Updated for 2019: This post has been updated with new information.
Taking a spill on your icy driveway is bad enough when you’re carrying your car keys. So imagine wiping out while carrying a dresser full of clothes. Scary scenario, for us and for our movers. (And one reason people prefer to move in summer.)
If the forecast for your move date calls for moisture and freezing temps, you might be thinking: Should I cover my front walk and driveway with salt or sand? Sand is used to cover up the snow, salt will melt it.
If you have the option, sand is always better.
Why? Let’s break down first how to best apply both of these, which will explain the pros and cons of both.
First of all, shovel the area you’re going to walk
The best defense is a good offense. If it snows the night before your move, it almost goes without saying that the first thing you’ll want to do is grab a shovel and get to work clearing the area.
If you live where temperatures can remain below freezing for days on end (if not weeks—hello, Minnesota!), then you’ll understand the importance of shoveling your driveway before all that snow gets packed down and turns to ice.
Now let’s decide whether to melt that ice or cover it up.
Sand or Ice?
If Mother Nature insists on coating the driveway with ice, we have two choices.
We can either melt it or cover it up.
The answer depends on how cold it is, as well as how much you care if it gets into the environment. In either case, the biggest priority is traction.
The case for sand
Covering up ice in our way can be quick and pretty easy. All we need is a bag or two of sand.
Sand is less toxic, much cheaper, and works immediately.
But you might have to keep reapplying it. Keep in mind these few things:
Since sand provides traction, once it gets ground into the snow or ice it becomes less effective. As many times as you or your movers will be walking back and forth on it, you’ll likely have to put more down once or twice during the move.
In extremely cold temperatures, sand can freeze in hazardous clumps. Some suggest adding salt to the sand to help prevent this from happening, but if it’s cold enough, that salt won’t help either (more on that in a minute).
Sand comes in several varieties. The stuff explicitly meant for icy roads is better than sandbox sand, which in turn is better than something like mason’s sand. In other words, thegrittier, the better.
After the fact, sand can collect in drainage systems and the soil, eventually clogging up lakes, streams, pipes and sewers. That means it’s also getting into our drinking water. Clean up what you can or give the neighbor’s kid a few more bucks to make sure it’s cleaned.
The case for salt
Instead of covering your packed snow and ice with sand, you can try melting it with salt. Because it’s specifically designed for this purpose, it can definitely be an attractive option.
But if you don’t apply salt several hours or a day or so ahead of when you need to safely walk on the area, salt is largely pointless, as it needs time to begin working.
Running out and buying the biggest, cheapest bag you can find might be your first instinct, but as with sand, there are a few things to consider.
Driveway salt, sometimes called “rock salt”, doesn’t melt ice like, say, a hot rock or a flamethrower would. Instead, when mixed with water, it forms a liquid brine (a fancy name for “salt water”) which has a lower freezing point than pure water. This brine then acts to lower the freezing point of the water it comes in contact with, effectively melting it—although only down to a certain degree. (Brine that is 20% salt will still freeze below 0˚F.)
Throwing some salt down on your icy driveway will get you nowhere if it’s too cold for the salt to actually mix with the ice! The salt needs to draw moisture from the air to create a brine which will act on the ice it touches, which will melt and further the reaction. Alternatively, there needs to be some heat, from the sun or from friction, to initiate the melting process. In other words, don’t wait until your movers are pulling up to your house before you start throwing that salt around.
Other concerns about salt
The cheapest and most plentiful salt you’ll find is basically table salt, or sodium chloride (NaCl). That may sound perfectly safe, but do be aware:
That salt may contain small amounts of cyanide, which isn’t exactly good for any curious pets or animals.
Using salt can cause metal to rust and can damage blacktop, cement, flagstone, brick, wood and pretty much anything else your driveway is (or has). If you’re interested, this damage is not merely from the salt, but from the increase in freeze/thaw cycles that come with the brine’s lower freezing point, which can begin to break down the integrity of the surface with which it is in contact.
Got a cool yard? Salt can damage plants by inhibiting their ability to absorb water and nutrients. Salt also leaches heavy metals into the water supply.
Got pets? If salt gets lodged in your pet’s paws, it can cause a nasty burning.
There are also salt and sand alternatives!
Alternatives to salt would more accurately be called “variations of salt” and have a spectrum of merits. While you can probably find any of these at a store, which one to pick is most dependant on exactly how cold it is where you are.
Calcium chloride (CaCl): Covers a wider area than rock salt with a lower freezing point (around minus 25˚F). It also works more quickly because it gives off heat as it dissolves. Like rock salt, calcium chloride is corrosive to metal and can leave a slimy residue. It also encourages algae growth which clogs waterways.
Magnesium chloride: It’s similar to calcium chloride, albeit somewhat less corrosive, and will begin to absorb moisture from the air at 32% humidity, speeding up the melting process.
Potassium chloride (KCl): Despite its use for executions by lethal injection, is safer for pets and plants than calcium chloride. With a freezing point of around 12˚F, it is also less effective.
Nitrogen-based urea products: This is similar to fertilizers in that they are expensive, ineffective under 20˚F and, like other salts, will eventually get into the water supply, lakes and streams.
Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA): Can prevent ice down to around minus 27˚F and is much more environmentally friendly than the abovementioned salts – at a much higher price.
Are there more eco-friendly alternatives?
With all the pros and cons of these salts and chemicals, you may be wondering, “Is there an eco-friendly way to de-ice my driveway?”
Yes. Maybe. It depends on your definition of “eco-friendly” and your motivation to be so.
Grist offers a few eco-ish alternatives to rock salt in an editorial. GreenMoxie also goes all out. Read about them there.
But what everyone seems to agree on – including us – is that there’s no better way to keep your driveway and your front walk clear of ice than grabbing that shovel and getting to work.
Or maybe get the neighbor’s kid to do it.
Salt and sandthe day before your move, clearing away any chunks or other bits to help keep it all from refreezing overnight.
Applying salt the morning of your move? The heat from all the foot traffic will help the melting process, but in the meantime, scattering some sand on top wouldn’t hurt.
Get an idea of how much square footage you’ll need to cover before you run out to grab that salt or sand. If a sales assistant isn’t there to help, you might find how much you need right on the bag.
And remember, get rid of whatever snow and ice you can along the way. Your movers will love you for it.
We’ve all seen it: that $19.95 per day deal that’s advertised on the side of seemingly every U-Haul truck and van across the country. And that price looks mighty nice.
But just like renting a truck is only one small part of your move, that $19.95 U-Haul rate is likely to end up being just a fraction of your final bill. We know, because we went out to rent a U-Haul with one question in mind: how much does a U-Haul really cost?
After trying to rent a truck on their website, we found out the $19.95 price point refers to local moves only, not a “one-way” move, where you drop off at a different location – aka a long-distance move. (More on those prices later.)
The famous $19.95 price point is also exclusive to any one of their three smallest options:
8’U-Haul pickup truck
9’U-Haul cargo van
10’ U-Haul Rental truck (what we rented)
And most importantly, the $19.95 only accounts for U-Haul’s “rental truck fee”. (It’s also technically subject to availability and might be higher, even for the smallest ones.)
Here are the U-Haul fees that make up one (1) U-Haul bill
Rental truck fee (+ ~$40 per additional day, when applicable)
Mileage fee | Rate varies by regional location/distance driven
Damage protection fees
Miscellaneous fees (e.g., Cleaning, toll, damage, parking, convenience, drop off fees)
How much did it cost for us to rent a U-Haul for a day?
Our final cost was $55.76 for the most bare-bones rental imaginable.
Below we break down how U-Haul gets their prices, what else we could have bought instead, as well as what we had to do to get our quotes.
How much do the bigger U-Haul trucks cost?
