Our Moving Expenses And Moving Checklist – Colorado Move Update

Today, I’m going to talk about our move to Colorado. It kind of popped up out of nowhere but now we are right in the middle of it all. I can’t believe how quickly everything is moving along and I am extremely excited. Out of all of the moves we’ve done, this one is definitely…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Moving To Colorado On A Budget & A Moving ChecklistToday, I’m going to talk about our move to Colorado. It kind of popped up out of nowhere but now we are right in the middle of it all. I can’t believe how quickly everything is moving along and I am extremely excited.

Out of all of the moves we’ve done, this one is definitely the largest. We’ve moved a few times now, but they have all been fairly cheap and short distance moves.

However, after collecting, hoarding, and buying things over the last 5 years, we have many more items to move this time around. Even if we were just moving across town it would be difficult with all of our stuff.

Moving to Colorado will be our longest move as well as our most expensive. I’ve heard of people spending over $10,000 moving, and that is something we didn’t want to come anywhere close to.

Below are some updates for our move to Colorado, including our moving expenses and what’s left on our moving checklist.



Moving supply costs.

Moving supplies weren’t as expensive as I thought they would be. I highly recommend you shop around, as I found widely varying prices for moving supplies.

For instance, many moving companies charge around $5 per box, whereas places like Home Depot and Lowes charge between $1 to $1.50 per box. There are also moving box sets that usually end up being a better deal, such as with this one.

We also bought bubble wrap and lots and lots of tape. Our total cost for moving supplies was around $100.

We could have completely skipped any costs for moving supplies if we would have looked around though. You can often find free moving supplies on Craigslist, at stores, and so on. We would have gone this route but I will be honest and say I was a little lazy since the move sprung on us very quickly.


Moving To ColoradoThe cost of moving to Colorado.

Up until last week, we were set on renting a moving truck and trying to figure out a way for everything to work out. However, things just weren’t going to happen that way.

Our main problem is that we have two cars and a moving truck to bring to the new house, yet there are only two of us. And this is why we didn’t think a company such as UHaul or Budget would work for this specific trip.

Yes, we could tow one of the cars behind a moving truck, but we need a fairly large moving truck for all of our things. Towing a car behind it on such a long move (over 1,000 miles) and through steep mountains just seems like too much for us.

Then, Wes’s dad the other day said the company he works for uses UPack to move their employees, so I decided to look them up.

After debating for some time, we made the decision to use UPack for our moving to Colorado needs.

UPack was the easiest and cheapest option for us. UPack is a company that moves your stuff for you. They drop off a moving trailer at your home, you load it up, they pick it up a few days later, then they drop it off at the location you are moving to. They handle all of the actual moving, which is exactly why we chose them. We can make the whole 15 hour trip with only stopping one night, but I know if we drove a moving truck ourselves then it would require much more planning, more stops, and possibly even paying for car shipping because we would have to find a way to bring our second car to the new house.

Going the UPack route is pretty similar in pricing to renting a moving truck as well, and much cheaper than hiring a full-service moving company. I priced out several rental moving truck companies and once I priced everything out, it was very comparable to the pricing that UPack gave me. This is because once you factor in the extra lodging, the higher gas costs because we would have to drive a moving truck, insurance costs, and more, renting a moving truck quickly added up.

A UHaul moving truck rental would have been around $2,500 including the rental truck, insurance, gas, etc. Then, we would have had to still pay for extra lodging and somehow still transporting our second car to Fruita as well. I’m assuming that would have made our moving cost somewhere between $3,000 to $3,500 for the extras. The UPack expense from St. Louis to Fruita is $3,000, so it was an easy choice for us since it meant much less work on our end and a much safer way to move.


My Moving Checklist.

Moving to Colorado hasn’t been as stressful as I originally thought. While there are many things we have already completed on our moving checklist, everything seems to be going smoothly even with all of the tasks that are left. If you need a thorough moving checklist, UPack has one that I found very helpful.

What’s left on our moving checklist:

  • Arrange for the drop off of the moving trailer at the new house (and pickup a few days after). This is one of the more important things on our moving checklist because I need my stuff, of course!
  • Turn the internet off at our Missouri house. We’ve already cut cable.
  • Confirm with moving truck unloaders about what time they should be at the new house. Since it’s only me and Wes (and I am extremely weak), we need someone to help us bring all of our heavy furniture into the house.
  • Wait for Charter internet at the new house. Yes, this is getting installed within the first hour of moving into our new house. After spending all of that time actually moving to Colorado, I will need internet quickly set up so that I can continue working. I just can’t go without it!
  • Notify companies of our move. There are still a few more places we need to inform, such as our car insurance company, our bank, and more.
  • Run through the house one last time. Before we move, we need to run through the house and make sure nothing is left behind and we also need to make sure it’s perfectly clean too for the home sale.
  • New driver’s license. We also need to license our cars.
  • New health insurance. This is the last task on our moving checklist but also very important. Our current health insurance is only good at certain Missouri healthcare providers, so we definitely need this.

