Pros and Cons of Moving Yourself


This probably comes as no surprise, but we move. A lot. In our six years of marriage, we have moved six times. Each move has had its own reason: internship, graduation, new job, and soon to be, lameface neighbor. The longest we’ve lived in a single dwelling is 23 months, and we’ve lived in five different states. And through all of that craziness, every move has had one common thread: we’ve rented a truck and moved ourselves.

When we were in college, renting a truck was a no-brainer. Our one-bedroom apartments were ideal for a UHAUL 10-footer, and our “what’s the cheapest model at Ikea” furniture was barely worth its weight. But as soon as my first real job offer (read: the benefits no longer included 50%-off meals at college cafeterias) came along, the decision wasn’t as easy. By that point, we were raging away in paying off our debt, so it didn’t take long before we realized the cost savings of making the 2,000+ mile trek to New York City by ourselves.

Those same cost savings lured us into renting a truck for our two most recent moves as well. I know I’ve said this on our blog before, but I promise we’re not sadists. Maybe we’re just in denial, but we really do like saving money at nearly any cost. Here’s a breakdown of our three most recent moves.

Utah to New York City (2,207 miles)

Reason for moving: Starting my career in advertising
Trip hiccups:

    1. Before even leaving our driveway, my grandpa insisted on tampering with and ripping out the air filter with the bright orange sticker that read, “DO NOT TAMPER WITH AIR FILTER OR FACE FINE.” Rules never apply to grandpas.
    2. Driving in a state of hypnosis from staring at perfectly lined corn rows for, oh, 800 miles. Thanks Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois!
    3. Massive, massive summer thunderstorm while navigating the rolling hills of Pennsylvania in a 14,000 lb., 60mph Ikea-furnished missile.

         Truck rental = $850
         Gas = $550 (9/mpg hurts)
         Hotel = $45 (Stayed with family friends for free in NE and PA. Cheap hotel in IN.)
         Labor = FREE (Thanks, fam)
         Tolls = ~$100 (No thanks, Ohio)
         TOTAL = $1545

New York City to Boston (210 miles)

Reason for moving: Job opportunity
Trip hiccups:

    1. Did you know that NYC’s parking patrol roam all hours of the night (like 4:45am) to issue citations to soon-to-be-departed NYC’ers for parking commercial vehicles in residential zones, despite any signage marking said zones? Yeah, we didn’t either.
    2. Early, early on the morning of our move, we left our friend’s place to make a final stop at our apartment. While pulling to the curb, the metal-step bumper clipped the front bumper of a parked minivan (a bad omen perchance?) and snapped it in half. Awesome. I swore like a sailor, left a note on their car and departed NYC in major Hulk-rage.
    3. Google Maps’ view of our North End street made us think we’d have plenty of room to park our truck on the sidewalk. Yeah, no. So we parked on a different, wider sidewalk down the street.

         Truck rental = $185
         Gas = $75
         Labor = FREE (Thanks, church folks)
         Ticket = $75
         Accident = $0!!! (Long story short, the rental company covered it 100%. Hallelujah.)
         TOTAL = $335

Boston to North Carolina (708 miles)

Reason for moving: New job
Trip hiccups:

    1. For some reason, that same barely one-lane street we lived on didn’t get any wider. Weird. But I tetris-ed that freaking 16-footer on the sidewalk while Joanna batted her eyelashes at a questioning police officer.
    2. We gave our cat, Persie, every known over-the-counter animal sedative for our journey and surprise, surprise, they didn’t work. She pooped/peed her kennel within minutes of getting on the road (we cleaned it) and then proceeded to cry the remaining 14 hours of the trip.
    3. When we finally arrived to our temporary corporate housing at 1am, the lockbox keycode didn’t work. So we spent the next two hours finding a hotel that would take us and Persie in. We finally found one of those sketchy extended-stay places, but I had to stay up all night guarding the truck with our life’s belongings from some unsavory dudes hanging out in the parking lot.

