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Shamrock_Frog

Long distance moving, and funding it.

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I will be moving from Texas to Indiana this summer for grad school. Did any of you make such a long move? How did you pay for it? I'm starting to get nervous about the logistics of it. I have a lot of "old" furniture so I plan on donating and not taking it with me. I have an old car but I might sell it and just drive up in a rental. (I have an old jeep but people offer to buy it all the time, so I shouldn't have much of a problem selling it).

 

What did you guys use to move? Ship anything or drive it up?

 

Just curious.

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I plan on making a large move with all my furniture. I'm hoping to take out a small personal loan to cover some of these expenses. I also plan on raising some money through a garage sale from items that I can leave behind or that I plan to repurchase after the move. I am going to rent a larger moving truck and do the loading/unloading myself (with husband, friends, family, anyone from the new program I'll be attending, etc). Since there's furniture involved, it isn't economical for the pods/containers services that move your items in a crate. I plan on selling my old vehicle and leaving it behind. I am also curious what others are doing. I envy those on the results whose programs are providing an amount for moving expenses!

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Hey! I'm also moving from Texas to Indiana this summer for grad school. I'm renting a U-Haul truck and a friend is going to just roadtrip it with me following along in my car. I'm going to hire movers to load/unload the truck, but otherwise I'll be moving an entire apartment's worth of furniture pretty much on my own.

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Last year me and my wife moved about 1300 miles. As I already had my BA prior to applying I was already working and used the money we saved to rent a U-haul truck. We sold the one car and towed the other behind the truck and drove. From what I recall, it ended up costing us a couple grand for travel expenses, not including the deposit for the apartment and rent. Unfortunately, I don't believe we can deduct moving expenses when it's for education, but if it was a job they could be deducted from taxes.

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I moved from Arizona to Maryland. Most of my belongings weren't worth a lot (ie the cost of a UHaul would have been more than the cost of buying new items), so I decided to sell what I could and then move the rest in my car. This worked out well for me since the apartment I moved into was semi-furnished and also very small. You may want to ask the department if they cover any costs. I was able to get some costs covered (and it never hurts to ask). 

You might want to also look into shipping via Amtrak or by bus (ie Greyhound), and bulk mailing things like books via postal service media mail if you're looking to save on space during the move.

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I moved from the most southwest end of the country to the most southeast end of the country.

 

- Sold / gave away my furnitures

- Sold large electronics/appliances

- Sold books that I don't need to carry with me

- Shipped books, a bike, some clothes, small electronics to the new location by UPS (gathered boxes from my research building)

- Flew myself to the new location

 

I know two friends of mine who are also from the same state to where I am -- they drove all the way to here, with their books, clothes, and electronics (specifically computer and peripherals).

 

There is another thread about how to reduce costs to move cross-country, coast-to-coast. Just look it up.

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You know, I just kind of assumed I'd rent a a Uhaul and drive all of my stuff to wherever I may be moving. My husband and I don't actually have a ton of stuff, and the biggest thing is my queen size matress.

Though I haven't been accepted yet, my two most likely acceptances would be in Oregon and Florida. I live in Pennsylvania. I just looked up the price of Uhauls, and even the smallest truck would be over $3000 to take it to Oregon. Florida is much more affordable, with the 10' truck at $890 and the 15' at about $1000.

I'm pretty sure it would be more economical to bring all of our stuff to Florida, but I don't think the same is true for Oregon. The only issue is that I'm not sure we could really mail his insulator collection, and there's no way he'll leave it behind.

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You look into all the moving options, so not just U-Haul but the other companies that rent trucks, plus the other moving services like ABF U-Pack, U-haul U-Box, PODS, etc. There are several and you can find them online.

 

To pay for it, you can look into personal loans, 0% introductory rates on credit cards (which would allow you to charge the move now and then pay it off slowly over 6-18 months depending on the terms of the specific card), help from parents, etc. Some programs will have extra funds to help. Some graduate schools (as in the entire grad school, not just your program) offer low interest loans or scholarships to help with moving expenses. 

 

And yes, definitely find the threads about moving long distance or cross-country from previous years.

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My wife and I used a UHaul U-box from near Toronto to Southern California, a really long distance! We sold or donated most of our big furniture and just kept everything that is high value (we considered the value per unit volume). Our mattress and couch make up most of our value. We ended up paying about $1800 total to move it all. We paid for it from our savings since my graduate stipend in Canada was pretty good and with my spouse working as well, we were able to save up some money.

