Moving is expensive, whether you are going across town or across the country. Here’s what you need to know how to save money on your next move, from getting the right transportation to making sure all of your belongings are properly packed.
Our panelists have recent experience in moving, so buckle up for an informative show!
[00:00:02] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Money Mastermind Show. Let’s Talk Money!
[00:00:18] GC: Welcome to the Money Mastermind Show. To me moving, it’s both an exciting time and also a major pain both physically and financially. And I think what we’re going to do tonight is we’re going to discuss moving in ways to save because I think it can be a major drain on your finances.
Before we jump into that topic, here are the members of the Money Mastermind Show. We have Kyle Prevost of Youngandthrifty.ca, Miranda Marquit of Planting Money Seeds, Peter Anderson of Bible Money Matters. Tom Drake of the Canadian Finance Blog is away right now, he is normally a member of our panel and I am Glen Craig of Free From Broke.
Before we start, as always, if you are following along live, you could head over to our event page and if you have any questions regarding moving and the costs that are involved. Drop them there, we’d love to hear your questions and answer them.
Now, moving. One of the major headaches I have is the cost, that and just actually putting the stuff together to move. But in my experience, the way I’ve done moving, it’s just always been an expense and seems to always been an expense that hits, for lack of planning maybe on my part, but towards the very end when you’re just about to do it, now here comes the cost of moving and it hits me every time. Hopefully not too many times but that’s what happens.
So what can we do to minimize those cost or at least make that process maybe a little bit easier because sometimes costs are worth it if they are effective? What do you guys think?
[00:01:58] KP: If only one of us had moved recently. [Laughter]
[00:02:04] MM: Or about twice in the last year, two across country in the last year maybe?
[00:02:08]KP: I think that’s enough to make you an expert.
[00:02:12] GC: Yeah you have the cross country move that we get to discuss, which is certainly I think a beast in its own.
[00:02:17]MM: Oh yeah, well and like I said, it’s two in the last year. Like last year when I moved to Pennsylvania, the cool thing was is we used the full service movers but we didn’t have to pay for it because we were being paid for by a job. So it was great. So the best way to move is if you can get your workplace to pay for it, because that’s the cheapest and best way to do it.
[00:02:45] KP: That’s the best way to do almost anything I think.
[00:02:47] MM: That’s right. Get somebody else to do it.
[00:02:51]KP: Go to school go up for dinner, get your company to pay for it, perfect.
[00:02:54] MM: That’s right.
[00:02:55]GC: I think it is not always the option for most of us.
[00:02:59] MM: Right, exactly. What I did this time, because now of course I have moved back from Pennsylvania, so I’ve moved from Pennsylvania back west. So this time I did kind of, it was known as a hybrid move where I went ahead and I got the U-Pack things, somebody else drives the truck.
But I loaded up but instead of loading it up myself because that’s very painful and physically draining. We paid for professional mover, packer people to do it. You can use like, there’s a lot of sites like Hireahelper.com that can help you pack it up. It costs less than a full service move but it cost a little bit more than doing it yourself like with a U-Haul or something.
[00:03:48] GC: And this is what? A two part process where you’re hiring people to pack it and then other people, another company moves it, is that what’s happening?
[00:03:55] MM: Yeah, yeah. So with this one, what I did was I hired a U—Pack and you put it yourself in the back of the trailer and then they drive it but they don’t pack it for you, so you have to hire somebody else to pack it. But when I measured it out, actually it cost about the same amount as renting a U-Haul to drive across the country. By the time you rent the U-Haul and pay for the gas for the U-Haul and then pay for wherever you stay at night on the way, just because of my location and moving — because nobody wants to move to Idaho Falls. Because of my location and everything, it ended up being about the same amount of money to have somebody else drive it as it was for me to rent U-Haul.
So there are those kinds of things and then there are also people who, if you want to drive your own U-Haul, you can do this Hire a Helper thing and get somebody to pack it up for you. If you’re on a third floor apartment say like I was and you don’t want to haul all your stuff down yourself, pay somebody else to do it and it can be worth the money just to save you the trouble of trying to figure out how you are going to wrestle that king sized mattress down three flights of stairs.
[00:05:05]GC: Yeah, sometimes getting your friends to help you is, I think, a great way to cut the cost but sometimes there’s not enough beer and pizza to get some people to do some things or just the physical layout of where you are mitigates your options there.
[00:05:25] KP: As the friend that it is commonly asked to provide the king sized moving service for the beer and pizza, I only ask two things; one, that the beer would be cold and two, that you be organized when I get there. Too many times have I showed up to help friends and I say this, I have moved I would say 50 people conservatively at least. And when they say they’re done moving and then you get there and, “I just have to put the kitchen away,” or, “I just have to do this.” If you’re going to ask your friends, be considerate of their time and be cool.
[00:05:58] MM: That’s right, that’s right. If you’re going to save money on your move, the least you can do — the least you could do is be helpful to all the people that you’re cheapin’ out on.
[00:06:08] GC: And I think — Sorry Peter, but a big part of what you’re saying there is not just getting it done but thinking about how you’re going to get things out of the house because I’ve seen on too many — I’ve also helped a number of moves, maybe not quite 50, but enough that I don’t like doing it and I know that. There’s just always a good number of items where you get to it and you go “How in the world do we fit this? Like, “It didn’t come into the house this way.”
[00:06:36] KP: Has anyone measured this?
[00:06:38]GC: Yeah, yeah. You know everything comes in a box as far as furniture and then it goes out fully built and you sit there and go, “What?” And somehow you’re at the bottom of some giant piece of furniture, going down steps very precariously, maybe just holding a corner that’s inches from your face. Knowing that the people at the top of the steps aren’t quite holding on as well as you would like and then you wonder how you keep getting into this situation.
