It doesn't matter if you are moving across the country or across the street, moving can be stressful, overwhelming and expensive. Using a U-Haul to move can reduce the cost immensely over hiring movers, but you can cut costs even further if you pay attention to the details.
Be Willing to Drive
It seems odd, but if you are renting a U-Haul for a one-way trip, it may be cheaper--in some cases much cheaper--for you to drive to your new home and then to a city even farther away, if it's bigger than the place you are moving. Returning trailers to very small towns can cost you up to 50 percent more on your rental.
Get the Right Size Truck
Don't guess when it comes to picking the right size truck or van. Measure your rooms and get an idea of how much you are really bringing with you. The difference between a 1 room truck and a 3 room truck can be hundreds of dollars, depending on the destination.
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Get Free Boxes
Don't purchase boxes from U-Haul. Go to every liquor and grocery store in town and ask for their boxes. Ask them when their delivery day is and offer to help them break down the boxes. Visit dumpsters and look for clean boxes. If you can't find a lot of boxes, pack as much as you can in dresser drawers (taken out of the dresser), plastic storage containers and other containers you have. You'll be surprised at how much you can pack in what you already own.
Have a Yard Sale
If you are toting around furniture that has seen finer days, consider how much you really need to bring it with you. Look at everything you own and decide if it really needs to make the trip. Reducing the amount of stuff you bring will greatly reduce the size and cost of the truck you need to rent. Perhaps you'll even make enough money at the sale to help with moving costs.
Borrow a Hand Truck
Rather than rent a hand truck or appliance dolly, borrow one from a friend or local business.
Use Your Own Blankets
Save yourself several dollars by using your own blankets and rugs as padding between wooden furniture items. You can place boxes and cardboard strategically in the van instead of the pricey blankets you can rent from U-Haul.
Move During the Week
Rates are generally lower between Sunday and Thursday.
Return Your Truck to the Same Place
You can save a lot of money if you are able to rent your truck for a day or two and return it to the place from which you rented it. Do the calculations on the U-Haul website or call and ask a representative how much it will cost to take the truck one way or bring it back to the same location. If you aren't moving very far away, like within the same state or same region, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars.