Author Topic: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?  (Read 5019 times)

penguins

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My boyfriend and I are a young couple (23 and 24) who have been trying to follow the Mustachian lifestyle for the past year+. We are debt free, currently live in Boston, and have a combined income of $100K/year. Due to work and personal interest, we are planning to move to the Bay Area in June. We don't own a car, currently live in a small one-bedroom, and the majority of our furniture is low-level IKEA, but in good shape. The big items that we own are a full-sized bed, kitchen table with four chairs, couch, two dressers, bookshelf, and television. We aren't particularly attached to any of these items, but most likely won't be able to sell them for much and starting from scratch in a new location doesn't seem very MMM.

Does anyone have any advice on moving across the country frugally and efficiently? Happy to provide more details if needed.

Cheers!

meteor

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 07:31:14 PM »
I live in the bay area and if you don't have housing yet, I would not bring anything with you until you find housing.  Housing is a challenge and you need to find out the size of apt you will be living in first.  Freecycle is very popular here and I believe you can furnish your apt with those items if you are patient.  There is a big student population who have a tendency to toss out expensive furniture when they move.

the fixer

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 09:49:16 PM »
Sell EVERYTHING you own. Ikea furniture is commodity stuff on Craigslist. You can sell your dresser, say, for $20 and buy the exact same model when you get to your destination for about the same price. It's like a free moving service! We did exactly this with our futon, we have the same model as we had in DC and I paid the same amount to buy it here as I sold the old one for.

Anything you can't sell, donate it to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Likewise, anything you want to replace when you get there but can't find on Craigslist, go to Goodwill or Salvation Army.

My wife and I moved across the country last summer and we brought a ton of stuff that was just stupid to bring. Go to Goodwill and Salvation Army in your area and see what kinds of stuff they have for sale, since this will help you understand what you should bring and what you should just get rid of. Some items can be harder to find at thrift stores, but others are plentiful. Small kitchen appliances are cheap. Plates/bowls/glasses are cheap. Dish drying racks, silverware, etc. are all easy and cheap to get.

Now, for anything that's non-negotiable and you absolutely want to bring with you: Amtrak will ship stuff for you for the lowest cost. From Washington DC to Seattle it cost us ~$0.60 per pound for a pallet of boxes. Call or check their website for details. Your pallet will get dusty/dirty on the train and you can't pack fragile items (they warn you about this and it's true, a few of our things broke in shipment). We used Amtrak for a bunch, but had more stuff that we ended up shipping UPS. This got VERY expensive, especially for any oversized items. One box with skis in it I think cost us $70 to ship! My desktop computer was similarly expensive because it's so heavy. I think we paid about $500 to ship 20 boxes. This is why you want to get rid of as much as you possibly can, most of it is cheaper to buy than to ship across the country.

mxt0133

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 10:13:37 PM »
Made the same move in '09 with my new wife.  We used a mover and will never ever recommend using one.  If you end up bringing some furniture and you don't own a car, I would recommend rending a uhaul van, not a truck, and drive.  If you can get rid of the furniture and are flying, check-in all your personal belongings.  Cheapest way to ship boxes is via check-in as most airlines will allow up to 10 check-ins for about $50 each.

Good luck, and welcome to the Bay Area, the weather is beautiful.  You won't need your TV here.

Greg

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 09:32:40 AM »
Get rid of your stuff that you're not attached to, and fly across. You can mail boxes of stuff and clothes to yourself.  You might need to find a friend or relative to mail boxes to until you get a new address. 

Keep in mind that Ikea furniture doesn't move well, and isn't exactly heirloom quality to begin with.  This will also provide you with an opportunity to get only what you need and want for the new place.

TomTX

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 09:36:01 AM »
Made the same move in '09 with my new wife.  We used a mover and will never ever recommend using one.  If you end up bringing some furniture and you don't own a car, I would recommend rending a uhaul van, not a truck, and drive.  If you can get rid of the furniture and are flying, check-in all your personal belongings.  Cheapest way to ship boxes is via check-in as most airlines will allow up to 10 check-ins for about $50 each.

Good luck, and welcome to the Bay Area, the weather is beautiful.  You won't need your TV here.

Probably cheaper to buy an old van/minivan, possibly with trailer and use it for the trip. Make sure it will meet destination smog requirements before buying. Sell it once you find housing and move your crap out of it.

mlipps

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 09:40:47 AM »
If you have a job for you there, keep all your receipts. Its tax deductible even if you don't itemize. Since you're not married, you can get one trip each that is deductible, so if you go out ahead of time for interviews or apartment searching, one of you can deduct that trip as well. The irs pub for moving expenses is very clear, give it a read before you do anything so you know what receipts to keep.

penguins

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 11:55:02 AM »
Great advice! Thanks, all!

_JT

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 04:29:21 PM »
Unless it's a thousand dollar temperpedic mattress, you're going to come out way ahead selling everything you can, traveling light (ie no trailer or uhaul), and rebuying what you really need once you're settled. In addition to amtrak, you can ship freight with Greyhound. I packed about 80lbs worth of stuff into a giant rubbermaid container, and shipped it across the country for about 60 bucks. More than once.

TacosForever

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 05:41:01 PM »
My husband and I did a cross country move 2 years ago for a grand total of $1300 for shipping/storage/insurance. We used U-Pack's ReloCube (like a POD but better) and paid for a month of storage while we looked for a place to live. Once all of our stuff was packed in the cube, they picked it up and shipped it and we drove our sedan. We had quite a lot of stuff, too (sounds like you don't have that much). But it's not a terrible option if you don't want to deal with a van/trailer yourself & actually have enough to fill a cube.

slugsworth

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 11:49:10 PM »
So, I don't know if this is of any help, and if you use zipcar or something similar, it might possibly be worth the effort. When I last moved cross country, which was a while ago I didn't want to sign a lease without seeing a place first hand.   

1)I downsized
2)I filled my car to the degree possible
3) mailed books book rate general delivery address to the post office (They didn't appreciate this and it is a little pricey, but still a cheaper option)
4) I bought a student advantage card, it gives a 40% discount on the greyhound 'package xpress' shipping option, which I used to ship 100# boxes of whatever I couldn't live without. They ship greyhound station to greyhound station and allow the boxes to sit there for 2 weeks, if you think that the rental of the zipcar 2x and the effort of boxing everything up is worth it, well, this is probably the cheapest option per pound to move stuff cross country.

Good luck!

JanMN

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Re: Young Mustachians moving across the country -- Frugal moving tips?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2014, 07:46:53 AM »
Sell EVERYTHING you own.

Yep, that's pretty much it.  Or set it on fire - which I was seriously considering after looking at 3 households worth of stuff to move.