[00:07:08] MM: And that’s why I just pay someone else to do it. That’s where I’m at now. Because, you know, this is my fourth cross country move in my life and then I’ve had several moves in between and I tell you what, it is worth it, at the very least to hire somebody else to at least empty the stuff out of your place and pack it up for you. Even if they don’t do full service move.
[00:07:32] KP: Did you comparison the shop for that Miranda? Or ask for referrals? Or sort of how did you narrow down your list of movers?
[00:07:37] MM: Yeah, I used Hireahelper.com to get the people to empty out the apartment and unpacking, and actually I’m using tomorrow, I’ve got the U-Pack trailer sitting at my new place right now and tomorrow, guys are going to come up and help unload it, unload the trailer and I’ll just have to tell them where to put the stuff.
But yeah, I use Hireahelper.com. No, I’m not getting paid to plug them. I just used them because it was really easy to find — you put it on there and they have quotes. They’ll have quotes by how much each cost. It’s just kind of this aggregate and you can arrange it all through there. And here in Idaho Falls, they didn’t have that option like Hire a Helper didn’t have anybody available here. So all I did was I just Googled “movers in Idaho Falls” or you can do like “moving truck unloaders” in whatever city you’re in and then you’ll get a list of people, it will just come up on Google search and then you can kind of compare prices that way.
[00:08:41] GC: Now when you did this, do you take out any type of insurance on the move?
[00:08:45] MM: You can, you can buy extra insurance like U-Pack, any full service mover will offer it. Like if you have a full service mover like with United Van Lines or Atlas or whatever else is out there and even U-Pack, even these kind of semi-do-it-yourself things, you can buy extra insurance. Most of them come with standard insurance but it’s not very much. So if your stuff gets broken, you might not be eligible for that much.
Like on our full service move going out to Pennsylvania, they damaged this dry sink that I had, you can’t just like rebuild it, it was a one of a kind piece. So yeah we had to put in a claim and it was just a small — I mean it looked like a small little damage but because of the value of the piece, we ended up getting $200 for the claim on it. So it just sort of depends but yeah, you can buy extra insurance but most of them come with a standard amount of insurance but it’s not very much.
[00:09:48] GC: And I think you really have to look at the fine print on what the insurance actually covers as far as how they pay for things. It’s been a while, at least five plus years since I’ve last moved but I remember something being along the lines of they pay by weight or some kind of wackiness like that. They didn’t by object, it was just like a flat sort of rate. So if you’re going to move and lose some stuff, you really wanted it to be dense.
[00:10:16] MM: Oh yeah it’s like 60 cents for like a hundred pounds or something, I don’t know, it’s something ridiculous.
[00:10:23] GC: Yeah, so I mean keep in mind that even if you’re getting the insurance, it may not quite cover what you want to cover.
[00:10:31] MM: Right, right for sure.
[00:10:34] GC: So for you as going across the country, that seemed to be a big factor in hiring people, the DIY option of that sort of minimized itself more because of the amount of work that you would have had or done.
[00:10:53] MM: Right, and the distance involved also kind of negates, like I’m sure Kyle and you and Peter who have recently done more moves that are more local would probably say that just getting the U-Haul for the day makes more sense. When you’re going across the country, you really want to consider the gas prices and everything else because it really starts to even out between you driving and some other company driving.
Even if you don’t get a full service move, companies like Atlas Van Lines and United or whatever it is, there’s a bunch of these companies, U-Pack isn’t the only one. A bunch of them will come and load up the truck and drive it for you. You can kind of compare the prices but if you have a situation where you load up the truck and then they just drive it for you, a lot of the time, it’s pretty comparable in price and then you don’t have the hassle of trying to maneuver a truck through Chicago or whatever.
[00:11:52] 0GC: And I was going to say, I’m sure a huge part of that is just experiencing driving a vehicle like that. I’ve done the process where I’ve rented a truck for the day for a move and it wasn’t terribly far distance and I know I could fit it all into one truck, it was basically just I think me and my dad, maybe I had a friend help out too. So it wasn’t too crazy to knock out.
But I remember driving this big thing and going, “Wow, if I had to put a lot of miles on this, I might not be so comfortable doing it.” You’re trying to park it and find a spot for it and I’m used to kind of like a small Corolla like car. You start putting me in a truck with these giant size mirrors and it’s a different sort of thing. So if I had do cross country and go through all sorts of different towns and cities and a different driving rules depending on where you are, I can see that being a little hectic.
[00:12:43]MM: Right, and then you go over and the continental divide.
[00:12:47] PA: That’s a real thing to consider because this last time I moved, we rented a U-Haul, it’s a pretty local move, it wasn’t very far. But driving one of those huge — we got a bigger truck this time than we have in the past because we have more stuff now and we just thought it made more sense because it wasn’t that much more money. But before I got in that big truck, I’m pulling out of the U-Haul parking lot, before I even got out of the parking lot, I already had an accident with this thing.
[00:13:14] MM: My gosh.
[00:13:15] PA: They had these jacks or these little trailers that were in the parking lot, and I couldn’t see them through the mirrors on this huge truck. And I pull out and I hear this big scraping sound and then metal on asphalt and just horrible scraping and I’m like, “Oh my god, what did I just do?”
One of the guys with U-Haul office comes running out and says, “Stop! Stop, stop!” It turns out they had left something in the driveway and I hadn’t seen it. They probably shouldn’t have left it there but again, if you’re not used to driving a big truck like that and you’re not aware of how big it actually is, you got some serious problems. So you need to make sure you have insurance coverage on all that kind of stuff as well.
[00:13:59] GC: Yeah, I mean you try to mitigate the cost by doing it yourself but if you get into a major accident, you pull into your own driveway and hit the side of the house or do something crazy like that, and all of a sudden all those savings go out the window, so you have to know you’d be able to do it. And look, how many of us drive big trucks? Some people have that experience and that’s great. If you have a buddy, a friend that’s you’re going to have help you and they have experience then maybe that’s where you need to go. But I would think you would have to consider that.
