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Moving Tips for Graduate Students

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If you're moving away to college or grad school, you're probably wondering how you're going to get all of your stuff there. Finding the prospect of loading all of your possessions into a truck and trekking to your new place stressful? You're not alone. Here are some considerations in planning your move.

Do it yourself or hire a mover? Most students self-move, but the method you choose depends on the following:

  • Where are you moving from and to? If you moving from or to a dorm, a self move is probably the way to go. A move between apartments or houses is more complicated.
  • Do you have the time to pack and move it all?
  • Do you have helpers to move large and heavy objects?
  • Can you drive a rental truck, or do you know someone who can?
  • What are you moving? How heavy, awkward, and expensive are the items? If you're moving an antique armoire or a 250 pound 36-inch television (you won't need that in grad school!), consider hiring movers.
  • Would breaking or damaging an item put strain on a friendship? If so, then a self-move may not be right for you.

Self-Move
The first essential for a self move is person-power. Line up volunteers ahead of time and make sure that you can count on them. Pizza and promises to reciprocate usually work well.

Hauling capacity is the second essential. Rent a larger truck than you think you need so you can move all your stuff in one trip. Also, you don't want to waste time on moving day trying to fit everything into a too-small truck. Compare deals with several rental companies. Ask the following questions:

  • How early do I need to book?
  • What's the cancellation policy?
  • Is a deposit required?
  • What size trucks do you have and how to you determine what size is needed?where do I pick it up?
  • Where do I pick up and drop off the truck?
  • Are there any time restrictions?
  • What are the daily charges?
  • Are there charges for mileage, drop off, or anything else?
  • Are there drive-age restrictions?
  • Can more than one person drive?
  • Must I refill the gas tank?
  • When do I pay?
  • Am I covered by my auto insurance?
  • What are the insurance options?
  • What happened if I'm not insured?

Hiring a Mover
When hiring a mover, it's essential that you do your homework. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Approach several companies and request a free home visit to receive accurate estimates. Ask for a written contract and be sure that you understand it. Most importantly, seek enough insurance to cover any losses. Insurance adds to the price but is essential for peace of mind.

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