As if moving wasn’t enough of a nightmare, moving when you have to ship furniture can become quite the costly hassle. There are two questions you need to ask yourself before dragging the couch out the front door:
1. How far are you moving?
Cross-country:You probably need to ship.
Within State: You may be able to rent a truck or van from a service like U-Haul, which is most likely cheaper than shipping. U-Haul charges a flat rate, and depending on how close or far the drive, a small rate-per-mile, plus gas.
2. Do you need help packing and getting your furniture out of the house, or is this a big, cross-country move?
Packing and leaving:The best friends are the ones who will help you move. Buy them a pizza for their troubles.
Cross-country:You should consider hiring a mover. Though it will cost to have them pack your furniture for you, this could save you from damaged furniture you need to then replace. If you can avoid paying for the extra services movers offer, like packing your furniture or other equipment services, you’ll save. Also, rates for movers are higher in the summer and around holidays—moving at non-peak times can save you up to 50% on movers.
Furniture Ships By Freight
Most standard services like UPS or FedEx don’t ship furniture because it’s outside of their size restrictions (about 150 lbs. per shipment, 5 feet in width, 108 inches in length). For large pieces you’ll have to use a freight service, such as FedEx Express or UPS Freight. With freight services, costs are determined by weight and percentage of space in the truck the item will use. For the sake of comparison, take into account the following: moving a 175 lb. couch from New York to Washington, DC, will cost you $825 with UPS, $438 with FedEx, and only $170 with a U-Haul…plus gas.
Smaller Boxes Are Better Boxes
If you can break down your furniture into smaller boxes, this will help cut your cost. Another cost-cutting option is to contact freight companies to see if there is space available on a truck in your area; if you don’t need a whole truck they won’t charge you as much to include a box or two in a truck that’s already traveling.
Don’t Forget The Extras
Regardless of whether you use a truck, movers, or a freight service, it’s important to lighten your load as much as possible to save. Go through your things and decide what really needs to come with you and what gets relegated to Craigslist. Also, decide which extras are necessary and don’t forget to factor in the cost of supplies and insurance—these things add up!