I haven’t done this in a while, the last time I moved and hired a truck was a while ago so I don’t quite remember the process but how much of your personal insurance can you use? Is that something that you could combine when you rent a truck like that? Do you know?
[00:14:46] PA: Oh boy, I don’t remember.
[00:14:47]MM: Oh man! [Stump the Trumps]
[00:14:51]GC: Because I wonder how close it is with renting a car you know, you can use your own insurance on that. I don’t know if the same applies when you’re renting a moving truck. I just wonder if you get that same coverage.
[00:15:01]MM: I think it depends though, I think you might want to just call your insurance company and find out about that and figure out if that sort of liability insurance transfers over. I would think that you’re going to see more of a chance for liability might. But they may even also charge you a small fee or something or you can get extra insurance.
[00:15:23] GC: But even then, it still might be more cost effective and maybe more efficient to have your own insurance than.
[00:15:30] MM: Yeah.
[00:15:31] PA: Yeah, I think I ended up paying for some extra insurance through the company itself just because I was like, “Man, I’m not comfortable driving this thing.” If there is an accident, I don’t want to have to worry about it, you know? I think my credit card probably covered it a well.
[00:15:47] MM: Good point, yes, check your credit card.
[00:15:49] PA: Your credit card will cover car rental insurance sometimes, so that’s something to check and call your banker. But I just went ahead and paid for the extra insurance because it was a one day rental and it was only an extra, it wasn’t very much extra.
[00:16:03] KP: That’s the same approach I took Peter. The peace of mind was worth the few bucks that it was.
[00:16:10] PA: Yup.
[00:16:11] GC: Yeah, and really, that’s what the insurance is, isn’t it? What other considerations do you have? I would think certainly how much stuff and what it is that you’re actually moving is probably going to play a lot into who you’re going to hire too. Some people have a move where you could throw it all into one pickup truck. You have one body, you have big SUV or something and you’re set to go.
But I’ve seen moves where you really have to hire a big truck, either you got to rent that big truck or hire people to do it. That’s a lot of stuff, like you’re talking an all day move. So I mean yeah, how does that play into it for you guys?
[00:16:51] PA: It seems like every time you move, you have more stuff every time. We moved I think nine years ago and even then I felt like we had a ton of stuff. Then we moved again two years ago now and it’s insane the amount of stuff that you accumulate, especially after you’ve had kids. You got all sorts of kid’s clothing and who knows, all kinds of stuff.
One thing that we did when we moved this last time though is we just gave away to Good Will, probably three car loads of stuff, I mean it was a ton of stuff. We’re able to take a small tax deduction for that and we didn’t have to end up moving it to the new house either, which saved a bit of a headache.
[00:17:34] MM: Don’t forget, if you do the tax deduction on the stuff that you donate to like a Good Will or Salvation Army or here out west, a Desert Industries. If you’re going to donate to those kinds of places, you need to make sure you keep a record of what you’ve donated because you will need that for your taxes. You will need to remember to do the receipt from the donation center, most of them will just give you a receipt and then you just fill it in yourself. But yeah, you need to make sure that you keep that for your records as well. Just a little note. We did that on our way out of town as well, we had a pile of stuff that we left it at the Good Will on our way out of town.
[00:18:15] GC: Yeah the more you get rid of it beforehand, the less you’re going to have to throw in the truck and then unpack. Like you said Peter, you end up with so much stuff to move and how much of that stuff, like it ends up being a box that you move from the last move, and you haven’t even opened it up.
[00:18:32]PA: Like you said earlier about not being able to get furniture into certain places, we did that last time. We moved this two huge couches out of our old house and we moved them into the new house thinking, “Oh, this is going to go great in our basement.” Well it turns out, we couldn’t even get them into the basement at the new house.
When we got to the new house, they were too big to fit down the stairway and there was really no way to take them apart. At that point we just ended up putting it in the garage and they sat out there for a couple of months until we sold then on Craig’s List anyway.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to think about those things, plan ahead before you move and think, “Is this really going to work at our new house? Is this furniture going to fit our new décor, is it going to fit down the stairway?” All sorts of things. If not, maybe you want to think about selling that stuff beforehand or donating.
[00:19:17] GC: Right, that’s a cost for you to move that. Look, a couple of couches, that’s a good part of a truck right there. You probably could have maybe had a smaller truck or maybe that crew did it a little bit sooner. So yeah, whatever you could have gotten rid of that for, probably it would have saved you money right off the bat.
[00:19:35] PA: We could have sold it on Craig’s List and had somebody pay us money for it and move it for us.
[00:19:40] GC: Right, right, just grab it and go. Or even sometimes if you donate it, they’ll come and pick things up too, depending on where you go.
[00:19:47] KP: Sort of the flip side of that comment, if you’re looking at buying a house or I guess selling a house for that matter, if you’re not doing the rental thing, don’t be shy about asking if people want to throw stuff in. When I moved in to my first place, I didn’t have a lot of furniture and such, I definitely made the appeal to the inner lazy man where I was like, “Yeah, you could move those couches upstairs or I could give you 50 bucks and you could leave them down there.”
They were fine, they were good, they’re not maybe for every couches or whatever the case may be but they certainly work for a young guy in his first house. Don’t be afraid to appeal and I think it worked pretty well for both parties actually. I fully intend to try and negotiate some of that in when I move in and leave stuff there.
[00:20:32]GC: Definitely, everything is negotiable and you’ll never know until you ask.
[00:20:37]MM: Another thing to think about when you’re moving and that I didn’t think about too much until, but if you have a piano, they will charge you extra for that piano. When ended up — when we did local moves, we actually had to hire separate piano movers to move our piano from one house to the other because yeah, because nobody wanted to move our piano right?
[00:21:06]KP: Man, I should be making so much money, I moved like eight pianos.
[00:21:09] GC: Have you really?
[00:21:10] MM: Oh wow.
[00:21:11] KP: Yeah! I have like a whole system with rollers and pulleys, and yeah.
