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Moving your own things

Finding packing supplies, renting a truck, and enlisting help

If you have too many items and canít use your car to move, but canít afford the extravagance of hiring professional movers -- then you need to plan on moving yourself. You need to get packing supplies, rent a moving truck, and find some strong family/friends.

Packing Supplies

Youíll need boxes, tape, scissors, and newspapers or towels for fragile items. Of course, you can easily find tape and scissors at any storeís school supplies aisle. Newspapers can be bought for less than a dollar at any news stand. Boxes, however, are more difficult to find.

Buying packing boxes at a shipping center (FedEx or UPS) is very expensive; even if you only need a few. The way to get free packing boxes is to go to a large, national chain store like Wal-Mart, Target, Publix, etc. Go early in the morning Ė as soon as they open (before 7, if theyíre open all night). Walk around the store and find an employee stocking the shelves Ė they will more than likely have a shopping cart filled with broken down boxes. They wonít have a problem with you taking them, just ask politely.

A word of advice: take more than you think youíll need. Itís better to have too many than to need to go back for more.

Moving truck

The major moving trucks are Budget, uHaul, Penske, and Ryder. I would suggest scheduling to rent the truck a month in advance to guarantee it will be available on the date you want to move. You will have to pay for the truck (by credit card) when you make a reservation. Also, youíll be asked if you need hand trucks, ability to tow a car, etc., so figure that out before you reserve.

The total cost to rent a truck can vary. If youíre moving across town or in the same state and only need the truck for a day, it should cost less than a couple hundred dollars. Keep in mind you have to refuel the truck before you return it, so factor that into your costs. If your new place is more than a few hundred miles away, expect not only to pay for multiple tanks of gas, but to pay for the additional mileage as well. For example, a trip from South Carolina to Wisconsin using Budget would cost approximately $520, and thatís not including at least 5 stops for gas.

Strong family/friends

You need people to help move all of your things. The more you have, the quicker the day will go for all parties involved. If you only have a couple of people to help, itís going to be a grueling process with a bunch of tired, exhausted people at the end of the day.