         Truck rental = $700 (We opted for truck insurance this go around after our last little snafu)
         Gas = $270
         Labor = $30 (Hired hands on Craigslist)
         Hotel = $0 (Reimbursed by the corporate housing agency)
         TOTAL = $1000

Just rehashing each of those memories probably took three years off my life expectancy. Moving yourself certainly isn’t the easy way to go about the process, but saving money usually isn’t easy. On each move, we saved at minimum $1500 from the quoted rates we received from moving companies (which didn’t include the cost of still getting ourselves from point A to point B = more money). And if our friends’ experiences with movers is any indication of how “professionals” treat your belongings, hope you’re good with super glue.

All that being said, we’d like to keep an open mind for our next move(s). It’s not like we enjoy doing it ourselves, but the opportunity/pain cost has never outweighed the dollar cost.

Are you a self-mover? If you’ve used professional movers, was it worth the cost? Do you think we’re gypsies?

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  • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies April 1, 2013 at 7:27 am

    When I went to grad school, I scored a 18″ thick double pillow top mattress for incredibly cheap , so I have an amazing bed set. But after moving it up and down 3 flights of stairs 3 times, (and the stairs to the third floor were miniscule because it was originally servants quarters!) Mr. PoP said never again =) So we box everything, drive the truck, but hire guys for an hour on each side to carry the big stuff from the truck inside the house. It makes for a good compromise money/hassle-wise.

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      Now that sounds like a compromise I could swallow. Joanna does most of the packing (and a darn good job at that), and that’s never too much of a hassle. I feel more comfortable doing it ourselves anyway. And then I don’t mind the driving at all. It’s definitely the stairs. And awkward furniture. And boxes packed wayyyy too full of books.

      This might be the way we do it next time. Thanks.

  • Reply Lisa D April 1, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Moving is not exactly fun, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to pay anyone else to do it for me…yet. I sort of like that moving forces you to pare down your belongings and gives you a chance to start fresh. I’m moving in a month, staying with friends while I look for a place and then moving again into said place. I’m thinking multiple car trips, and possibly borrowing a friends pick-up should do the trick. Also, when it comes time to get furniture (of which I have none, great for moving, not so great for my furniture budget) I’m thinking of hiring my brother to pick some up at Ikea for me and help me assemble. Hopefully, I’ll get a family rate 🙂
    p.s. moving in and out of the North End and NYC should hopefully make the rest of your moves a leeeeeetle bit less painful. I like about 5 blocks over from the North End and grew up right outside NYC. kudos to both of you.

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      You know our pain then! The North End was a logistical nightmare. I still can’t believe we pulled that move off. But like you mentioned, decluttering is a major perk to moving. And when you only have 400 sq. ft. of space in NYC/Boston apartments, you really have no other choice. We actually loved that aspect of being forced into downsizing and getting rid of everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

      Best of luck with your upcoming move! Negotiate that family rate down to a few slices at Regina’s or dinner at Giacomo’s. 🙂

  • Reply Johnny Moneyseed April 1, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Our professions have us moving a LOT. We moved from North Carolina to Iraq, back to North Carolina. Then into one house and then into another. Just over a year ago we moved from NC to Maryland, where we currently reside. Our employer pays for movers to pack all of your crap up and bring it to your new destination, but they also offer the option to pay you, and you do all the work. You bet your butt we do the work ourselves. Plus, I don’t want some hairy, obese man packing up my wife’s underwear drawer ya know?

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Glad to know we’ve got fellow gypsy pals. I’ve actually got the same aversion to other people packing/moving my stuff. I’d spend most my time looking over their shoulders, so I might as well just use my time and money more efficiently and do it myself.

      • Reply Johnny Moneyseed April 1, 2013 at 10:52 pm

        Plus… they always break stuff, and say it was already broken so they never replace it. Anyone in the military can telling you about their TMO horror stories.

        (TMO is the department in charge of people’s moves between duties stations)

  • Reply writing2reality April 1, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Man can I totally relate! Several times I have been on the “free labor” line mentioned above. I have moved one of my best friends from the east coast to Chicago… twice. A fun drive and trip each time.

    To be honest though, I love to help people move, much more so than moving myself. Nothing wrong with carrying a few heavy boxes or a sofa up several fights of stairs to let you know you’re alive!

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Hahaha. That’s the spirit. Make sure to send me your phone number so I can give you a ring the next time we move. 😉 Since we’ve been the beneficiary of helping hands, I always try to return the favor with friends/family/church members. Otherwise my free labor might go on strike.

