Forum Thread

Cheapest method to ship/move household and personal items cross-country?

khanvict 146 51 April 3, 2011 at 09:25 AM
I have a family member in new jersey that may come down to texas to live with us. She's not bringing huge items like mattresses or couches but I think she needs a way to bring odd and end items like a headboard, pots/pans, flat screen, clothes, and I'm not sure what other random things. I don't have all the details at this point.

Would it be cheaper to hire a professional mover to drive everything down here as I anticipate it wouldn't even be a full truck load of stuff? What kind of rates should one expect from a mover? Or is it better just to ship the items individually through usps, ups, fedex, etc? Is there some kind of bulk or flat rate shipping discount available through any of the postal options for bigger items?

Not in a rush but just wanted to research the options available. Also, there would be no hurry in shipping the items themselves. If it took a few weeks to arrive that would be fine.

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#2
I'm currently selling my larger items on craiglslist in preparation of moving since the costs associated with moving items can almost surpass the value of whats being moved. Like my 42" tv + bed is not worth renting a truck just to move when I can buy new/used with the cash I'm getting. Luckily your not in a rush like I am so you can take your time and get as much $$$ while ignoring the low ballers.

As for more useful advice- I'd look into the Cargo trailers or Utility trailers you can rent from uhaul and box up the junk and drag it behind the car so long as you have a ball hitch. That's going to be cheaper than paying movers or renting a uhaul truck.

http://www.uhaul.com/Trailers/
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Last edited by skylercloud222 April 3, 2011 at 12:50 PM
#3
Rent a truck bigger than she needs for her things. Advertise on craigslist that there's room in a moving truck driving between NJ and Texas and if folks are willing to load and unload their own stuff, she'll drive it down for some reasonable fee. Put it on CL in both areas (NJ and Tex) and a city or two along the route.

We did this between LA and Boston and made $400 (over the truck rental fees and gas, which we also recouped) and we didn't have to lift a finger as each person loaded their own gear and arranged for someone to meet the truck at the other end to unload it. Even better, one of the people lived several hundred miles along the route and when we stopped there to pick up the table they were loading in our truck, they asked if we wanted to couch surf and we had a free place to sleep that night. Sweet! I'd do it again in a heartbeat. All we did was drive - which we had to do anyway for our own stuff. Only one person was a pain about being late to unload their stuff on the far end.
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#4
I have moved across the nation several times and frankly the cheapest and best method is to sell everything but the absolute bare family heirlooms and rebuy. Its just cheaper.
If after selling everything you can possibly sell, remembering that it will cost you more than $1 per pound to keep it, giving your relatives all the heirlooms you can, you still have a lot to move use ABF trucking to ship it.
http://www.upack.com/
Just make sure to get the ramps at both the loading and unloading site. The truck bed is WAY up there..

Best of luck.. and seriously.. Sell it all and rebuy..
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#5
Use UPS for small amounts. It will be much cheaper than moving. Sell anything that can't be shipped UPS.
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#6
Quote from yeah_okay View Post :
Rent a truck bigger than she needs for her things. Advertise on craigslist that there's room in a moving truck driving between NJ and Texas and if folks are willing to load and unload their own stuff, she'll drive it down for some reasonable fee. Put it on CL in both areas (NJ and Tex) and a city or two along the route.

We did this between LA and Boston and made $400 (over the truck rental fees and gas, which we also recouped) and we didn't have to lift a finger as each person loaded their own gear and arranged for someone to meet the truck at the other end to unload it. Even better, one of the people lived several hundred miles along the route and when we stopped there to pick up the table they were loading in our truck, they asked if we wanted to couch surf and we had a free place to sleep that night. Sweet! I'd do it again in a heartbeat. All we did was drive - which we had to do anyway for our own stuff. Only one person was a pain about being late to unload their stuff on the far end.
That is such a great suggestion. Wish I'd thought of that a year ago when I moved cross country!
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#7
Quote from yeah_okay View Post :
Rent a truck bigger than she needs for her things. Advertise on craigslist that there's room in a moving truck driving between NJ and Texas and if folks are willing to load and unload their own stuff, she'll drive it down for some reasonable fee. Put it on CL in both areas (NJ and Tex) and a city or two along the route.

We did this between LA and Boston and made $400 (over the truck rental fees and gas, which we also recouped) and we didn't have to lift a finger as each person loaded their own gear and arranged for someone to meet the truck at the other end to unload it. Even better, one of the people lived several hundred miles along the route and when we stopped there to pick up the table they were loading in our truck, they asked if we wanted to couch surf and we had a free place to sleep that night. Sweet! I'd do it again in a heartbeat. All we did was drive - which we had to do anyway for our own stuff. Only one person was a pain about being late to unload their stuff on the far end.
wow. i couldnt have said it any better! nice work putting it into writing!


Quote from greatview View Post :
That is such a great suggestion. Wish I'd thought of that a year ago when I moved cross country!

agreed.
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#8
Quote from khanvict View Post :
I have a family member in new jersey that may come down to texas to live with us. She's not bringing huge items like mattresses or couches but I think she needs a way to bring odd and end items like a headboard, pots/pans, flat screen, clothes, and I'm not sure what other random things. I don't have all the details at this point.

Would it be cheaper to hire a professional mover to drive everything down here as I anticipate it wouldn't even be a full truck load of stuff? What kind of rates should one expect from a mover? Or is it better just to ship the items individually through usps, ups, fedex, etc? Is there some kind of bulk or flat rate shipping discount available through any of the postal options for bigger items?

Not in a rush but just wanted to research the options available. Also, there would be no hurry in shipping the items themselves. If it took a few weeks to arrive that would be fine.

My cousin just moved from Seattle to Boston and by far the cheapest shipping option is with Amtrak. You can see the shipping informations here: http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Con...1267371736

You do have some size and weight limitations but this would be for smaller personal items like clothes that can be put into smaller boxes. You wouldn't be able to move furniture or appliances, for that your best (cheapest) bet would be ABF.

It took approximately 1 week for the train to get from Seattle to Boston. My cousin had to get a car to drive down to the train station to pick up all the stuffs. Amtrak will also give you I think 2 or 3 days to pick up your stuff. There's no charge to hold it during this time. I believe after this, they charge you per day. Their storage rates are also pretty cheap if you need to store it for any length of time. Smilie

Another alternative that I personally have done (I moved from San Francisco to Seattle), if it's not too much stuff. Just rent a mini-van one way. I went with Enterprise, got in on a 2 day special. It was $175 for a two day rental (you have to pay a little extra for one way). I got a Dodge Caravan, took the rear seats out, loaded it up with my bicycle, bedside table, clothes, lamps, etc. and took two days driving it up to Seattle.

If you decide to go with Uhaul or Ryder, that's not a bad option. But here's the kicker, unfortunately, everybody else in America is thinking the same thing. Depending on where you live, it can be extremely difficult to get the vehicle you want. You need to arrange that truck far in advance or you'll get left in the cold. My cousin who moved to Boston got shut out of the Ryder truck, but he only had 3 months to plan.
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Last edited by Grateful8 April 24, 2011 at 12:43 PM
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