I thought I wrote a post about moving last year, but I couldn’t find it. Oh well, I guess I don’t have to come up with new advice on this topic. 🙂 Actually, most of my advice is new from what I would have written a year ago. I’ve had new ideas on the topic based on conversations with other bloggers and my own experiences.
It is frustrating that I’m moving again, just 9 months after my last one. But if I wasn’t, I would have never thought of this topic and I’d still be staring at a blank screen. Always have to look at the bright side of things.
The other bright side is that I’m rapidly becoming an expert on moving, something I would have never imagined when I got married 3 years ago and had just moved for the first time in 18 years. And I can’t say that I was very involved in the move when I was 10.
Moving is expensive. There is no getting around it. The only move I’ve ever heard of that wasn’t more expensive than any sane person would imagine it should was when my parents moved from an upstairs apartment to the downstairs one shortly after I was born. No moving costs, other than some pizza for my 16-year-old uncle to help my father move the furniture.
So with moving costs high and getting higher all the time, it is imperative to try to save some money where you can. To do so, try these
3 4 money-saving tips.
Free Moving Boxes
I have never paid for a box in my life. The idea of it honestly flabbergasts me. Why would anyone elver pay for moving boxes when there are so many places where you can get boxes for free?
Check the free section of Craigslist. People will sometimes put up their used boxes when they finish moving.
Check with your local supermarket for boxes. If your store will set aside boxes for you, that’s perfect. Some stores won’t, but if go to the store late at night (for stores open 24 hours), or first thing in the morning, you can usually find heaps of boxes that haven’t gone to the compactor yet.
Pack Fragile Items in Clothing
Another item that you should never have to buy for moving is bubble wrap. Instead of purchasing bubble wrap, foam rubber, or even newspaper, simply use clean laundry to wrap your fragile items before packing in those free boxes. I put a towel in between layers of plates and wrap my mugs and glasses in t-shirts. Jeans do a good job of protecting casserole dishes and mixing bowls. As an added bonus, you will need fewer boxes for your clothing.
Get a larger moving truck
Think back to your last local move. How many trips from your old place to your new place did you make? When a friend of mine got his first place after college, him and his girlfriend made a combined 23 trips to the apartment to get all of their stuff moved in, plus renting a 10′ truck to get the furniture. Considering the distance to the apartment from their homes, it worked out to nearly 3 tanks of gas. They may have seen their move as only costing about $30 for the truck, but in reality, they spent over $150.
Instead, just bite the bullet and rent a larger truck. Estimate what size moving truck you need and get the next size up. Load everything up into the truck once and make one trip. If you try to save a couple of dollars by getting a smaller truck and it doesn’t all fit, then you are going to have to pay for a second trip. That means paying that 70 cents per mile and eighth of a gas per mile for a second trip. If your new place is more than 5 miles from your old place, that second trip is going to cost you more than the truck upgrade would have.
Bonus: $1 Storage
I hope that you never have to use this tip yourself. But sometimes there is a gap between the end of your old lease and the beginning of the new one. Or maybe your old house sold before you were able to close on a new one. But if you ever find yourself between homes, like I am now for the third time, a storage unit can quickly become a major line item in your moving costs.
To save money on temporary storage, look for places with a promotion of $1 for the first month’s rent. There is usually insurance and new account fees, but you should be able to get your storage unit for under $20. When it’s time to move into the new place, empty out the unit and close it out to avoid having to pay $100+ for the storage unit.
A note on Public Storage: While most places start your month on the day you first rent your unit, Public Storage uses calendar months. So if you get your storage unit on the 30th, that $1 first month’s rent is only for a day. And they do not pro-rate. If you empty out your unit on the 2nd, you are still paying an entire month’s rent. So it’s possible to to pay over $100 for a unit only used for a couple of days!
How do you save money on moving costs?