Five Tips on How to Move Efficiently on a Budget
With many leases kicking in on September 1, you may be gearing up for a big move. How can you ensure that your beloved belongings will be transported safely without breaking the bank?
Here are five tips on how to move efficiently on a budget.
1. Look Into Your Moving Options
Before you pack your belongings, spend time weighing your moving options. Should you hire movers or go the DIY route? Depending on your preferences and budget, along with the distance you'll be moving and any time constraints you might have, it may actually be more cost-effective and efficient to hire movers.
Not moving too far? You can also save money by hiring help for just part of your moving process, for instance hiring cleaners or local movers for a couple of hours on sites like Moving Help.
If you're leaning toward hiring a moving company, be sure to ask for quotes well ahead. That way, you have ample time to research, compare pricing and gauge whether it's worthwhile to lug, say, that old couch to your new digs. Get quotes from several different companies – and don't forget to see if you can negotiate a lower rate.
2. Go Through a Purge
The fewer items you need to move, the less you'll spend on moving costs. Spend some time figuring out the costs of moving a room full of furniture versus selling it and using the money (and the moving costs you'll thus be saving) to put toward new furnishings. You'll also want to check the measurements of your new abode to confirm that it has space for your current furniture. If not, chuck it for items that will be a better fit. Consider also if it's time for a new look.
Inventory your belongings and purge what you can. If time permits, you can sell some of your unwanted wares and furnishings to make a little extra cash. Besides eBay and Craigslist, you can also sell on online marketplaces such as OfferUp and Decluttr.
3. Use Alternative Packing Materials
When moving efficiently and on a budget, you can save money by opting for less expensive packing materials. Of course, you don't want to skimp on protection when it comes to fine art, fragile family heirlooms or other rare or expensive items. However, consider using magazines, shredded paper, junk mail or old clothes as filler for packing up the majority of your boxes. For those fragile items, coffee filters can provide an inexpensive extra layer of protection.
Check your workplace to see if there are any empty storage or printer paper boxes lying around. Inquire among your friends to see if they have any shipping boxes to spare, or search the offerings on The Freecycle Network or the free section on Craigslist. You can also ask grocery stores if they have any produce or wine boxes they can give you. Boxes with lids and handles are ideal.
4. Be Mindful of Utility Shut-Off Dates
Many utility companies don't prorate if the date of your move doesn't line up with their billing cycles. If that's the case, consider ending your service early to save some beans. While you may not want to be without electricity, see if you can go without cable or even home internet for a week or so.
5. Avoid Moving During Busy Times
Even if you're stuck with a popular moving time like late August or early September, consider trying to move during a slower part of the week or even time of day. This may also allow you to get a better rate when hiring movers. Plus, sitting in traffic will only add time to your move, not to mention gas.
Moving is stressful enough without having to worry that you'll go over budget. Remembering these tips for moving efficiently and frugally will help ensure that your move won't cost you a fortune.