I’ve moved 5 times without a car — these are my top tips

I've moved 5 times without a car — these are my top tips
  • I’ve moved five times in a year and thanks to these tips I managed to do without a car.
  • It is essential to familiarize yourself with airline baggage policies and to link your belongings.
  • Keep an eye on the rideshare apps throughout the day to see how much a trip will cost in advance.

I moved alone for the first time in 2020 after deciding to leave my marriage.

Little did I know that I would go through four different states a total of five times that year, and I would do it all without access to a car.

Here are the tips I wish I knew before my first move.

The moving process can be stressful, so don’t be afraid to ask for help

Moving without a car requires you to be resourceful, which means using all the expertise you can. After all, moving can be a lot for one person to do alone.

The first time I packed my things, I was so focused on logistics that I didn’t ask my friends or family for help or advice. In hindsight, that was a mistake.

Organization isn’t my forte, so my packaging strategy was flawed, to put it kindly. My best friend is an expert at putting together suitcases and cleaning up messes, so I should have asked her for help sooner.

If I had, I could have saved time, space and money.

Southwest Airlines.

When I move, I prefer to fly with Southwest Airlines. Passengers can check in two free bags.

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

When flying to your new home, consider the airline’s baggage policy in your packing strategy

Each airline has its own policy when it comes to baggage. Do your homework ahead of time to come up with a packing strategy that will help you carry the items you need and avoid unexpected baggage fees.

I prefer to fly with Southwest Airlines when I move, as passengers can check in two bags for free. I tried to cram all my stuff into the two suitcases, often resulting in an overpriced $75 baggage fee.

Now I have a different game plan. Each additional checked bag costs $75, and I pay for two. It’s the same price I used to pay for my two oversized checkbags. This method allows me to pack everything I need.

Pair your gear as early as possible – you’ll thank yourself later

I packed too much the first time I moved, which made the move much more challenging. Without a car, I didn’t have the luxury of stuffing things into the crevices in the back seats or in the corners of the trunk. I knew every inch of my suitcase was precious, but there were still some items I couldn’t part with.

I linked my gear with every move. It became clear which items were essential to my survival and my happiness. I held onto my favorite books, workout equipment, and childhood memories.

Getting rid of things took me time, but I recommend doing this earlier in the moving process. You will thank yourself down the line.

bags with clothes

I recommend donating and selling items and clothing that you don’t wear or use regularly.


Before you throw away items you don’t need or use, consider selling or donating them

I have a habit of holding onto things that I should have thrown away years ago. Some of these items — like a ten-year-old laptop charger — probably won’t be of any use to anyone, but others are worth selling or donating.

Space is precious when moving, so make sure everything you bring with you serves a purpose. If it doesn’t work for you, it can for someone else. So think twice before tossing it in the trash.

For example, I had amassed a sizable makeup collection that I had taken with me on my travels. I didn’t use most of the products, many of which were brand new, so I ended up selling over 100 eyeshadow palettes.

Know the location of the nearest medical care

If you don’t have a car, living too far away from emergency medical care can be risky.

Before I decide to move to a location, I always try to make sure there is a doctor or hospital within walking distance or an affordable ride with ride.

Test rideshare apps to measure prices and wait times

When I can’t use public transportation or walk, I rely on rideshare apps. I have noticed that the cost of these trips varies depending on the location.

One time I arrived in a new city and was shocked that the ride from the airport to my new home was over $100, a huge jump from what a similar route cost at my previous destination.

Rideshare fares also fluctuate throughout the day, so a 2:00 p.m. trip is likely to be priced differently than a 2:00 a.m. trip.

I’ve found it helpful to check the apps, even when I don’t need a ride, to get an idea of ​​how much a trip would cost at different times. From there, I make sure to budget double the money in case of price hikes or other unexpected hitches.