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Since seeing this thread, I've been looking around at the various moving options and coming up with figures for my most expensive and farthest scenario of Oregon. Thinking it over, I don't think attempting to pack up the car and mail the rest is going to be cheaper, since we would have to leave behind big furniture like dressers, tables, etc (and would have to buy this at our destination). The cheapest truck rental I found so far was Penske for about $2000 (with AAA discount) and I'm pretty sure we could fit all of our stuff in it. However, gas for the trip is going to be around $1200.

The Uhaul U-box seems to be the most affordable option at around $1800 since no gas is required. However, it's smaller than a truck. I think I wouldn't object to getting rid of our couch, coffee table, and end tables since these were all hand-me-downs from my parents and are pretty beat up. We could certainly live without them for a few months until stipend money rolls in.

TakeruK, what all did you transport in your u-box? Aside from your mattress and couch, was there any other furniture or just boxes/bags of smaller belongings? Ideally, I would like to pack 2 dressers, a mattress and box spring, a small armoire, bed frame (which disassembles), a kayak, and then as many boxes as we can fit. Maybe a smaller flat screen tv, too.

In a perfect world, I'd also like to take my desk, two night stands, kitchen table, chairs, and entertainment center since they are practically like new. However, everything but the kitchen table and chairs are cheap walmart stuff and I'd probably need a second u-box to fit it.

I feel like I really don't have that much stuff, but when you add in my husband's things, I guess we have a lot.

Right now I have $1000 saved towards relocating expenses. I have a two-month job lined up for the summer, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to put at least $1500 of my earnings towards the fund. I think that should cover all of our actual moving expenses. We will still need money for apartment deposits, which we may get from selling one of our cars. However, we haven't decided if we want to do that or not. I think my parents are planning on helping us out a little, so that might end up being another source of cash.

Now, if I end up attending an east coast school instead, as I mentioned before, a truck rental is around $1000 and gas wouldn't be too horrible. So I would probably take everything with me, and our existing funding situation should be sufficient to cover moving costs and deposits.

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I'm moving from Colorado to New York for school in the fall. I've figured out that I have three options:

 

1.) Rent a 10' Budget Truck (cheapest of the Big 3 companies) at around $740 for 10 days and unlimited mileage + an ungodly amount of gas money. My parents want to help, so they'd fly out to me and help with driving by either driving the Budget Truck or my small pickup (Ranger). This options includes taking everything in my small 1bd apt in the two vehicles.

 

2.) My mom & stepdad have access to an enclosed trailer and my dad has access to an open utility trailer (w/ 2' walls). They would drive out and we'd load all my things in those two trailers and my pickup bed. Again, a lot of gas. They don't expect me to pay for their vehicle gas, but I feel bad about it because it's about 1000 miles to my place, 2000 miles (incl some fun stops we're planning), and then 1000 miles back to their homes. 

 

3.) Sell my big things and re-purchase after moving, so I can just take what fits in my pickup bed and the enclosed bed of my stepdad's truck. Big things are: Kitchen table (meh, it's old and I could use a smaller one), bed + box spring + futon frame it sits on (mixed feelings), 5' x 3' x 2' display/storage cabinet (love this thing), a 5' x 5' L-shaped solid oak desk (I would hate to part w/ this one -- it's perfect for my needs). I know that the desk fits in my bed, because that's how I moved it into my place. Not taking entertainment center that's falling apart or the 20" box TV my parents had when I was a kid. 

 

Other than that, I just have a lot of....stuff. My goodness I've collected a lot of crap in the four years I've been living on my own since undergrad. I'd currently rank my options for moving as 1, 3, 2, mainly because I'd feel bad about the gas mileage on my parents in 2, and my mom & dad still do not get a long great (21? years after divorcing) and that's one less headache I'd have to deal with. Ideally, my mom & stepdad would flight out, we'd rent the truck, drive it to their house, hang out for a day or two, then we'd meet w/ my dad and the two of us would continue on the journey. 

 

I'm not completely sure how much they want to help fund. It's five months away and I feel like I'm not doing enough to get ready /plannerproblems

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TakeruK, what all did you transport in your u-box? Aside from your mattress and couch, was there any other furniture or just boxes/bags of smaller belongings? Ideally, I would like to pack 2 dressers, a mattress and box spring, a small armoire, bed frame (which disassembles), a kayak, and then as many boxes as we can fit. Maybe a smaller flat screen tv, too.

In a perfect world, I'd also like to take my desk, two night stands, kitchen table, chairs, and entertainment center since they are practically like new. However, everything but the kitchen table and chairs are cheap walmart stuff and I'd probably need a second u-box to fit it.