[00:21:16] MM: Oh my gosh, yeah dude you can charge like 100 to 200 bucks a pop just from you moving a piano from one house to the other dude. Make it your business.
[00:21:25]KP: I’m gonna starting to re-evaluating here. You get this blog here.
[00:21:28] MM: This should be like your side gig.
[00:21:30] KP: “I move pianos”.
[00:21:33]MM: We left our piano in Utah.
[00:21:36] PA: They had that idea of piano on a rope and pulley system, trying to pull it up to the fourth floor or something and crashing on the street below, that’s why nobody wants to move it.
[00:21:46] GC: We actually ended up getting our piano for free because the prior people didn’t want to move it. They actually said, “Do you want the piano? Otherwise we have to pay to get it out of here.” And we were like, “Yeah, you could keep it, you can leave it here rather, that’s all right, we’ll take that.”
[00:22:04] MM: Dude, if someone gives you a free piano, you say “yes” man.
[00:22:08] GC: Yeah, even if it’s a lot of tuning.
[00:22:09] MM: Did you see how expensive those things are?
[00:22:13] KP: You’ll learn one day right?
[00:22:13] PA: The other thing people never want to move is that pool table in the basement. I actually helped a friend move one of those one time and that was the worst thing I’ve ever tried to move. It was a 70 slate top on this table and we’re trying to push the thing up the stairs, I almost lost my fingers because that thing was so heavy and the guys at the top of the stairs weren’t pulling their weight and they lost their grip, came sliding back down the stairs and almost took my fingers and crushed them into the wall.
[00:22:43] MM: My gosh.
[00:22:43] PA: You might be better off avoiding those hospital wheels and just leave the pool table.
[00:22:51]MM: Or hire professionals to move it.
[00:22:53] PA: Or hire professionals that know what they’re doing, yeah.
[00:22:57] GC: You know I think you always hear the frugal side of things and how you could do things when you sell by yourself and save so much money. But I think also, it really depends on who you are and sometimes it’s really worth it to hire somebody who is an expert because I’ve certainly moved stuff on my own and you kind of figure it out as you go when you have that washing machine on your back, going down the narrow steps. I mean I have a lot of these types of stories unfortunately. It’s not fun!
But when you see a moving guy do it, it seems like they just know what to do, they get these things, they wrap these things around their arms and they’re picking it up and they move, it just happens. So yeah, I mean what they an do — what would take me two hours getting down the steps, they’re done in 15 minutes.
[00:23:48] KP: And one less hernia later.
[00:23:52] MM: Yea that’s right. You avoid all the medical bills. The one thing I was going to say is, so the guy is coming tomorrow, they’re going to be done unloading the truck in like an hour and a half maybe, two hours tops? If it was just me and a couple of other people doing it ourselves, it would take us twice as long at least, we’d be there for half the day or more just unloading the truck. And these guys, I know are going to get it done pretty fast. The guys that loaded up the truck it took them like an hour to do what would have taken us forever. So I think there’s something to be said about people, the experts who just do it all the time, all day.
[00:24:29]GC: Sometimes when you’re moving, if you just bought a house and just sold a house and you just packed up everything you own and the whole family is going somewhere else. You’re already kind of emotionally and maybe physically spent and to spend a day doing that, it’s a lot. Even when you have somebody else move it for you, it’s a lot. So I mean I guess there’s that factor too.
[00:24:56] PA: I was just going to say, the last few times — sorry, go ahead.
[00:24:59] GC: No, go ahead, I was kind of done anyway.
[00:25:02] PA: I was gonna say, the last few times we’ve moved too, like you said, being drained and just being draining and stressful, being pained to do it. Well with the last few times we’ve moved, we’ve done it DIY where we moved ourselves and we didn’t exactly plan ahead the best because the time of the year that we were moving, that might be something to consider as well.
If you’re moving in the heat of summer and you’re doing it yourself, it may not always be a great idea. Both of the last few times we’d moved, we moved in August and we moved on like the hottest day of the year. The first time, it was 105 the day we moved and we had a couple of people that almost dropped from exhaustion and the last time we moved, it was over a hundred as well, it’s like 101. That’s something else to consider, do you really want to risk your health and life and limb to move?
[00:25:51] GC: That you were able to do twice actually.
[00:25:51] PA: If you do, plan ahead and do it on a cooler day.
[00:25:56]GC: And did you have friends help you each time, or?
[00:25:59] PA: We did. We’d buy them lunch.
[00:26:01] GC: Were they the same friends?
[00:26:02]PA: Yes, I can’t say they’re all still friends but.
[00:26:08] GC: That’s pretty amazing you got them to do it twice. [Laughter] I can see going through a group the first time and you have to find like a whole bunch of new people to go through it again.
[00:26:18]PA: We had a six year buffer in between the move so I think it was enough time for them to kind of forget a little bit.
[00:26:27] GC: That’s not to say that — when you hire a crew, I’ve never hired people to actually pack the stuff for us and that’s certainly an extra expense right there, but it’s not cheap. You definitely have to plan that amount into a move and be prepared to pay that money and then you tip them also and just always seems to be an expense, they’ll say they’ll do it in four hours, it takes eight hours. But to me, it’s well worth it if I don’t have to pack a house up and move it. Rather just move a whole house.
[00:27:04]MM: Part of that too is it goes back to what we’re talking about before when you’re talking about being organized. Even if you have somebody else like box your things up for you which is something I have never done before. But even if you have somebody box your things, just because it cost so much extra, you can add a couple of thousand of dollars to your move because you have somebody else box your stuff up.
I just put on a lame TV show and watch that every, you know, binge watch it on Netflix every night for three weeks while I box in the evening’s right? But even if you’re somebody else box it up, if you can be organized, if you can have your rooms organized and just know what you’re taking and just kind of be a little bit prepared, that can speed it along and kind of reduce the cost a little bit.
