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Moving made not so easyRenting a moving truck is not always as cheap as it seems. (Photo by Elizabeth Butler)

By Lawren Shepard
Campus Life Editor

With summer break coming up fast, resident students are faced with the problem of boxing up all our stuff, braving the dust bunnies to clean that frightening, dark area behind the refrigerator, and then somehow moving all those boxes, plastic containers and suitcases back home without shattering that jumbo-sized bottle of shampoo all over the dirty laundry. And did I mention that term paper that’s still not done, the final exams next week, and, for some, that graduation ceremony that’s sneaking up?

Some graduating students (me included) are facing another problem: moving to an entirely new city to take a job or attend graduate or professional school. For recent graduates and students who live some distance from the University and have more belongings than can fit in a pickup truck, this situation is bleak. And by bleak, I mean expensive.

Although those cheerfully decorated moving trucks sport brightly colored ads saying “19.95 a day” or something similar, what they don’t advertise is that rates for long hauls is much different, mileage is extra with some companies, YOU have to pay for the gas, and the fastest the trucks will go when loaded is about 40 miles an hour.

After looking into moving rates from different companies, I found that my move from North Carolina to Louisiana will be about $900 if I do the packing and driving, and around $1400 for a full service move where professionals load and drive my furniture and other belongings. And again…that doesn’t include gas, which is, as we can all attest, at a disgustingly high price.

Even small trailers that hitch onto your car can be expensive, several hundred dollars a day. And then there’s the added trouble of loading and unloading heavy furniture yourself after a long drive.

The best thing to do is to pack light. If you’re just moving back home for the summer, you might want to try attending the UNCP Residence Life swap meet that will be held Saturday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tables will be provided, as will dumpsters.

If you’re moving to or from an apartment you furnished yourself, consider buying lightweight furniture or furniture that can serve a double purpose, such as a futon or sofa bed. Packing materials can be expensive if you buy them from moving companies, so try asking a grocery store or dollar store for old boxes that would otherwise just be thrown out. Shredded newspaper can substitute for bubble wrap, but on the other hand, if you’re moving something very expensive and fragile, it may be worth the extra money to have a professional pack it.

If you do need to use a moving service, make sure that you know your rights. Have a written agreement about payment before anyone touches your stuff.

There’s a saying that a good friend will help you move, and a great friend will help you move a body. With all of this hassle, I almost think they have that backwards.

Black Line
  The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Updated: Tuesday, April 27, 2004
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