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Creative Ways to Save Money when Moving

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If you’re anything like me, moving can be quite daunting. Besides the sheer volume of labor, there is a lot to figure out. What made our move more challenging was that our family is on a tight budget, we had some major time constraints such as only having the evening and weekends to get our packing done, and we had accumulated a lot of stuff over the years.Below are some of the major and minor saving steps we took.

Two Major Savings Steps

There were two major steps we took to move as inexpensively and efficiently as possible:

We opted for a professional moving company instead of renting a truck

There are a lot of things to take into consideration, and this definitely won’t be the case for everyone, but after running the numbers and the time saved, we opted to hire a moving company. In our case, it was North American Moving Services, but there are many options out there. Here is why opting this way saved us money.

  • First, I didn’t need to figure out how to drive a big truck across hundreds of miles of traffic and bad weather; their company would take care of all the logistics of our interstate move.
  • Second, we could do all the packing ourselves.
  • Third, we could just ask them to pack the fragile stuff.
  • Fourth, we could just ask them to do all the packing for us.

Although I was tempted to go for the full-service package, my inner cheapskate kicked in and I decided we would do our own packing. (My spouse agreed; the kids fussed.) I also decided to figure out how to pack the fragile items by doing an Internet search for packing tips.

However, when we booked our long distance move, we did take them up on their offer to help us with disassembling and assembling our furniture and getting our appliances installed. I didn’t know how, nor did I have the tools.

We decided that we didn’t need to transport all our stuff

The first thing we did was empty out the spare bedroom. Then we filled it up with all the stuff that we didn’t want anymore.

We created the following selection criteria on what to get rid of:

1. Good stuff that we had lost interest in it. Mainly, clothes, dishes, and DVDs.

2. Stuff that fallen apart that would be cheaper to buy than fix. Mainly, electronics and gadgets.

3. Stuff we had bought on a whim. Mainly, our bric-a-brac collection over the years and tchotchke baubles.

Once we had purged the house of everything we didn’t want anymore, then we sorted through the stuff in the “junk” room. We created the following piles:

1. Things to be sold.

2. Things to be donated.

3. Things to be recycled.

4. Things to be trashed.

However, we did come to a sticking point in this process–books. We love our books. Yes, we might not read them again and could get an electronic version, but we loved our books. I was pleased to discover our kids had become regular bookworms. Then my 9-year-old son asked why we didn’t just mail them to ourselves! From the mouth of babes! So that’s what we did. We used through USPS’s media mail to move our books, and save on the cost of adding the weight to our moving bill.

6 Minor Saving Steps

Figuring out how to transport our stuff and how to narrow down the weight saved us a lot of money.

Here are 6 other steps we took to save even more money:

1. We asked family, friends, and stores for boxes.

2. We borrowed or rented all the tools we needed rather than buy any.

3. We timed our utility shut down dates to get the most value.

4. We tracked everything we paid for during the move for tax deduction purposes.

5. We canceled all subscriptions ahead of time to avoid paying unnecessary membership fees.

6. We paid all our bills ahead of time so that we wouldn’t get stuck with any late payment fees.


Tips for Moving on a Budget

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moving company truck
By Noel Finley

I’ve moved a lot in my life and one thing I learned early on is that moving costs can turn out to be a nasty surprise. It’s unbelievable how many homeowners, including myself, fail to take the cost of moving into account. Then when the bill comes, not only is it a surprise, it’s a struggle to pay it. If you are moving on a budget, be sure to look into moving services here , along with following some of these money saving tips I have learned over the years.

Shop Around

All moving companies weren’t made equal. Shop around and find the best price you can get. There are often huge differences in what a company will charge. Take into account any added extras along the way. These ‘extra services’ can really hit your wallet.

Provide Your Own Packing Materials

Packing doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Instead of leaving this to the professionals, gather boxes and bubble wrap yourself. If you really want to reduce your costs, use the boxes left over from Christmas or get them from a store that’s throwing them out. You can also use layers and layers of newspaper instead of bubble wrap.

Take Smaller Items Yourself

Moving companies will charge by the size of the vehicle or the number of vehicles they need to move your life to the next neighborhood. Take smaller items by yourself. In other words, pack any smaller items you can into your own car during the move. You would be surprised at how much you can get into a car, and doing so will ensure you minimize the price you pay to the moving company.

Choose the Moving Date Wisely

The vast majority of moves occur between the months of May and September. This is where moving companies can really charge a premium for their time, and they most definitely don’t turn down the opportunity. If you move during the peak moving times when trucks and crews are already fully booked, you’re going to have to pay a premium price for your move. If you have the option, pick a moving date in the wintertime when many movers are desperate for the business. This will give you the power to negotiate a much better deal and save a lot of money.

Take What You Need Only

Before you begin packing, edit the household items that you own. Don’t waste time trying to take absolutely everything to your next residence. The extra cost of moving stuff you aren’t going to be using or will only end up in storage simply isn’t worth it. Instead, plan ahead and make some money from them. Sell them for cash months before and use this cash to fund the move and to purchase items you may need when you arrive at your new home.

(Photo courtesy of Jeremy Rempel)


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