How much did your last move cost you? How did you try to save money? Are we crazy for moving to Colorado at the last moment? Is there anything I am missing from my moving checklist?


Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Moving is such a headache and I’ve never even done a MAJOR move. Even packing up my one little bedroom every few years drives me nuts. It’ll be awesome once you’re there and all settled in though 🙂

    1. Yes, I can’t wait until we are settled!

  2. Moving is stessful however I think you are very well organized, for everything bes solution is deep breath and keep calm!!!

  3. Sounds like you are set! That UPack service is a great deal–nicely done. Mr. FW’s company paid to relocate us for our last move, which was a great luxury. Next time we move it’ll definitely be on our own dime!

    Good luck and enjoy this exciting new chapter :)!

    1. Yes, UPack is definitely making our move much easier. I’m so glad I found them!

  4. Looks like you have everything covered! We moved from AZ to NC for less than $3K, including 4 nights at hotels. We were able to rent a 6×12 Uhaul trailer and tow it behind our SUV, so that’s why it was so much less. Had we needed a full-size truck and had more than one car to get us here, we probably would have spent closer to $4K.

    I’m so excited for you!!! Knowing no one in NC (well, now I know some people!), I can honestly say I only got home sick a few times. If you love the state you’re living in and keep busy, you’ll do great!!

  5. Yay! Congratulations! I know this move came up really quickly, but you guys love Colorado, and I’m sure it’s going to be awesome! And those moving costs are crazy! Good thing you shopped around….

  6. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

    Moving costs can definitely grow! Our last move was in town and we did donated boxes and Uhaul. Thinking we’re going to spend more money next time around! I really like to concept of those pack/unpack at your own pace and we’ll move it for you companies.

    1. Yes, it’s crazy how much moving costs.

  7. Elroy

    My last move cost probably around $30k, but it was a corporate move and we didn’t pay anything. That doesn’t include closing costs on both the sale of our old home and the purchase of a new home.

    We ALWAYS keep our boxes and put them on craigslist for free. They get snatched up right away, along with the packing paper that we flatten out to reuse. A lot of people try to sell them for a $0.25-$2/box [the wardrobe boxes being the most expensive], but we didn’t pay anything for them and it seems to honestly help people out, so we just give them away.

    The best moving tip […] call the mormons!

    1. Whoa! Why was your moving cost so much? I know you didn’t have to pay, but that still sounds expensive.

      1. Elroy

        2 days of 3-4 people packing our stuff. 1 day loading. long haul to another state. 30 days of storage. 1 day unloading and putting boxes in the correct rooms and unpacking.

        1. Wow that is insane!

  8. Wow! Big move and that’s so exciting! I’m with you on getting your own supplies AND paying for movers. Unless you have next to no belongings or are just moving within the same city, it makes sense to pay for professionals to handle the move. I’m looking forward to hearing about your move and what you think of your new location. 🙂

    1. Thanks! I’m hoping we love it 🙂

  9. Michelle L

    Wow everything is in place!

  10. nicole dziedzic

    I love the tip about looking around before you decide on anything, to compare costs. Great idea and you saved! Love the checklist!

  11. I really hate moving. Reading about all the stuff you have to do gave me a headache, haha. Good luck! Can’t wait to hear how it all turns out for you and Wes!

    1. Haha yes there is a ton to do!

  12. You’re not crazy for moving. If I had the opportunity I would do it in a heartbeat.

  13. I think that this move was a long time coming so it doesn’t feel like it’s out of the blue to me 🙂 Also, the Upack service is fantastic. You two have everything under control. Have fun!

  14. Pamela Gurganus

    Our last big move cost us $2,900. We rented a UHaul truck and towed our car behind it. That’s how we saved money, by not having to drive two vehicles. We moved from Michigan to Georgia and the drive was an easy one. We did stop and spend the night halfway there. We also saved money by picking up a motel coupon book at a rest area. Sometimes it’s cheaper to not make a reservation! It looks like your moving checklist has all the bases covered! Did you decide about selling or renting your house in St. Louis?

    1. We put it on the market the other day and are just going to see what will happen. Wish us luck!

      1. Pamela Gurganus

        Oh, I’m glad you came to a decision! 🙂 I wish you the best of luck!

