A tight budget is something that we all face sometimes. But if it happens when you have to relocate, it can cause a lot more problems than usual. Luckily, there are ways around it. So, what is the cheapest way to move out of state and how to handle such a process? Stay with us, and we’ll guide you through the necessary steps and available options.
Declutter Before Moving
Decluttering your home should be on top of any moving to-do list even if you relocate traditionally. When you’re on a budget, it becomes even more significant. Since the first rule of all cheap relocations is not to carry too much stuff, you should donate, sell, or throw away what you don’t use or need, and so lighten your load.
As you go through your belongings, put what you can’t live without and different sorts of valuables on one side and everything else on the other. Things from that other pile can go to charity, or be used to improve your relocation budget. A garage sale is an ideal means to that end. It is free or costs next to nothing to organize, and can be very beneficial.
Among the prime candidates for leaving behind during the on-the-budget move are unused clothes, older household appliances, scented candles, things you know you have but have never really understood what they are for, and so on. Hazardous materials and other items movers won’t move should be in that group as well.
Save Money With the Help of Free Packing Materials
Another point where you can save a considerable amount of money are packing materials. You’ll need boxes, but also packing paper, bubble wrap, duct tape, and everything else that goes along to help in keeping your belongings safe. One method for getting them is buying them from movers. Another is to take a walk around the neighborhood and get them for free.
Believe us, it is on top of the professional league of moving tips. For example, go to the local bookstore, and you won’t be disappointed. There surely lie tons of free cardboards, waiting to be thrown away or recycled, so it makes no difference to the employees if materials end up in your possession. If you know how to pack books for moving, then you know that those are some of the sturdiest packages in the business – books are heavy stuff. It is similar with bars, liquor stores, and retailers, too. Warehouses and storage spaces can also be a good source of materials.
At the end of the day, for what you haven’t found outside, you may turn to stuff in your home. You can use towels and pillows for cushioning fragile stuff, as well as newspapers, or even socks and other clothes. Blankets can serve as protectors for furniture and other larger pieces.
Carefully Choose the Time of the Move
When it comes to scaling down the cost of relocation, every little thing matters. Therefore, we guess you won’t be surprised to hear that the issue is not only how you move, but also when you do it. Choosing the best time of the year to relocate is among the most useful moving hacks.
Summer is the peak of the moving season, and it’s best to avoid it if you can because of the costs of movers as well as the waiting period. It is also advisable not to book movers in month’s beginning and end. It is when the number of relocations is growing due to tenants heading to the new leases.
More Tips on When to Relocate
Also, it is only logical and rational to relocate during the weekend, right? The answer is a resounding “yes.” But don’t do it if you want to save money. The shipping companies are far less busy when people are at work, and their kids are in school, which means lower prices during the working week.
Cheapest Way to Move Out of State Without the Help of Professional Movers – Take the Bus
As we said before, one of the first preconditions of really affordable moving is to travel light. The best method in that regard is to take the bus to a new destination. It is perfect if you don’t have to move furniture or other bulky items. In fact, if you’ve ever made a college packing list, you should be well prepared for a bus relocation. You’re allowed to have up to 250 lbs in boxes and luggage.
However, make sure to pack appropriately, especially fragile stuff, since luggage isn’t handled with too much care. If you’re in for a long-distance move, you’ll have to calculate the costs of food and eventual hotel or motel rooms for nights, since buses have many stops along the way. Of course, there is also the matter of finding a bus that stops at a destination.
The Bus Is the Cheapest Way to Move Out of State, But There Are Limits and Downsides Involved
While it’s undeniably cheap, the bus has several considerable downsides. Besides limitations on weight and space, it is up to you to get your stuff to and from the bus. So if there are no helping hands of friends or a taxi, it can prove quite an obstacle.
Also, if you’re moving with pets, there is virtually no bus that will allow the animal in. You can’t transport your car, either. All in all, it can safely be said that the bus is suitable for the most basic relocations, but nothing more.
The Train Is the Next Cheap Transportation Option
Next on our list of cheap ways to move to another state is relocation by train. While the average cost of a train ride is higher than the bus ticket, you can put more stuff in it. If you choose to go with Amtrak, you’ll be able to send 500 lbs per day. Therefore, multiple loads are an option, but keep in mind that you’ll be paying additional fees if you don’t pick up your belongings in two days after they arrive at the destination.
If you opt for the train, there are a couple more things to know:
- For an extra cost, you may bring along a cat or a dog, if the animal’s weight doesn’t exceed 20lbs. Pet can travel 7 hours at most.
