Moving costs money, no question. But there are ways to keep the costs in check, and make your life easier during and after the move. Give this list a once-over as you prepare for your move.
1. Move Only What You Truly Want.
One of the benefits to every well-orchestrated move is the way it pares down the things in your life.
Facebook’s local marketplace is a great spot to post pictures of things you’d like to sell or re-home to locals.
Got a lot of old photos and cards? Take pictures and make a digital album, then let the originals go.
Lighten your load by unloading old books. Find a local book drop for outdated textbooks and other books you don’t really want. That’ll trim a great deal of weight and bulk before you even start packing.
2. Haul-It-Yourself Isn’t Always the Cheapest Method.
If you’re making your move on wheels, you’ll need to decide between making multiple car trips and renting a van. Better yet, get help. It’s generally less nerve-wracking to hire a service. And the time a company can save you is substantial. Pro movers do a lot:
- They come prepared for the weather.
- They label your things, and they safeguard them in transit.
- They wrap your furnishings, art, appliances, and tech goods in protective coverings.
- They load the truck, take it to your new home, and unload it.
- They make sure everything is accounted for after unloading.
- They set up beds and heavy furniture.
Do take the time to choose a reputable company, or you could lose more than you save when all’s said and done.
3. Forget Buying Packaging Material, But Don’t Forget the Packing Tape.
Big boxes get heavy. What’s worse? They usually aren’t very strong. Keep your packed boxes well sealed by applying packing tape liberally.
Pick up boxes at the bottle shops or Trader Joe’s. They’ll be happy to give you boxes rather than bale them. Get the nut boxes if possible. They’re compact but strong, and great for books.
Wrap dishes in newspapers or plastic bags. Pack glassware in socks and then place them in boxes with linens. It’ll keep them safe and save you from needing bubble wrap and other packing material.
4. Mail Your Media.
Moving cross-country? The Post Office Media Mail rate can save you a lot of money in shipping books and electronic media.
Sending video games through media mail is a no-no. Here’s a list of what you can send as media mail.
5. Turn Off Services You’re Not Using.
When you know your moving schedule, you can speak with your utility companies to be sure nothing’s left on when you’re not around.
As moving time approaches, avoid renewing cable subscriptions and other non-essentials that you’ll be too busy, during your transition, to fully use.
6. Have a Moving File for Tax Time.
Save receipts, take pictures of your odometer, and keep track of your moving costs in a dedicated file. Some may qualify for tax deductions in April.
Meanwhile, negotiate. If your equipment and personnel needs are modest, the mover’s price might be, too — especially if you’re booking a winter weekday move.