[00:27:50]GC: Yeah, just as Kyle was saying even when you have your friends do it for you, if you organize, it helps. Even with moving people, if you’re ready to go, it’s going to make the whole situation a lot easier as opposed to where you’re still trying to grab and figure things out the last minute and that adds so much stress to the moving day too.
[00:28:15]PA: I was gonna mention, you’re talking about packing boxes, that’s something else that you need to think about too is all the packing materials and supplies and boxes and packing tape, and blankets — a throw for the furniture so it doesn’t get scratched, all that stuff can add up too.
[00:28:30] GC: It’s an art form in itself, isn’t it? Look, I still come from the CD world and the book world, the physical book world, and a box full of CD’s is pretty small but damn, it feels like a black hole, it’s so heavy and dense and books too. You have to start planning, well. Unless I want to really rip my back up, I have to make sure I was like half the CD’s and maybe half socks. So something really light, you got to figure out where everything is, you got to track everything too. The more planning that you put into it and probably the easier it makes everything.
[00:29:10] KP: That’s definitely true. As a guy that unpacked and packed many U-Hauls and such when I worked as a student border guard, I was one of those jerks that asked you to unpack your U-Haul when you cross the border for international reason. I got to see many people’s either mistakes or professionalism in terms of packing.
When I repack their stuff, I often took pride oddly enough in trying to achieve a better outcome for them when I repacked their vehicle just because I put them through such an ordeal like killing a half hour of their move or whatever the case may be, I tried to sort of be like, “Oh maybe you want to think about this?” And they’d end up with a foot of extra room in the back of their trailer that they really had no use for it at the time.
But anyhow, it does make a difference. I can tell you that many, many times when people unloaded, they had scratched tables or perhaps that box of CD’s had been squished by something else and their outer row of CD’s has been crushed. So you bounce the pros and cons there, maybe they shouldn’t even bother with it if it wasn’t important enough to worry about? Or maybe if they preplanned, they would have had more success, I’m not sure? But it’s important to give yourself some time to consider this stuff.
[00:30:26] GC: Yeah, I think too often, it’s like that day before all of a sudden you’re putting everything together and then you realize like appliances, like a blender and things like that, where do you put them? They don’t fit into a box neatly because if you have the original materials, you put Styrofoam back on, you tape it up and you’re done. But odds are, you don’t have that.
You have like one of those Kitchen Aid mixers, one of those things are also like a black hole of dense weight and two, there’s nowhere to put them. You just kind of grab the head of that thing and just move it and hope that it doesn’t get wrecked, maybe put a towel around it or you try to put it into a box and hope that it doesn’t rip through the bottom.
There’s a lot of logistics to go through and sometimes you don’t even know what those logistics are until you’ve actually moved a couple of times too. So maybe that’s a good idea too? If you could volunteer for one of your friends, you can learn a lot.
[00:31:22] KP: If I screwed up in the Kitchen Aid mixer move, I might as well just move my half of the stuff to another house because my wife would not be impressed with me.
[00:31:31]GC: No, no, no. And those things aren’t cheap either.
[00:31:36] PA: The good solution to scratching things up is to use that plastic wrap stuff, just wrap everything in plastic and then it’s protected and it doesn’t come apart, it doesn’t fall apart. Just wrap everything in plastic wrap, it doesn’t cost that much to get one of those big rolls of plastic wrap, maybe five or 10 bucks from the moving place and it’s well worth it because all your nice living room furniture that cost so much money is not going to get all scratched up. That might cost some money.
[00:32:03] GC: Sometimes you actually need something a little tougher, you need to have that sort of quilt sort of thing that they have to throw on things. Even the plastic wrap is still, once you throw it on to a truck and it’s weighted somewhere, it only does so much before the little bubbles pop and you’re like, “No! Now it’s raw””. Which is one thing that’s nice about when you have a mover because they always have a truck full of that stuff.
But let me ask you, if you’re going to do DIY and boxes and everything like that, what do you for materials? Do you do the whole you go to nearby stores like a Target or supermarkets and stuff and try to get boxes or do you eat the cost and go to a store and just buy fresh boxes and tape?
[00:32:53] KP: I like the Rubbermaid, Rubbermaid is your friend for things like the Kitchen Aid mixer and that’s gonna go for a fairly, fairly low cost. You’ll always find a use for that stuff later. I have yet to find a person who doesn’t find a use for the Rubber Maid container. It helps for at least with the really awkward stuff like the box and the newspaper concoction can work for a lot of things but whatever you’re putting on the bottom and whatever you sort of want to protect, it’s worth the structural integrity to invest in some cheap Rubbermaid-type stuff.
[00:33:24] MM: I got to argue with Kyle here for a minute. Kyle and I are going to have a disagreement.
[00:33:31] GC: Let’s have a debate, a heated debate.
[00:33:32]MM: It’s going to be a heated debate about Rubbermaid things. Actually the structural integrity of one of those big Rubbermaid containers, not that good. Because if you don’t have it packed tight, it will buckle and crack.
[00:33:45] GC: I think it depends on which ones you buy also though.
[00:33:47] MM: Yeah, so I mean getting like the cheap ones might actually be worse because I was talking to some of the professional movers and they were like, “It’s better to get the small-ish kind of the medium sized boxes and pack those good,” and those will actually have better structural integrity than a lot of the bigger Rubbermaid bins.
We’ve used Rubbermaid bins in the past, it’s just it’s better if you’re going to user Rubbermaid bins to stack the Rubbermaid bins on the Rubbermaid bins and then of kind of measure out what you’re doing. I’m talking with my hands.
[00:34:23]GC: I totally see it though.
[00:34:25] MM: Yeah, right.
[00:34:26] KP: I agree, unfortunately there will be no heated argument, I must agree 100%. I guess I was just talking versus the soggy wet paper box.
[00:34:38] GC: It depends on which ones you’re buying too because I’ve seen some that are thicker than others and it depends on what you’re putting in it too, where you’re going to throw it. Just because it’s plastic it doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. You’re not gonna put it under the washing machine. Just make sure it’s on top of things.