It’s not possible to pinpoint the exact cost of a specific truck size because truck prices vary by supply and demand and U-Haul location, and are subject to change. There aresites that ballpark individual truck size costs, but if you want an estimate based on user-reported, real-time prices for U-Haul moves, click on the graph below.
Can you rent a U-Haul for more than a day?
We could not rent our U-Haul for any longer than 24 hours for a local move rate.
Almost any U-Haul location around the country won’t let you add days at the “local move” rate for a U-Haul you’ll be returning to the same store, but our store did say that there were some U-Haul locations that still might allow it in rare situations. But in most cases, U-Haul will instead try and sell you on one of their moving containers if those are available in your area.
For long-distance moves, you get five days with your truck. We asked and yes, you can add days to your rental – but only with advance coordination with your local U-Haul store.
Beware: U-Haul tacks on an ADDITIONAL $40 fee to every day you keep your truck after five days.
Here are the daily U-Haul rates for adding days to a U-Haul long-distance truck rental:
U-Haul trucks – $40 per day
U-Haul trailers – $20 per day
U-Haul towing devices – $20 per day
How exactly does renting a U-Haul cargo trailer work?
We didn’t rent a cargo trailer with our truck, but we got all the info straight from U-Haul.
There are three types of trailers U-Haul offers:
Car carrier (Available only at some locations)
For smaller loads or something super fragile (or heck, even quarantined), U-Haul offers trailers that hitch to cars and trucks, pending location availability. U-Haul likes to say they’re perfect for moving a dorm room.
Like U-Haul trucks, they advertise these being as cheap as “$14.95”, and just like the trucks, that quote is only for the smallest versions of them if AND if you are moving locally. You generally get up to seven days to use a U-Haul trailer for long-distance moves.
All trailers are subject to regular U-Haul fees (minus gas and mileage) and – most importantly – come with an installation fee if you don’t have the proper hitch.
How much does it cost to get a U-Haul hitch installed on my vehicle?
All types of trailers require a proper hitch and lighting to hook to your vehicle, which you either need to prove to U-Haul meets their standard requirements, or make an appointment to have them install them onto your vehicle for a fee roughly around $100 and greater.
For the heck of it, we asked how much it would cost to get one of our cars modded for towing a trailer, and for pieces and installation. Wewere quoted $428.24.
Product subtotal: $269.75
Installation fee: $138.75
Not exactly a steal, given that doesn’t even include the rental. (But at least you’ll be good to go for the future.) You will be buying all the pieces you need, but expect to get up-charged versus if you found the pieces elsewhere.
Technically, you could also rent a trailer for your U-Haul truck rental, which already has a hitch and lighting hook up on it if you for some reason needed a little additional space.
What’s the difference between the three different U-Haul trailers?
There are actually three different kinds of trailers you can typically rent.
U-Haul Cargo Trailers
U-Haul cargo trailers come in four different sizes and come with a built-in, lockable latch, so they’re secure.
The smallest model and a couple other models do not come built with the U-Haul “EZ Ramp”, so prepare for that.
How much does a U-Haul Cargo Trailer cost?
For local moves, U-Haul trailer rentals generally cost as little as $14.95 before fees, and as much as $29.95 for the biggest size, after fees.
Without any hitch installation and for single-day use, the smallest cargo trailer (4’x8′) with no ramp was quoted to us at exactly $14.95, before taxes or miscellaneous fees. For their biggest cargo trailer (6’x12′), it was $29.95 under the same stipulations.
For a long-distance move, that quote goes out the window. Our quote for the smallest trailer (4’x8′), minus taxes and miscellaneous fees and for up to seven days was $239.00, and the largest cargo trailer (6’x12′) was for a whopping $562.00! This is exactly how your U-Haul price can skyrocket fast.
Don’t forget the hitch installation charges if you need it, which adds another couple hundred, at minimum.
U-Haul Utility Trailers
Utility trailers are needed for when you have to transport something tall or oddly shaped. So when you move your arcade cabinet (okay, probably a refrigerator), you can strap it to this and haul it behind your vehicle.
Bring your own ramp, though, because only the 5′ x 9′ and 6′ x 12′ utility trailers come with U-Haul’s fold-out “EZ ramps”. (Careful, they rent a 6′ x 12′ trailer without a ramp, too.)
How much does a U-Haul Utility Trailer cost?
For local moves, prices generally begin at $14.95 and range to $29.95 at the biggest, but vary by availability and demand.
It was hard to get a quote for a long-distance move with a Utility Trailer because so few of the largest options were available anywhere we looked – even in heavily populated areas. (You’ve been warned!) However, for a 5′ x 9′ Utility Trailer with a ramp, we received a quote for $356.00, minus fees.
You can expect both larger and smaller utility trailers to scale roughly the same in cost as U-Haul Cargo Trailers.
U-Haul Vehicle Trailer
Finally, if you need to tow a vehicle and aren’t looking to ship your car, check U-Haul’s car towing site, and maybe also call ahead to see if the U-Haul near you has any car and motorcycle trailers available.
This type of move can definitely save you some cash compared to normal car shipping, but keep in mind that do-it-yourself car transport is not for moving rookies and requires a lot of time and some skill.
How much does a U-Haul Vehicle Trailer cost?
For our local move, U-Haul trailer rental rates for a tow dolly for a front-wheel drive vehicle started at $45.99 and an auto transport trailer started at $54.99.
To get an idea for a hypothetical long-distance move, we came prepared with two far away ZIP Codes. Before fees, our quote from the west coast to the midwest was quoted as $478 for a tow dolly and $962 for an auto transport trailer. Not cheap, but potentially cheaper than other options, but only if you were up for driving it yourself.
Keep in mind hitch installation, taxes and other fees are not included in this quote, which as you can see, can add hundreds more to this cost.
Oh, by the way, the rep told us U-Haul won’t let you rent any trailer of any kind if your vehicle doesn’t have a hardtop, SUV and Jeep included. They also strongly recommend you not exceed 55mph with any of this stuff attached to your vehicle.
For a complete breakdown on all U-Box moving container costs before you make your U-Haul U-Box reservation, check out the Moving101 U-Box page.
How U-Haul Fees Work
How much does U-Haul charge for mileage?
In general, the price per mile is region-specific. Mileage rates are also higher for local moves.
For a rental truck:
Our quote was $0.89 a mile in Southern California. You might see it go higher
In the midwest, it’s more common to find price points of $0.79 or $0.69 a mile
Meanwhile, the mileage rate for either U-Haul rental pick-up trucks or U-Haul vans are typically $0.59 a mile
We drove the U-Haul all of eight miles from and back to the U-Haul store to take pictures. For this, we were charged $0.89 a mile, for a total of $8.90.
Imagine, now, how much your mileage fee will stack if you drive your rental 20, 50, maybe even 100 or more miles to and from the rental location? That’s why some call it “consumer-unfriendly“. Let’s hope there are U-Haul coupons out there somewhere.
What are the mileage rates for a long-distance/one-way U-Haul rental?
If you are moving long-distance, you receive a calculated amount of miles you have to stay under (which might be a little stingy), and your U-Haul mileage rate is typically around $0.40 a mile.
Remember, a one-way/long-distance to U-Haul simply means dropping it off at a different location than the one you rented it from. Technically, this could mean as near as a town over. Keep this in mind when typing in “U-Haul near me” into Google and deciding between multiple nearby stores.
Also, mileage is cheaper for long-distance moves, but other fees are way, way more expensive, so make sure you stick to in-town rates, if possible.
Do U-Hauls have unlimited miles?
No, U-Hauls do not have unlimited miles.
For that, you’re better off looking at Penske or Budget. This area is where the $19.95 price promise really falls apart, unless you’re moving something across the street from your U-Haul store.
How do U-Haul gas fees work?
Simply put, you will pay for any gas you use. You gotta bring it back with at least as much gas as it started with.
