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February 27, 2014

Comparing the Different Ways to Move

Knowing your options when it's time to move can help get your relocation started right, rather than planning for one method but having to change horses mid-stream. Here are some of the pros and cons of the three main moving options.

Full Service Moving Companies: Pros

  • The majority of the work is done for you. You pack, and they load, drive, and unload.
  • Given the nature of the service, you can get your total move done faster, if you find yourself crunched for time.
Full Service Moving Companies: Cons

  • While they may be able to move you faster than you could on your own, you will have to fit your move into their availability, which can sometimes make for a frantic bout of packing.
  • Full service moving company rates are generally higher than other moving options. However, many companies will reduce their costs if you agree to load and unload the truck yourself.
Moving Containers: Pros

  • The unit can also double as a storage unit, so you don't have to make an extra trip to a storage facility.
  • Moving containers sit low to the ground, with no ramp to negotiate, so load-in is faster and easier.
Moving Containers: Cons

  • While you do get more bang for your buck with moving containers, you also pay a monthly fee for the convenience.
  • Depending on the kind of truck container company uses to deliver and unload the unit, you may not be able to get the container closer than the curb, which might mean a bit of extra hauling distance from your front door.
Rental Trucks: Pros

  • Renting a truck is easily the most affordable of the three moving options.
  • The rental truck industry is very competitive, so not only are the prices lower, but there are many options available. Chances are, a rental office is not far from your home.
Rental Trucks: Cons

  • Timeframes can be tight, and picking up and returning the truck can eat into valuable loading and unloading time.
  • It can be a nerve-wracking experience driving a large, unfamiliar vehicle down a crowded highway.
Different situations may call for different moving options. Self service movers may find themselves in need of a little full service help, and full service aficionados may want to consolidate their moving and storage options with containers. Whatever your situation, do your research and find the moving option that's right for you.

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January 24, 2014

How Can Moving Quotes Be So Different

So moving day is scheduled, and you've spent some time gathering various moving quotes online from a few different companies. But the numbers you're seeing are varying wildly. What makes one moving quote so much higher or lower than another?

The weight of your belongings can make a big difference in your moving quotes. Assuming you've calculated the weight with a fair degree of accuracy, the ways moving companies deal with weight (or with cubic feet, depending on the company) can vary a great deal. Full-service moving company prices may or may not involve fuel costs, which are easily influenced by weight.

Similarly, the distance between your old home and your new one can have a drastic impact on your moving quotes. Local moving companies may be more inclined to charge a flat rate, but only provide a limited radius. And some long-distance quotes may include per-mileage charges. Renting a truck presents its own difficulties, especially the farther you travel, since a one-way rental will usually be more expensive than a two-way, but the two-way will involve an extra trip once you drop the truck off.

But perhaps the greatest variations in moving quotes and moving estimates come from how much effort you're willing to put into your own move. Full-service companies may quote you their full-service package, but if you're willing to pack and load your own boxes, those rates may go down significantly. Rental trucks are the extreme end of the "effort vs. cost" spectrum, with the lowest prices and the most effort involved.

Knowing your options can help you zero in on the right service for your next move. Take the time to consider all the factors -- weight, distance, and how much effort you're willing to put in -- and be sure to read the fine print of any moving estimate. And may your next move be as economical and stress-free as possible.

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January 23, 2014

Options for Moving Your Stuff

If you sat down to make a list of all the stressful things about moving, money would probably come in at numbers one through six. The move itself is a crazy time -- the packing, the lifting, the cleaning, the organizing of who-knows-how-many garage sales. Shelling out for full-service moving company rates can add insult to injury. Luckily, money is one of the few aspects of moving with any kind of flexibility. If you know where to look, that is.

Saving Some Money

Oftentimes, household moving company rates include full-service loading, packing, and unloading. While this can certainly make for a more relaxing move, your Zen-like state might evaporate quickly when you look at the hit to your bank account. You can drop those moving company rates a bit by opting to do your own packing, loading, and unpacking, while the company provides the truck and the driver.

Saving Even More Money

Mobile moving containers and portable storage units can also provide a welcome break for your finances, compared to full-service moving company rates. You're usually responsible for your own packing, loading, and unpacking, but there's more flexibility in scheduling, an easier loading process (ground-level as compared to a raised truck bed), and you have a built-in option for storage if you need it.

Saving Too Much Money

By far, the most economical option is still a rental van... but what you gain in savings you pretty much instantly pay for in hassle, stress, and headaches. Reservations are notoriously less-than-guaranteed, the equipment you need could be in any state of disrepair (or in any state, for that matter), and you're constantly on a deadline to get everything done as quickly as possible. Ultimately, only you can decide if your sanity is worth the arm and a leg it costs to hire professional movers to do all the work for you. Middle ground does exist (moving containers), and the intrepid among you may even opt to shimmy your worldly possessions up the skinny metal ramp of a moving truck. Just be sure to weigh your options carefully: the middle of a move is one of the worst places for a nervous breakdown.

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