[00:34:53] KP: That sounds like an engineering challenge project. Design a Rubbermaid box that can withstand the washing machine.
[00:35:02] MM: And another thing to think about too is what a lot of what I do is save, if I know a move is coming up, I started saving Amazon boxes because I get a lot of stuff from Amazon. And so if you do online purchasing, a lot of the boxes they send that stuff in, that’s built to withstand shipping. And so use those, save those boxes, you don’t have to pay for them and save those boxes and use them for your move.
[00:35:28] PA: Yeah, the last time we moved, we did a combination of buying a few boxes and they were mainly the really big boxes that we needed, we had to buy those ones. But for the rest of them, we just went on Craig’s List and if you just go on Craig’s List and search for “moving supplies” or “moving boxes”, it’s amazing how many free boxes there are out there. People who have just moved and they have a bunch of empty boxes in their garage, they’ll just say, “You come and get the boxes, you can have them for free, no big deal.”
[00:35:54] GC: That’s a great point because after you move, what do you do with that stuff? Unless, like you say, you know you’re going to move again and maybe you have some use for it, you just have a ton of boxes that you end up maybe just putting it out in recycling.
[00:36:05] MM: As we were fortunate, I don’t know. I don’t know if I call it that, but we actually had — we saved some of our boxes from our move out to Pennsylvania and so they were already labeled. So for some of the stuff, we just went and got boxes that we had already labeled and packed stuff that match the label, it was kind of sad. But that requires you knowing that you’re going to move again somewhat soon.
[00:36:32]GC: Look, if you’re moving somewhere, consider also your timeline too. I think if you’re moving into a house, it’s a more or less — if you’ve just bought a place it’s a safe bet that you’re probably not going to move sometime soon. But if you’re renting some place and you got a one year lease, you don’t know where you’ll be in a year. You don’t know if you’re going to be happy with the apartment, if the landlord’s going to be happy with you so you might want to somehow find some space in the back of a closet for some boxes for that just in case move and be prepared for that. This way you don’t have to go through that whole process again.
I know for me, we try to get boxes but you end up just never really finding enough in the right sizes, I’ll usually tend to go to like a U-Haul or maybe a Home Depot and buying the boxes there and this way you can kind of pick the sizes that you need. And a lot of places too, they’ll let you buy them and if you don’t use them, you can just return them which is nice too.
I think a big consideration, I think you mentioned it Miranda, when you buy those big ones, it seems like it’s really great but they don’t balance very well. So when you have a giant box and you start piling it in, it starts to sag on the bottom. Like you really can’t do a whole lot with it and you can’t pick them up. I mean if you take a big box of books and you’re not going to pick it up.
On the other hand, the smaller boxes actually are stronger especially if you just wrap them up with tape as much as you need to, but they’re just easy to use, although you’re going to pay for each box too. So you really have to kind of consider the things you’re going to move and how many boxes you need as well.
[00:38:13] MM: Yeah, there are a lot of small-ish boxes that come from Amazon that are really great for books because as much as you’re like, “Hey, I’d like to pile all these books in,” are you going to be able to lift it up? What about those poor moving guys that you hired, are they going to be able to lift it up?
[00:38:30] GC: Hey, if I’m hiring them, that’s kind of their problem. It’s not so much the weight of the box, honestly I don’t’ want to sound like…
[00:38:41] MM: The size, it’s so awkward.
[00:38:42]GC: I don’t want to sound inconsiderate but if I’m hiring you, you’re going to move it. But…
[00:38:48]MM: You’re a bad person Glen.
[00:38:51]GC: These are people that will move refrigerators and such, so they can handle a box of books.
[00:38:57] MM: Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.
[00:39:01] GC: To me though, the consideration though is one, you’re still going to probably have to move it when you get in to the new location right? They’ll put it in the living room but maybe you need it on the second floor at some point. And two, when they pick it up, you don’t want it falling apart.
[00:39:15] MM: Right.
[00:39:16] GC: So that’s what you really have to think about. If it’s too heavy, that is going to break and whatever then that’s no good and that’s really kind of on you at that point if things go wrong and you start getting busted up and whatnot.
[00:39:34] PA: Agreed.
[00:39:35] GC: What other considerations do you have? We’ve kind of talked about all sorts of different things. I don’t think we have a definitive “how to save”, I think we just have lots of different options. I know maybe just go back a little bit when we sold our place before we bought our house, because we were selling it we needed it to be as empty as possible when we were showing it.
So at that point we actually purged a lot of stuff. So when we were actually moving, we still had too much stuff but it was a little bit easier, we’d already kind of packed up a lot of stuff and put it in to the garage so that we can show the house. So I think that was nice.
What else? What other considerations.
[00:40:21] MM: Well one thing to think about is whether you’re going to need some storage. I didn’t have an address when I came out here so I stored my stuff for a month. Our stuff that we had was stored for a month and it just barely got delivered today and we’ll unload it tomorrow. But you got to think about the storage as well if you’re not going to have a place to put your stuff.
One of the things that I found, there are a couple of ways they can do this. I was getting different quotes, I got quotes from different types of movers before settling on the U-Pack option this time. And I had a mover come and he said — this was interesting — in Pennsylvania, what they had to do, because I wanted to store it for a month, what they said what they were going to do is they were going to break it down into two different moves. The first move was going to be our apartment into storage and we were going to have to pay for that move separate. So that move alone is going to be like a thousand bucks just to move from the apartment, into storage and then they were going to store it — well it’s going to be in Delaware — in Delaware for a month and then they would move it from storage onto the truck and drive it out here to Idaho. And that option was really expensive.