I feel like I really don't have that much stuff, but when you add in my husband's things, I guess we have a lot.

 

The U-Box looks small but it actually fits a LOT more than you might guess. You probably already know it but you basically want to pack every single cubic centimeter of it so that you maximize your value and so that things don't shift around and get damaged. The furniture that we were able to fit were:

1. Queen sized mattress + boxspring + disassembled bed frame

2. Couch

3. 2 nightstands (really, tiny dressers)

4. 1 tall dresser

5. 1 filing cabinet 

6. 1 smaller dresser

 

And then we took a lot of boxes filled with our things (all of our kitchen appliances, our small flatscreen TV, guitar, picture frames). Like 30-40 boxes fit inside. Other than furniture, we did not have to get rid of any of our things--they all fit inside! Our goal was to fit at least $1800 of stuff inside and we were able to achieve that! If you really really want to know, I can dig out our inventory list (required for customs since we shipped across the border).

 

I don't think a second U-Box would have been worth it for us since the furniture we left behind was worth about $600 by our estimate (plus not all of it would fit in our new place anyways).

 

I do have to warn you about our experience with U-Haul's U-Box program. The local UHaul somehow did not know about our U-Box reservation. They could not get us a box because it is in a certain area of the warehouse that only the manager can access (?? not sure why) and the manager didn't want to be bothered on a Sunday. However, our flight was leaving the next day! The employees did not want to work with us to figure out an alternate solution either--they just said "sorry, there is no box, come back another day" basically. We could not even call their store because they automatically route their phone to a national hotline. We were extremely frustrated since we did confirm with the location about our reservation in person a few days before and there was a "sample/model" U-Box sitting outside (they said we couldn't use it). Finally, after 2 hours of trying to figure out a solution (they refused to do anything to help us get in touch with other U-Haul locations--maybe because they are all independently owned?), one of the employees that just arrived for their shift suggested using the sample U-Box and the others finally agreed!

 

The location staff also did not know what paperwork was required and there were forms that I would have missed if I did not read the instructions that came with the UHaul reservation! The shipment was supposed to take 2 weeks, but another mistake by UHaul employees delayed it by 1 week and then some transportation related issue delayed it by another week, so it took 4 weeks in total. Luckily, we did pack a lot of essentials (including an air mattress) in our checked luggage so we ended up camping in our apartment for the first month. You should know that U-Haul ships its U-Boxes via a third party transport company that does not provide any tracking related information to UHaul. So when it was delayed on the other side, we had no idea for those 2 weeks if everything was lost and we would have to file a claim, or if it's still on its way!!

 

However, since UHaul locations are independently owned and operated, the service and competence you get can vary greatly. At our new location, the UHaul manager there was extremely sympathetic and did everything he could to get us additional information, including giving us his personal cell number in case we needed to reach him. When the U-Box finally arrived, they waived all charges on the truck rental required to get our stuff from the UBox to our apartment. 

 

Overall, UBox was still much cheaper than other options. Other box/pod options quoted us $3000-$4000 and our quote for driving a truck ourselves was the same ballpark as yours (plus there is the added stress of actually having to drive it). If we knew in advance that it would actually take 4 weeks instead of 2, we would still go with UBox, but we would have been better prepared and also less stressed out. 

 

Finally, plenty of other people I know have used U-Box without issues, so I think it really could be location dependent! I would strongly recommend that you triple check your reservation with the actual store (make sure you are talking with the store staff, not the U-Box hotline) and that you have enough stuff with you in case of a 1-2 week delay. 

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Thanks for the info, TakeruK! I don't need a complete inventory, but it sounds like maybe I'd be able to fit a bit more furniture than I thought.

I'm sorry you had such issues with the box! We will be driving instead of flying, so we do have room in the car(s) for essentials and stuff that won't fit in the box. I do think I'd be really stressed out if the box was 2 weeks late, though.

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I'm sorry you had such issues with the box! We will be driving instead of flying, so we do have room in the car(s) for essentials and stuff that won't fit in the box. I do think I'd be really stressed out if the box was 2 weeks late, though.

 

Indeed, if we knew in advance it would be 4 weeks, it would have been fine! But in hindsight, if we had spent an extra $1200-$2000 for a different service, that would be money we didn't really have and we'd be stressed out for other reasons too. Moving sucks :(

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Relo-cubes from ABF are similar to the U-Box service from U-Haul. Depending on your starting and ending destinations, you may have to rent a pickup truck with a trailer to have your U-Box delivered to your location. The other option is to bring your belongings to the U-Haul facility and then load the U-Box there. I note this because, for my last move, U-Haul would not deliver U-Boxes to me so I would've had to pick them up myself.