  • Reply My Shiny Pennies April 1, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I moved around 6 times in the last 7 years, so I feel for you guys! I started out being able to fit everything in my car then needing to ask friends for help and finally for my last move I needed to get a UHaul. As annoying as it is to move, I try to do it myself to save money. 🙂

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      I long for the days when I could load my stuff in my pickup truck. I basically just owned clothes back then. Before long, you’ll be graduating on up to a 16-footer.

  • Reply Rob April 1, 2013 at 9:16 am

    We’ve only moved twice over the years. The first move was from our rented apartment (where we first lived when we got married) into our first house. That move was done by ourselves, along with help from our friends, a rented truck, and then afterwards lots of pizza and beer! 🙂

    The second move was a company head office transfer from our Montreal house to our Toronto house, all paid for by my employer, as well as all packed and unpacked by professional movers. I let them do everything although I was still unpacking some boxes in Toronto 6 months later! 🙂

    In both moves I think we handled it correctly. The first move was entirely on our own dime. The second move was fully employer covered – moving expenses, real estate / legal fees, tax paid housing assistance (spread over 10 years) to cover the big difference in housing costs of Toronto vs Montreal. So we we lucked out.

    Until you eventually buy your first house I would say that, yes, it would look like you are gypsies 🙂

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      Ahhh, I left out the cost of the secret “free labor” ingredient: donuts for breakfast and pizza for lunch. That usually helps soften the blow. 🙂

      My oh my, you’ve live quite the charmed moving life. That an incredible opportunity you found in Toronto. It sounds like we need to put you to work on our next move to make up for all those lost years/moves. 🙂

      • Reply Rob April 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm

        I’ll happily volunteer to help on your next move – but on one condition:
        I do my best work only if there’s sufficient Canadian brewski available afterwards, stuff that has sufficient alcohol content. Unless of course you can guarantee that you have some U.S. beer that also meets that criterion ! Deal? 🙂

  • Reply Carrie April 1, 2013 at 9:20 am

    We moved from Alabama to DC metro to Georgia driving our own rental truck. Not fun, but not awful either. When we moved within the DC area, we hired movers. When it came time to unpack the truck at our new apartment, they presented a bill that was about twice the quote. We ended up paying just to get our stuff, then took another two months or so to get some of it refunded back to us. We moved about 40 miles three years ago and hired Three Men and a Truck. They were awesome! We didn’t have them pack boxes or anything, but it was much easier to hire people to load the truck, drive, and unload all our junk. I was able to keep the girls out of the way while the hubs helped unload/direct movers. We had a really good experience with that company. I would personally be nervous to hire people off Craigslist, but it is interesting to hear that you had a good experience with it.

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      That’s lame about the misquote. That’s one of my biggest concerns going with a company. I’m glad to hear the Three Men and a Truck service worked out better. Now that we have our Baby Girl, I’ll likely lose Joanna’s help which means I’ll probably need some hired help. So it’s good to hear there’s reasonably priced and reputable services out there.

  • Reply Moonwaves April 1, 2013 at 9:21 am

    When I lived in Dublin, I used to just move using my car. Multiple trips over the course of a couple of weeks, usually after work (it was practically impossible to get away with not having overlapping rent periods). Hated almost every second of it. My last move was from Ireland to Germany and since I had no time off between jobs, I was happy to just pay someone else to do it. Even if I wasn’t so happy about having to find the nearly 2,000 euro to do it.

    The company’s website said explicitly not to pack stuff yourself as they would do it properly but they obviously hadn’t passed that information on to the two guys who turned up to pack my stuff up. Lesson No. 1, the salesman will tell you everything you want to hear and make all kinds of promises – the guys doing the actual moving often won’t have heard any of what you’ve discussed. Next time round, I’ll still pay someone to move everything, especially now that I have a full apartment of furniture and not just a few small pieces. But I’ll be getting packing materials and putting everything in boxes myself because I can definitely do a better job than they did. I don’t remember anything breaking although there were two bowls stuck inside each other for months afterwards. I refused to throw them out because one is a favourite small pyrex mixing bowl and even though I could probably have replaced both of them for a couple of euro it was the principle of the thing. So every once in a while I’d try pulling them apart and anything else I could think of – one day it just worked and I was a happy camper again.

