General Question

deni's avatar

What is the cheapest/most efficient way for me to move 900 miles?

Asked by deni (23042points) 1 month ago

I’m moving! And I’m really excited! But! I’m having a hard time figuring out what route to take as far as the LITERAL move goes. Here are the details:

I do not have very much stuff. The only furniture I’d like to take is my queen bed and box spring, and my dresser ideally. On top of that, I have the usual: clothes, some kitchen stuff, and a lot of camping gear. I have far less than the average single person. I believe most of my belongings other than the furniture I mentioned would fit in my Ford Escape in one trip. BUT, I’m not willing to get rid of my bed, so that is not an option.

Anyhow, I also have a cat which must be considered of course. And I have a ton of houseplants, most of which are very dear to me and I would like to take the large majority of them. Some I will leave behind, but most I will take, and this is non negotiable.

So:
-Bed/box spring
-Dresser
-Cat
-Plants

Those are the essentials.

Originally I thought that getting a hitch installed would be the easiest, and a trailer would be the cheapest to rent, but it is seeming that when all is said and done with the hitch, plus trailer rental from point A to point B, it would not be much cheaper than just renting the smallest Uhaul here and dropping it off when I get there, and having someone else drive my car. (I know then that gas would be more expensive, just ideas here)

Also, I don’t really want a hitch and I will probably never use it again.

I haven’t moved cross country in 11 years and back then I had no furniture and no belongings really as I was just moving out of my parents house. That was really easy and this is not. I would of course like to keep costs as low as possible, so I’m just wondering if maybe some of yall have done this more than me and know the cheapest way or can think of a better idea.

If it matters, I am moving from Boulder, Colorado to Tucson, Arizona probably in early January if everything works out with housing.

Thanks so much in advance for any ideas.

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19 Answers

janbb's avatar

My goodness, I can remember when you asked us about moving out there and what route to take!

I think you’re idea of the Uhaul one way rental is probably as cheap as you can do it even with having to pay double for gas.

jca2's avatar

I think the smallest U-Haul is not the best way to go. I’ve seen them and they’re pretty small (it’s not the truck one, it hitches to your vehicle and they’re about 8×8). In my opinion, the U-Haul that’s like a small box truck is the best way to go, because what you don’t think looks like a lot of stuff will be when you load it up. Plus the plants take up space. Put the bed, the camping stuff, the boxes of stuff plus the plants in the U-Haul. In your vehicle goes the cat and you plus personal stuff you need with you and whatever else fits. The U-Haul will be driven by a friend. The personal vehicle will be driven by you, so you are responsible for the cat and there are no mishaps, plus the cat will be most comfortable in the vehicle with you.

deni's avatar

@jca2 Ok…thank you…I just kinda assumed I could shove everything in, but you’re right, the plants need space and with the cost being comparable there is no reason to push it!

@janbb That is sooo wild wow! It just popped up on my related questions as well, so funny! Man we’ve been on this site for a WHILE!

janbb's avatar

@deni Yes, and I didn’t even have to see it on the related questions; I just remembered it.

Jeruba's avatar

Do you have to cross any mountains? I’m assuming yes, given your endpoints. That would be a big consideration in my mind if I were contemplating driving anything big, especially a trailer. Which I wouldn’t.

When I moved cross country (East Coast to West), I packed everything myself and hired a mover to transport all but two suitcases’ worth. There were three other customers’ loads on the truck, and they charged me proportionately. I would do the same again, if it came to that.

At the time that I moved, I hadn’t seen the Rockies from the road, but I have since, and I probably would have driven off the edge just to end the anxiety.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba‘s idea is a good one too. We used part of a moving van delivery to bring furniture to Florida once. Not sure how it compares financially to renting a Uhaul but much less stressful.

seawulf575's avatar

You could rent a U-Haul trailer and they will rent you a hitch. Install it and take it off when you are done. That gets you to your destination with your own vehicle and you aren’t stuck buying a hitch you may never use again.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I agree with @seawulf575 – but one factor – what vehicle will be pulling the trailer? A Mazda Miata, for example, isn’t good for towing. A Honda Civic isn’t much better.

Pandora's avatar

I don’t know about cheaper but why don’t you get one of those moving pods. You won’t have to involve anyone to drive your car and then pay for their transportation back. You have a pod delivered pack up your stuff and have them pick it up and deliver it to your new place. Take plants and animals and some wardrobe in your truck of course. I believe they charge by the size. Or you can rent one of those closed in trailers that you hitch to your car. Your stuff is secure and again you won’t need to drive with someone and you drop everything. It sounds like you have way little to take. So this would be by far the cheapest way.

JLeslie's avatar

The suggestion @Jeruba made is what I first thought. Especially if you have some flexibility the movers can add you onto a load already traveling your direction. Even if you sleep on the floor a few days in your new place waiting for your furniture. Make sure you have multiple blankets, pillows, towels, any necessities packed in your car. Mark the boxes well so you know what’s inside. Write the contents on the side of the box not the top.

I would seriously consider selling your bed (is it sentimental or you just love it) dresser, all the furniture. I regret not being more willing to sell my stuff, but I understand the feeling of not wanting to. If you do decide to sell your furniture you can pack your car to the hilt, and then mail lighter weight items that don’t fit through UPS or USPS ground.

Does the bed break down flat and just the mattress and box spring are huge?

seawulf575's avatar

@elbanditoroso I thought he said he had a Ford Escape. That should be able to pull one of the smaller trailers.

janbb's avatar

@seawulf575 Deni is a woman if that matters.

seawulf575's avatar

@janbb Okay. It really doesn’t matter much. U-Haul will install and remove the hitch if that is a worry.

janbb's avatar

^^ It doesn’t matter – just an FYI.

deni's avatar

@seawulf575 I was not under the impression they “rented” hitches. I didn’t see that as an option on the website and when I spoke to someone on the phone they also did not mention it. But, I think like others mentioned, the tiniest trailer Uhaul rents, which is the one I was imagining in the “hitch” scenario, is a bit small anyhow. The plants just take up a lot of room.

@Jeruba No, actually i don’t have to cross any mountains. I take i25 all the way down to southern new Mexico, then across to Tucson. So much less stress than going over the multiple passes in the Rockies, and just as quick!

@Pandora Those are about $600 extra from my calculations so far, and while they ARE convenient, it would be nice to have someone with me anyhow. A couple of my friends have proposed coming just to get away, and to help, and it would be a nice send off I must admit. So I disqualified the pods a while ago.

@JLeslie I could sell my bed, but it’s a really nice and fairly expensive mattress that my mom got me not that long ago, and because I’d like to take my dresser too I suppose I just don’t see why it would be worth the hassle to get rid of it. Plus, with all the plants, I will need extra room, and I’d rather not have to cram things and worry about space, like someone pointed out yesterday :)

kritiper's avatar

Rent a U-Haul that is big enough to contain the car and all your stuff in the back. Don’t forget to strap down the car so it cannot move!

JLeslie's avatar

@deni I completely understand.

YARNLADY's avatar

U-haul also has trailers to pull your car behind their rental truck. Probably easier than trying to get the car inside and out of a truck.

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