Moving boxes by himself.

Moving On A Dime

Moving is not cheap. If you are lucky, when it is time to move, you will have an employer footing the bill. If not, open your pocketbook or get crafty. If you have more craftiness than money, we can help you with some easy ideas that can save yo a fortune on your next move.

1. Get Rid Of Your Junk

Save money on moving by not moving some things at all.

Moving is a terrific opportunity to downsize. If you have been in your current home for more than two years, you have probably accumulated quite a bit of junk. Once you start packing, you will find things that you didn’t even realize that you owned.

Needed or not, many of us have a problem letting go of items. Here is a good way to decide. Since many items may be seasonal, use the one year rule. While packing, if you find an item that you have not used in a year, get rid of it. Put it in a separate pile away from the stuff that is going with you. In addition, take a good look at the furniture you have. Is it worth moving? Will it even make the trip without falling apart. If not, plan on leaving it behind.

To dispose of these items, you have three choices. In fact, you should probably do all three, in this order.

First, have a garage sale. A garage sale can make you hundreds of dollars. So, not only will you save money from not moving items, you can actually make cash to put towards moving your other stuff. You can get all of this in just a few hours on a Saturday and Sunday morning.

Next, take what did not sell at your garage sale and donate it to charity. Charities are always looking for things like clothing and useable furniture. Many of these items you can just take to a donation drop box. Larger and more expensive items will often be picked up by charities. Call a few local ones and see if they are interested.

Last but not least, throw it away. Anything leftover can just be discarded. You did everything you could to recycle your items and now is the time to just give up and toss it.

2. Save On Packing Supplies

Now that you have downsized a bit, it is time to start thinking about packing. Boxes, as you will soon see are very expensive. It can cost several dollars for just one medium sized box and then you also have packing peanuts and packing tape.

Since most moves are anticipated as much as 6 months in advance, you have a lot of time to gather moving supplies on the cheap.

First, boxes. Put out the word that you will be moving and for your friends and family to save boxes for you. Next, visit some local grocery stores, restaurants, etc. Ask if they have boxes that you can have. Most cardboard boxes are simply placed into the recycling bin or worse, thrown away. Pick up as many as you can in the months before you move. Never assume that you have enough boxes, you will always need at least one more. Besides, if you have too many, you can easily give them away later.

Next, you have to look at packing material to keep your items from breaking and shifting inside the boxes. The ultimate way to go is packing peanuts but these are expensive and can be quite messy. Luckily, I can think of two good alternatives.

One alternative to packing peanuts is newspaper. You can wrap dishes and breakables in it and best of all, it is cheap. It can be hard to come by though in quantity though, so start collecting it several months in advance. Once again, put the word out.

Another great alternative that you might not think about is your bedding, towels and clothing. You have to take this stuff with you anyway so why not use it to pack your boxes. Choose stuff that you can do without for several months and pack away. When you get to your destination, simply unpack and wash your clothing. Nothing wasted and a lot of money saved.

Finally, you have packing tape. I am going to be honest with you. There is no way to save on packing tape.. Buy a lot of it and only buy the good stuff. Stay far away from the off brand tape unless you want all of your boxes to fall apart.

3. Rent Your Own Truck

You could hire a full service moving company but that kind of defeats the purpose, which is to save money.

Instead, you will want to rent a truck from a place like U-Haul. These are not always the best trucks but they are safe and definitely the cheapest. Place your reservation as soon as you can, keeping in mind that these trucks are far more likely to sell out at the end and the beginning of the month.

Your biggest decision it going to be what size truck to order. The website will give you a fairly good idea of what size truck that you need. Whatever size you decide on, it is probably a good idea to choose the next size up. Trust me, it is far too easy to underestimate how much you have and trying to squeeze everything in a small truck is like playing Tetris. Very frustrating, get the bigger truck.

4. Get It Loaded & Unloaded

If you have friends and family willing to help, that is great. You can get away with the loading and unloading for the cost of some pizza and sodas. If not, you will need to look at hiring some professional movers to do the hard work.

Loading and unloading a truck is hard work. To get away with paying less than a full service move, you can hire movers to just load your truck. You will then drive to your destination and then hire a different crew of movers to unload your truck.

Call moving companies in your area and the area that you intend to move. Get estimates from insured and bonded companies, at least three. Make sure that you understand any potential extras like the minimum amount of billable hours.

If you shop around, you may be able to get movers for as little as two hundred dollars. Well worth the money if it saves your back

Wrapping It All Up

So, let’s look at how you have saved on your move if you follow this advice.

First, you limited how much you have to pay for your move by downsizing. You also made a little much needed cash, by having a garage sale.

Second, you saved on packing.  Instead of spending two to three hundred dollars on boxes, you got them for free by putting the word out and visiting local retailers. You also saved on packing by using old newspapers and your clothing for packing material.

Third, you rented a truck yourself instead of paying for a full service move. You made sure you upsized your truck so that you had enough space.

Finally, you got free labor to load and unload your truck or just hired movers to meet you at your location and your destination to do the heavy lifting.

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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.