    Lesson No. 2, at least for moving countries, is to contact the company in your destination and make sure they’ve been told everything (see Lesson No. 1 above, salesman didn’t pass on any of the information that I knew was important for the German side of things). I arranged for everything to be picked up about two weeks before I left myself, as I didn’t want to have to wait too long for things once I got to Germany (it was supposed to take between 4 and 6 weeks). I kept a few suitcases worth of basics to get me through the first few weeks. And the week before I arrived in Germany got a phone call from the truck driver to confirm my address! At least he was able to just hand the stuff over to their German partners and they kept it in storage for me. Made an appointment to deliver it to me the Monday after I arrived and then turned up the Thursday before that, just after I had gotten the keys of my apartment and was heading off to Ikea to buy a mattress to sleep on. Turns out German offices don’t speak a whole lot with the guys out on the road either. Anyway, apart from the fact that they hadn’t applied for a parking permit for the delivery zone right outside my building (tram runs along the road outside so you can’t just park there and expect people to go around) and had to wait for the ordinary parking next door to become available, not bringing along one of those conveyor belt lift things to get the stuff up to the 4th floor window rather than having to carry it up the stair (no lift in my building) on the hottest, most humid day of the year, and the Germans giving out because the Irish guys hadn’t used proper moving boxes with handles, everything went fine! And despite the cost, living on the 4th floor with no lift makes me fairly certain that the next time I have to move, I’ll find the money to pay someone to do it for me.

    P.S. Did you activate some new advertising on your blog. I now have to close ads to read anything, switch to comments, etc. Kind of annoying (so far they’ve all been AOL ads).

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      I loved your story of persistence with your stuck bowls. 🙂 That’s awesome that you finally conquered the challenge! Here we are complaining about moving between states. I’m sure moving between countries can prove to be an even bigger headache.

      Our current townhouse is our first place without having to move up stairs… hallelujah! When we lived in Boston, we’d actually see the crane lifting things to move things in and out of windows. I imagine they’re pretty expensive (out here at least) and since I was hardly even willing to spend a dime on helping hands, that would probably be out of the question.

      No new advertising system. I was actually trying to get something to work for April Fool’s Day… but to no avail. 🙂 Thanks for the heads up.

  • Reply My Financial Independence Journey April 1, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I’ve moved across country a number of times thanks to all my education and training. I’ve used friends, I’ve had relatives mail me stuff, I’ve don’t just about every method. My most recent move involved professional movers. I had a great experience. No stress, no hassles. I will not try moving myself again. As far as I’m concerned professional movers are worth the money.

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      I genuinely believe that professional movers could be worth the cost. I’ve just heard so many horror stories about negligent movers and misleading quote tactics that I’m hesitant to jump in to that world. If, and when, we use professional movers, I’ll need to have some pretty solid word-of-mouth referrals before I pull the trigger.

  • Reply Michelle April 1, 2013 at 9:37 am

    We’ve moved a lot too (I think we’ve lived in 4 places now), but nothing major like what you just said! Mostly just across town moves. I think we’ve decided that for when we buy our next house next year, that we will hire movers to help us out. However, I keep hearing about moving scams where the company steals your stuff, so I am nervous about that!

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      A move is a move is a move. Across town or across the country, you’ve still gotta put your things in boxes and trucks. And that’s never fun.

  • Reply Emory April 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

    My husband and I have only been married for a little less than a year, but we have been dating for several before that and both had the blessed experience of moving every year for the last five years. Granted, moving from one dorm room back home to another dorm room several months later wasn’t that bad. But once I got into my own apartment things got interesting. We discovered that you can in fact fit both a twin size mattress and box spring into the trunk of a Toyota Camry and move it quite a distance. I also discovered that moving a rolling desk up two flights of stairs alone was not a great idea. Ouch! But, in all of the fun that has been moving my husband was available along with many friends and we have managed it. But we are looking forward to not moving again for some time because frankly, moving makes me want to throw away almost everything I own and buy new-to-me items whenever I get where I am going.

