Thursday, July 17, 2014

Moving & Shipping To Alaska

Shipping in Alaska, particularly when moving, can be daunting.  If you are one the lucky Alaskans who lives off of the road system you will find yourself with limited options.  Personally, I've pursued two of these crazy moving options and thought that I would share my opinions on each.

1.) SELL EVERYTHING! The first time that Cody and I moved from Illinois to Alaska we sold (basically) all of our belongings. If it didn't fit in our car, we got rid of it.  This ended up being a great option for a couple of recent college grads.  We didn't have any "nice" or expensive stuff to begin with so selling all of our crummy college furniture was great.  It also made us some good moving money to put towards buying new stuff when we reached our destination.  In the short-term this was probably the cheaper option.  We did have sink quite a bit of money into household items down the road though. We also had to ship our car (via ferry) and that cost over $1,000 so the costs add up quickly either way.

Packing up our car for the move to Juneau. 
2.)SHIP, SHIP, SHIP! This time around we are shipping anything that can fit in 18gallon totes.  It costs around $2.00/lb to ship stuff in the totes but it is worth it for some of our valuable items (or sentimental stuff).  We are mainly shipping clothes, books, movies, small kitchen appliances, home decor items, and a few other miscellaneous things.  It will end up taking us about 10 totes and 10 pre-paid priority mail boxes to ship everything we want.  Frankly, it's a bit expensive but it saves us having to sink a ton of money into new things when we get to our new house.

Three out of the ten totes that we shipped to the lower 48. 
Both are great options when considering a move to (or from) Alaska.  Moving to Alaska is never going to be "easy" by moving standards.  That doesn't mean that it has to be completely daunting though! Planning and research are your best friends when it comes to shipping.  I found that my local post office (shout out to the Douglas, AK office) was extremely helpful.  For example, I had NEVER heard of Media Mail before talking over options with a local postal worker.  Media Mail is a great option for shipping books, movies, or music and it only costs .50/lb! It saved me over $100 in shipping costs.  Definitely rely on others who have done the move before and do lots of research.  It'll be a life and money saver in the long run :)

What other questions do you have about Alaskan shipping?
Are there any "moving to Alaska" type posts that you'd like to read?

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