Monday, March 8, 2010

Saving Money Moving

As you've seen from other posts, my husband and I are preparing to move into our new home! While we're busy picking out paint colors and new furniture, we are grudgingly acknowledging that we have to actually move. Ugh! Can't we skip that part?

Since 2000, I have moved a whopping 7 times. Eeek! While I moved every year in college, I could fit everything in the back of my Jetta. Now that I'm married with a king-sized bed, I'm lucky to fit my closet in the back of my car. And of course the more stuff you have, the more it costs to move it from one place to the other. No more moving in laundry baskets and tupperwares - it's time for boxes and packing tape. Here's how I've lowered my overall moving costs in the past, and I hope it's helpful for you if you're in the process or will be soon:

1) Look for boxes before you buy them - this may take a little work on your part, but buying boxes can definitely add up (it takes an average of 30 boxes to move a 3 bedroom home). See if any of your recently-moved friends or neighbors have boxes in good shape that you could use. Go to your local grocery store or retailer and ask if they have any boxes. They are usually in great shape and places like bookstores or drugstores usually have a ton of smaller boxes that are useful for packing utensils, books, or other small items that add up to be pretty heavy.

2) Pack with linens - instead of buying newspapers, bubble wrap to protect my delicate items, I pack with towels, t-shirts and sheets. I'm going to have to pack them anyway, and why not have them protecting my wine glasses or my teacups and saucers? It's definitely a greener way to move and it saves money.

3) Forgo hiring movers and ask friends to help - hiring movers can cost a small fortune. If you're lucky enough to have a handful of friends in the area, see if they have a free afternoon to help, and buy them pizza and beer. It's definitely a lot cheaper and more fun to move with friends.

4) Ask for discounts when looking for a rental truck - do you belong to any clubs or alumni associations? Make sure to ask if the company offers any special discounts - you could save 10% or more on your total bill!

5) Sell/donate things you don't want - you know when you're going through all your stuff and you come across that one item that you've never used yet you KNOW you'll use it when you go ice camping in Alaska or when you pick up curling? Yeah, you'll never use it so get rid of it. It's taking up more space in your boxes, and it'll be one more thing to unpack and find a space for in your new home. When you donate your items to a non-profit, you can get a tax write-off. Or you can also try and sell your items on eBay, Amazon, Craig's List or the good ol' garage sale.

Anyone have any other tips for moving without breaking the bank?


  1. I got lots of free boxes at the liquor store. They were great for books and dishes!

  2. Apple boxes from the grocery store and copy paper boxes from a school or business make great moving boxes! If I am renting a U-haul, I try to make sure to rent it from the closest possible location so that I'm not having to pay for extra mileage. Good luck with moving!

  3. Linda - I hadn't even though about the liquor store! That's a great idea!

    Meghan - Yes, definitely good to think about for renting trucks and vans! That mileage will definitely add up, especially if you're making multiple trips!

  4. Try to put all your non-critical stuff in consolidated boxes with an inventory list for each. Then when you move in, don't unpack those boxes until you need them. After a year, donate all your unused stuff to charity, since obviously you don't need it - and you already have it inventoried for the tax deduction.