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      What?!!! Unless I see photos of the twin size mattress and box spring in the trunk of a Camry, it didn’t happen. 🙂 That’s insane!

      What we have done with most of our moves is sell off a lot of our furniture on Craigslist to lighten our load, and then buy new or new-to-us-used furniture. I don’t think a single sofa has ever made its way into the back of our moving truck. The exception is our mattress, which has followed us our entire marriage.

  • Reply Mrs. 1500 April 1, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Writing2reality, we are moving soon. Want to come lift some boxes to know you are alive?

    We recently moved from Wisconsin to Colorado. We drove the UHaul ourselves, but paid Three Men and a Truck to load it for us, and we are so glad we did. We have waaaaay more stuff than we need, and would never have fit it into the truck ourselves. The way they packed was like art.

    My dad was a pretty heavy hitter in his industry, and when the company asked him to move, they paid for it. $18,000 to pack boxes, load the truck, drive it from Illinois to Texas, then unpack.

    My parents had broken furniture, and actually received two boxes of collectible trains that were not theirs. They tried to give them back to the company, but the company had no record of them missing from any other move. Very weird. The moving company paid for replacement furniture, but for $18,000, I think they could afford it.

    Our move resulted in a couple of broken things that were in the trailer we packed ourselves. A couple of broken totes, too but overall, we lost almost nothing, although one table shattered in a most spectacular fashion.

    • Reply Johnny April 1, 2013 at 11:38 pm

      That’s the second Three Men and a Truck recommendation. We’ll have to look into them. But I will admit, the part I enjoy the most of moving is figuring out how to fit everything in the truck. It’s like a giant puzzle or game of Tetris for me. And yes, I’m fully aware I’m probably not well in the head.

      $18,000 for a move! That’s crazy. I’d hope they would take your family’s replacements seriously for that kinda cash.

  • Reply Miranda April 1, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Oh man. I hate moving. Who doesn’t? We have been pretty lucky to have only ever moved within our city so no long treks for us. We’ve also had the wonderful gift of having my mom work for a storage facility so we got a huge discount on our truck rental every time. We’ve probably never paid more than $50 to move. But this last time that we moved was a total beating. The ink was barely dry on our mortgage papers when we had a major family emergency. My dad had been in a motorcycle accident and was on life support. We were trying to figure out how we were going to get everything from our apartment to our house and still be able to be at the hospital with him. We had to get all of our stuff out of our apartment within a few days. I would have given anything to be able to call someone and let them move it all, but there was just no money in the budget. Ultimately we just had to spend one absolutely miserable day in the Texas summer heat, getting it done. We just threw things in the truck and then unloaded everything in the garage and left it there. Luckily, we were still able to have plenty of family time in the hospital before my dad eventually passed away. That move will go down in the books as the ‘worst move ever’ and hopefully we will never have to experience anything like that again.

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 12:26 am

      Wow, that certainly puts things in perspective. I can’t even imagine trying to get through a move with that going on. No number of stairs, broken items, or degrees of blistering heat can compare to a situation like yours. Sorry for your loss, and thanks for sharing.

      Here’s to better, brighter moves ahead.

  • Reply Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle April 1, 2013 at 10:15 am

    There comes a time when you can’t bother your friends to help you move.

    It is amazing how fast a reputable mover can load and unload all your stuff without dinging the walls or scratching the floor. Movers are expensive and friends are cheap but if you have to surrender part of your security deposit because of the tear in the vinyl when the fridge was moved….

    When you start to have good stuff you don’t want your friends being rough with it. If friends scratch your dining room table you just say oh well and buy a nice table cloth. If movers scratch your table you can negotiate a lower bill or ask for them to pay for a repair.

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 12:33 am

      That’s a very good point. I know that I’ve accidentally dinged my fair share of possessions during moves. And that wasn’t coming out of anybody’s pocket but my own. Every time we’ve had friends help, Joanna and I have had the conversation beforehand that should anyone break anything, we wouldn’t freak out. Lucky for us, we’ve had a pretty good streak without many damaged items.

  • Reply Grayson @ Debt RoundUp April 1, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I have always moved myself and when my wife and I moved into our house, I did that as well. I am on the fence about moving us into our next home whenever that happens. I just don’t know if I will have the energy to do it. It is exhausting, but it saves a lot of money.

