How to pick your moving method

Moving is a pain. Packing up your belongings, hiring movers or bribing your friends to help, and the actual moving part sucks! Throw in a self-inflicted panic attack and a spazzy, 14-year-old dog and you’ve got one hell of a stressful day! Moving is annoying. However, I love the feeling of having moved. It’s the feeling you get when you’re finally at your new place, everything is unpacked, the place is clean, and you feel such a sense of peace and excitement for what lies ahead. I love that feeling. It’s probably part of the reason I’ve moved 3 times in the last 3 years.


Now that I’m embarking on my 4th move (albeit my biggest move) I know the process pretty well. There are a lot of things to figure out. So if you’re planning a move consider the following questions:

  • How much can you afford to spend on moving expenses? This is the biggest and most important question because it dictates all the rest.
  • Can you hire movers? If you can, I strongly recommend it. Yes, it costs more but it also significantly cuts down the aggravation level. Plus they’re going to be way more efficient at assembling furniture and moving things around if you don’t like where you initially put them.
  • If you’re considering movers, did you price compare between a few different companies? Even though I price compare every time, for 2 of my moves I ended up going with Two Men and a Truck. They were reasonably priced, the guys were super-efficient, friendly, showed up on time, and handled my stuff with care. What more could you ask for?

Two men

  • Do you have friends who would be willing to help in exchange for money and/or food? This is one of the cheaper ways to go, but if your friends are constant complainers then it may not actually be worth it.
  • If you’re moving by yourself will you have access to a truck? Did you check out U-Haul or Budget trucks? These companies are great because they have many different sized truck/trailer options. Plus they have the option of returning the vehicle to a different drop-off location than where you picked it up at. This is great for long-distance moves.
  • Can you pack everything you need in your own car? You won’t be able to bring furniture with you, but if you can fit most of your “stuff” in your car then it’s by far the cheapest option.
  • If packing everything in your car, what will you do with your furniture? Can you sell some of it? Is a family member or friend willing to store some things for you? How much will it cost you to rent a storage unit?

I know these questions seem pretty daunting, but these are all things you need to think about when you’re planning to move.

With this upcoming move from Chicago to Maine, I have decided to pack everything in my own car (dog included), bringing only what I absolutely need. I will sell/pitch what furniture I can and will store the rest at a family member’s house which will save me $1,800 in moving expenses (if I went with movers), $1,500 if I rented a U-Haul truck and trailer for my car, or $70/month if I rented a storage unit. So really all I’m paying for is a U-Haul to move some of my stuff to my family member’s house and gas money to get me to Maine. Not too shabby.

What is your preferred moving method? How has it worked out for you in the past?


  1. I have moved about 20 times in 57 years, and I couldn’t agree more that a good plan and decent preparation means a lot. One has to also take into consideration that many things will not go accordingly with the plan. My biggest move was moving from Latvia, Europe to Canada. I got it done taking with me just one suitcase.

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