About 9 years ago, my husband got a job transfer so we packed up our house and moved our family and belongings from Michigan to Texas.
The economy was terrible (it was early 2012), so we had to sell our house at a loss and we also had to pay for most of our moving expenses ourselves.
That meant we were on a tight budget for our move!
So, we had to get creative on how we were going to move our entire household across the country and find the cheapest way to move. We were able to move for just over $2,500 using these ideas to save money on our move:
From the moment that we knew we'd be moving in a couple of months, I started checking out our options for transporting our belongings.
I really wanted to use a moving container, like Pods (where they park the Pod in your driveway and you pack it at your leisure and then they drive your Pod and park it in your new driveway), but we just couldn't justify the extra expense with our limited budget (it would have been about $4,500).
Without employer assistance, it was going to be way too expensive to hire professional movers to do it all for us since the average cost is about $1,000 per room and can range from $2,500 to $9,000.
So, we went with our best option. We ended up renting the largest one-way U-Haul rental truck we could along with a trailer to tow one of our cars behind for a cost of about $1,600 (which included some furniture blankets too).
Collect Packing Materials
Since we were packing up our house ourselves, we didn't want to spend money on boxes. So, we started asking around early for boxes.
We collected a ton of them and stored them broken down in our shed until we needed them.
We also saved any bubble wrap that we received over several months of online purchases to wrap the breakables. It worked out great since we didn't spend a dime on boxes!
Downsize Your Belongings
Although our friends who were helping us pack and load the truck would argue differently, we tried to get rid of as much stuff as we could.
For example, I made sure to sell or donate all our old baby stuff and toys my boys had outgrown since we were finished having kids. You don't want to pay to move things you aren't going to use in the next house.
As soon as we sold our house, we started packing up rooms. But, on the day of our move, we had a large group of family and friends from our church help us finish packing and loading. Sure, everything didn't get loaded exactly as my husband would have liked it, but it was free labor!
We supplied pizza for lunch as well as cold beverages all day. We also made new friends at our arrival location who helped us unload the heavy stuff.
If you don't have friends who are willing and able to help, you could also hire some day laborers or a company that specializes in daily packing and moving labor. Get a few estimates for the best price and be sure to factor in required tips.
What about you? Have you had to make a long-distance move on a budget? How did you save money?