- Make sure that your destination is along the railway
- You have to carry your belongings to and from the train station, so arrange for a transfer in advance
- Put extra protection around your stuff
- Not all trains allow auto shipping
- Traveling by train can be comfortable, and provide some marvelous views
To Rent a Truck and Other Options
When moving on a budget, there are numerous other ways to transfer your belongings to another state. Most of them involve driving by yourself. For starters, you can rent a truck.
It is, without any doubt, the least costly means of relocation if you wish to move furniture or other bulky stuff, but you’ll have to do it all by yourself, including the driving part of the job.
Upsides are that you can take virtually the entire household. Also, with the right equipment, you can tow a car along. Another benefit is that you can unload everything the very moment you arrive at the destination.
While the truck itself may be quite affordable, additional costs may prove quite high since you’ll be paying for fuel, and you should buy at least some insurance in case the damage occurs during the trip. There’s more to be said about trucks, such as that they are quite uncomfortable, difficult to operate, and many of them can’t go faster than 65mph. Due to the nature of the truck’s cargo container, you should ensure that everything is properly packed and secured so it doesn’t get damaged during the trip.
All in all, moving with a rental truck may be cheap, but never underestimate the stress of it all.
Cheaper than a truck, but with less volume, is a moving trailer. It is a good solution for some of the bulkier items, and you get to travel in your car. Of course, the precondition is that your vehicle has the capacity for towing.
Still, the largest pieces, such as the washing machine or refrigerator, won’t fit in. Besides, unless you have the experience, you’ll have to practice driving while towing a trailer. And if the trailer is rental, insurance is not a bad idea.
For Shorter Moves, Hire a Pick-up Instead of a Truck
The third DIY option is a pick-up truck. If you managed to scale down your household enough so that all you take with you can fit into the pick-up’s back, then great.
However, this is advisable only for local moving, when everything can be delivered in one day. Anything more than that, and the price may skyrocket due to fuel and rental prices. An additional risk is that your belongings are basically in the open, at the mercy of elements, so ensure that everything is secured and covered. With pick-up, there is no insurance. On the plus side, you can take your pet in a cab.
Additional Costs of Driving Alone
When making a moving expenses checklist for a DIY relocation, some expenses have to be taken into account. Fuel is one of them. Places to stay overnight are another. And also essential, but the often forgotten item on the list are food and water. You, and especially your family, can’t go hungry for days.
Don’t Forget About Safety Measures
When conducting cheap DIY relocation, you shouldn’t make compromises in terms of safety, both that of you and your belongings. Have your family and friends help you with tasks. Injuring yourself will not do any good for anybody.
Also, prepare safety equipment, such as straps. It can’t hurt to have a big lock, on a truck or a trailer, as deterrence for would-be thieves.
If you aren’t very fond of driving but don’t mind getting sweaty, a portable on-demand storage unit (or PODS) can be a life-saver. The deal is quite simple: the company you hired brings the container to your doorstep – you fill it up – they come and take it to the destination – you unload your things – they take the container away.
Again, enrolling the help of dear people is among the top tips for relocation with PODS. Even if not entirely free (you can sweeten the deal with some of the stuff during the garage sale), this option can be more affordable than movers, albeit a lot more physically demanding, as well. To save even more, PODS can sometimes be shared.
Find Affordable Movers – Yes, It Can Be Done
Next among the tips may be to find an affordable moving company. Yes, such things do exist out there. If you choose to do so, be careful in researching the companies. License with FMCSA and positive customer reviews are a sure sign that you won’t fall for some of the moving scams.
From there, you can proceed like any other relocation, only for less money. And even affordable companies offer some sort of storage service you might need along the way, and they usually won’t charge you for it for the first month.
Buy Insurance Only When Necessary
Paying for moving insurance is, for a good reason, among the top relocation tips. Every decent moving company will offer it as part of their services. But, when on a budget, insurance is where you can save money. So, stay within budget limits and insure only the most valuable items and the rental vehicle and equipment.
Do It All With Friends
There are few better things than spending quality time with friends. And the best option is to mix quality and usefulness. Friends can, and probably will, help you for free, but you can make it worth their while.
Benefits Are Clear to See
If you gather them all together at your home before relocation, you’ll pack stuff, true, and carry it. But you’ll also have a good time in each other’s company, maybe for the last time ever (in person, that is. Video calls are a thing these days). You may cook for them (since refrigerators are moved empty), you may take a break to visit a pub or some other spot where you used to hang and have fun, or just sit and enjoy talking. Or think of some new ideas for decorating and arranging your new home. Who knows – you might think of some great landscaping ideas.
Professional Moving Company Is Still the Best Option
There you have it, a Relocation-on-a-Budget 101. Though there are more affordable ways to transfer your household across state borders, hiring professional movers is still the safest and the most efficient way to go about it. If you use professional services, you’ll be mostly spared from all the moving stress and physical effort and be able to use your time more productively. Like enjoying the last days in your hometown.