The U-Haul clerk marked down the exact mileage and gave us their daily rate for gasoline. We had the choice of filling up what we used ourselves out in the wild, or paying U-Haul $5.25 a gallon (!) to do it for us after we returned it as a “convenience fee”.
And heed this warning straight from our receipt: “If returned with less than 1/4 tank, I agree to pay a $30.00 service fee.”
Your U-Haul truck can get as little as 7 mpg, but it might be in the neighborhood of 10-12, depending on what size truck you rent. They often have this little module on the dashboard so you can see in real-time.
Protip: Make sure your truck’s tank is full when you take it off the lot. And by full, we mean full! When you pick up your truck, your U-Haul rep might think “full” means the needle on the gas gauge is more or less at full. But when you drop it off, that same rep will likely insist it isn’t full if there isn’t gas splashing out from under the gas cap.
What are my U-Haul insurance options?
U-Haul has two (2) main kinds of insurance. They’re called Safemove and Savemofe Plus. Just like everything else, the added cost scales dramatically for local and long-distance moves.
Keep in mind that absolutely no U-Haul insurance covers damages due to “…improper packing, normal shifting of cargo in transit or theft of cargo“. When in doubt, U-Haul will probably win out.
Here are the differences between their two insurances.
Safemove is basically coverage for if someone hits your truck. It gives you:
Limited coverage for the stuff in the vehicle (cargo coverage)
Life coverage for the people in the vehicle
You’ll have to look to your own insurance if you hit someone else. And your stuff inside is only covered if you get hit, there’s a fire, a windstorm, or if your truck literally overturns.
Safemove Plus is basically the coverage for if you were to cause an accident:
Limited coverage for the stuff in the vehicle (cargo coverage)
Life coverage for the people in the vehicle
$1,000,000 Liability Coverage
It covers overhead damage, like the kind you see on YouTube where people slam their trucks into low clearances, as well as tire protection. (You know, the two most likely things to go wrong if anything were to go wrong.) And as a “safeguard” to your personal insurance, if you were to cause an accident or mess up their equipment somehow, this covers up the first million dollars (literally) of losses.
For our tiny little “move”, we were scared by U-Haul customer service into picking up U-Haul’s regular SafeMove coverage for $14. SafeMove Plus would have cost us $48.
Do I have to buy insurance with my U-Haul?
No, you don’t have to buy insurance of any kind to rent a U-Haul.
Here’s the thing though. While you’re statistically in the clear, U-Haul’s policies are perfectly crafted to screw you if absolutely anything were to go wrong.
Your personal auto insurance policy most likely does not cover damages to rental trucks
Your credit card likely does not cover any damages to rental trucks
You are responsible for damages even if it’s not your fault, including things like vandalism
You are responsible to pay U-Haul for “lost rental revenue” while the truck is being fixed, whatever U-Haul deems that cost to be
You have to pay U-Haul the exact moment you return the vehicle for any and all damages, then deal with insurance later – it’s not billed
Keep in mind that U-Haul only offers SafeMove for their rental trucks. Pickup trucks and vans have their own type of insurance they call Collision Damage Waiver (CDW).
U-Haul also offers “Safetow” for $5 extra, which means if you need roadside assistance they’ll send someone out to help. Kind of sad that you have to pay extra for this, but the option is there.
Damages and cleaning fees
Also, if you leave some kind of a noticeable mess, they will charge you up to $25. Maybe don’t eat while you drive … or transport hay.
We didn’t rent any equipment or buy any boxes or supplies, but we definitely had the option!
Sure, it’s possible to move without renting (or buying) any special equipment. But even if you hire a crew of movers to come in with all their hand trucks and dollies to load (and unload) your truck, you’ll at minimum still need your own blankets to protect your belongings.
Here’s how much the stuff cost for us.
Average* U-Haul equipment purchase prices:
Stretch wrap: $6.
Boxes: $1-25 (Wide varieties available)
Tie Down Tope: $3
Roll of packing tape: $3
Furniture dolly: $19.95
Hand dolly: $39.95
Furniture pads: $4 each
Keep in mind that you can rent some equipment versus buying it. U-Haul has furniture pads for $5 per half dozen, as well as furniture dollies for $7-10 and appliance dollies between $10-12.
*Prices may vary by location.
How much does moving labor cost?
When you go to a U-Haul shop, it’s likely they’ll try and sell you on movers. Even the inside of their trucks have advertisements for moving labor all over them.
How much are U-Haul movers? Movers prices will vary dramatically, depending on the number of hours booked, how many movers you book, whether they are doing a load, unload, or both, and how soon you need them. Movers cost as little as $200 to as much as $5,000, which is why you need to get your own quote.
The way U-Haul movers work is that they contract a local business to go out and do the job, and U-Haul takes a cut of the quote you get from them. But if anything goes wrong or gets broken, it’s basically a civil matter between you and that small business. Most people agree that it’s better to contract movers on sites with customer service who hold that business accountable, which you can do simply by ignoring U-Haul’s tacky ads and looking for yourself.
In case you were wondering, for us to add movers to our made-up, on the spot move, U-Haul quoted us $312.
Are movers actually worth it?
The difference between a move that takes you all day, breaks your back and your friendships, and keeps your stuff out of the hands of amateurs could be as little as $200, depending on how much stuff you have. Movers may be the most value you can get from any single add-on.
Other Factors That Affect Your U-Haul Cost
What actually happens at the U-Haul store after you reserve online or over the phone
We went online and used a credit card to book a 10’ rental truck, and we thought the booking was all paid up. But it wasn’t.
While our vehicle was reserved online (thank goodness), we had to reproduce the same or another form of payment in person, regardless of what we used online to reserve it. Makes sense, but might be a stumbling block for some people.
After that, U-Haul put a hold our bank account upfront for the total fees, minus the costs of future mileage and (hopefully no) miscellaneous fees.
When we returned with the vehicle, we dropped off the keys and the truck and were given a paper receipt with the total costs. Because we used a debit card already on file, no further action was needed.
Paying for a U-Haul in cash?
We were told cash payments need to give a $100 deposit (yes, seriously), which would eventually be reimbursed – minus our total cost – upon return of the vehicle.
Here’s how the cash payment breakdown works, straight from their website:
A credit or debit card is required to reserve a truck online (no deposit is required). If you don’t have a credit card or prefer to use cash, you can reserve the truck in person. In-town rentals need a deposit of $100 or the estimated charges (whichever is greater). One-way moves require $100 plus the rental rate. The total estimated charges will be due when you pick up the equipment, whether paying by cash, debit or credit.
Haggling and U-Haul coupons
There are no formal military, senior, or student discounts at U-Haul. However, it’s up to the discretion of the U-Haul store you’re renting at if they offer it for asking. The rep let it leak that anywhere between 10-15% discount is what they’re allowed to apply to an order if they decide.
How old do you have to be to rent a U-Haul?
Wanting to test the age limits, we sent one of our 20-year-old team members to officially do the honors of picking up the vehicle. No matter, as U-Haul says you need only be 18 years old with a valid driver’s license, and just 16 years old to rent a trailer attachment.
We got a ’10 truck, U-Haul’s smallest with no ramp, and drove it a “colossal” eight miles. We bought the cheapest insurance, absolutely zero equipment and zero labor, and got hit with no other fees (since we didn’t actually put anything in the truck).
Our bill was still almost three times the advertised price.
Of course, $55.76 isn’t a bad deal, depending on what you need it for. The problem is that if you needed only a quick lift to pick something up, $50+ can render a lot of good deals useless.
On the other hand, if you were seriously moving, odds are great you’d drive many more miles, and your mileage would probably be way higher, given you probably aren’t hauling air. And if it’s during the busy moving season, the rental rate will likely be greater than $19.95.
An extremely conservative estimate for a very small, local move is probably closer to around $125 for the rental. You’ll realistically need one of the larger trucks for a real move.