So then when I was looking at like the U-Pack option, when they put it in this trailer, they actually just load up the trailer, you put the bulkhead in to divide your stuff up and they’ll just leave it in there the whole time and you can store it for a month on the trailer and it cost a lot less and then there are things like the pods, those little pods that they give you, you can do that as well, you can store those for a month. If you need one, two, three, however many pods you need, you’ll just put it in there, you lock it up and they’ll come pick it up and then they’ll store it for you for as long as you need it to be stored until you’re ready to have it delivered to your new place.
So kind of think about that and think about how much the storage will cost you and whether you’re going to have to do it as separate moves or whether it can be all in one package. In the end it cost less if you can do it all in one package a lot of the time.
[00:42:28] GC: Yeah, there’s definitely some logistics to that and actually getting to the storage. If whoever is moving it to your house, they may not be keen on going “Yeah, I’ll make that second stop.”
[00:42:39] PA: The last time we moved, we had put all of our stuff in storage for three months because we were building our house at the time and we had to vacate the other house because we had sold it. It was a matter of, we looked into those pods and other services like that and we just found it was so expensive to do that as compared to us just moving our stuff into the storage first on our own.
With that, we were able to find a storage, we called it on a bunch of different storage places and we were able to find one that offered a free month of storage and then two more months that at a pretty low rate. And when you compared it to something like pods or something like that, which are convenient, it was so much less expensive that it just made so much more sense for us to do that.
Now if it was a longer move like the one that you were doing that may not have been a very good option but for us in that situation it did work out better that way.
[00:43:37] MM: Right, and I think you make a good point there when you talked about convenience. I think whenever you’re moving or doing just about anything in life, the more convenient it is, it’s likely to cost you a little bit more. So then you have to decide on that trade off. How much is your convenience worth, how much is your time worth and what’s that tradeoff going to be worth to you?
[00:43:59]GC: I think also you have to consider storage in itself can be an easy crutch, “Oh let’s just put it in storage.” If you’ve got a lot of stuff…
[00:44:10] MM: It’s there forever.
[00:44:12] GC: Yeah, at a certain point you got to go, “Is there a way I could eliminate the storage and the cost?” If you don’t have to even put it in storage, you’re not even paying to move it, if you could sell it, if you could do something else with it, you might even be able to make some money off of it before you move.
[00:44:29]PA: They have entire shows about people who put stuff in storage and just abandoned it. Storage Wars and all other shows, you wonder what half of those people that are moving or something, they just put it in there and, “Nah, I don’t’ need it.”
[00:44:44]KP: I think those shows are just the husband and wife arguing about what they’re going to keep, and it’s the storage war.
[00:44:49] GC: Here’s the thing too, I forget there’s some sort of law that applies to it, but whatever space you have is going to get filled up, no matter where you are. You could move into a palatial estate like all of a sudden you bought like a whole city block worth of stuff and you will fill it up because you have that space.
[00:45:07] MM: I refuse to do that in my place. You could check back with me in like a year or two and we’ll see.
[00:45:15]GC: I’m going to throw this out there. There’s certainly been a lot written about this and a lot of arguments that go into it and there’s certainly good and bad to each side of the story but I think moving is definitely consideration that you have to think about and the “rent versus owned” equation.
When you own a home, you make that move and whatever cost it is, you probably, unless something bad happens or you really change your mind, you’re going to be there for a while. That kind of mitigates the cost of the move. But when you’re renting, hopefully you could stay in a place for a long time but you never know. You could be moving every year, every two years depending on where you are. Every time you do that, the cost of moving comes in, in one way, shape or form.
What do you think guys, think about that?
[00:46:08] MM: Yeah, so there was… [Laughs]
[00:46:14]KP: I was going to say, I think not nearly enough people take that into consideration Glen. Just basically the idea of even if you do own a home, it’s becoming more and more common to have the starter home and then it’s the race to get into the next step and then, “Ah we got to move into the home of our dreams,” and a lot of people don’t realize all the cost they’re eating as they do that.
I mean, that might be a whole other show on its own but moving cost and commissions to professionals and all that other stuff. That eats in massively, even if you’re in a great housing market that goes up and up, I don’t think a lot of people realize as you climb that housing ladder and never mind, like you say, renting where it’s year-to-year or even month-to-month sometimes just how many either the cost you pay in either favors and friendships or in cold hard cash.
[00:47:01] MM: Right, and another thing to consider as you’re upgrading your house constantly is people are like, “Oh well the cost of moving.” But what about the cost of having a larger house. So if you’re upgrading, you’re going to have to pay a higher property taxes because you have more property, your bigger house is probably going to cost more in terms of utilities because you’ll use more heat, you’ll need more cooling, your electricity cost will probably go higher. There’s a lot of things that go into that if you have an empty space, we were talking about filling up your empty space. Well if you buy a bigger place all of a sudden, what are you, like a couch short? Suddenly you’re a coach short.
For me, I just moved from an apartment that came with a washer and dryer in the unit and now I’m in a rental house that does not have a washer and dryer in unit. Now I’m sitting here going, “I got to buy a washer and dryer.” I got a house, I’m supposed to take care of the lawn, “I got to buy a lawnmower.” I was in an apartment before and didn’t have to worry about lawnmower but now I got to buy a lawnmower.
[00:48:02] PA: If you’re going to move, you’re going to have to move that stuff too.
[00:48:05] MM: People will have to move it.
[00:48:08] GC: That’s not even I’m buying it on a new and bigger house, if you’re just moving laterally and you’re renting, that happens. Your landlord’s not happy with it, you’re not happy with the neighborhood anymore, you move. Whatever it is, you could still find yourself moving every few years and you find that apartment and you’re like, “Oh this is great, but the couch doesn’t fit or the entertainment center doesn’t fit”
Or like you said, we bought a washer and dryer here but that place has a washer and dryer or it doesn’t and you end up having to buy it. So there’s a lot of incidental cost that I think that play in to this whole rent versus owned equation that I think you have to put a lot of time into thinking about it as well. It’s more than just hiring a truck and getting some boxes.
