How to Move for Next to Nothing

We just moved 1000 miles for under $550! Here’s how we pulled it off.

We moved our home base from Colorado to Montana, in preparation for our off grid lifestyle. We decided to hang on to just a few special things and store them in Montana before embarking on a life on the road for the next four months.

Here are the 3 major contributing factors to such a low cost move, over so many miles:


(1) Downsize:

the number one factor is less is better! We sold all of our large stuff, such as furniture, on Craigslist & smaller items during several garage sales. We donated many items to Goodwill or friends in need. The money saved on the move will be more than enough to get new stuff when we need it in the future. You can’t move on the cheap if you have tons of belongings you can’t let go of. Trade stuff for experiences.


(2) Use a Cargo Van Instead of Moving Truck

Once you downsize, you will be able to save money on smaller storage units and vehicles to move your stuff. Maybe you can use the vehicle you have, use a trailer, or rental. We were able to get a cargo van rental from Enterprise for $65 per day. This is a lot cheaper than renting a Uhaul moving truck! And it saved us money on gas.

Moving Cheap Cargo Van
Cargo Van Much Cheaper than Moving Trucks!


(3) Know Where to Find Cheaper Storage

We found storage in a less populated or less popular town but still close enough to where we needed to be. By doing this, we got a cheap monthly rate of $35 per month plus one free promotional month. This was almost half the price of storing out stuff in popular regions (such as Colorado Springs, CO, Denver, CO, or even Missoula, MT) where prices were closer to $80 per day!

Storage Unit
5×10 Storage Unit


Here’s the cost breakdown:

Total cost: $560

  • Storage: $140 (35/mo * 5 mos, with promotional 1 mo free, courtesy of TBA)
  • Cargo Van rental: $210 (65/day for 3 days, plus tax/fees)
  • Gas: $200


Note: If we didn’t have to drive back to Colorado we might have been able to save a bit more. Although, we likely would have been charged a different drop off fee, so probably not too much. 


Bonus! Since we had a rental & already paid for the third day, we were able to make a stop at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks on our way back to Colorado! Moving was more like a vacation.