Finding the Best Moving Option for You

Recently, I moved cross-country from Atlanta to Phoenix. A decision needed to be made about logistics. How was I going to move all by myself? I needed to figure out the most cost-efficient move for my tight budget.

My U-Box for moving
My U-Box container in the front yard in Atlanta.

My concerns:

  • Moving on a tight budget
  • Small amount of stuff (one bedroom)
  • Friends/Family to help at the start, but not at the destination
  • Moving by myself (no travel buddy)

My options:

Determine how much stuff you have

Aside from the large amount of clothes, shoes and office supplies I’ve hoarded over the years, I had only a few furniture items including a mattress and box spring, small cabinet, 27-inch projector television, bicycle and a hope chest—does anyone even know what those are anymore?

In case you were wondering … a hope chest, according to Wikipedia, is a “chest used to collect items of clothing or household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life.” I guess that explains why my hope chest is dusty and the wood is damaged in one spot. (“All the single ladies, now put your hands up!” – Beyonce.)

After evaluating how much stuff I have to move, I realized that it could all fit into either a small U-Haul truck or a U-Box container.

Research the cost

Pull out your calculators. This is where it gets fun.

I’ll spare you the details of the cost of each option, as they differ for each individual move. After checking the rates online, I discovered the approximate cost of each option.

Option A:
Rent a U-Haul truck and auto-transport. This would involve driving a U-Haul truck cross-country while towing my small SUV behind me on an auto transport.

Costs Involved:

  • Truck rental
  • Auto-transport rental
  • Moving insurance
  • Gas, hotel stay and meals
  • Moving help

Option B:
Rent a U-Box container and freight my container to Phoenix ahead of me.

Costs Involved:

  • Trailer rental or delivery service
  • U-Box container rental
  • Moving insurance
  • Gas, hotel stay and meals
  • Moving help

After doing the math, I learned that the cheaper option was renting a U-Box container that would be freighted from Atlanta to Phoenix.

Do you have enough help?

My family was able to help with the start of my move in Atlanta. My dad picked up the U-Box container from our local U-Haul center. We loaded up my stuff and brought the box back to the center the same day.

They said it would take up to nine business days for it to reach Phoenix, but it got there in five. I was really impressed.

In Phoenix, I used to find a mover that had a hitch and could pick up my U-Box container for me. I met them at the U-Haul center and signed the necessary paperwork. The movers followed me back to my apartment and unloaded the container for me. I’ve had numerous “back-breaking” moves in the past, so it was really nice to have someone else doing all the heavy lifting for me—and the two guys I hired were very nice and professional.

Making it work for you

The best advice I can give is to do your research online. I was able to find the approximate price of everything I was looking for. Truck, trailer and moving container rental fees should be easy to find and reserve online.

Check out the goofy “home videos” of my moving experience.

Part one: Picking up the U-Box container in Atlanta, loading it to the brim, and making sure it was under the weight requirements.
Part two: Picking up the U-Box container in Phoenix, unloading it with the help of movers, and a tour of my new apartment.

I’m happy to answer any questions you have—just ask.

Have a happy move!