When we think of moving from one location to another, whether it’s a street over, a town over, or a cross-country move, a laundry list of words comes to mind. If you’re like many, some of those words likely include “overwhelming,” “exhausting”, and “complicated”, along with some positives, like “exciting” and “new opportunities.” But among the many words that come to mind, the one that often rings the loudest is the one our bank account feels the hardest – yes, you guessed it, expensive! But…it doesn’t have to be.
SmartMove has put together a list of 5 of our favorite money-saving tips for moving. We hope following these tips help that “expensive” bell ring a bit more softly in your mind so you can get the hard part over with, and enjoy your new space without breaking your budget!
Host a Moving Party & Load the Moving Truck Yourself
- If you’re moving to a new location where you don’t know many people, hiring a team of movers to help you unload your truck once you’ve arrived may be essential. However, if you have a lot of friends and family in the area you’re moving from, renting a moving truck and hosting a “moving day party” can save you quite a bit of cash!
- SmartMove recommends securing your moving truck rental as early in the day as possible. This will give friends and family more opportunity to lend a helping hand, even if their schedule only allows them to drop in for an hour or two. Send a group text or group chat to anyone you think might be able to swing by, providing the address and times you’ll be kicking off, and hitting the road.
- Keep light refreshments at the ready for your helpers to snack on and stay hydrated, and save a few chairs to be loaded onto the truck last so everyone has a chance to sit for a few minutes when they need a rest. You can keep energy up and spirits bright with a “moving day” playlist on repeat in the background, and a fresh pot of coffee at the ready. Not only will a moving day party give friends, family, and neighbors a chance to help out and send you off with a hug, but it can also help your forget the stresses and pressures of the big move as some of your favorite people continue to pop by throughout the day.
Find Free Packing Supplies
You have enough moving expenses without factoring in the cost of boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper, which can easily creep into the hundreds of dollars for a larger home. Our suggestion is a simple one – get as close to completely free as possible! Now, we understand that may be easier said than done, but it’s also likely easier than you might think. Consider the following options…
- Free Moving Boxes: With many movers on the hunt for moving boxes near the end of the month, we suggest asking at local stores earlier in the month, or mid-month. Consider the stores in your area most likely to regularly receive shipments in box sizes that meet your needs, including grocery stores, book stores, coffee shops, and clothing retailers, to name a few. Also, be sure to check your local free listings pages on social media, particularly around the 2nd or 3rd of the month. You may find free boxes available just a short walk or drive away from someone who recently moved and just unpacked, and is hoping someone can reuse their boxes before they send them to recycling.
- Free Packing Paper: Your answer to free packing paper may be sitting on your porch right now! That’s right – we’re talking about the daily newspaper. While most of us toss these in the recycling bin as soon as they literally become yesterday’s news, you can save up enough to pack all your dishes, glassware, and fragile items more quickly than you might imagine. If time is especially of the essence, see if a local store can offer up out-of-date circulars, or ask friends and coworkers if they can donate any papers they haven’t yet recycled. In addition to being a great “wrap” for individual items, crumpled up newspapers can also help cushion belongings in a box, and might make bubble wrap unnecessary.
Move in the Middle
- For the most significant cost savings, SmartMove recommends moving during the off-season, but the reality for most people is that they don’t get to choose which time of year – or even which month – to move. We may be moving for a new job opportunity, because our house sold, or simply because this is the time we moved last time, and our lease is up! Whichever the scenario, holding off on your move until winter might not be feasible. But you might still be able to “move in the middle!”
- Because most people move at the end of the month, and over the weekend, if possible, opting to move mid-month or even mid-week toward the end of a month can give you increased opportunity to shop around, without having to opt for the only available moving truck, or the only available moving team. Having choices matters, and being able to compare even a few additional options can save you big.
Borrow or Rent Moving Supplies
- While borrowing items from friends and family was once a very common thing, in our modern lives, we all too often resort to the simplicity of buying our own. Ever-mindful of the tight schedules most of us keep, we simply don’t want to hassle anyone when we can click “add to cart” on our phones in an instant, and have whatever it is our heart desires on its way to our front step almost as instantly.
- The result of all this shopping, however, can be that we suddenly have many things that we use very infrequently, and rather than enriching our lives, they’re just another thing we have to find a space for. This might be something on the smaller side, like a punch bowl set, or something a bit harder to find an everyday home for, like a moving dolly.
- SmartMove recommends making a list of all the items you’ll need to help your move go smoothly, from hand trucks to moving blankets. Next, think of which of those items you really prefer to own for yourself – items you’ll use time and again that justify taking up space in your life. We can’t see your checkboxes all the way from here, but we’re going to guess that there are many items you won’t need again until you move again! And those are the items worth borrowing or renting.
Take Advantage of Free Moving Services
- Not every aspect of moving tugs on your wallet; in fact, some of the most important moving services are low cost or free! Among them is the convenient online service to change your address with USPS. For just a $1 fee – used for identity verification – you can update your address in just a couple minutes.
- Transfer your internet and cable with SmartMove! While we might be a bit biased, this is one of our favorite moving tips of all. The SmartMove team understands the importance of keeping connected to family, friends, and your favorite shows, especially after a move that puts many of miles between you and your loved ones. Our easy, free cable and internet transfer service helps ensure that you’re all set-up without any downtime.
- Look into the possibility of tax write-offs or company reimbursement. If your move meets certain criteria, which can include a long distance move for a job, you just might qualify for a reimbursement from your employer themselves, or a tax write-off. Do some digging online, or simply ask your employer, to see if you meet the criteria for either cost-saving measure.
- Be mindful of utilities. If your current utility providers don’t prorate your bill, you’ll want to be extra mindful of your shutdown dates so you don’t end up footing the bill for an extra month. You’ll also want to take advantage of this opportunity to shop around for new utility providers, particularly if you’re moving into a new area. While it can be easier to just “stick with what we have” when we’ve lived somewhere for a long time, moving presents us with an opportunity to see what else is out there.
We hope these money-saving moving tips help you stay on budget and stress less as you prepare for bright new beginnings. And be sure to check out all the other helpful Moving Advice
articles here at SmartMove before you go!