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 12:49 am

      The new wrinkle to the self-moving equation that I’m not totally sure about is doing it with a child. The packing phase has always been relatively easy with the two of us, but there’s no way we’d be even half as efficient right now with our girl.

  • Reply Mark April 1, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Six years ago we moved from Utah to Idaho; 5 years ago we moved back. On the way up, the company I was working for paid for the whole deal: guys came and put everything in boxes, loaded the truck, drove the stuff up and unpacked in the new house. On the way back, we had no more employer (woohoo) so I packed the whole thing myself, drove it down, and unpacked with friends and family. Having movers help was great, but I don’t think I’d ever spend the money to avoid taking care of it myself.

    But I don’t envy the frequency of your moves. When you going to put down some roots?

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 12:53 am

      The last few moves I’ve been given relocation stipends, but I always pocket the extra from moving myself. But I wouldn’t mind if a future employer forced my hand and made me use a moving service.

      You asked the million dollar question about putting down roots. We’re thinking our next move will be the one. Most of our families, friends, comforts are out west, so we’ll probably wait a few years before picking up our quasi-East Coast roots.

  • Reply Chris April 1, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I’ve moved 6 times from when I left for college til I graduated. Every single move involved a ton of trips and a complete disorganized mess. I liked to throw everything in the back seat or bed of my truck and then drive over (it was a small town) to my new house and unload into a massive pile, rinse & repeat. Next time I move I plan to really not have much. I currently don’t own furniture. Just a bed, clothes, and dishes. The rest is all junk, so I’ll be doing a lot of donating. I would like to be able to fit everything I own into the bed of my truck. One trip, no headaches :). Do you think you’ll stick around North Carolina for a while or is your nomadic nature soon to be calling?

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 12:57 am

      For the disorganized mess you claim, it sounds like there’s actually quite a bit of method to the madness. Especially since you’ve done it so many times now. And we need to get you to an Ikea, unless your zen is eating on the floor in empty rooms. That actually doesn’t sound half bad.

      The nomad in us is dormant for now. There’s no telling when it might wake up, but I’d give NC a few more years before we make another cross-country move.

  • Reply Jennifer April 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I’ve moved 4 times in the past 5 years. The only time I’ve paid anyone to help was the last time which was 2 weeks ago because I’m pregnant and put on weight lifting restrictions. And I only paid this kids $20 bucks to help my Dad lift stuff. I’ve always just used my parents van and trailer to move but then again I’ve only moved to different parts of town.

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 12:59 am

      Ahh, yes, the old pregnancy excuse. I’m kidding. Joanna would kick me for even writing that. When we moved from Boston, Joanna was pregnant, too, so no lifting for her. She was still super helpful with packing things and organizing/directing movers on moving day.

      $20 is a steal of a move. Hope you’re settling in nice.

  • Reply Newlyweds on a Budget April 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    We’ve used the Friends and Family Moving Co. for our past three moves, but it’s also because we’ve been particularly poor. For our future move a couple of years from now (hopefully into our own house!) , I definitely hope we can hire movers. It would cost us about $500 and we wouldn’t have to be as exhausted. And maybe our friends and family will love us again. My husband’s work for the fire department though, so I’m sure we could get some cheap additional labor too ; )

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 1:06 am

      Love that moving company. 🙂 Lucky for those friends and fam, we’ve spread the opportunities wide and far across the country, so most of them have only had the pleasure of helping us once.

      I would definitely give the fire department a shot. But if they’ve got more important things to do (like saving lives), $500 really ain’t that bad. I’d totally consider that type of cost.

  • Reply Blair@LifeDollarsandSense April 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Ugh moving is the worst. My last move was with just a pick-up truck and about 7 trips. My next move will be cross country and I am hoping to go lean and only take what fits in my tiny car or can be shipped UPS. I will work on the rest when I get there haha.

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 1:15 am

      That’s really not a terrible strategy. I actually did all the math on selling all of our stuff and just flying out to NYC with suitcases and dealing with furniture and stuff when we got there. Unfortunately for us, we’d be taking too many losses and the math just didn’t add up.

