Real People: A Crosstown Chicago Move

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Category: Local Moving, Moving Stories, Moving Trucks

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Box and TruckI believe that every move has its challenges. Whether you’re moving across town, or across the US, boxing up your entire life and transporting it to another location can be rough. My last move falls into the former category, as my husband and I had to move less than 5 miles from our apartment to a newly purchased condo. Even though this was the shortest moving distance we’ve ever tackled (check out our St. Louis to Chicago move here), it was still an exhausting process. (more…)

7 Tips for Saving Money When Relocating

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These Are The Money Saving Moving Tips You’ve Been Looking For

No matter how you slice it, moving is expensive. According to Worldwide ERC, a workforce mobility association, the average cost of transporting household goods in 2012 stood at $12,459. But just because moving isn’t cheap, doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save. Employ these seven tips to save money when relocating.
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Go Green: 5 Eco-Friendly Moving Tips

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Going Green….It isn’t just the “cool” thing to do, it’s the RIGHT thing to do. Here are 5 tips to make your move a little less harmful on the environment.

 

1. Donate Items

IMG_1934When you’re packing up your belongings, you’re probably going to be ditching quite a bit of stuff. Instead of tossing everything into the garbage (& your local landfill), think about donating your clothing, furniture, and gently-used items. Do your part in the “reduce, re-use, recycle” motto and find a new home for your old items. Not sure where to take a specific item? Check out this comprehensive donation guide. (more…)

Tips for a Moving Container Move

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Tips for a Moving Container MoveAbout a year ago, my husband and I packed up all of our belongings and moved from St. Louis to our current apartment in Chicago.  We rented a PODS container and we used HireAHelper for the “muscle” portion of our move. I’m not saying it was a good time, because is moving ever really fun? But it actually wasn’t too incredibly painful, and we both lived to tell the tale. In fact, we detailed our moving escapade right here on the HireAHelper blog. (more…)

Real People: What if a HireAHelper Employee Used HireAHelper For Their Move?

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Like every customer service representative at HireAHelper, I have assisted many – no, countless – no wait, an insane amount of customers looking for last minute help with their move. I’ve often questioned why anyone would wait so long to organize their move or to make sure the appropriate help they needed was confirmed.

My question was answered when my own moving plan took an unfortunate turn. After plans to have family and friends assist me fell through, I was stuck with a house full of heavy furniture and only me to move it (and in case you weren’t aware, I am not the Incredible Hulk). The kicker? My move was the NEXT day! So on Friday February 7th (the day before my move), I began searching for a moving truck and some help to load it. (more…)

How Should I Prepare For My First Move?

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First time moving? Awesome. I’ve moved a few times and luckily the excitement of the next, new phase makes up for all the work involved in moving process! The one good thing about having a few moves under my belt is that I now have a pretty good idea of how to prepare and what to expect. Hopefully the lessons I learned the hard way will benefit you in some small way.

 

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Start Early – Financial

The first thing I would say is to begin planning ahead by a couple months. Start putting away some extra cash for the expense.  Moving is not cheap, even if you handle all the labor yourself. When you move into a new place, there are tons of fees like your new rent payment and deposit as well as all the other deposits required for the electric, gas, and internet companies. And if you’re not doing all the labor yourself, consider the cost of your movers and rental truck. Start your research of moving labor and trucks early so you can budget enough to get it all done.

Assess Your Needs: If you will need help loading and unloading your truck, how many movers and how much stuff do you have to load? And if you don’t happen to own a moving truck, how large of a truck will you need to rent? These two things are the main issues to consider when planning this aspect of your move.  Here are two sweet help guides from Hireahelper if you have no idea what you will need:

Truck Size Guide

Labor Guide

Unexpected costs: Once you figure out how many movers and what size truck you’ll need, you can begin to think about all the other costs that are often after thoughts! For instance, make sure to ask your mover what kind of fees they charge for insurance, packing materials, and other fees for flights of stairs and carrying loads to your truck if you can’t get your truck right by the front door. These questions will help you get a full picture of exactly how much everything will cost, instead of being surprised by extra fees later on. By getting a jumpstart on saving for your move, you won’t have to stress about the costs at the time of your move!

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 Start Early – Packing

Another thing you can start about a month in advance is packing prep. Think of the materials you’ll need – boxes, paper/cloths/peanuts used to keep breakables safe, markers for labeling, packing tape, etc. Plot out how you will pack and organize your things. Packing things up according to rooms is a great way to organize. Box and label. No matter how big or small of a place you have, it always seems to take longer than you think. So give yourself time and invite a friend or two to help! Crank the music and get started. As you begin packing and organizing, you’ll probably run across things you haven’t used in a year (or five). If you can let go of these things, you just have that much less to pack and carry! Moving is a great time to purge.

