Relocating your home is an absurdly stressful experience. Most people would rather avoid it if possible. Sadly, when you buy a new home, you are eventually going to want to move in. Since it’s inevitable, we’ve compiled a list of several moving day options.
Before we dive in, let’s set expectations. This is not a list of tips and tricks, like how to pack glasses or prepare your bag of essentials. There are plenty of good lists about moving tips already. You can check out Listotic’s list of 33 tips. Or see Makespace’s list of 40 clever tips. Our moving day options are a little more big-picture.
The Old-Fashioned Way
We’ll start the list by telling you something you already know. The traditional way to move is to put all your stuff in boxes, rent a big truck, and spend a few days carrying heavy furniture. After you do all that packing, labeling, cleaning and lifting, you can enjoy your new house – assuming you can lift your arms. You’ll unpack over the next few weeks (months (years)) and eventually your new house will feel like home.
This is possibly the least efficient of moving day options. You will likely save money, which is why most of us do it this way. But you will also grind yourself down to a stump and be too sore to move for three days. So it’s not all upsides.
The Expensive Way
The exact opposite of the old-fashioned way is the expensive way. This is how rich people move. It is not how I move. I am not rich people.
The expensive way is where nice people come to your old place and pack all your belongings for you. They label things and wrap things and carry things. They put your things on a huge truck and take it wherever you want it. Then they put those things in your new home while you sip pina coladas and burn money for firewood.
The expensive way is the most costly of moving day options. That is why I called it the expensive way. It is, however, the absolute easiest. In some cases those nice people who packed your belongings will even unpack them for you. This is very nice, but very, very expensive.
Fortunately, the old-fashioned way and the expensive way are not the only moving day options. There are ways to mix and match according to your budget to work out the move that works for you.
The Plastic Rental Box Way
This plastic rental box way is not really a different way. It’s still essentially the old-fashioned way, but it has important differences. Well, mostly one difference – you rent plastic bins. You don’t buy cardboard boxes.
This simple difference might seem small. It will likely save you money, though, unless you are used to scavenging used boxes from behind the grocery store, possibly because you don’t care if your clothing smells like onions. See, cardboard boxes are not cheap. You can save a good piece of change renting moving bins. The bins are cheaper because they are not disposable. The company drops them off, you load them, you move, you unload, and they come get them.
If you ever spent six weeks after a move cramming cut-down boxes into your recycle bin, you can understand what a step up it would be to simply give all the boxes to someone else and make them go away. No more carving up the sides of boxes with utility knives. No more stomping boxes to smash them into bins.
There is another reason rental bins are better. Rental bins are made of plastic (often recycled plastic) and are very sturdy. You can stack them much higher than cardboard boxes and not crush them. You can fit them on a dolly easily and slide them into place in your truck. Even better, you can stack them empty then load them up, and you’ll never have to lift those boxes at all.
The Pod Storage Way
The pod storage way is one of the more interesting moving day options. In the pod storage way, you pack all your stuff as usual. You label boxes and cover mattresses. Then on moving day, the pod storage company drops off a series of cubes the size of small rooms, and you put your stuff inside.
The benefits of the pod storage way can be elusive at first. If you’re going to be loading a truck the size of a small room, why pay extra to load a cube the size of a small room instead? In many cases, it actually wouldn’t be that great an idea. But there are specific instances where a pod storage move might be the best of your moving day options.
If you are moving a great distance (like, farther than a few miles), the pod storage owners will take your things there for you. This will be cheaper than hiring a moving company, and you might be able to take a flight to your new home. No staying at roadside motels, and no trying to climb inclines in an overloaded moving van incapable of exceeding 27 miles per hour uphill.
Not only will your move be easier, but you won’t have to unload everything at once. With a pod move, you can have the pod rental people deliver just the pod you want. Unpack the beds and your clothes. Order the next pod, and unpack your kitchen. Order the next one – you can probably see where I’m going here.
One more scenario where a pod move might work is the delayed move-in. It is not uncommon to have your move dates misaligned. For instance, you might sell your old home and have to move out a week or two before your new home is ready. This can be a huge problem with the old-fashioned way, but with the pod storage way, you just leave your stuff in a storage unit until you’re ready for it.
The Hybrid Way
There is a nice balancing point for moving day options that combines multiple parts of each of these ideas. For instance, you could rent plastic moving boxes, fill them with your things, then hire someone else to carry them all for you. This way you save some money and also don’t throw out your back. Or maybe you put your rental moving bins in a pod for delivery to your new home in another state. The object is to figure out the balance of budget and effort.
Moving is not going to become pleasant unless you get very, very rich. But it can be easier than you think.