The moving process is one of the most stressful parts of relocation. If the hassle of packing boxes, switching utilities, cleaning out the old place isn’t enough to drive you nuts, the cost probably will be. Here are a few tips for keeping the cost of moving within reason:
- Collect boxes instead of buying them.
If you ask nicely at a grocery store or liquor store, you can probably get enough free cardboard boxes to pack up everything in your house. If someone in your household works in an office, try collecting the boxes from the copy paper.
Copy paper boxes and liquor boxes are sturdy since they are intended to hold heavy items. They are also perfectly sized for packing things like books and knick-knacks that are too heavy or too fragile to go in a large box. Not having to purchase moving boxes will save you a significant amount of money.
- Use clothing, pillows, blankets, etc., to pack your breakables.
If something is irreplaceable, you may want to pack it in a few layers of bubble wrap and surround it with Styrofoam peanuts just to be on the safe side. However, for everyday dishes, empty flower pots, and knick-knacks, try simply wrapping the item in a shirt or towel and packing it in between layers of pillows or blankets.
This will mean you have to purchase very little packing material. It is also a very efficient way to pack since you needed to move both your breakables and your fabric items anyway.
- Pare down your belongings.
Make sure you are only moving things you genuinely need and want in your new home. When it comes to furniture, decide what does and doesn’t fit in your new home. Be honest with yourself about whether or not you want a new decor. If your new home is giving you new ideas, then sell the old furniture instead of paying to move it and then replacing it later.
Also, consider what your lifestyle and wardrobe will be like in your new location. If you are moving to a warmer climate, then you may not need all of your coats and sweaters; drop some off at the local thrift store instead of jamming them all in the moving van.
If you are moving down from the mountains, sell or donate any ski equipment you own. The same goes for surfboards or boats if you are moving away from the water. Paying money to move and then store these items simply doesn’t make sense. If you do go on a vacation where you may need to use them, it will be cheaper to rent for a few days.
Paring down will help you save money because you can rent a smaller moving truck. If you hire movers by the hour, having fewer possessions will mean your packing will be done sooner, and you won’t have to pay as much.
- Pack up your kitchen items last.
When moving, it can get tempting to eat in restaurants or buy take out food during the weeks leading up to the move. If you pack up your kitchen appliances and dishes, then you will not be able to prepare meals at home, which will make going out even more tempting. If you want to continue saving money on food during the moving process, then pack up your kitchen last.
Instead of going out to eat on days, you feel too stressed to cook, try making big batches of foods like spaghetti or meatloaf and freezing the leftovers. Also, be sure to have plenty of cheap, easy-to-prepare foods on hand.