Many of us will move across the country at one time or another -- for school, a job relocation, to help out a family member or simply for a change of scenery.
Moving can be tremendously costly and even more stressful if not planned well. If you're trying to cut moving costs, here are some tips from someone who has done it three times!
Indulge the urge to purge
A big move gives you an ideal excuse to have a garage sale, get rid of unwanted junk and make a huge donation to your local thrift store. But the process can be overwhelming. Many people would rather pay for storage or an extra-large moving van than deal with the stuff they have accumulated.
Unless your furniture is high-end or your items are irreplaceable heirlooms, it's often cheaper to simply sell or donate all of the furniture, appliances and decor items you have now and replace them wherever you settle. When factoring costs of a move, remember the cost to rent a moving van (including gas and hotel fees) and how much of a hassle it will be to lug that stuff cross-country.
Scope out savings
Of course, you won't be able to purge everything. So for the things you do plan to move, look for ways to cut costs. Some shipping services may offer student or military discounts, so be sure to ask.
Also, consider out-of-the-box methods of moving things, such as shipping via Amtrak Express. Amtrak offers what it describes as "small package and less-than-truckload" shipping between more than 100 cities. It's a cost-effective way to send your clothes, books, bikes and home goods.