Major brownie points if you read the title and immediately started singing the song by Reel 2 Real. You get even more brownie points if you actually knew who sang the song before reading this!
Despite that epic opening, I’m not the biggest fan of mid-90’s rap songs. shocker
Nope. Instead, I like to move. You know, the one where you decide to move to a different location so you have to box up all your crap and shove it in a truck to transport it to the new place so you can rearrange all your crap?
Yeah.…… that kind of move.
In the past 5 years, I’ve moved 6 times. That’s less than 12 months at each location, on average. (In all actuality, it goes 3 mos — 4 mos — 18 mos — 18 mos — 3 mos — 12 mos. Just in case you were curious!)
You’d think I’d be a pro at this by now with just a few backpacks full of essentials and the cat’s stuff. Again.….. nope. I’m attached to my stuff and have managed to accumulate several room’s worth of furniture and well.….. stuff.
All of this soon became VERY apparent as my boyfriend and I moved box after box after box down 3 flights of stairs and around numerous corners.
In preparation for the move to my new city and state, I did a few things. I pared down my belongings and tried to sell some of my bigger stuff like my dresser and futon. I also researched moving companies to figure out what was the best way to transport my belongings 359 miles away.
Since I put in all that effort of researching, here are a few of my thoughts on how to move a 2 bedroom apartment. (or said equivalent of stuff)
I looked around for moving companies on the internet and was completely overwhelmed. Hello, analysis paralysis. As I started to get quotes, I realized I was looking at two classes of moving companies: DIY and Movers.
Companies like U‑Haul, Budget, Enterprise, and Penske fit this bill. They are companies that rent you the stuff to do the move: trucks, blankets, boxes, and dollies. Everything else is up to you.
Since I was moving away AND NEVER COMING BACK, I had to figure out transportation. You can do round trip, but who really wants to drive 12 extra hours along the same stretch of boring highways if they don’t have to? Round trip gave me the cheapest option up front, but then sneakily added in mileage costs on the back end to make it deceptively expensive. One way trips don’t charge mileage.… but then what to do about my car? Some places had the option for towing it behind the truck, but that just seemed like a recipe for disaster. I have a lot more experience driving big trucks thanks to the military, but no way was I going to be responsible for hooking up the car behind the truck and then trying to maneuver in tight city streets with it.
Since I moved over Easter weekend, I drove up a few days before the move with my car. My boyfriend and I then headed back down in his car, and then caravaned back up in the truck and car. That was the best solution I came up with that didn’t involve paying a company $.68/mile.
The one way prices I got were actually pretty reasonable after doing some calculations on what a round trip rental would cost me (in both time and money).
U‑Haul: $369 (3 Days/421 miles allowed)
Budget: $295 (3 days/unlimited miles)
Enterprise: Strike out, only round trip.
Ryder: $425 round trip, no mileage restriction
Budget was the cheapest by far. This was all thanks to a 20% coupon I found on their site. U‑Haul matched the pre-coupon price of Budget, so good going there, guys. Penske, really? $539? No way. Enterprise didn’t have a one way option, so that was out. Ryder would also only give me a round trip option, but they were nice enough to quote that out at $425, no mileage. If I had done a round trip, I probably would’ve gone with Ryder.
The other level of moving was full-service movers.
Full-service is exactly what it sounds like. A big truck comes up to your house, a crew of movers descends upon your house, packs up all your belongings, puts it in the truck, and then a few days to a week later shows up at the new place and does it all in reverse. This includes companies like 2 Men & a Truck, Zippy Shell, PODS, and Allied. I’m positive there are other companies out there, but these are the ones I got quotes from.
Allied: $2800 minimum as they charge by weight/mi with a 2500 lb minimum.
Zippy Shell: $1335
2 Men & a Truck: $2300
Zippy Shell and PODS work roughly the same way. A container shows up at your house, you or someone from their company fills it, they haul it away and a week later it’s delivered to your door. Someone told me PODS was reasonable but $1700? Not super reasonable. I guess it does seem better when you compare it to Allied, but yeesh.
I was tempted to do the 2 Men & a Truck option until I found out the bill for my back stairs was $10k. That’s when the decision to do it ourselves was made, a decision we both sincerely regretted after 200 trips down and up 3 flights of stairs. The other reason we didn’t go with the full-service moving company was the time. At the bare minimum, the earliest I would get my stuff was 4 days. I was operating on a more restricted timeline and couldn’t have my stuff be gone that long.
If a company wants my business, I will happily do so as long as 2 provisions are meant:
Easy quote process: Give me a box on the front page where I can put in the details and have it spit out a quote. Don’t make me give you my email. Don’t make me call you. Don’t make me wait 2 days for someone to call me. Allied and 2 Men & a Truck had the best UI websites. Very easy to navigate and get a quote.
Decent price: I understand they have to make money too but don’t rake me over the coals. Make pricing fair and transparent. No add-on fees at the last-minute.
My final costs for moving 359 miles to a location 2 states away ended up being $348 for a 16 ft rental truck and 12 blankets. I also paid $100 in gas to move the truck, so my final costs were $448, some smoothies, and about 40 hours of my boyfriend and I’s time/labor. Not too shabby!
Thanks for reading! Have you moved recently? What was your experience like? Any handy tips for soon-to-be-renters?
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