If you’ve ever found yourself asking “what’s the cheapest way to ship my household goods,” chances are you’ve already done some research. And there’s a lot of information about moving long distances. How to save time, how to save money – you can read a lot about it.
When I moved from northern Washington to southern Oregon, I had to figure out the cheapest way to ship my household goods. I ended up using a company I found right here on this website, actually. And while I may have been able to save some money doing all the work myself, it wouldn’t have saved me any time.
Let me tell you my story. Hopefully it will help you.
How I figured out the cheapest way to ship my household goods
When I started trying to figure out how to get all my stuff down to Oregon, I felt a little lost. I wasn’t sure what the best way to ship was, I wasn’t sure how much time it would take or how much time I even had.
I did know that it wouldn’t take me long to get some prices, though. So the first thing I did – and the first thing you should do – is get quotes from different moving companies.
This gave me a decent ballpark estimate. I knew about how much I was looking at to get all my possessions moved. And I’ll be honest, the prices were higher than I thought they’d be! So I told myself “forget it, I’ll do it all myself!”
But that also wasn’t a great option.
Doing it all yourself can be a major headache
There are basically two options you have: either move it all yourself, or get someone to do it for you. Within each of those choices are varying factors that will impact price and time. When I first knew I was moving, I didn’t think I had time to do it all myself. After seeing the prices from different moving companies, I thought the time would be worth the savings.
But I ended up being wrong.
Now, not everyone is going to be in my position. I have three kids, and at the time, the youngest was on the way. So I immediately knew I would have to find friends to help me load up a moving van that I would have to rent. That costs money, unless you have some insanely awesome friends. I didn’t – not then, anyway. And as I am unable to load heavy items by myself safely, I knew it would be an uphill battle if I were to rent the moving van myself.
After really sitting down and figuring out everything I would need to do it all myself, I realized that it simply wasn’t feasible to do it myself.
And I think a lot of people realize the same when they’re looking for ways to move their household goods.
Enter the moving companies
Remember when I said I found a company to move my household items with American Auto Shipping? It’s true – I ended up going back to those quotes I got early on and comparing prices that way.
I learned that there are different levels of household moving services. You can have a company literally do everything for you, from packing to loading to driving the truck. But that’s really expensive.
I chose the option that allowed me to pack my own things and assist with the loading of the moving truck. I made it cheaper still by having all of my things ready to go and easily accessible for the moving crew come moving day. This cut down on how long the movers were at my home, which cut down on the total cost.
I learned that every little bit helps.
What I learned for next time
Would I use a professional moving company again? Most likely. Aside from the price, it was a really effective way to get my stuff moved. It all arrived next day and nothing was damaged during transport.
But a professional moving company isn’t the only way you can ship goods on the cheap. Renting a moving van yourself is almost always going to be cheaper, especially for trips that will take you under a day to complete. Cross-country may be a different story, especially when you factor in the price of food, fuel, and lodging.
Something that I discovered after the fact is moving pods. Many newer moving companies will allow you to rent a container. You load it and unload it at your home, but the transportation is done by the moving company. This is how PODS work, by the way. I personally didn’t look into that at the time (didn’t even cross my mind), but it’s something I’d definitely research further if I had to make that move again.
Something else I learned is that you don’t need to move all your stuff. I ended up having a garage sale – I figured that cutting down on clutter would help me find the cheapest way to ship my household goods. And I was right. I ended up cutting hundreds of pounds of weight off the cost – and weight plays an important factor in the price you end up paying.
My advice to you
Make sure to shop around for professional moving companies and compare prices to doing it yourself or via a moving pod. One thing I liked about using a professional moving company is that the price didn’t change. I knew what I would be paying. Compare this to the unknown costs of driving a moving truck yourself – it can end up costing even more, especially on longer trips, to do it yourself.
Don’t hang on to stuff you don’t necessarily need. After all, it’s just stuff. Having a garage sale not only cut down on the cost to ship my stuff, but it also put some money in my pocket. That’s a win-win, especially if you’re downsizing.
Ultimately, my best advice is to prepare accordingly. Give yourself time to get it done. Don’t wait til the last minute to pack or find a mover or a moving truck. You can also save money by moving during the week as opposed to on the weekends. That’s what I did, and it saved me hundreds.
Use American Auto Shipping to find your next moving company
I do highly recommend that you fill out the moving quote form right here on this page. You’ll get quotes from different moving companies, like I did. They can give you a cost, talk to you about what you can expect, and a lot more. Comparing prices is how I found the cheapest way to ship my household goods, and it’ll likely be the same for you.
And don’t forget that you can also get your car shipped with us here at American Auto Shipping. You can get a quote straight from us via our online quote form, or you can contact us any time at 800-930-7417 to get a quote over the phone.