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Decreasing moving costs


A few days ago my friend moved from a two bedroom apartment that he rented for the last 7 years to a new place. I helped him to put all stuff in the truck and unload everything at his new house. Let see what actual relocation costs were and analyze potential ways to decrease moving expenses.

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Moving company roughly would charge $800 - $1,100 to move everything from a two bedroom apartment into a house located 35 miles away. No one actually provide exact quote through the phone except stating per hour fees based on a number of people, type of a truck and distance, but they approximately, gave an idea what he should expect to pay.
Instead of trying to get a better deal all relocation was completed as do-it-yourself project on rental truck and with a help of a friend.

Getting things ready to move

The most important part of a whole moving process is to prepare all things ahead. It will actually consume more time to put all dinnerware, books, clothes and other household items in boxes than move it in the truck. For instance, disconnecting, removing from the wall, and putting in the box flat screen TV might take 15 – 20 minutes while moving it in the truck can be done in couple minutes. In our case everything was organized and about 5 hours we spent on filling 16’ moving truck.

For those who are planning to use a service of professional moving company, always take into account that actual relocation cost will be significantly decrease if all stuff will be ready for placing in the vehicle. Getting together all small items around the apartment and safely placing them in containers or taking into pieces oversized furniture will result in extra charges.

Vehicle expenses

Before reserving moving truck, make sure it is big enough. Getting a smaller vehicle and making two trips instead of one not a smart decision and, in fact, it might be even more expensive than paying slightly more for a larger truck and eliminating an additional trip.

If you do not keep piles of useless stuff, it is easy to figure out what a husband and wife with no children yet have in possession while living in two bedroom apartment. In this particular case 800 ft3 16’ long box truck was a perfect solution to fit queen size bed, one sofa, three tables, two dressers, 6 chairs and over 50 different dimensions boxes with wide range of family’s belongings.

Total charge for the truck was $175 including $29.99 one day rental fee (from 9 am – to 8 am), 0.99/mile extra charge, full coverage insurance (for truck, not for the load), and all taxes. In addition you have to bring the vehicle with a full tank of gas (same as you driving out from the rental company) and $19 was an extra expense to fill the truck.

Actual moving costs

With all numbers in mind, entire relocation cost less than $200 or simply truck rental was the only expense. Moving all stuff from four rooms to a house 35 miles away certainly not the same as relocating from 5 bedroom home to another state and even with a help of friends or family members cost of moving might increase significantly. There are definitely many other aspects to consider and, in some cases, it might be even better to hire professionals with a huge truck which cannot be even driven without commercial driver license (CDL). But if you are physically capable to lift over 70 lbs. and have someone who can help, do it yourself relocation can easily save you oven $600 or even more.