Checklist to Save Money When Moving Cross-Country as a Student

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December 12, 2022
Last updated:
April 23, 2024
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Moving is a huge milestone in your student life, but it's not an easy feat. Moving cross-country is even more challenging. It's an extensive process that requires a lot of planning. The cost isn't cheap either. A long-distance move will cost you an average of $4,000 to $10,000. Of course, this amount is just an average and is subject to change depending on where you are moving and what you bring along. The price might sound overwhelming, but don't worry. You can take advantage of various strategies to make your move a bit more affordable.

Purge your belongings.

Take a look around your current home. Consider which things are necessities and which are nonessential or unused. You may have extra clothes you don't wear or don't want, not to mention those forgotten items pushed under your bed. If this is the case, now is probably the best time to declutter. Lightening up your load will help you save a lot in moving costs and in time as well. Organize a yard sale or list items for sale online. You can even donate certain belongings to charities. No matter how you minimize, you'll undoubtedly benefit from having fewer possessions to move.

Determine the logistics.

Early in the planning process, it's best to explore your options for logistics. Look into more inexpensive moving companies and choose the best based on convenience and your timeline. Company reviews should lead you to reputable businesses. Also, don't forget to check out low-cost car shipping if you need to transport your vehicle.

Choose a place ideal for students.

Create a list of your dream student home pre-requisites. Make sure your chosen residence is affordable, well-maintained, and has reliable connectivity for your studies. Location is also important. Try to position your new place close to your school and convenient to shops. Reviews, especially from other students, can help you determine if it's a good spot with good management.

Make your move seasonal.

Moving during summer is the most expensive due to many families settling in before the new school year. On top of this, moving companies tend to stay booked around the last week of the month. Try to avoid that time, so you'll have more booking options. There's less competition to schedule movers when you avoid those rushes.

Be on the lookout for moving discounts.

While you're doing your research and checking various moving companies, don't forget to ask if they have available discounts. Some moving companies offer promos and lower rates during certain months, especially in slower seasons. Quite a few give student discounts, so don't forget to mention that, too.

Consider a DIY move.

Moving everything yourself is another great option to save you quite a sum of cash. Labour costs aren't cheap and can be the most considerable expense of hiring movers. Check out affordable truck rentals, as most are reasonably priced. Most companies also offer one-way rental trucks, making it even more convenient.

Handling the moving process is one of the best ways to save money when moving. However, it does take a lot of time and effort. So, keep that in mind should you choose to do it yourself.

Rent a portable moving container.

Mobile storage units are extremely convenient. They're also one of the cheapest ways to move long distances. The company delivers a container to your current home, and you fill it up with your belongings. Once finished, they return to pick it up and ship it to your destination. It's a useful and affordable way to store your belongings before and after the move.

Try a consolidated move.

A consolidated move is a great option if you plan to transfer into a smaller space (a studio up to a 2-bedroom apartment). In this case, you won't have a lot of things to pack and likely won't fill up the whole moving truck. Your moving company will consolidate your shipment with other customers moving from your area to near the same destination. This tactic ultimately makes a move cheaper for everyone.

Be frugal on packing supplies.

You may think packing supplies are only a tiny portion of your costs. While that can be true, saving in small ways can really add up in the long run. Instead of buying boxes, you can score used ones from grocery stores, department stores, or other recently moved folks. Buy your packing tapes and other supplies at a discount shop rather than a high-end retailer. Spending little to no money on moving supplies allows you to allocate funds to truck rental, shipping, and other unexpected expenses.

Ask for help.

It's always great to have some extra hands when packing up. Remember that labor costs can be the most expensive part of moving. Assistance from friends and family saves you money while also being fast and efficient.

Bottom line

Moving cross-country, especially for students, can be challenging. Unexpected events can arise, but adequate planning can lessen the impact of those events. Use these tips to ensure your moving experience is smooth, stress-free, and cost-effective. Good luck on your new journey!

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