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Long distance moving, and funding it.


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@GreenEyedTrombonist, you may find it easier/more cost effective to buy winter clothes once you arrive at your destination. I've done that before and with Labor Day and Columbus Day sales, you can find good deals on the things you need. Books are pretty easy to ship media mail though the last time I did this, the post office lost/mangled two of my boxes of books, resulting in about 45 titles going completely missing never to be seen again. So there's a risk there (which insurance helps mitigate). 

I have a dog, so I've moved by driving a car and moving furniture/books separately on several occasions. Each time, it's worked out pretty well. Obviously, without a dog, you'd have an entire backseat to fill with belongings (electronics, books, clothes, etc.), so that could make things easier/more manageable. I would definitely look into one-way car rental options as you get closer to the actual time of your move. 

P.S. I've looked into furnished places before. What I found was that they were, on average, $200-300/month more than an unfurnished place. Over a one year lease, that's an additional ~$2400, which in my experience is enough money to buy a mattress + boxspring, dresser, couch, coffee table, etc., especially if you use Craig's List, thrift stores, and places like Target or IKEA. It won't be the nicest stuff but it will be yours. 

P.P.S. Be wary of the mattress in a furnished place. You have no idea before trying whether it will be comfortable or not. An uncomfortable mattress is a recipe for disaster as it will cut into your sleep every single night. (When I started my PhD, my mom and I went to mattress stores and I picked the one that was most comfortable even though it was almost $800. As it nears the end of its lifespan, I don't regret that decision because of how many awesome nights of sleep I've had on it.)

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Depending on how cold it is where you move, I would take one coat and buy the rest when you get there. Though, as I think about it, if you’re going north, but tons of fleece lined leggings to wear under your pants. They don’t take up a lot of room and make all the difference. 

Craigslist is a godsend, especially in university towns. I got a lot for free and the rest at Ikea. 

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@GreenEyedTrombonist  I shipped most of my stuff through Greyhound which was surprisingly affordable and efficient.  It took about 10 days, but that was fine.  Amtrak also offers shipping, but they don't offer door-to-door service like Greyhound.  If you're determined to get a pre-furnished place then I'd suggest springing for the cost of having all of the fabric furniture and carpets steam cleaned.  Not all landlords are required to do this or are willing to spend the extra money.

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