  15. Kate @ Cashville Skyline

    So exciting, Michelle! You sound super organized, so I’m sure everything will work out great. I have to admit that I’m a little jealous you’re moving to Colorado – such a beautiful state!

  16. We are actually moving across the country soon, and we are using UPack as well. I’m glad to hear about your experience, as I have not heard much about that company. My husband’s new company is paying for our moving costs so essentially we will not be too affected, financially. Good luck!

    1. Awesome! Good luck with your move 🙂

  17. Linda Moffitt

    Looks like you go the job done even though you probably didn’t feel like you would make it at the time we had just moved not too long ago was not a long distance but still had to own 2 houses for 2 years and have 3 kids under the age of 10 so it was not easy but I am still alive to talk about it like you LOL

    1. Haha glad you made it work Linda 🙂

  18. OMG! You guys are so organised. Kudos to you! 🙂 🙂
    We thought our last move would be cost-effective ‘cos we were only moving within the the same parish into a bigger house, but we spent a lot of time over it as we were moving into our new home within a fortnight! Everything took place a little quicker than we expected LOL! And what with work committments and the international school for our son which was at the end of the city, we ended up packing at night and soliciting friends to help us whenever they could. They did!

    We live in Germany, moving isn’t as cheap or as simple as it would be in the States. We hired a van, bought, borrowed and begged for boxes, re-painted and renovated the old place as well as painting and putting in a new kitchen into the new place! We hired a guy for the painting but did the renovations ourselves. In Germany, houses are completely and utterly empty so we had to go shopping for furniture as our present home is twice the size of our old one!

    As for contacting the relevant offices as to address changes. That was a nightmare. Everything has to be changed: electricity, gas, TV licences, post, insurance, banks. Everything. All within two weeks. It normally takes 6 weeks! I’m not hoping for a next time until our son graduates and then we’ll hire a company to do it all for us.
    We spent about €4,000 or $4,500.

    1. Yes, changing all of the addresses has been a lot of work. We still have a few more left 🙁

  19. How exciting! Good for you guys for getting gutsy and taking a chance. P.S. Love how internet is one of your top priorities;-)

    1. Haha of course it is!

  20. Upack sounds awesome. Sometimes reduced stress is worth paying for, and this sounds like a great example. I’m surprised you have to change health insurances. It had never occurred to me that this might be necessary with moving, but since you mentioned it, it does make sense. Thanks for bringing that up!

    1. Yep, it’s something I wish we didn’t have to deal with though.

  21. Rust

    The UPack sounds like a good deal. My last move (600 miles) cost me about 1500 (Uhaul rental, 600 for two guys to load the truck, and gas). I made the move alone so I had to tow my car behind the Uhaul truck (their longest model) through mountains …and the trip wasn’t too bad. If I had known about UPack I may have gone that route.

    1. That doesn’t seem too bad. Our move was a little over 1,000 miles and not having to drive a rental truck made it much easier.

  22. Nancy

    I don’t remember the cost of our move 3 years ago. But I do remember shopping around and interviewing several movers. We went with a moving company for two reasons: 1) We had to store our things for about 2 weeks before we could move into our new home. 2) We are in our 60s and did not want the physical exertion of loading and unloading. We did most of the packing ourselves, but had the mover pack the kitchen and good china. We reduced the cost of the move by getting rid of lots and lots of stuff–furniture we didn’t want, the old appliances. We made a little money for the move from garage sales. And I got most of our packing boxes free from Freecycle.

    1. Hiring movers is something I think I will always pay for in the future. It just makes things so much easier!

  23. Amy

    Moving is one of my least favorite things in the world. I think you’re absolutely doing the right thing by not driving your own moving truck. Good luck with all the last-minute details!

  24. Since we moved over 10 years ago, I don’t remember many of the specifics but we moved just one town over and rented a uHaul. We also had friends help us load and unload. Life was much simpler back then so there wasn’t a whole lot to move. Before that, we moved to Iowa using a uHaul and pulling our truck behind. We sold my car for the move. When we moved back, we used a service that sounds a lot like what you are using. It was cost effective and easy!

    It sounds like you have it together! Good luck with the move!

  25. Natalie

    My brother lives in Colorado and I remember how many hidden costs there were to help him move!

    1. It all adds up very quickly.

  26. Yes, I would definitely look into UPack. They have been great so far!

  27. I didn’t find any price differences based on moving company locations where I live or the town we are moving. And we decided to put our house on the market and see what happens 🙂

  28. Yes, our house is on the market! 🙂

  29. Olla

    Wow… moving is so stressful. I moved houses this last Christmas and oh my, it was so tiring. I didn’t feel like it was the holiday season at all.

    By the way, great blog. I started my blog about 7 months ago and i’m finding it so hard to get traffic. It almost makes me give up but then I remember why I started and I decide i’m not giving up.

    1. Don’t give up 🙂 The first year is usually the toughest.

  30. Barrie

    Wow… you are totally on top of moving! I HATE packing and it stresses me out so we had the company pack for us…of course, hubby’s company was moving us so it didn’t cost us anything.

    1. Yes, moving is definitely stressful.

  31. That’s a far move! I’m nervous to think about how much stuff i have accumulated in the last few year.

    1. Yup, it’s definitely far!

  32. Linda Moffitt

    When we moved I had 10 yrs of stuff and 3 kids that I didn’t have when we moved there so i definitely understand the accumulating junk part of this post

  33. Cindy

    I came across your blog on Pinterest. We are moving to Colorado too!! We will be leaving from the Chicago area by the end of May, so this is a first time major move for us as well. I’m excited to follow your journey. 🙂

    1. Awesome! Where are you moving to?

  34. Bianca

    We just moved from NC to AZ (funny, I saw another commenter just moved FROM AZ to NC!) because of my boyfriend’s job. It was also a last minute move. We had exactly one month, and 11 of those days consisted of a trip to Phoenix to house shop, then a previously-planned trip to Vegas where I had qualified for the women’s national championship for the American Darts Organization, so we really only had about 2.5 weeks! They were a crazy 2.5 weeks for sure! We also compared costs as you did and found UPack to be a little cheaper in the long run, and much more convenient for us. We were in the same boat as you – didn’t want to drive a huge UHaul through the mountains with a car towed to it, etc.

    His company ended up paying the cost of the UPack trailer and our hotel stays, about $2800. We paid for gas and meals. The trip was 2200 miles, and we divided it up to five driving days, going between 6-7 hours most days. It would have been nice to make the trip quicker, but I have bad back and chronic pain issues so I just couldn’t physically do much more driving than that, and we had a dog who hates car rides with us.

    It was a crazy, extremely stressful process but we finally made it to Phoenix! During the last week leading up to moving day, I was freaking out, but I knew somehow or another it would all get done and we would be on the road one way or another – and somehow (with a LOT of help from my mom) it did happen lol. We are now in our new house surrounded by tons of boxes, and since I’m not on a tight deadline this time I’m not in a terrible hurry to unpack them all.

    Good luck with Colorado! I hope you love it as much as we love AZ!

    1. Thanks! We actually just finished unpacking everything today. I’m glad everything is done!

  35. Looks like you’ve get everything under control Michelle.

    I’ve done two big (or at least relatively big – 8 hours drive) moves. For the initial move I had a relatively small load so arranged for my stuff to be a back-fill load on a road transport truck. They said it could be a week before my stuff arrived… turned out to be closer to a month. I had a lot of fun ‘camping’ in my new flat – for the first couple of days. After that, not so much!

    I handled the reverse move a *lot* differently. 🙂

    Good luck with the move!

    1. Thanks Diane! The move went well 🙂

  36. Yes, we loved UPack!

  37. Christy Peeples DuBois

    I haven’t thought about a moving company having a check list on things to do when moving but it is so logical. And I have learned so much in the short time I’ve been reading your blog, like today, if I were to move to another state I would not thought one thing about my health insurance until I needed it and then I suppose I would have found out it wasn’t good in another state, network, etc… Thank you for this and every post.

  38. Carrie

    Welcome to the state!

  39. Congrats on the move. Fruita is awesome! We live in (well, near) Boulder but make a couple trips out to Fruita every year to mountain bike. It’s such a great area – you’ll love it!

  40. Oh my gosh! This was a “recommended pin” on my pinterest and I could not believe how right they were! My fiance and I are moving to Grand Junction from Iowa in August and this is SO HELPFUL! Also really neat that you’re moving so close to where we’ll be. Thanks for such great tips!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you found my blog 🙂

      May I ask why you’re moving to Grand Junction? We live about 5 miles away in Fruita and we love it here so far!

      1. My fiance has a lot of family there, essentially. We both enjoy Colorado and we are looking for a new adventure outside Iowa so GJ was our first choice!

        1. Awesome. Great decision!

  41. Johnny

    I am glad that you mentioned choosing a moving company that will be less hassle for you. Moving is already enough hassle. I don’t think you are crazy for moving to Colorado at the last moment. I also think your move was really successful. Thanks for sharing.

