Why did we move? Because we wanted to. I work from home and John works in construction. We didn’t get transferred, we don’t have family out here and, in fact, John had never even been to NC before and I had only been once (and to a different city than we live, no less). Simply put, we’re here because we want to be!
Since we didn’t have a job to come to, we knew we needed to save every penny we could during the move.
We got rid of a lot of our stuff
For two months, whenever I had time, I would go through closets, cabinets and drawers and get rid of what wasn’t a necessity. I cleaned out my closet three separate times and donated roughly 12 full-size bags of clothes and shoes. We got rid of some of my daughters toys, kitchen gadgets, a couch, a dining room table, a grill, miscellaneous pieces of furniture, tools and more. If it wasn’t a necessity or something one of us treasured, it got donated or sold.
*As a side note, I can’t tell you how good it feels to downsize and get rid of clutter! With less stuff comes less stress, less to clean, less to keep up and less to worry about!
We rented a 6 x 12 U-Haul trailer
We packed our entire 3 bedroom + loft house into a 6 x 12 trailer attached to the back of our SUV. That’s how much we downsized!! One thing I refused to part with was our couch that we bought in July 2013. We paid $1800 for it and there was no way I was going to sell it for not even half that. The couch, by the way, is MASSIVE. It easily took up half of the trailer.
We also took a fake fireplace we had purchased the previous Christmas, our girls cribs and mattresses, our mattress (but not the box spring), some of John’s work tools, a few boxes of sentimentals, one box of kitchen items, half a box of bathroom items, clothing and some artwork.
Cost of the U-Haul: $550
We packed ourselves
No one likes to pack and load boxes into a trailer, but if you can physically do it yourself, I highly recommend going that route. I got quotes from movers and it easily would have been $8K to have all of our belongings packed up and moved across the country. Instead, John and I packed everything up ourselves. It took a day and a half and we did it while watching our girls in the 110 degree weather!
We drove one car
Part of why we downsized so much is we didn’t want to rent a full-size U-Haul moving truck. Those cost way more than the trailers plus we would have had to pay for gas for our SUV and the moving truck. Not to mention, we had two babies and two dogs with us, so it just made sense for all of us to be in one vehicle.
Total spent in gas: $650
We stayed in La Quinta’s
La Quinta’s are pet-friendly and don’t charge extra. Our trip was five days, four nights so we stayed at four different La Quinta’s across the country (Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Memphis and Knoxville). We booked a two-room suite each time to allow for plenty of space for all of us. Prices ranged from $120/night to $160/night.
Total spent on hotels: $550
TOTAL: $1750 plus food to move a family of four across the country!
You really can’t beat that!
Readers: Have you ever moved across the country? What advice would you have for others?