And that is strictly local. For long-distance moves, even a small load will be much closer to $500-1,000, or greater. And that is assuming you don’t need a hitch installed.
The Bottom Line
Nobody pays $19.95 plus tax. How much you finally shell out will depend on your circumstances, your preferences and your requirements. Keep the above in mind as you plan out your move. You’ll probably save at least enough for some extra coffee on the drive to your new home!
How to Move Your Garden Without Killing Your Plants
UPDATE: Check out the How to Move Your Garden infographic below!
It’s true, just because you’re moving doesn’t mean you have to say farewell to your garden.
There is actually a myriad of reasons you might want to move your garden. Maybe you purchased a new greenhouse and want to transfer your tomatoes and other vegetables inside before fall sets in. Perhaps you just bought a new home and want to relocate your favorite perennials to the current landscape. Or maybe you simply want to place potted plants into the ground instead.
Whatever the reason, you find the need to move your garden from its present location, which is not something you should do without reading about it first. There are a lot of steps to successfully moving a garden, so get your hoes, your wheel barrels and your expandable hoses ready folks, let’s move!
If you are able, choose the season you move.
The worst time to move a garden is in the heat of the summer. Not only is the dryness damaging to the roots, but the sun is especially hot at that time of year and direct light can cause a great deal of damage. More on this from thespruce.com:
Never leave the roots exposed to sun, heat or wind. It’s tempting to remove all plants from their pots and place them where you want them to go in the garden, but roots will desiccate quickly. Remove each plant just prior to planting.
Provided you aren’t moving into a winter wonderland, any other time is better. Of course, if you have no choice but to move your garden in the heat of summer, there are tips we will include along the way to ensure your garden’s safety.
Mark where everything is going to go first.
Wherever the new location for your garden, be sure to have the spots in which you are going to plant them ready to go ahead of digging out and transplanting. In other words, visually indicate what’s going into them so things don’t get confusing. If you are planting them in bigger pots, make sure the soil is ready to go at the bottom so the transfer will be ready to go. Conversely, if you are planting directly into the ground, make sure your spots are already dug out and big enough before anything is pulled out.
If you are moving in the heat of summer, we suggest dousing these spots with water before transferring the plants. The roots will need the moisture after the shock of being uprooted.
If you aren’t sure exactly where you want to plant, dig trenches and create a temporary nursery for your plants!
Pot, bucket or burlap: get the transportation ready.
If you are moving your garden from one pot to another or if you are moving your potted plants into the ground, skip this step. But if you are moving your garden from one home to another, then you’ll need receptacles that can be also be moved. If basic pots or buckets aren’t available, wrap the root ball in burlap for transporting. The shock of moving is enough to kill a good deal of plants, so it’s important to make sure the transport goes as smoothly as possible.
Use a special watering schedule for soon to be in-transit plants.
It’s important during transportation that you water your plants correctly. Not to mention that watered plants are also easier to remove with the root intact.
First, you should water your garden the night before you plan on moving it so that the plants are well hydrated for the move. This helps them sustain what’s called “the jolt of transit”.
Secondly, don’t go easy on the roots; Soak them well! If by chance you have plants with bare roots (or “naked roots”), the bottoms of these plants need to be submerged in water for two to three hours before being replanted. Here are just a few common bare-root plants to look out for:
Trim excess stems.
It’s suggested you cut off any stems or foliage that are dying or in excess. Doing this will diminish the trauma your plant might experience. However, this isn’t universally necessary for all plants, so use your best judgment!
Dig up using the drip line.
Now it’s time to dig up those plants. But you won’t want to dig into the base of the plant. Doing so risks chopping up a healthy root! Instead, take a hand shovel and dig a ring around the main stem of your plant, carefully paying attention to where the roots are positioned. This is the drip line, otherwise known as the area your plant drips onto the ground, and it’s a great method for digging up plants.
For larger plants, the ring you dig around the plant should be at least 6 inches deep. When you start digging around any size plant you will find that you will likely cut some roots on the way. This is okay, but make sure they are clean cuts, not torn.
Once the ring is dug, use a larger shovel (or several, for larger plants) to pop them out of place. Don’t shake or remove any soil from the root ball, since this will serve as protection. Put your plants into their transportation vehicles to get them ready for their final destinations!
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Re-plant (the right way).
You want to plant your garden in its new location as soon as possible. We would suggest doing it right after you are done uprooting them. If that isn’t possible, then quickly get them into their temporary, transitional home. Just remember, the longer the plant is out, the harder it will be to set.
Before placing your newly removed plants to their new home, you should water the holes and trenches you’ve created. Once you placed water again, gently top the roots off with some soil. Protip: Make sure the soil is solid, but not so dense it smothers the plant.
Reduce stress on the plants.
Once you have your plant in its place, give it a little shower to cool off the leaves. Provide some shade for plants planted in direct sunlight for at least a couple days. You might need to water these plants every day until they grow strong again. If you can do this gentle process in the cooler parts of the day, your plants will thank you for it. Also, if you see anything drooping, water it right away!
Check out our infographic for how to move your garden without killing your plants!
Tim Moore is the lead editor of Backyard Boss and is a lifelong backyard enthusiast. He grew up immersed in the outdoors, camping every weekend and tending to the backyard with his family. Follow Tim and Backyard Boss on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for everyday inspiration for your backyard.
Can Movers Help You With Other Stuff Besides Moving?
If you thought moving companies do nothing but put all your stuff on a big truck, you’d be right—if you were living sometime in the distant past.
Today’s moving companies are constantly expanding their range of services and offering them all à la carte. That half-job or heavy lifting you need help with? Sure, you can try begging and bribing your friends, or you can call up a few movers in your area. You might be surprised at what they can help you with.
So What Else, Exactly, Can Movers Help With?
More than you can probably imagine. Heck, you don’t even need to be moving to have them give you a hand! More and more, people are turning to moving companies for all kinds of tasks too big to tackle alone. Movers make great day laborers, for things like:
Clearing out your garage or basement
Having a couple of sets of hands to move stuff while you figure out whether it goes to the curb or your cousin’s house or back into the garage can save you an entire weekend (if your garage looks anything like mine)
This also applies to attics, sheds, or anywhere
Hauling individual furniture from Point A to Point B
From your house to the curb; from your bedroom to the basement; to that cousin’s house; to the municipal trash dump; to your local secondhand store or consignment shop
Moving everything out of the room you are repainting or remodeling
And then moving it back when you are done
Hauling stuff to your home from the furniture store
Or from your second cousin’s house, or from the garage of the guy selling that big beautiful piano on craigslist
Movers can (and often will) also take care of those jobs tangential to a move:
Even if you’ve managed to tackle your entire move on your own, you may be left with a mountain of unwanted cardboard boxes and unusable packing paper that you just don’t want to deal with. Movers, however, see gold in those mountains. So try giving them a call.
Protip: Most movers tend to charge for a minimum of two hours of labor, due to scheduling their business hours. This is not by any means a hard and fast rule, but make sure you ask before you book your help.
Can I hire movers to JUST help me load and unload my U-Haul?
Renting a truck or a moving container and hiring moving labor for all the heavy lifting is a huge trend—and for good reason. You save a ton of money by renting your own truck, and you save your back by hiring movers.
À la carte movers often:
Bring all the equipment
Have all the knowledge necessary to do the job right
Pack stuff you need packed, wrap stuff you need to be wrapped
Load it all up safely and securely
You drive your U-Haul (or Penske or Budget), or have your portable container delivered, and a fresh crew of movers unloads everything at your new home. This is what we call a Hybrid Move. As far as moving goes, it’s the best of both worlds. And it’s what HireAHelper movers do best.
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Protip: If you are moving locally, your movers may be able to rent you moving blankets for a small fee. But if you are moving out of the area, you might be able to rent them from your rental truck company. You may, however, have to buy them. Just please don’t move without them!
Can my movers do my entire move?
Yes, of course. Your traditional Full Service moving company will handle the whole moving enchilada if that is what you want, including packing up your entire home, right down to your last box of biscuits. This is the easiest way to move. It is also by far the most expensive.
Movers Know Best
Of course, we can’t tell you what’s best for you. But we can say with total confidence that movers know how to best handle your stuff. Whether it’s a single item job or a few pieces of heavy furniture; whether you’re moving one room or one door down or one hundred miles away; whether you need loading help, unloading help, or both, hiring moving labor is the best and most economical way to make sure your belongings are taken care of.
If you’re not sure what to do, that’s cool. Calling a mover and asking a few questions costs nothing. And it could end up saving you a lot.
Chances are, there are movers near you who can help you move that fridge, bed, or whatever else makes your back ache by the mere thought of picking it up. But if you can’t find the right help, or if you and your back feel up to the task, then keep reading—we’ve got you covered!
The First Step to Moving Heavy Furniture
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Okay, that’s a little weird, but moving heavy furniture is the same idea. You gotta really, really prepare.
Before you roll up your sleeves and start picking stuff up, you’ll want to do a few things:
Clear as wide of a pathway as you can
Measure that your furniture isn’t too big to go through that path
Mark a clear, physical end point where you will drop the item
The great news is that many movers across the country will offer to disassemble any furniture that might need it in order to be moved. All you have to do is ask if your local mover offers the service.
If you’re disassembling furniture all yourself, there are plenty of basics to know when taking off table legs, moving desks, or detaching a flat screen tv.
The Most Important Basics When it Comes to Disassembly
When removing table legs, immediately reattach whatever nuts and bolts were holding the leg in place after the leg is off. This keeps screws from disappearing
Always use a screwdriver with a magnetic head when unscrewing flat screen tv mounts, as losing important screws is extremely easy to do
Dresser mirrors always get removed and properly packed up. Any undetachable dresser mirrors require tons of special attention to move
Dining room chairs aren’t often designed to be taken apart easily, if at all. But if you have chairs with exposed bolts or screws, you may be able to disassemble them
The above just scratches the surface of what professional movers with experience know about moving furniture and disassembling furniture. You’ll learn plenty, just like I did, by trying to do it yourself.
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The furniture in your home didn’t just grow there, right? It had to have been carried in.
But the one exception to the “furniture doesn’t grow there” concept is IKEA-like furniture, or in other words, most anything you had to assemble yourself.
Full Service moving companies will generally refuse to move customer-assembled furniture made of pressboard. This is because such furniture was designed to be assembled, put in place, and never ever moved again. Any customer requesting their pressboard bookcase (or pressboard anything) be professionally moved usually has to sign a waiver stating they understand it will very likely get destroyed and the movers will assume zero responsibility for the destruction.
If you have any pressboard furniture or any furniture that – be honest with yourself – is generally cheap and flimsy, consider selling it or giving it away. Moving it costs time and money and will more than likely turn it into an unusable piece (or pieces) of trash.
At some point during the move-out process, you’ll need to wrap your furniture so it doesn’t get scratched, gouged and cracked into oblivion.
Cloth furniture pads (also known as “moving blankets”) are what movers use, and we highly recommend them. Wrapping your furniture before you carry it through your home and out the door can help protect it against incidental dings in the doorway and, quite possibly, holes in your walls.
No true professional mover will ever dream of transporting heavy furniture without furniture pads.
Protip: Moving pads can make it hard to keep a firm grip on your furniture. I always preferred to wrap everything in the staging area, or right there on the truck.
The Most Important Basics When it Comes to Wrapping Furniture
Wrapping a refrigerator or a bookcase is pretty straightforward. Wrapping a non-rectangular item like a sofa or a chair can be a challenge.
The key is to secure your furniture pads neatly and tightly, covering every surface except, in general, the bottom side
You mostly need to just make sure the pads don’t come off. Some movers use shipping tape to keep their pads in place, while others use shrink wrap. Both are effective but costly (not to mention a little wasteful). That’s why other movers use big rubber bands called “mover’s bands”. They are versatile and reusable for applications far beyond moving furniture (like, say, wrapping an office chair)
To secure those pads, whether you use tape, shrink wrap or those big rubber bands, just remember: avoid putting tape or shrink wrap directly on your furniture’s surfaces
How Many Furniture Pads Do I Need?
For reference, furniture pads the pros use measure 72” x 80”, give or take.
End tables, small bookcases, and dining room chairs usually only need one (1) pad; most furniture needs two (2), while things like sofas, really large dressers, even some big headboards need three (3) apiece.
How many furniture pads do you need, then? Your best bet is to go from room to room, check how many things you have that need to be wrapped, note how many pads each item will require to cover their surface, then tally it all up. (To be safe, you might want to tack on a half dozen more!)
How Do Pros Move Furniture Through Doorways?
If your sofa is too wide to fit through a doorway in your home, there are a few things you can do.
The simplest is to tilt it 45 degrees (more or less) so the front edge of the seat cushions and the top of the back of the couch are aligned vertically. This will make the bottom rear edge of the couch look like it is sticking further out, but all you geometry lovers out there will appreciate how this actually makes the couch narrower.
If your couch is still too wide, try standing it on end and curling it through.
Laying down a blanket first will help you smoothly and safely slide your couch through the doorway. Ease the top back edge through first, then curl the sofa around the side of the doorway closer to the seat cushions as you slip the rest of the couch through. (You can also push it through seat cushion edge first.) This same strategy can be used when trying to get oversized easy chairs through a seemingly too-narrow door.
If you find you need a few extra inches of clearance before your sofa will pop through that doorway, try removing the legs or feet.
Even though they are sometimes nothing but short squares of wood, I’ve found on many occasions that taking them off is the difference between success and a damaged door jamb. On occasion, I’ve had to actually remove a door from its hinges in order to get a couch out the door. While not difficult, you will need a flat head screwdriver and a hammer to coax those hinge pins out, and a couple of extra sets of hands to keep the door in place until those pins pop free.
Moving Furniture Up and Down Stairs
Hauling large pieces of furniture – more importantly, heavy pieces of furniture – down a flight of stairs is a dangerous proposition if you don’t take it slow (and smart).
Make sure you have a strong friend (if not two) on the lower end as you go down (or up) the stairs. Take those steps one at a time. Rest as often as need be, simply by laying that dresser or bookcase down, right on the stairs. Just make sure it doesn’t start sliding!
Watch for walls, banisters, and hanging light fixtures
It’s easy when you’re watching your feet to forget about everything else. And that, I can tell you, includes your knuckles!
When sliding items around corners on landings, use a blanket underneath
When doing so, put a blanket down to make the sliding process easier and to avoid damaging that dresser and/or the floor. If the floor is carpeted, the item is really heavy, or if the surface it is resting on is uneven, try walking that thing forward – using small, slow, easy steps
4-wheeler: A 4-wheeler is great for moving large, heavy items over long flat distances. Two main things to watch for: your piece of furniture is resting firm and balanced, and that the wheels, usually black rubber, aren’t marking or scuffing your floors.
Hand truck: A hand truck has two wheels and a metal plate on which to rest your furniture, and a long upright surface with handles. Their soft-ish wheels let you move heavy items up and down stairs and across uneven surfaces all by yourself. However, we highly recommend having a second set of hands at the lower (bottom) end of that piece of furniture any time you are negotiating stairs.
Appliance dolly: An appliance dolly is basically a heavy-duty hand truck with a strap to secure in place the refrigerator, washing machine, dryer or whatever. Despite its name, an appliance dolly can absolutely be used to haul furniture.
This All Seems Hard. Are There Furniture Movers Near Me, Just In Case?
Most likely, yes!
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11 years. 250,000 moves. 100,000 reviews. 1 awesome new look.