 

I did have an issue with ABF Relocubes in that they were overbooked (that is, ABF plans for people to have 3 days to load and 3 days to unload but people were keeping their cubes longer than that) but it worked out and I got them pretty much when they said. They estimated 3-5 business days for delivery but, my cubes were available on the 2nd business day (they call you to schedule delivery from the warehouse to your address so I just had them held at the warehouse until I got there). Note also that ABF works with business days, so if you schedule delivery on a Friday, you get the weekend without that eating into your 3 days to load or unload. And, unlike U-Haul, ABF doesn't use a third party so you can check on the status of your move at any time. (ABF also has the option to rent linear feet in a 28' moving trailer, which I've also done. That is harder to load/unload because the trailer is 4' off the ground with a ramp. But, you can potentially get more space at a lower cost using the moving trailer. The delivery works the same as a described with the Relo-Cubes. Caveat: you need 4 parking spots in a row available to park the trailer, which can be a PITA in an apartment complex.)

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I'm trying to figure out how I'd move myself and 3 kids from CA to Indiana!  Also wondering how I'd get an apartment rented from afar.  A visit to find a rental would be difficult, thought not impossible. Do you have a plan for finding a place?

Edited by JJCA

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I looked into relocubes, too, but they were priced so much higher than the u-box for a move to Oregon. One relocube was quoted at $3600 (twice that of a u-box), and renting the trailer space was $3100.

JJCA, my best friend and her husband recently moved from PA to NC and they rented from afar. They were trying to avoid credit checks (since neither had any kind of credit history) as well as apartment complexes. So they mainly looked at Craigslist, but also looked at rental websites like zillow for individuals renting out houses. They relied purely on photos and the general vibe they got from potential landlords, and they found a really nice house that ended up being just as nice as the photos.

I'm not sure if I want to try the apartment complex route or try for a house or duplex. I lived in an apartment complex for a little while, and I know a few people who did, too. We've all had nothing but good experiences with them. People I know who rented out apartments and houses from individuals that owned a few properties had mixed results. I have some friends who rent a big house and their landlady is pretty awesome. My husband had a landlord who would call both him and me (I didn't live there but he had my phone number from when I was helping him apartment hunt) five times a day asking about the rent starting on the first when rent was due the sixth. He also had a habit of letting himself in without telling anyone first to "check things out," which was really creepy when I was there alone one afternoon taking a shower.

Whatever we decide on, it's unlikely that we will be able to visit ahead of time. So I'll probably just have to rely on photos and hope for the best. I read somewhere that people have hired someone from TaskRabbit to look at apartments for them. It would probably be easy to ask in the city guide if anyone knows how good certain complexes are. Maybe you could even find a helpful gradcafer who wouldn't mind checking things out for you.

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I moved from Massachusetts to Southern California, but I just fit all I needed in a duffel bag and a backpack - laptop, phone, 2 weeks of clothes and some random assorted small stuff.  The furniture I had before probably cost less than it would cost to move it, so it was easy to leave behind or sell.

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The furniture I had before probably cost less than it would cost to move it, so it was easy to leave behind or sell.

 

I agree wholeheartedly if you have old/used furniture that have low resale value. I see that people here who suggest using U-Haul here are spending more than $1K to move everything that they need. I spent $850 ($500 1-way ticket + $350 shipping) to move coast-to-coast, from an international (but small) airport to a regional hub. If I were flying out from and to an international airport, it would be even cheaper. In terms of furniture, I initially got used furniture for free, which saves a lot of money. In the end, I spent no more than $500 for new furniture so I guess the total was about $1350 but I saved a lot of time.

Edited by aberrant

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I agree wholeheartedly if you have old/used furniture that have low resale value. I see that people here who suggest using U-Haul here are spending more than $1K to move everything that they need. I spent $850 ($500 1-way ticket + $350 shipping) to move coast-to-coast, from an international (but small) airport to a regional hub. If I were flying out from and to an international airport, it would be even cheaper. In terms of furniture, I initially got used furniture for free, which saves a lot of money. In the end, I spent no more than $500 for new furniture so I guess the total was about $1350 but I saved a lot of time.