  • Reply JW_Umbrella Treasury April 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I’ve also moved a lot and really hate it. With the exception of going to college (CA to PA), most of my moves have been local. But even so, it’s such a stressful process all around. Since my husband and I started dating, he has helped me move every time. Usually a few things end up broken, but nothing major. But now that we have actually started to accumulate some nicer furniture, it might be time to consider hiring pros.

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 1:20 am

      Like you, we’re considering going with professionals next time because we’ve finally invested in some nice furniture. I think I’m probably capable of handling, but I wouldn’t mind blaming someone else if something goes wrong. 🙂

  • Reply Joshua April 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I had an inkling you guys were in North Carolina. So are we. Too bad we are no longer in the Research Triangle though, otherwise we could meet up and y’all could teach us a thing or two on how to run a PF blog!

    In terms of moving. I’m so done with it. I just want to know that I’m going to be in a place for a good long while and have a permanent address. I think I’ve moved a total of at least 8 times in the past 6 years. The last move was the first move as a married couple, so I was fortunate enough that the wifey did most of the packing, while I finished up the last couple days of work. 😉 We did the whole rental U-Haul shindig, and my new job reimbursed us. We’ll probably do the same when we move again, especially since we are still just the two of us, and our stuff only takes up an apartment/condo. I think as we move up into a house, start to have a family, that’s when professional movers might be more of an option – for our mental health’s sake.

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 1:29 am

      Bummer man. We could use some old-timers to show us around the area still.

      And we are so ready to plant roots, too. We’ll probably stay here longer than we’ve stayed anywhere else to date, but we’re still pretty sure that another move is in the cards in the next five years or so. And when that time comes, I sure hope my mental health breaks down my frugal barrier.

  • Reply Lacy @EarnVerse April 1, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Funnily enough yesterday I filled out an application for my summer internship where I had to fill out my housing history. Turns out I have moved over 16 times in 10 years. Not fun, as I am sure yall understand.

    Somewhere along the way I started using a mover to just take my stuff from point A to point B. My dad had a friend who would give me a sweat deal, and when you did the cost comparison between gas, multiple trips, and truck rental we ended up saving just a bit or coming out even.

    Now that I am in the NYC area I will only use a mover. With parking restrictions, tickets, permit fees, yada yada, they can just do it faster. Typically it cost me about $400 per move around the city. I can always get them cheap because we pack everything up in boxes and place it in the front room so it is easy to load, and then just have them unload everything in the front room of the next place. If you have to hire a guy with a truck, I highly recommend this method.

    • Reply Johnny April 2, 2013 at 1:33 am

      16 times in 10 years! You got us beat, Lacy!

      We could never find a quote even remotely close to our self-moving costs. But if we had, we would have jumped on the offer like you’ve done. And as far as NYC goes, if we were to ever move back to NYC, we’d definitely pay a mover. Way too much crazy going on in that city with moving.

  • Reply Do or Debt April 2, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Wow, you guys have been around! Moving is never fun. I’ve lived in three different states in three years and lived in 5 places in the same time. It feels nice to stay at my current place for over a year now. I moved from LA to NYC for school and NYC to Portland for love.

    I’ve always moved myself, but have never had much so it wasn’t such a big issue.

    • Reply Johnny April 3, 2013 at 1:13 am

      Those are three good states to live in. We’ve loved living in each and every location thus far. Like you, we’re looking forward to reaching our year mark in a few months and see no reason why we won’t keep going strong out here.

  • Reply Linda April 2, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Move #1 from parents to my own place – did it myself with help from family. Hired a trailer for the big things, and borrowed boyfriend’s Mom’s small pickup truck to take the boxes and 4 foot aquarium. Moving the poor fish was the scariest. It really helped to have very few things.

    Move #2 was overseas to the other side of the world, so I had to pay 😀 I found a local company, highly recommended, and double checked their price. Opted out of the breakage/theft insurance, and only paid for total loss insurance, which cut down on costs a bit. We should have gotten rid of more stuff though!

    Move #3 was just 10km away to another rental, but we hired again. At this stage we had accumulated too much stuff and heavy furniture, and not having family/friends around to help meant it would be us and maybe 2 others at best! We did end up moving several car trips worth of boxes anyway, to try keep moving time under 1 hour – didn’t happen, but we tried!

