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5 tips for saving money on trucks and movers

If you're planning to move, you'll soon find that some of your biggest expenses are the rental truck and the professional movers. Here are some tips for saving money when it comes to your move.

Moving is filled with plenty of costs both visible and hidden. Everything from packing materials to the wasted energy bill that comes with leaving the door open while moving can cost you. Your biggest expenses, however, are probably going to be the moving truck and professional movers. Here are 5 moving tips to save you some green when it comes to renting labor and a vehicle to go with it.  

1) Hire friends, not companies

There are plenty of reasons to hire professional movers. You could have delicate and expensive art. You may be short on time. You may also have a lot of stuff to move. However, moving companies can get expensive. if you have a truck and two workers for the day, you may run up a bill that's close to a grand. Now, if you do have the time and trust your friends to help in a move, do the math. You could lavish upon five friends and acquaintances a decent lunch and dinner - averaging $15 a person - and pay each of them $20 for their troubles, and you will still come out having paid a fraction of the cost of professional movers and a truck for half a day. Many friends and family members would be willing to work for a lot less. 

2) Time is money: coordinate

If you do end up hiring movers, remember that you're paying for the hour. Make sure you have everything boxed and labeled. If possible, organize your boxes based on the fragility of the items inside. Professionals will know how to pack the truck, but you can save them the trouble of having to figure it out how to organize the truck on the fly. If you're having friends help move, it's just considerate to have everything packed before they arrive. That way, the move won't cost you your friendship. 

3) Borrow a truck

You may feel somewhat awkward asking friends or coworkers if you can borrow a truck. However, they have trucks that are purposefully designed to move things, and many people are willing to lend out their services to a compact vehicle driver in need. If a truck owner is worried about the safety of the vehicle, invite them to help with the move. Again, the enticement of free food, drink and a little extra spending money is quite strong.

4) Ask yourself: will it fit?

You've loaded the truck, you've reached your destination and, all of a sudden, you find out that your furniture either doesn't fit in the doorway, or you don't have enough space to store it all. Before moving, give some serious thought to where you are going to put all of your stuff. The relatively short amount of time it takes to plan ahead will save you much more time and money when it comes to packing, moving and trying to figure out what to do with an oversized couch that doesn't fit at your new place. Planning should apply not only to furniture, but also to items and appliances of which you have duplicates and can therefore get rid of. 

5) Ditch the big things

If you already have furniture in decent shape, going through the hassle of moving it may just be worth it. However, if there is a chair that you aren't particularly fond of, or that's going to need replacing in six months anyway, then put it up for a yard sale. Better yet, kill two birds with one stone by promising it to a friend if they help you move. That way, you'll get a free mover out of an expense that was already sunk. 

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