 

Agreed that factoring in cost of furniture is important. Our mattress + couch alone cost us about $1600 (most of that is from the mattress since we figure if we're spending 1/3 of our lives in bed, might as well invest in a good one) so moving those two items is almost worth the U-Box cost. There were a few boxes of items of sentimental value that would be tough to move via plane (would have to check a few items and hope they don't break) and then a bunch of boxes of completely replaceable things (sheets, towels, clothes etc.) but we figured it was worth the $200 to put them in the U-Box and save the time and hassle. 

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I initially considered the idea of packing up the car, shipping a few items, and buying all new furniture. It seemed like it would be cheaper than $2000. Then I realized how much stuff we actually have that we can't just get rid of... my husband's insulator collection would cost over $600 to ship, and that's probably a conservative estimate. I have an armoire that my grandmother gave me which will take up a lot of space in the car or be expensive to ship. One of the dressers is old but high quality. It would probably cost close to $1000 to buy something comparable, and even replacing both of our dressers with cheaper ones would still cost $500. A queen size bed frame and mattress would run us for at least $500 (if not more), and we'd also need a couch. Plus not all of my books, camping gear, etc. are going to fit in the car. It would be cheaper to ship than rebuy many of those items. Depending on if we decide to keep both cars or not, I would also have to ship my kayak, which I'm sure would be expensive due to its size. My canoe can go on the car roof.

So yeah, if I was 22 and heading across the country, I wouldn't have accrued much stuff yet, nor would I have a husband who also accrued a bunch of stuff. It would easy to just pack up the car and go. But I'm almost 30 and married, and I have a lot of things that have sentimental value, aren't made anymore, or are expensive. It's hard to leave that stuff behind, and what can be replaced would still cost a good chunk of change. Used furniture is actually a great way to go (pretty much all of my furniture is used aside from a walmart desk and entertainment center), but it's not always easy to find everything that you're looking for, and if you don't own a truck (or know somebody with a truck) it's hard to get some furniture home.

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When I moved for grad school, I had to spend a month at home finally going through all of the things I'd had in storage at my mom's house during undergrad and while I was living overseas, and it was a lot of work. However, once I was done (I got rid of boxes and boxes of books and clothes), everything I was taking with me fit in a minivan with the back seats down - about eight boxes of clothes and books and shoes and bedding, plus a couple of bookcases and lamps. When I arrived here, I went to Ikea and spent $700 on a double bed, mattress, chest of drawers, and small desk with chair, and I'm happy with the result I got. If I'd had more time, I'd have spent time combing free stuff/garage sales/student resale groups, but I didn't have access to a car for moving things after my initial arrival, so I needed to get things together quickly. I've never owned very much stuff because I've always been on the move, often overseas (moving on average once every 10 months for the last five years!), and I'm not very attached to my cheap furniture and would get rid of it if I were moving far away. I should however disclaim that I was lucky enough to choose roommates who had a fully furnished living room and full kitchenware before i arrived, so I didn't have to buy any of those things. This made my move a lot cheaper and meant I had (and have) a lot less stuff.

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I will be moving from Texas to Indiana this summer for grad school. Did any of you make such a long move? How did you pay for it? I'm starting to get nervous about the logistics of it. I have a lot of "old" furniture so I plan on donating and not taking it with me. I have an old car but I might sell it and just drive up in a rental. (I have an old jeep but people offer to buy it all the time, so I shouldn't have much of a problem selling it).

 

What did you guys use to move? Ship anything or drive it up?

 

Just curious.

 

I was in a similar situation last year, as I moved from Pennsylvania to Louisiana. My car was a hunk-of-junk, so I sold it and got a rental. I took only what I could fit in the car, which, surprisingly, turned out to be about eight big boxes and a wash-basket full of clothing.

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You might be able to get current grad students to help you find a place to live once you move if you can't go out to look for a place. I know there are also lots of housing posts on the grad listserve, which tend to be people posting a place they've lived in before or another listing from the landlord they have and like. If you're willing to pay someone on a site like TaskRabbit, you might as well ask around to see if any current grad students would help you out by looking at places and sending pictures to you.

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You might be able to get current grad students to help you find a place to live once you move if you can't go out to look for a place.... you might as well ask around to see if any current grad students would help you out by looking at places and sending pictures to you.

 

Any grad student or program coordinator who is nice enough to help you inspect a place (or places) will definitely make things easy. In my case, I actually was lucky enough to have my program coordinator to help me inspect this apartment that I found on craigslist. I got some photos, her inputs, all these information together, and I signed the lease even before I flew out to the other coast. It worked very well for me, and I still live in the same apartment.

 

Otherwise, I might have to crash at then/current senior grad student's place for a week or so until I found a place to move-in.

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