Moving is Hard, We Make It Easier #PostGradProblems

Moving is a part of life, no matter how much it sucks. And as college kids and recent grads, we do it a lot. Some of you might even be moving across the country following graduation, to your home towns or even to a big city (can you say New York 4 story walk-up). Hell, even if you’re moving from east to west LA, you’re in for a doozy.

But it doesn’t have to be so back breakingly hard! As someone who has moved three times in the past year (and is about to move to England for a semester), I have a few tips up my sleeve.

Now since we don’t have a lot of money (we are college kids), we’re probably gonna have to move ourselves - unless you happen to have a grand piano. I’m gonna go through the best ways this can happen and how you can save money at every turn.

Professionals: For the Ones With the Money and Local Moves

However, if you do happen to have money (or better yet your new company is paying for relocation), you can hire movers. Just a quick tip, any boxes that YOU PACK are not insured in the move. So if you are leaving it up to the professionals, leave it up to the professionals.

Moving company I recommend for local moves (CALI ONLY): Meathead Movers. 

They’re student athletes, they’re local, and they’re buff. What more could you want? 

Moving company I recommend for long-distance moves: Two Men and a Truck

Rent a Truck: For Dorm Rooms, Singles, College Towns and Local Moves

Cost: Now this is great for the majority of moves, provided you aren’t moving a ton of furniture. I recently rented a UHAL Cargo Van and moved my dorm room in Orange County to my apartment in LA. It cost about a $100 miles for one trip (which had everything). You just have to keep in mind milage, gas refill, and insurance ($10) jacks up that $30 base price.

Which Truck Should I Get: Cargo Vans are great for dorm rooms, but if you have a bit more furniture (a desk, a bed frame, or a queen mattress) I’d go with the smallest truck they have. They cost a similar amount, and due to mileage you want to do it in one trip and one day if possible.

Driving Skills: Trucks are also great for long distance moves. Just be sure you are comfortable driving the truck or cargo van on the freeway, for long distances, and in your departure and arrival city. For instance, driving on the LA freeways without a window in the back was terrifying and the 1 ½ drive was just long enough for me to kiss the ground when I got out. Also, you may be comfortable driving the truck through the desert- but what about NEW YORK CITY. Exactly.

Get the Best Deal: The national self-moving companies are Budget, U-Haul, and Penske. In my experience, Uhal offered the best price. However you can always try to negotiate your rate, yes this means calling the company and not just ordering the truck online (numbers are listed below). Every rental company wants your business and will do their best to get it, including slashing their base prices.  Call every company, get your best quote, then call again and other companies may slash their prices to compete.

 Afterwards, be sure to call the local pick up office to guarantee the rate and that the truck is available. Pick a local pick up office close to your old apartment, you don’t want to waste millage and gas- you’re paying for it. Also, you are often not allowed to leave your car on the lot- so park nearby and make sure you’re in a place where you won’t get towed.

Of course, you can always just book the standard price online. But let’s be smart about this, okay?
Budget: 800-462-8343
U-Haul: 800-468-4285
Penske 800-222-0277

When to Reserve: Reserve early! The days at the beginning and end of the month are busy as that’s when leases end. Also, consider the times around when school starts and ends are also pretty busy in college towns. You will also have better pricing and options.

The Pod Storage/Moving: For the People Studying Abroad, Moving Long Distances

I recently discovered the POD system of moving, and I must say that I’m in love. Instead of having to load things into a truck, drive the truck down the scary 405, and then unload everything, I just need to put my stuff in front of my home in a fancy giant box!

The system works in that they drop the storage pod (it’s a huge box) in front of your house/apartment. You then fill up the box with your entire room- each one fits a room full of stuff- and they come back, take it away, and drop it off at your new place. It’s perfect for long distance moves and local moves where you don’t want to deal with all the hassle.

The best part about this is they offer storage as well! That’s right, no moving truck to storage unit to apartment for you. This is especially great for people studying abroad and for those people moving across the country- but taking a month vacation before that. They store it for prices similar to that charged by standard storage companies.

Best for Local Moves in Califorina: Box-N-Go

Best for Cross Country Moves:PODS 

New City Cross Country

If you are moving across country to a new city (i.e. LA to NYC), it might be best to leave most of your stuff in storage or sell it. It can be expensive to transport your furniture in particular, and it might not even fit into your new space. Talk about a waste of money.

I would recommend just packing your comforter and your wardrobe. Then you have a touch of home and all your best clothes, all on the plane to your new city.

Packing Materials

Never, and I mean never, buy your boxes directly from the moving company. They are often $5 dollars a box! You can find cheap materials at home depot or lowes (about $1.25 a box) or at the back of your grocery store.

Moving Tax Deduction: 

If you are moving post-grad or you pay your own taxes, did you know you can get a tax break for expenses your employer doesn’t pick up.

Now there are a couple rules. You must move more than 50 miles from your former home, need to be employed for 39 out of the next 52 weeks, can count cost of lodging and moving van but not meals. If you’re interested, see tax form 3903. You can google it.

Plus, you don’t have to itemize to use them, you just add them to your standard deduction. This means it’s easier. We’ll go over that more later.

I hope this helped make the complicated stressful moving process just a bit easier for all of you. Be on the look out for more BEFORE YOUR FIRST DAY series where we make adulthood just a little bit simpler.

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Moving is Hard, We Make It Easier #PostGradProblems Moving is Hard, We Make It Easier #PostGradProblems Reviewed by Unknown on 8/11/2014 Rating: 5


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  2. I've never heard of the POD moving before! Is it easier because you don't have to rent the truck or have a ton of boxes? The hardest part of moving, in my opinion, is just putting everything into boxes and remembering where everything is. It takes so much time and anything I can do to shorten the time is worth it!

  3. It is true that moving is a very stressful process. Nobody can move it by himself without any loss, so if you hire piano removals Melbourne, then the chances of loss decreases.

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