  42. Professional movers have the brain power to get everything safely out of your home and unto their truck.

  43. Mary

    Just wanted to say WELCOME TO COLORADO!!! I moved here 25 yrs ago from Texas (originally from Illinois) and love it here… especially the winters… they’re not near as bone chilling as the East or Midwest… Hope you grow to love it too!!!

  44. Ava Laurie

    I am surprised that you are even paying for boxes. My little trick is that I go to a Walmart either late in the night or early in the morning. They usually will have boxes form there shipping cargo that just sits there. They give it to you for free.

  45. COmommaof4

    Welcome to the Grand Valley a beautiful place to live. I was born and raised here, left for college and then my husband and I moved back here to start a family. We moved from South Dakota, it cost us around $3500 to rent a uhaul truck. Thank you for the tip of the moving company, hopefully we will not be moving anytime soon but good to know to pass along to friends. We just moved across town to a new home and that was a big enough move for us, a family of 6 has a lot of stuff. If you are needing a good realtor in town I have the best one, we have used her 3 times now. I hope that you have enjoyed it here so far, a lot of outdoor recreation stuff to do. But don’t let this weather fool you it is usually much warmer than this. Charter Internet isn’t the best but it is the cheapest and they are willing to fix problems pretty quickly. Welcome again to the beautiful Western Slope.

    1. Marie

      Is anyone aware of that U-Haul as are you box which is like you pack but winds up to be much cheaper in the long run someone should check that

  46. Whether it’s a top floor in an apartment building or the basement of an old house, professional movers have the brain power to get everything safely out of your home and unto their truck.

  47. Thanks for the insight. This will be very useful information when I move across country this coming month. Appreciate the share!

  48. I love the idea of making a moving checklist. That’s a great way to stay focused on the important tasks and prioritize. Thanks so much for the ideas.

  49. My wife and I are moving for the first time and we couldn’t be more excited. With it being our first time though, we are looking for some ways to make this as smooth and affordable as possible. This article helped, and I hope that we can find a good moving service to help us out.

  50. Shandi Dews

    I am actually from Colorado, but have been living in Texas, and desperately want to move home. I came across your article, and not only do I love everything you are adding, but I must also say, my dad lives in Fruita!! I hope you have been loving it there!

  51. Amy

    Do not move to Colorado. Way over rated. Too many people. The beautiful mountains are now over crowded. Please don’t move here, pollution, traffic and rude people.

    1. Snowqueen

      You should move to chicago. Then you’ll know pollution, traffic, and rudeness. In fact, i cant wait to move to Colorado!!

  52. Angie

    I have heard good things about U-Pack. I am moving across the country to California from the Midwest in 5 weeks. I just accepted a job but there is no relocation expenses. But I have family that I will stay with. I had already put my 2 bdrm apt in storage. So after a couple of months after securing an apt I will send for my stuff. If you ever update this please tell us your experience with U-pack when it got to Colorado. Thanks

    1. My experience was great! I’ve used UPack twice now.

      1. Maureen

        Michelle, did you ever price out the pods to move? Just curious if those would be cheaper??

        1. Dija B.

          Thank you everyone for your hints.
          I moved from Colorado in July 2017 to Florida. I hired a moving company, they were a rip off. They gave a very low estimate, and on the moving day. They tripled their price. After few months I decided to move back to Colorado. I can’t handle the weather and hurricane commotion every summer here. I love Colorado. I lived there 4 years. People are nice, Colorado springs is rated 5 in air quality.
          Anyway. I should be leaving here end November. I’m shopping all options UPACK and PODS. Upack has driver and gas included in their quote. That’s 2000 miles move for 3600. All you have to do is add helpers cost and pads to protect your furniture. PODS on the other hand has one month free storage. In case you don’t have a place yet. But their quote was 5400$ for 2 16′ containers.

          I hope this will help.
          Bon Voyage!

  53. Sheila

    If you are just moving clothing or non-breakable things, you can get a “big” box and ship using Amtrak. You need to drop off at Amtrak and also pick up at their station, but we paid $50 a box (large box) to ship from Denver Union Station to Baltimore MD. It was perfect for us as it freed up alot of room in the car for other things (breakable & electronics)

  54. Kim N.

    How do you adjust to the mountains when moving? I’m going to be moving from STL to Wyoming this summer and I know from my brother and his wife getting altitude sickness and I want to know if there are any tricks to prepare or prevent that? Thank you!!

    1. I never got altitude sickness with the move, and regularly hike tall mountains.

      I know that lots and lots of drinking water helps.