Introducing the new HireAHelper logo.
Our New Look Just Moved In
HireAHelper has spent the last decade making moving anywhere in the country simple and affordable. Now we’re bringing that fresh “just moved” feeling straight to our website. Our brand new “H-logo” and green colors mark a moving adventure we can call our very own.
In other words, we just turned over a bright, green leaf.
The new HireAHelper logo in action
Is anything else new? Don’t worry, whether you’re moving or you’re a mover yourself, everything you love about HireAHelper is still here. We’re a nationwide marketplace of local movers that’s easier than ever to browse, with live help available 7 days a week. But more great additions are on the horizon.
We’ve pioneered Hybrid™ Moving, and now we’re giving you even more options than ever before. Coming soon to select cities, we’re giving you the option to search our local mover marketplace for Full Service movers. This is a huge expansion to our moving options that will take even more stress out of your move. Stay tuned to this site for more details.
Moving soon? Want to join hundreds of local movers from across the country already in the marketplace? Come see for yourself why over 100,000 people have given their HireAHelper moves an average 4.7 out of 5 stars.
I am one of the lucky ones who found my first job right out of school. But that secretly meant my living expenses suddenly skyrocketed after I had to buy a used car, move away from home and find and furnish an apartment.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew those purchases would be way more expensive than the usual trip to the grocery store. But there were so many details I didn’t even realize existed. It was a crash course.
Now I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. Here are the random expenses that hit me after graduation, plus how I survived a rocky first few months so that I remained intact before my first adult paychecks could make an impact.
1. Moving Costs More Than You’d Think (But There’s a Hack for That)
Moving101 Container Price Comparison
When I graduated I lived on campus, but I still somehow had a lot to move into my first apartment. The first thing I did was figure out if anyone could help me move. In return for snacks, my friends and family were happy to offer some manual labor. I got lucky!
But when I got a job, it ended up being located out of state. So to save money, I figured out I could rent a truck and tow my car behind it, and only hire movers to do the lifting. Getting your own vehicle and hiring labor separately for either end of your move (Hybrid Moving) costs less than Full Service moving and varies dramatically in price, but the average cost is around $660. It’s an added cost, but plenty of critical time saved, which I needed.
HireAHelper lets you compare the price of movers and customize everything, from how many people help you move to what arrival time window you’ll need. The more options you can compare for a moving process the better, as every move is going to be a little bit different.
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How can someone so young take on that expense? Well, I barely had enough to cover the move, but here’s another thing I learned — many employers offer reimbursement for moving expenses! Make a note to talk with your new employer and ask if they make a similar offer. It was a lifesaver when my company helped me out so that I could put my money toward the next round of expenses!
I had to fill out paperwork and pay fees for the process of:
Getting an updated title for my car
Printing a new plate
Creating a new license
All of it cost about $200! Plus, there was the time it took to go to the DMV, get my new emissions test and talk with my car insurance company about my new address and license information.
Call the DMV where you’ll be moving to ahead of time for clarification because it really is a lot to deal with when you’ve never done it before. It definitely was for me.
3. Even My Used Car Had a Major Price Tag
An approximation of how getting your first used car looks.
When I was in school, I used my parents’ old car to get around to my part-time jobs and the grocery store. But after college, I knew I had to get my own ride. I’d been saving up for a while and figured I could negotiate the price of the car down to what I had in my savings account, but it turns out there’s so much more to it than that.
The only thing I knew about buying a car before I walked into the first dealership was that you have to negotiate your final price, but fees and taxes can’t be worked down. The dealer had to explain things like document fees and dealer fees, plus the sales tax. (Again, every state will be a bit different, though some fees are the same across the board.)
It’s smart to save up some extra cash to cover these fees since they’re non-negotiable. While you’re getting your down payment together, take steps to research what these expenses will be so you can better plan for the total cost of a car.
Lastly, make sure you can handle the monthly payment. While I saved enough for a hefty down payment, I did have to take out a small loan to cover the rest. I automated my car payments through my bank once my regular paychecks started rolling in so I would never risk jeopardizing my credit score with late payments.
4. My First Student Loan Payment Shocked Me
The amount I had to take out in student loans wasn’t nearly as drastic as what some of my friends had to sign for—proud state school grad here—but there are ways those loans can pull you into paying more than you originally borrowed. For starters, I had no idea what capitalizing interest was. Basically, it’s interest that’s triggered by specific events and causes your monthly payment to not even make a dent in your overall debt. The debt increases while your payments stay the same.
I also began to panic when the loan bills came in. I hadn’t even earned my first paycheck with my new job yet, so how was I supposed to pay $350 a month after already paying for moving and buying a car?
That’s when I started to research how to consolidate my loans, and it really saved me. The Department of Education can consolidate multiple federal loans with one fixed interest rate, which streamlines the process and extends your repayment period. Rather than juggling multiple payments, I just had to worry about one.
You may also consider private refinancing if you’ve landed a steady job and worked to build a credit score of at least 690. This can both consolidate your loans and lower your interest rate — but isn’t necessarily always the best choice for recent grads. Do your research!
(So I Learned a Budgeting Trick)
Sure, I’d managed my own bills in college, but between forthcoming loan payments and the costs of moving and a higher rent, I saw my expenses skyrocket.
So I did some research online and began militantly tracking all of my income and expenses with a Google spreadsheet. I vowed to follow the 50/30/20 budget, which stipulates that half of my earnings pay fixed expenses, 20 percent goes to debts and savings, and 30 percent is reserved for variable expenses like groceries and light spending.
It’s tempting to have your paychecks come in and put all your extra cash toward one big thing like a savings account or credit card debt, but metering it out will help you tackle everything at once. Building my savings while decreasing my debt has helped me more in the long run than just choosing one over the other.
Now, my healthy savings account means a minor emergency like a car repair doesn’t trigger any anxiety. After upending my meager college savings to move, a steady and dependable tracking system soothed my nerves and helped me navigate this whole new world.
5. Filling Up a New Apartment Drains Your Wallet
The process of finding my apartment was easy since everything is online now. I could map out how far each apartment complex was from my work and not have to worry about it being too far away. Actually getting settled was a whole different story.
I had to buy all my own furniture, and you can bet that I didn’t have the money to do it all at once! For a little bit, my apartment décor consisted of a mattress on the floor and the most basic kitchen supplies. A good list of basic apartment supplies you’ll need will consist of:
Don’t panic if your apartment doesn’t feel like home for a little while. Getting more than the basics will take time, but eventually, your new fancy budget will help you get everything on your list, and your apartment will gradually feel more like a home and less like a living space.
Plus, if you have a roommate, that makes your quest to fill the space of essentials even easier! Me? I bought myself a couch from a killer Amazon Prime Day deal—and I’ve been treating myself with one apartment item a month since.
Some of the above surprise costs were never mentioned to me because I didn’t know to ask about them.
Give your post-college world about six to eight months to settle down. Now, I’m much more financially secure and living in a home that feels cozy and welcoming. I’m finally ready to put some money into my travel fund and I don’t sweat the occasional sushi dinner. For now, you just have to buckle in and prepare for a crazy ride after that diploma lands in your hand.
Holly Welles is a millennial-focused real estate writer and the editor behind The Estate Update. For more home tips and financial advice, subscribe to her blog for even more financial advice.
Moving long distance requires patience, stamina, and grit. But it doesn’t have to be an awful experience. With some planning, a little know-how, plus some research, you can make the process of moving much easier. But just to help you out, we went ahead and did all the research for you.
After all, settling into a new, far-away land shouldn’t be anything less than transformational!
How Am I Gonna Get Me and My Stuff Where I’m Going?
You have a number of options when planning a long distance move. Your options will all depend on these three things:
How much stuff you’re hauling
What if I’m driving?
