives we visited frequently and brought back a suitcase of books each time we visited--that took a couple years. 

When we arrived in our new apartment, we slept on the floor one night and bought a futon the next day (just the mattress, no frame).  We took our time buying furniture and mostly bought quality older stuff from antiques stores and thrift stores.  It's important to take your time.