[00:48:50] PA: Yeah, I think that is one of the biggest things about moves that people don’t think about is all the extraneous costs that go along with it as far as transferring utilities. I was reading one of the articles somebody on my site wrote and they said that they had to pay 50 bucks to have the gas company turn on their gas back on. There is electric company charge a 25 bucks to turn on the utilities, there’s a $100 install fee for the cable, $250 deposit for the new house that they were in.
All these little fees, it may not seem like very big fees but then you’re doing it for five or 10 different places, it adds up quick to $500, $1,000 or more. And then add in to the fact you’re buying new furniture or appliances or whatever else to fill up the space.
[00:49:34]MM: Right. And don’t forget, it’s not just the hookup fees too for some of the stuff. For some things like we had cable Internet and we had Direct TV and then you move and you have to cancel your account because you’re moving across the country and they don’t service your area. And you have no choice but to cancel the account and terminate your contract. They don’t care that you don’t have service in your new area, you’re still paying that termination fee. If you’ve been on a two year contract, you’re still paying that early termination fee.
[00:50:07] GC: Yeah, you got to look in to that.
[00:50:10] PA: Sometimes, not all of the time. It depends on the contract.
[00:50:11] MM: It depends on the contract and who it is. Oh nice, yeah. Yeah watch for our blog post ranting against Comcast.
[00:50:23] GC: That’s a thought too.
[00:50:23] KP: I’m sure you’ll be the first one.
[0:50:26] MM: I know right? Nobody complains about Comcast.
[0:50:30] GC: When you move to a new place and their services may not be as good or it may cost some more to get. Or you think that a service is there but they don’t have it. You think maybe you could get Fios or something like that but, “Oh yeah, we don’t serve at that area yet.” Yeah, there’s a lot of things that play into it that you have to think about. Moving isn’t always an easy thing. I think we’ve certainly talked and touched on a lot of different things, I can’t believe that we’ve gone through almost an hour already. I feel like we were just kind of touching the tip of the iceberg here. But we haven’t got an hour and I think we’ve talked about a lot of good things.
I don’t know that we have concrete tips to say, “You know what, if you need to move, you need to do this,” because like a lot of personal finance, it really depends on your situation or what you’re doing and what you handle. But I think we’ve brought up enough different factors and issues so that if you are moving, you know what to think about and you know what to look at and I think that’s important.
So let’s start to wrap up and we’ll go around and have a final word on how to save money on your next move. So Kyle, what are your tips or summation?
[00:51:41] KP: Well, I can’t sing or dance but I can move heavy things. I can give one tip that sounds ridiculous but when you’re moving, take the 10 minutes to warm up a little bit. If you’re trying to do this yourself, especially if you’re not a professional. This sounds ridiculous but if you go to jerk, effectively clean and jerk the amount of weight that you haven’t lifted in years, if at all, without warming up, you’re going throw at your back, which obviously sucks and it’s going to impact your entire move, you’re not going to have as much energy. You’re going to be short with people, I just saw it many times how people hurt themselves because they haven’t bothered to stretch a little bit, warm up their muscles. It sounds stupid, it’s a small thing, but it can greatly impact your day.
[00:52:25]GC: You know what? That’s so huge, because when you’re moving, you forget how big and bulky some things are and then we all tend to have a little bit of hubris and think that we’re stronger and more able than we actually are, at least to me. Miranda what’s your final word on saving on moving?
[00:52:45]MM: Yeah, get creative. We’re no longer in this area where it’s like either do it yourself or a full service. There’s a lot of things you can do in between. It’s possible to kind of mix and match depending on your needs and your budget to find something that might be a little more convenient and still be affordable. So I just think it’s — get creative, think out of the box and kind of mish-mash things because you really can find all these options that will make something affordable for you.
[00:53:17]GC: Peter, what’s your final word?
[00:53:20] PA: My final word is just to start thinking about the move far and advance as you can. Think about making a battle plan for what you’re going to be doing, think about all the different things that really need to be thought about, maybe even create a check list for moving. Think about all the things that you’re going to have to do, all the utilities you’re going to have to shut off and then turn on, on the other side. The things that you’re going to need to rent, the companies you’re going to need to hire, the insurance you’re going to need, everything that you’re going to have to do once a year at the new place too.
So just sit down, make a battle plan, make sure you know what you’re doing when the day arrives and plan ahead so it doesn’t turn into one of those situations where you’re scrambling on the day of trying to pack things into a box and end up putting it on your credit card because everything cost more than you realize. Make a battle plan.
[00:54:10] GC: Those are good points. The more time you have to do it, the easier it is and one consideration I thought of is all the different places where you’re going to have to change your address and phone number. If you could make a list of all those then you can attack that beforehand. You get to the post office and have all your mail forwarded to the new spot well beforehand so you don’t even have to worry about old mail. There’s all sorts of little logistical things like that that if you could take care of it makes things a lot easier. You don’t want to have a bill that’s floating out there and you didn’t get it because you moved and all of a sudden you’re paying credit card fees and whatnot.
Great advice everybody here. I think we definitely brought our experience to the table today to help our people out there. So that’s great. Thank you everybody out there for watching and listening and until next week, be good with your money.
[END OF MASTERMIND]
[00:55:00] ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on the Money Mastermind Show. Get more information at Moneymastermindshow.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes and YouTube and follow us on Google Plus.
Important issues discussed in this episode:
- Why is moving so expensive?
- Are there strategies you can employ to reduce the cost of moving?
- What are the different tactics to use when moving across town vs. moving across the country?
- How can you pack your items so that they don’t broken in transit?
- What are the latest resources to help you learn how to save money on your next move?
Panelists In This Episode:
- Glen Craig | Free From Broke
- Kyle Prevost | Young and Thrifty
- Miranda Marquit | Planting Money Seeds
- Peter Anderson | Bible Money Matters
- Tom Drake | Canadian Finance Blog
For a quick bio of each of our show participants, head on over to our panelists page.
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