Some people decide to drive across the country, especially if they are bringing a vehicle or two. Beforehand, however, you should consider:
Car’s age and how many miles it has clocked
How many people and things it needs to hold
If it can handle a long trip without breaking down
If you need to get repairs ahead of time, then trust us, do that first. If that seems like it could be an issue or you just don’t wanna add hundreds of miles to your car, consider getting your car shipped.
Your other options are hitching it (to a truck for towing) or just ditching it. You can always try selling it or trading it in if you decide this is the end of the road for the car.
The most hands-off option for getting you and everything long distance is a Full Service moving company. If you have the money for going that route, you need to find one with proper licensing, especially for interstate moves, as opposed to somebody off Craigslist.
What other options are there? Some people who make a long distance move opt to rent a moving truck for loading up their stuff and driving it themselves, then only hire movers for the lifting part, not the driving. This is called Hybrid Moving and can save a lot of money (if you don’t mind the drive).
If you want to leave the driving to somebody else but still want to save money as compared to a Full Service Move, you can opt for portable moving containers like a PODS container. With those, professionals drive your stuff to and from destinations.
A final option to explore is to rent space in a freight truck that a professional driver hauls to your final destination, or sometimes to a warehouse for pick up.
If you’re taking a plane to the final destination, you should obviously consider bringing some things with you in luggage or handbags to save money on however you’re moving the rest of your stuff. Pack clothes and personal items that won’t break in the luggage, and bring fragile stuff, such as laptops and digital devices, in your carry-on bag. Paying for extra luggage on a flight is sometimes cheaper than shipping it via snail mail! Pile up your stuff, do the calculations and see what works best with your budget.
Looking to maximize your flying budget? In “The 10 Best (and Worst) Airfare Search Sites,” Frommer’s shares some of the best places for you to seek hot deals for air travel. When researching prices for flights, consider the following online travel agents and booking sites, but recognize that being better known does not necessarily mean being the best.
You could theoretically choose to ship some of your things via UPS, FedEx, or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Yes, it’s cheapest to send through USPS, but after packages get to only two pounds, pricing typically levels out. (That said, check out media shipping rates if you want to ship out a parcel or three that each weigh around 20 pounds.)
Of course, you probably have more than a few pounds worth of stuff. In this case, moving containers are a savvy pick for getting your stuff driven to where it needs to go for you. Not only do shipping containers come in different shapes and sizes, but you can plan to keep them placed somewhere for usually as much as a month at a time, so there’s lots of flexibility with using a moving container for a long distance move.
There are several things to consider when thinking about using a moving container:
Do you care if it’s wooden versus metal?
How many do you need?
How long do you need it to wait for you before unloading it?
But ultimately, as we’ve explained above, the price will depend on:
Your exact starting and ending points
How much you need to move
Modes of transportation
Who, if anyone, you decide to hire
One more big factor to consider is if you have any specialty items to move, such as a baby grand piano or gun safe.
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Are there any ways to reduce the price?
Here are some money protips you should know as you collect estimates:
Binding vs. Non-Binding Estimates: This is important to know if you’re pursuing a Full Service move. A binding estimate means you will pay the final price of the estimate regardless of whether your stuff ends up weighing less or more than expected. A non-binding estimate means you could end up with a different final tally, either less or more, depending on the weight
You can bring the price down by being flexible with travel dates; weekdays, especially in the offseason (read: not summer) are often cheaper
Ask moving companies for discounts. For example, members of the military and veterans often get cheaper rates for rental trucks and containers
If you have time before you have to move, you should try to start a moving fund
Be sure to keep track of spending and make a written out or digital budget
Those who are moving for work should see if the company reimburses for any or all of the move
What if I’m Moving Across State Lines?
Doing your homework on what is required of you for your specific interstate move is the first step.
Interstate moves are particularly complicated due to state laws. You have to know what you are responsible for when you cross into another state.
Hiring movers? Some moving companies can’t even provide service for interstate moves because they lack the proper license. Check in with your mover ahead of time. (Of course, typing in your ZIP code into HireAHelper filters all that stuff automatically.)
In addition, you have to know both state and local laws and ordinances that may be relevant to you. Both your departure and arrival towns likely have parking rules, which will be a consideration as you’re loading and unloading, especially if you’re leaving a PODS container somewhere for a week or more. (You think you can just park a big truck on a busy New York City road any time you want?)
Also, some states have certain laws restricting what you can bring in. For instance, there are a number of items that are illegal to bring into California, including certain firearms and fruits. Yes, your pet ferret, among other things, can’t join you if you’re headed for the Golden State.
To-Do list for interstate moves
What do you need to do if you’re moving to a new state? This is what your to-do list should look like:
Forward your mail. Regardless of distance or state, do this first. This requires filling out a change of address form with the United States Postal Service (USPS)
Get a new driver’s license and plates. Typically, states require you to get your new license within 30 days, so make this a priority. Unfortunately, this will probably require standing in line at the DMV. One thing we can guarantee is it will be as annoying as nails on a chalkboard no matter what state you’re in
Establish domicile for tax purposes. In other words, that means becoming a resident (No matter where you go, they’ll have taxes!)
Transfer your utilities
Get a license for your pets if you have any (as long as they aren’t ferrets in California!)
How Do I Pack My Stuff?
Anyone who has ever moved can tell you that packing up your entire world is maybe the most stressful part of the journey. Getting sturdy cardboard boxes and wisely packing them is one way to ensure the process is easier. Refraining from making any of the boxes too heavy and keeping items that will go in the same room in one box are obvious tips.
Make sure to label everything. Most importantly, make use of soft items, such as pillows, to serve as buffers between breakables and harder items. Use appropriate packing material – such as bubble wrap and newspapers – to protect glass, china and other delicate items. You can learn more in “How to Pack a Moving Box.”
If you want to be extra cautious with your stuff, then turn to professionals for help with packing your things.
Should I get rid of my stuff?
Take a look over the vast empire you’ve established. You must recognize that the less stuff you have to move, the better off you’ll be. After all, professional moving companies generally charge you based on the weight of the stuff you need to be transported. In other words, both literally and figuratively, you will have lifted a weight off your shoulders if you downsize.
“You’ll almost certainly want to bring some of your stuff, but the vast majority of what you own is replaceable,” writes Scott Meslow in GQ. “And the cost of moving most of what you own across the country is comparable to the cost of just buying something similar—or better!—once you actually arrive.”
The good news? Purging can be cathartic. Discover some ways you can unload your stuff before moving day:
Sell stuff online through Craigslist, eBay, or Etsy
Donate items through charities or religious organizations
Throw away old, worn out, or unusable items
Experts suggest taking photographs, especially for anything of great value. You may want proof of exactly what condition the chosen ones – items with which you simply can’t part – were in before they get on the moving truck (or whatever mode of transportation you choose).
Moving long distance is a tremendous undertaking. But if you prepare and research your options, you can make the move successfully without pulling out your hair. As you deal with the technical aspects of the move, give yourself a break if you – or others in the family – get emotional. Starting a new life in a new place is never easy. A stress-free move is the first step to arriving at this new world.
Car Shipping: How to Ship Your Car (Safely) If You’re Moving Long Distance
Every year, a large number of people moving to a new state ship their cars for the first time. Shipping a car isn’t hard, but a few common mistakes can cost you a lot of time and money, especially when trying to juggle the logistics of moving your house too.
So I’m using my decade of expertise to help. Here’s how to (safely) do an auto transport using a step-by-step process.
How to Find an Auto-Transport Company
If you reside in a big city, these days it’s as simple as typing “my city auto transport” into Google. The “my city” being either the city you are shipping to or from.
Literally hiring a company online to move your car is usually the easiest part of the entire auto transport process. It’s cheaper than hiring a professional driver, keeps miles off your tires, and it’s helpful if you aren’t able to drive the car to your new place yourself.
Does the company have to be located where I’m going or where I am now?
