Are you planning to relocate cross-country soon? Moving can get expensive, so it comes as no surprise that you’ve been trying to find the cheapest way to move out of state. With all the costs and expenses that can add up throughout the process, figuring out your budget in advance is the smartest thing you can do. That’s how you’ll know exactly what kind of a move you can afford.
To help you decide on the most inexpensive relocation method that will still meet all your needs, we’ve put together some useful tips. Read on to find out more about how much you should expect to spend, what your options are, and how you can save some money as well.
How Much Does Moving Approximately Cost?
The price of relocation varies greatly depending on a number of different factors. For instance, if you’re thinking about getting moving services for your interstate relocation, you can expect to pay around $0.70 for each pound of stuff you need the company to transport across 1,000 miles. So, for example, the average price you can expect to pay if you’re moving out of a two-bedroom apartment is around $3,500. However, this number also depends on the company you chose, the type and scope of services you wish to receive, and even the time of the year.
On the other hand, if you’ve decided to rent a truck and pack and load your belongings yourself, the weight of your items will play no role in calculating the expenses, but some other factors will. Likewise, if you’re planning on using a freight train, the calculation will be completely different. In other words, the price of your relocation depends vastly on the method of transport you choose.
Let us now take a look at what the most common – and most viable – options are when it comes to your upcoming move.
Is DIY Relocation the Cheapest Way to Move out of State ?
Depending on your situation, doing everything yourself might be the cheapest and easiest option. Simply pack up your things, put them in your trunk, figure out the itinerary, and get going. The expenses that you will have to think about if you choose this method include:
- The price of gas
- Highway tolls
- Paying for overnight stays at motels during the trip
- Food and beverage for you and everyone traveling with you
- An SOS fund in case you get a flat tire or your car breaks down
- The price of packing materials
The Limits of DIY Moving
While moving on your own might seem like a great idea at first, it is important to mention that there are some big disadvantages. Mainly, the amount of freight you can bring will be extremely limited. In other words, unless you own a truck, you likely won’t be able to take all your furniture with you. This means that you will either have to take multiple trips – which will take forever – or that, before you even begin unpacking after moving, you’ll need to cash out for new furniture.
Additionally, if you’re moving during the holidays, you might have to plan the trip in advance and make sure you book motels before they all get sold out. This could also mean that some vital places, such as grocery stores, banks, or even gas stations, will be closed, which could cause unnecessary trouble.
Lastly, driving long distances can be not only tiring but dangerous. Unless you’re traveling with someone who could take over the wheel every once in a while, it is probably not a good idea to do it all yourself.
Rent a Truck and Do the Rest Yourself
If you don’t have a car – or your car isn’t big enough – you could think about renting a truck and conducting the rest of the move yourself. This way, you will be able to take more things with you – including furniture, decorations, and so on – and avoid having to take multiple trips.
Additional Costs of Renting a Truck
While renting a truck might seem to be pretty similar to doing the whole thing yourself, this method could actually turn out to be the priciest one. You will still need to think about all the same expenses – gas, accommodation, food, and so on. On top of that, there will be the expense of renting the truck itself. However, there could also be some hidden expenses to look out for:
- The insurance policy might not be included in the advertised price
- Taxes, which could include both the ones in your state and at the destination
- Some companies may charge extra if you go over a certain mileage
Before choosing a vehicle rental company, make sure you do proper research, ask around, and read reviews.
Using a Freight Train – Is It a Good Idea?
Shipping your belongings by train is another method you should consider. It is relatively quick and relatively cheap. So what’s the catch? First of all, there is a limit to the amount of cargo you can load. Granted, it’s more than you’d be able to transport by car, but it still might not be enough. What’s more, depending on the type of service you get, you might have to pay additionally for transport from your old home to the railway station, and from the railway station to your new home. Lastly, your belongings won’t be insured, so you will either have to pay extra for insurance or risk having your belongings damaged, lost, or stolen.
Hiring Movers – Your Best Bet?
The last option to consider is hiring a professional relocation company to help you with your upcoming move. This might not seem like the most affordable option at first, but with the right team by your side, it surely pays off.
One of the great benefits of hiring movers is the fact that you’ll know your expenses in advance. A good company will provide you with a reliable free estimate based on the information you give them. This is one of the best ways to figure out your finances in advance and determine how much money you’ll have left for other expenses.
In addition to that, some relocation companies offer some free services for their clients. For example, if your new home is not move-in ready, you might be able to use a storage unit for free for the first month. Contact your chosen movers to find out if this is an option you can count on.
More Benefits of Hiring Movers to Move Your Household to Another State
Aside from allowing you to plan your finances and offering various discounts, movers come with other benefits as well. Mainly, with the right company, your relocation will be quick and stress-free. This means that you won’t have to drive yourself crazy with checklists, plans, schedules, and so on. Instead, you’ll be able to get everything you need in one place. In fact, even if you’re planning to take your car with you to another state, your movers might be able to offer auto transport services.
Lastly, when you hire professionals, you will not only rest assured that your belongings are in safe hands, but you’ll also have all your items covered by their insurance policy. This means that, in case something happens to your stuff, you won’t suffer a major financial loss.
How to Reduce Expenses or Even Get Some Things for Free?
If the numbers keep adding up and start giving you a headache, know that there are ways to reduce costs. No matter which method of transport you choose, you can always find a way to save up on certain things. Here are some ideas.
Free Packing Materials
Instead of buying brand new boxes and protective materials, take a walk to your local grocery store. More than likely, they will have spare cardboard boxes lying around and collecting dust. These boxes have probably only been used once, which means that they’re still in good condition.
What’s more, instead of buying foam peanuts, packing paper, or bubble wrap, you could use old towels or other pieces of cloth to protect your items. However, if you have some things that are more fragile and valuable, it’s a good idea to get new high-quality moving boxes and other supplies.
Choose the Right Services
If you’ve decided to hire movers, you can alter the final cost by choosing different kinds of services. For example, you could have professional packers pack only the more fragile items, or you could even do all the packing yourself. If you’re shipping your car, opt for the more affordable alternatives – open-air trailers and terminal-to-terminal transport.
Get Rid of What You Don’t Need
As you have already noticed, the weight of your belongings plays an important role in calculating the cost of movers. So if you’re planning on getting help from professionals, consider reducing the amount of stuff you need them to transport. Get rid of old clothes, broken furniture, or china that you don’t really use. This could end up significantly reducing the total weight of your shipment.
Ask Friends for Tips and Help
Have any of your friends or family members moved recently? Then they might have some useful tips to share with you, or even some leftover materials and supplies. If not, you could always ask them to come over and help you pack your things. In fact, it could turn into a fun moving-away party.
Bonus Tip: Make Money on the Side
Did you know that there are ways not only to reduce the costs of your relocation but even make some extra money on the side? It is as easy as organizing a garage sale. Weeks before you begin packing, go through all your belongings and set aside those that you don’t use, like, or need. Those things which are in good condition should go to the sell pile – you can either sell them online on Craigslist or simply organize a sale in your backyard. As the relocation day approaches, take all the items you didn’t manage to sell to your nearest charity organization and make someone’s day that much better.