    Biggest hilarity of the latest move was discovering our fancy new corner couch wouldn’t fit past the doorway into the lounge, so guess who now has a ginormous bedroom and cosy small lounge!

    • Reply Johnny April 3, 2013 at 1:16 am

      Woah, I’ve never even thought about how one goes about transporting fish! I bet that was super scary and stressful. And that’s hilarious about your lounge. We bought a corner couch once we moved here, but it came disassembled so there was a problem getting it in. But now that it’s assembled, I really hope I won’t have to break it down again.

  • Reply April 2, 2013 at 10:51 am

    My husband and I are moving this summer and we don’t plan to use a moving company and are going to try to pack it all in trailers owned by family and friends. Our current goal is to get rid of as much stuff as possible so we won’t have to move it! Gives us a whole new reason to be more minimal.

    • Reply Johnny April 3, 2013 at 1:18 am

      Downsizing is one veiled perk of moving. We always end up getting rid of a ton of crap and furniture we don’t need/like right before moves. And your family/friends/free labor help will appreciate you lightening their load, too. 🙂

  • Reply Becca April 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I’m a college student going to school 8 hours away from home, which means lots of car trips with my unhappy cat. The last two trips, I let her loose-ish on her leash, which was connected to some random hook thing in the trunk, and she was a much happier kitty than cooped up in her carrier. I know that in theory, it is probably slightly less safe than her carrier, but it might be worth trying something different next time you take a long car trip with Persie.

    • Reply Johnny April 3, 2013 at 1:28 am

      We weren’t super worried about safety as much as we didn’t want to overstimulate her senses. We pulled her out of the carrier a couple times and she’d stare out the window and start to hyperventilate. So we’d put her back in the carrier. But I wonder if she’s respond well with what you did. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Reply Meghan April 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm

        My cat goes crazy in a carrier. About 12 years ago, when he was 2, I drove a 20 something foot U Haul with my car on a trailer on the back from Mobile, AL to Denver, CO. I was 18 and nervous, especially when it started raining, and the cat could tell. He then proceeded to poop on me while I was driving! No lie.

        I’m about to move from Denver to DC and have the same cat. I really hope we don’t have a repeat of June 2001. PS – I think I’m doing a UHaul again. I have to drive, so I might as well drive my stuff. Movers will be hired for the loading and unloading though.

        • Reply Johnny April 5, 2013 at 12:21 am

          Oh man…that’s awful. Cats are pretty amazing with picking up on human emotions. Too bad their responses to those emotions aren’t always the most logical :).

          “I have to drive, so I might as well drive my stuff.” Yep. That’s totally our logic right there. Best of luck with your move. And here’s hoping your fluffball spares your pants this time around.

      • Reply Russ February 18, 2014 at 2:20 am

        On moving an animal , say a cat or dog maybe take the animal in your car a few times 2 weeks before your move to allow the animal to get use to motion of the vehicle.

  • Reply Becky @ RunFunDone April 4, 2013 at 12:29 am

    In the last 5 years, I’ve moved…5 times. The first 3 residences were within 30 miles of one another. Then there was a 3000 mile move. Then a 3000 mile move back. Then a 2000ish mile move. I’ve never hired movers ever! Additionally, I actually bought a 5×7 trailer so that I didn’t have to keep renting trailers. In the long run, it’s saved a lot of money. Plus, when I lived in FL my apartment was tiny, so I used the trailer for storage! 🙂

    • Reply Johnny April 4, 2013 at 1:55 am

      Woah, we’re just going to hire you to take care of our move next time. You’re a seasoned pro! Smart thinking on the trailer. Moving or not, that thing will always be useful for something, like your nifty storage solution. I like the way you think.

  • Reply The Norwegian Girl April 4, 2013 at 8:41 am

    we`re a self mover for sure. We`ve moved so many times, but we`ve always borrowed cars and gotten family to help, so it has never cost us much money.

  • Reply Aggressively Pursuing A Dream, the Roundup #8 | WriteYourOwnReality April 18, 2013 at 12:24 am

    […] Freaking Budget: Pros and Cons of Moving Yourself – Johnny breaks down some of the costs of his and Joanna’s more recent moves. While moving […]

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