No. Finding a company based in either your origin or destination city isn’t crucial. You can absolutely hire a company from anywhere in the country to ship your car. But companies based on where you are or are going are ideal because of the flexibility they might offer with scheduling. The shippers will be in your city of origin or destination for a few days, as opposed to passing through, which usually leads to more flexibility.
What if there is no auto-transport company near me?
Unfortunately, finding an auto transport company specific to your city isn’t always possible, especially if you live in a rural area.
If you live where there are few options near you, your first step is to search for a company based in the opposite place that you are shipping your car either to or from. Every state typically has at least a few auto transport companies that can help.
If you still can’t find one (or you don’t like any of the ones that you do find), move on to just a general search for auto transport companies elsewhere in the country. Yes, you can still receive fine service from a company not based in your state, it’s just an advantage to have someone familiar with your route to work for you.
I always recommend calling them, as opposed to emailing, because you get a much better feel for what working with that company will be like.
Also, call more than a few of the (reputable) companies that show up in your search. (More on finding reputable companies below.)
How much does it cost to transport my car?
This will vary significantly based on lots of factors, but transportreviews.com reports that the average cost is $983, based on the average distance of 1,662 miles. Obviously, this price will fluctuate lower or higher, depending on where you’re transporting your car, as well as how big your vehicle is.
How do I get a quote?
Be prepared to tell the company this basic information:
Where is the car is coming from?
Where are you going?
When do you want to have it shipped?
Knowing the basics is all it takes to get a quote. Want to be really sure what your best option is? It’s standard to get as many as four different quotes to get a good idea of what a fair price is. (Or at least tell them you’re collecting quotes.)
How to Hire a Good Company
How do you know who a bad company is?Knowing this begins with understanding what is happening behind the scenes. There are two types of car shipping services, and first-time shippers usually have no clue which they are (or how good they may be) until well after they ship their first car.
What’s a “Broker” and what’s a “Carrier”? And why does it matter?
Brokers are companies that don’t actually own the truck that ships your car.
Almost all of the companies that you find online are brokers and don’t actually own the transportation. Their purpose is to find the carrier who will actually ship the car. This can sometimes be a necessary step because finding a carrier without the connections that brokers have can be extremely difficult.
You generally want to avoid brokers who are not upfront that they themselves are not shipping your car!
Brokers charge a set fee for their service and make an educated guess on what the rest of the transport will cost when they give you a quote. Whether or not they tell you they are a broker upfront depends on what kind of company you find.
Carriers are the companies that own trucks and employ drivers. This is the company that will do the actual relocating of your vehicle. The reason brokers are necessary is due to most of these shipping companies being extremely small.
It’s not uncommon for the owner of the company to be the driver and sole employee. These small companies don’t have websites and don’t do any marketing because they rely on brokers for their freight. If you are not already inside the industry, finding a company on your route and on your schedule would require hours of work.
With the magic of the internet, it’s easier than ever to check who is and who isn’t legit. Before you request a quote from a company, check their reviews. Car shipping companies have many different sales tactics to trick you once they get your information.
What’s the most common tactic to trick customers?
After ten years of experience, I know it’s simply to promise impossibly low prices in order to get you to book right away.
Do not simply request quotes from as many companies as you can. By giving away your info, you will run into very persistent sales people that will never stop calling you. Furthermore, there are some companies that look like transport companies but are actually what are known as “lead generators”. This means the information you put on their site is going to be sold to 10 or 15 different companies. Your phone will not stop ringing for days!
You want to get as many quotes as you can, but you need to make sure the company is a legitimate broker or carrier before you inquire. How? Check for and read verified reviews before requesting quotes. This will help you avoid bad websites. Did you get an extremely low quote? That’s a red flag.
Get a Written Contract (Then Read It)
If you found a good broker, getting an easy to understand contract should be a breeze. But you still have to be careful (just like you should with every contract you sign!).
What should I watch out for?
Read through the contract very carefully. If your contract says anything – and it will be small – about the price “not being guaranteed”, this is a major red flag.
I have heard plenty of stories from customers about how they signed a contract with a broker, only to be told at the last minute that the price is a $100 to $500 more “than expected”.
Correctly Prepare The Inside and Outside of Your Car to Be Shipped
It is standard practice to get your car inspected by the shipping company, but first, you need to clean the car so that an accurate inspection can be done.
If the car is dirty, the driver might miss something when they do the inspection on pick up, or you might miss something when the inspection is done on delivery. An accurate inspection is vital in case there is a problem.
Do auto-shippers charge by weight?
Yes. Lighten your car as much as possible. Auto shippers will charge you by the weight of your car, and bigger vehicles will cost more to ship.
Most drivers allow 100 pounds or less for free. (Remember: the personal items you put in the car cannot be insured.) If you exceed 100 pounds, you could be charged extra for the added weight. For a totally packed small car, the driver will ask for around $200-$300. A totally packed large SUV or truck could be from $300-$500 extra, or the driver might even refuse the shipment. If you need to put things in the car, let your broker know ahead of time when you are booking so that they can arrange it with the carrier.
Drivers also prefer you leave the car with a quarter tank of gas. That’s enough so that they don’t have to worry about it running out when moving it, but not so much that they haul additional weight for no reason.
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Arrange to Get Your Car Exactly Where You Can Get It
Now that you’ve found a good company, you’ve signed the contract, and you’ve readied your car, you need to tell the company the best place to have the car picked up.
When will my car be available for pick up?
If you are flying, think about which end you need the car more. Is it the city the car is being picked up in, or the city it is being dropped off at? Trust me, in my experience, you will definitely beat the trucker to your destination. Remember that all delivery dates are estimated.
Moving trucks have one pick up and one drop off, so you can imagine that a moving truck estimate is much more accurate than auto transport trucks, who routinely have to deal with around 10 different pickups and drop-offs a day! Because of this fact, make sure that you have a backup plan on the day of pick up and drop off.
If the car isn’t delivered when and where you need it, ask a friend that can hold onto the car for you, or maybe a neighbor. It’s not even unheard of for a hotel manager or car dealership to offer this as a service.
What to Do When Your Car Shows Up
When the truck comes to pick up the car, make sure the driver does an accurate inspection and that you get a copy of the inspection report on pick up. This ensures the state of your vehicle cannot be altered. The inspection report is the only thing that can support your claim if any damage occurs.
The delivery driver does the inspection on pick up, you do the inspection on the delivery. Remember that if you sign the inspection report, you are releasing the driver and the company from all liability. That means if you notice something later, there is nothing you can do!
In my experience, damage doesn’t happen often and the process for getting reimbursed is not difficult if you do everything right. Almost all damage during transport is extremely minor. Small scratches or a dent is the most common of these things.
Most companies will prefer to handle the matter directly rather than have you go through their insurance company. The most important thing is that you do not sign the inspection report until you have received your reimbursement. Again, damage almost never happens in the first place, but you need to make sure you handle the paperwork properly if it does.
Do I have to do anything else after the car is delivered?
Hopefully, everything is done correctly and the process will be seamless. But if not, leave a review.
If you were happy with the service it’s always nice to leave a review saying so. The best place online to do this is on transportreviews.com, which in my experience is the biggest and most sincere community for car transportation reviews online. By leaving an honest review, companies know what they are doing right and you’ll help the next person transporting their vehicle make a more informed decision.
Similarly, if you weren’t happy with the service, let your broker know. Some things are out of the control of the broker and the driver, so be understanding if your car was a day late. Like I mentioned earlier, dates are always estimates in the auto transport industry.
If however, you feel that your experience was poor, then it’s especially important to leave a review. This helps future customers and the companies that are doing good work out there.
Max is the owner of MiG Auto Transport. He has been in the auto transport industry for over seven years. Originally from New York, he now lives in (sometimes) sunny Jacksonville, FL. He loves his wife, dog, cars and (sometimes) the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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