How to Save Money on Your Next Move

movingMoving is one of the most stressful life events we have to deal with.  It’s also an expensive one.  But you can cut costs and stress levels with a few of these veteran tips:


Start Packing Early

When you start to pack early, great things happen.  The first is that you won’t be rushing around at the last minute, trying to get weeks worth of work done in a few days.  The second is that as you take the time to slowly pack up all of your belongings, you’ll inevitably find things that you don’t need in your life anymore.  Because you started early, you’ll have enough time to list these things on Craigslist or take them to a consignment store, making you money to offset your moving costs, and saving valuable room on the truck.


Get Boxes For Free

Grocery stores generally have a surplus of boxes.  They throw them in a compactor just to dispose of them.  Because they’re built to carry large amounts of food, they’re normally very sturdy and a decent size.  Most of the time, the boxes get compacted over the night shift, so talk to the people working this shift beforehand and ask if they’d be willing to set a few aside for you.


Use Towels To Pack Fragiles

Want to kill two birds with one stone?  Substitute your towels for bubble wrap.  By using them to wrap fragile items, you’ll be saving on buying extra supplies, and packing two things at once.  If you run out of towels, another free option is to use newspaper or circular ads you already receive in the mail.


Enlist Help

Ask for family and friends to help with the move.  Most people may not be initially thrilled, but if you offer pizza and beer to sweeten the deal you should be able to assemble and enthusiastic moving team.  Pizza and beer is a whole lot cheaper than paying a company to do the job for you.  Plus, it will be one final hurrah for your old place.


If you are making a long-distance move and don’t know anyone at the other end, reach out to groups that you will be joining.  Do you have a church you are planning on attending in your new neighborhood?  Is there a softball team at your new office?  While reaching out and asking for help right off the bat may feel a bit awkward at first, it can be a great way to bond quickly.  Just be ready and willing to return the favor someday.


Shop for the Best Deal and the Least Stress

If you have enough people to help you on either end of your move, it’s going to be cheaper to rent, load, and unload your own moving truck.  If you’re doing everything on your own, paying a little extra to have someone do all of that for you may be worth it.  You can either rent your own truck and have movers do the labor, or hire a company to do both.  Each option gets more and more expensive, but never underestimate the value of your sanity.  If two days of solo labor is worth the added cost, don’t feel guilty about splurging to pay someone else to take the burden off your shoulders.


Avoid the Upsell

Wherever you shop for your moving needs, salesmen or computer interfaces will be trying to upsell you.  While a dolly might be a good thing to have while moving, it may be something you can source from one of the people helping you rather than paying an additional fee for it.  Special wrapping for frames can be a good idea, but odds are towels or newspapers will do you just fine anyways.  Keep in mind that those little add-ons add up quickly, and that you may not actually “need” any of them when all is said and done.