Real People: Cross Country Moving Comparison – Full Service Movers vs. Moving Labor

This tale of two moves is from Gabi Logan and is the latest installment in our Real People series.

In the last few years, I’ve had the (mis)fortune of moving clear across the country, twice. Before I was engaged, the man who would become my husband relocated from Boston to California for work (a.k.a. completely paid for) without me and I had to follow a year later on my own dime. Picture of the California Coast at Sunset

Just a year after I arrived in California, he had to move for work again, setting me up for my first full-service, cross country moving experience.

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Real People: Midwest Move with PODS and HireAHelper

Casey-picHere’s another post from our “Real People” series written by web celebrity Casey O’Halloran from The DIY Playbook. Casey chats about her recent interstate move with PODS and HireAHelper from St. Louis to Chicago.

Let’s face it, moving is not fun. It’s difficult, time-consuming, stressful…all of those terrible things wrapped up into a poorly packed cardboard box. But we all know that moving is a very real and inevitable part of life.

My fiancé and I recently found new jobs in Chicago, and had to pack up our loft in downtown St. Louis. We brainstormed a few possible options on how to get all of our belongings from point A to point B, and still keep our relationship and sanity intact. (Spoiler Alert: the wedding is still on!)

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Real People: Using PODS Portable Storage and HireAHelper

Picture of MerlisaThis post is part of our “Real People” series from Merlisa L., age 47 of Central Florida.

Pros/Cons/How-Tos of Moving using PODS

My philosophy when it comes to time and money is that it’s easier to make more money than it is to find more time. So when possible, I use money to buy more time.

This is one of the reasons I had always used full-service moving companies. I thought the one-stop shop approach to moving saved me enough time to offset the extra cost. However, that changed when I chose PODS to move from Arlington, Va. to Orlando.  Continue reading

 

How Much Does it Cost to Move?

TL;DR – A move in town can cost between $200-$400 to rent a truck and hire loading help. A move across the country can cost upwards of $3,000-$5,000.

I almost feel silly writing an answer to such a big question in just one blog post, but it gets asked so often and searched for so frequently on the web that I felt compelled to offer some sort of guidance (read our more specific guide to New York moving costs here). How much your move will cost depends mostly on how large your pile of stuff is and how far you’re moving it. So there’s a pretty wide range of answers to this question. The fact that we spend twice as much on moving as we do on ATM fees* suggests that most Americans are spending too much on their move, unaware of the cheap moving options available right at their fingertips (*ATM fee stat source in our moving infographic).

For example, moving a 2 bedroom apartment across town within Los Angeles can be done for $355 ($325 for 2 movers through HireAHelper for 5 hours of loading and unloading + $30 Budget moving truck). But if you’re moving out of town or out of state the price goes up. Or, if you’re moving anything more than a small apartment, the price goes up.

That said, this post looks at how much it would cost to move a specific sized home a specific distance. The cost of your move may vary from these estimates, but you can bet if your move is smaller or shorter, it should cost less and if it’s larger or farther, it will cost more.

This post is written to answer the following:

How much would it cost to move a 3 bedroom house (contents equaling 7,100 lbs) about 1,240 miles from Los Angeles, CA 90032 to Billings, MT 59101?

 

$3,700 (Option #1) Hire Loading Help + Reserve Professional Transportation

The cheapest way to move, a la carte, is also my personal favorite because it gives you more control over your stuff and more say over who’s doing the lifting, driving, and unloading (Oh, and I work for the most amazing loading and unloading help website in the world. So I’m a little biased). Hiring loading and unloading help through HireAHelper.com for a 3 bedroom house (about 7,100 lbs in stuff)  will cost about $940 (Breakdown: $470 for 4 helpers for 4 hours loading in Los Angeles and $470 for 4 helpers for 3 hours unloading in Billings, MT. Prices vary by location).

Reserving space on an ABF U-Pack Moving truck to move from LA to Billings is estimated to cost $2,791. You can also use a portable storage company like PODS or 1800Packrat to professionally transport your items across the country. Pricing might be even better through one of them, and they have some pretty amazing storage options in case you’re new house isn’t quite ready to move into.

$3,880 + gas (Option #2) – Hire Loading Help + Rent a Moving Truck

Similar to Option #1, this option is often called a “self-move.” hire local movers to load you through HireAHelper, but instead of having someone else transport your stuff, you’ve got to rent and drive a moving truck. You also have to fill it with gas. This option is more labor intensive on your part (long days driving, finding big parking spots, picking up & returning the truck, etc.) and costs more than option #1. The upside to this option is you are in direct control of your items at all times. You know exactly where they are at any given minute (because they’re directly behind you in the moving truck) and you have control over how long it takes. No waiting on delivery estimates from someone else. If your stuff doesn’t arrive to your new house on time, there’s only one person to blame.

$5,100 (Option #3) Full Service Mover or Vanline

The “simplest” way to go about moving across the country like this would be to call a big, national vanline. One with a long, reputable history as a pillar of the American economy. They’ve got agents all over the country and hundreds of trucks ready to move you anywhere, almost anytime. There are two GIGANTIC downsides to using a vanline for your move:

  1. Cost
    According to MoveSource’s moving cost calculator, a vanline move of this size is expected to run about $5,100!
  2. Damaged or Lost Items
    According to a recent J.D. Power & Associates study, almost 1 in 3 customers of full-service moving companies reported broken or missing items during their move.

All that to say, your costs may be very different from the ones in this post. But at least now you know there are a few cheaper options. And if you happen to be doing that exact move, from Los Angeles to Billings or vice versa, let me know in the comments, and I’ll get you a discount on some loading & unloading help. Otherwise, lets talk on Google +.

 

Tips on Moving to a New Apartment

How To Scout For An Apartment When Moving Out

Moving out and on to a new place shouldn’t be the headache that many think it is. Yes, it’s true that leaving a comfort zone you’ve known for a long time can be difficult. Having to search for the right place with similar amenities as your old residence is a process. Calculating the square footage needed in a new apartment, picking a floor to be on, and the number of items needed to be moved are just some of the questions you must ask yourself from the beginning.

Rather than go into the whole thing blind and settle on the first thing you see, here are a few reminders on how to land the right apartment and also a few moving tips and tricks to get your possessions transferred efficiently in terms of both labor and cost.

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