Moving is expensive. In addition to the cost of buying a new home or renting a new apartment, you must also pay movers or rent a truck and spend hours of valuable time packing and unpacking your belongings.
It’s a lot, which is why we’ve put together this list of things you can do to save money while you’re moving.
#1: Get Free Packing Materials
Not everybody has access to a car, but if you do, you can get free packing materials in many different places. For example, you could stop by your local supermarket or liquor store to get empty boxes. Most retail stores get tons of boxes delivered every day.
Another option is to check sites like Freecycle or the Free section on Craig’s List for your city. A lot of people give away packing materials after they move. Even taking a walk around your neighborhood on recycling day could yield some materials you can use during your move.
#2: Compare Rental Truck and Moving Prices
Not all moving companies and rental truck companies charge the same prices. It’s worth taking a little time to call around or request online quotes. If you settle for the first price you find, you may end paying more than necessary for your rental truck or movers.
It’s also worth asking the companies you call whether there’s any wiggle room in their prices. Some people won’t be willing to negotiate, but others will. You won’t know unless you ask.
#3: Move in the Off-Season (or on a Weekday)
You don’t always have control over when you move, but if you do, consider scheduling your move for a time when there’s lower demand for moving companies and trucks. For example, moving September first is likely to be expensive, particularly in cities with a large student population. If you can postpone a month or two, you’ll probably pay less than you otherwise would.
Here again, don’t be afraid to ask. You might be able to extend your lease for a few months and save hundreds of dollars on your move as a result. An even easier option is to move on a weekday instead of the weekend. The demand is lower and sometimes the prices are too.
#4: Shut Off Utilities Early
There are some utilities, like electricity, that you’ll need right up to the day you move. But, in some cases, you can save money by cutting off optional utilities ahead of time.
For example, it’s common for cable companies not to prorate cancelations. If you can live without cable for a couple of weeks, you can save the money you would have spent and use it to offset the cost of your move.
#5: Simplify the Movers’ Job
If you do plan on hiring movers, keep in mind that you’ll be paying them by the hour. There’s nothing you can do about the transportation time, but you can minimize the amount of time they spend loading and unloading the truck.
Here are a few specific tips:
- Make sure everything is packed and stacked as close to the entry point of your home as possible
- Consider moving your car and piling your boxes in the garage
- Wrap furniture and make sure it’s accessible when the movers arrive
- Label every box so it’s clear where they’re going at the other end
- Have someone at your new home to direct the movers and minimize confusion
These simple steps can help you cut hours off your move and save hundreds of dollars.
In addition to the tips we’ve listed here, you may also want to sell or donate unwanted items before you move. To learn more about Storage West’s services, please click here now.