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Create a Checklist and Timeline

In the beginning stages, creating a checklist and timeline will help keep you organized through the process. You can list hiring movers and even include each room and the goal for when you want it to be packed by. Setting up a timeline will help you maintain some sanity as you go.

Here are a few things you don’t want to forget on your list: Call the electric, gas, internet, phone, satellite/cable companies to switch your address. You don’t want to be without electricity at your new place or continue to receive a bill at your old residence. These aren’t difficult things to do but they are easily lost in the shuffle. Write them down on your “to do” list.  In addition to those changes, make sure you call any other important companies to let them know about your change of address – Post Office, magazines/newspapers, insurance companies, and anything else you can think of.  Fill in the blank! Or, if that sounds too time consuming or complicated, checkout Updater.com. They offer a service that changes your address and updates any subscription services you have with your new address.

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Survival Kit!

Last, but not least, make sure you pack a survival kit for your first week at your new place. Unless you are superhuman, you probably won’t unpack all your things the very day you move in. So pack a couple suitcases or boxes of everything you’ll need during those first few days – daily vitamins, a pillow, blankets, clothes, phone charger, laptop, alarm clock, toiletries, silverware, plate, glass, and snacks (unless you plan to eat out until you unpack kitchen items!). I’m sure you can add to this “necessities” list! Everyone has their own specific list of needs.  Like for me, I would need my nespresso machine and a coffee cup!

These are the few things I’ve learned about packing and moving over the years. I’d love to hear the things you’ve learned from your own moves! What is the top tip you’ve picked up about moving? Share them below!

About the Author: Victoria grew up in rural Nebraska but has lived in Iowa, Hawaii, China, and Montana. She aspires to move somewhere warmer after grad school! At the moment, she works for HireAHelper and lives vicariously through her co-workers who live in Southern California.

(Photo Courtesy: Peretz Partensky, 401(K) 2012, Becky Stern, Chris Potter, and Jeff Keyzer

Can I Use Movers With My Own Truck?

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If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll remember that I’m from rural Nebraska. Whenever I’ve moved in the past, my big, strong farmer boy cousins have done all the heavy lifting. They packed everything in their trailers and pickups and basically served as my own personal moving company. All I seriously had to do was help organize, pack and box all my belongings. However, as I dream about moving south after grad school, I realize a long distance move won’t really work for my beefy cousins because let’s face it, they can’t ask the neighbor to feed their livestock and harvest their wheat just so I can get moved! The most I can ask of them is to get me loaded on this side of my move.

To be honest, I didn’t know hiring moving labor alone was even an option. I assumed you had two options: 1. You could hire a moving company with a truck, who would load, drive, and unload; or 2. You could rent a truck (or borrow one) and load everything yourself, along with whichever friends and family members you could gin up.

Little did I know that secret option number 3 existed! I can rent my own truck and hire people to load and unload everything for me. I mean, Nebraska girls are tough but carrying couches and furniture solo is not how we roll. Hiring moving labor brings me back to my packing and boxing routine with the added responsibility of driving the rental truck. I’m fine with that idea as long as I don’t have to drive an enormous truck in the downtown traffic of some major city. No thank you! The cool thing is that I can scrap the rental truck idea altogether and leave the driving to PODS or 1800PackRat. They drop off a storage container at your place to pack/load, then pick it back up and deliver it to your new location.  It’s the best idea ever.

So I now have a game plan for my next move. Rent a storage container through PODS or 1800PackRat and hire moving labor to unload at my destination. Boom. Solved.

Have you had experience driving a rental truck or hiring moving labor? Share any lessons and tips you’ve learned along the way below!

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About the Author: Victoria is thoroughly enjoying the summer heat and getting outdoors whenever possible. She is taking the summer off from grad classes and working for HireAHelper. It is a nice change of pace!

Photo courtesy of Pirate Alice.

How Much Does it Cost to Move?

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Category: Long Distance Moving, Movehacks, Moving Checklists & Planning

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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-$8,500.

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 or price out your own move with our moving calculator). 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.

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.” You still 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.

$6,823 (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 the moving cost calculator data, a full service move of this size is expected to run $6,823!
  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 +.

A Slacker’s Last Minute Moving Checklist

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UPDATE (7/29/19): Our new last minute move checklist has been updated with more insights and graphics here.


There are dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of moving checklists out there, even some interactive moving lists, offering tips and reminders for those lucky souls that know 3 months ahead of time about their impending move. Most checklists are based on a timeline, with tips for what to do 10 weeks out, 2 months out, the week before, etc.

This is not one of those lists. This list is for the rest of us (dare I say, the slackers?). Those of us moving tomorrow, or maybe even today, after realizing that our lease is up next week, that the plumbing leak is bad enough to warrant moving out, or that the promotion you just accepted was contingent on you moving the family 800 miles away by next Tuesday.

Moving 101

Whatever the reason, from one slacker to another, here are my last minute moving tips: (more…)

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