Let’s face it—moving ain’t glamorous. By the time you’re ready to move, your brain has been beaten against a rock and hung out to dry, thanks to finding a new job, researching a new city, and/or drowning in mortgage paperwork. Now after months of preparation and check writing, somebody finally handed you a pair of keys.
Unfortunately you’re now flat broke.
Sound like a certain four years of your life? So adjust your mental age to 18, put some ramen in the microwave, and let’s attack this problem like penny-pinching finance majors who hate making two trips carrying groceries upstairs.
- Start planning as far ahead as possible. Save all useful boxes you come across as well as keeping the packaging for any large or breakable items you purchase before you move. Sticking that bread machine back in its original box will make it a lot easier to deal with than trying to wedge it in between the rice steamer and 30 wooden spoons.
- Pack with what you have. Avoid having to buy bubble wrap and instead pack plates in T-shirts and wrap mirrors in towels and pad with pillows.
- Don’t transport anything empty. To cut down on the number of boxes you have to buy (typically $1.50 or more each), pack dresser drawers with clothes and tape them closed, fill laundry baskets with cookware, and wrap your toiletries tightly in grocery bags and pack them in (cleaned) trash cans. Also by utilizing every square inch of space you may be able to get away with a smaller moving vehicle and fewer trips. NOTE: Be sure to never pack anything too heavy to lift safely. For heavy items, rent a dolly.
- Talk to your agent. Some real estate companies offer free use of their own moving vehicle when you buy or sell with them. Be sure to research if any agencies around you have such a perk and what their conditions are. A day’s use of a free moving truck could easily save you $100+ on an in-town move.
- Don’t underestimate trash bags. Remember what I said about moving not being glamorous? Trash bags are excellent for transporting lightweight and bulky items like pillows, blankets, cushions, and coats. Save your box allowance for heavy and fragile items.
- Ask around for free boxes. Liquor and grocery stores have been my best bets in the past. Most of my childhood I had vodka boxes piled in my closet from previous moves, all full of Barbies and play food. I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I see the Grey Goose logo.
- Don’t move anything you don’t want. Now is the perfect time to hold a yard sale and donate things you don’t ever see yourself needing again or just flat out won’t work in your new space. Try not to get sentimental about your 84” curtains when your new windows only look good with 120”.
- Look for promotions. A quick spin around U-Haul’s website will produce a promotions page (http://www.uhaul.com/Discounts/Default.aspx) and you can even check your favorite coupon code sites for deals for Budget Truck Rental (http://www.retailmenot.com/view/budgettruck.com) and many others. Also call around to different companies and see if they price match competitors.
- Beg. Friends with trucks. Enough said.
If time and space permit, see if you can arrange to pick up any new large pieces of furniture you’ve ordered while you have the moving truck. It takes some extra energy and planning but could easily save you at least $60 in delivery charges.
Hopefully these tips will not only save your wallet from even more trauma but also spark your frugal cortex to come up with more creative moving solutions.
Now all that’s left is to whip out those keys and march into your new castle like you own the place. Let’s just hope they didn’t get lost in the move. Check the trash can.
This is a guest post by Sarah from Tulsa, OK
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