Moving to a new home can be exciting. You have the opportunity to redesign a blank space in the exact way you want. Plus, you may be getting more space, a bigger yard, or a closer commute to look forward to.
But moving does not come cheap. Not only will you need to make a down payment or security deposit depending on whether you own or rent, but you’ll also need to get all of your belongings from your old place to your new one.
What you can do is figure out how to save money to move out both before and during the actual move. Preparing for the inevitability of transportation, thinking creatively, and building up your savings can help you rest easy that your move isn’t a total drain on your finances. Look to these eight money saving tips that will help you discover ways to save money when you move to your home.
1. Skip The Movers
Whether you have a 600 square foot apartment or a 2,000 square foot house, when you do as much of the packing, heavy lifting, and transporting as you can, you’ll save significantly on the cost of movers. The only cases in which hiring movers may be a good idea is if you are transporting a significant amount of fragile or large items, as you don’t want to end up with a couch stuck in a stairwell or a box of broken crystal glasses you inherited.
If you feel there is no way you can handle your move on your own, cut down on the cost of movers by skipping things like packing services. Buying boxes direct from the moving company and having people in your home leading up to the move can be distracting, not to mention far more expensive than other options.
2. Shop Around
If you do need movers, but you’d like to figure out how to save money to move out, it’s crucial that you shop around. Ideally, you’ll get at least three bids from moving companies, and you’ll verify their legitimacy by having time to check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to guarantee the movers are who they say they are.
In most cases, movers will give you an estimate based on an approximate count of the number of boxes and the furniture items you’ll be moving, which can come in surprisingly low. The thing with moving is that unless you have an industrial-strength scale, you’re only estimating what you’ll have and how much space you’ll need – and your final cost. Check to see if the estimate is binding or not because you could find yourself in a situation where what you thought you had was far less than what you actually had, costing you twice as much as necessary.
3. Know When To Time It
How to save money to move whether you need movers or not? Moving activity tends to run in cycles, so it’s important to learn how to time it right. The last day of the month is often the most booked by moving companies because people are moving into new places on the first of the following month. Summer is another preferred time to move because school is out, the weather is nice, and the slower pace of the season allows you to enjoy all aspects of your new home immediately after your move.
That means a move in the middle of winter, which is not necessarily ideal, can be a huge money saver. With less moving jobs happening, you can typically get far lower prices from moving companies, and they may even throw in some perks like free boxes. Moving during the winter months will usually give you more opportunities to negotiate prices and get your stuff from point A to point B for cheaper.
4. Rent A Van and Fill Your Car
U-haul offers reduced rates for in-town truck rentals, and you can rent for as many days as you need. That means you can rent a truck and take your time filling it with belongings for a fraction of the cost of movers. Reduce the amount you have to spend on gas by getting a big enough truck to fit all of your belongings; U-Haul can help you estimate the right size before you book.
5. Bring In Some Friends
If you work full-time, it could take you weeks to pack up your belongings and move on your own. Get your friends and family to pitch in by compensating them in creative ways. Feed them and provide plenty of beverages while they help, and then take them out for a special night to thank them for all of their help.
6. Downsize Before You Pack
Don’t pack up everything you have in your old house and send it to your new one. Old documents, unused clothes, and furniture will make your move more expensive, and chances are, that will just become clutter at your new house. Instead, find options to sell items, contact consignment companies, and donate any goods that you feel don’t need to come with you. You might even make some extra money by selling things; start getting rid of used electronics on Swappa, or consider having a garage sale. You might gain the funds needed to take care of things like tape and padding.
A great way to sort through what you have and what you don’t need is by looking at replacement costs. Your old dish towels can be replaced by a new set for mere dollars, depending on where you shop. Some of your kitchen appliances, on the other hand, may see replacement costs of hundreds of dollars, so no matter what their size it may be more prudent to bring them along with you.
7. Get Creative With Boxes
You don’t need to buy “moving” boxes from a moving company – any cardboard box can be a way to pack up your belongings. Visit local liquor stores and supermarkets to see if they have empty boxes destined for recycling. They’ll be happy to give them to you instead, and you’ll have saved hundreds.
Pack your boxes strategically, by using labels and grouping them together. That will save you time when you’re unpacking, and you’ll make sure that boxes with product labels don’t get confusing.
Be sure to check out Craigslist and other local sites for people who are offering old moving boxes for free. The earlier you start looking for cheap boxes, the more you’ll end up with.
8. Time Your Utilities Right
You don’t want your utility bills in your old place and new place to overlap, but you’ll probably need them at both places while you pack up and set up, respectively. Have all of the information ready to cancel your old utilities the minute you hand over your key, so you don’t forget and end up paying more. Keep in mind that for some utility plans, like the internet, you may be paying for the following month with each bill, but your company should reimburse you for any days you paid for but canceled.
Moving can cost thousands of dollars if you don’t take the time to find money-saving options. With a little creativity, and a willingness to take on the bulk of the work, you’ll find that reduced moving costs help you enjoy your new place even more.