Unless you’re a devout minimalist, moving can be daunting, especially when your budget is tight. How do you get all your stuff out of your current home and into your new place without losing a ton of money in the process? Here are some tips and strategies for moving on a tight budget.
Research DIY costs vs. professional services
Don’t automatically assume that hiring movers will cost more than moving yourself. While that rental truck may seem like a good deal, too many DIYers put a lot of sweat into a move, only to find that they spent more on a U-Haul than on professional movers. These tips for comparing your options should help you make the choice that’s best for you.
When considering moving with professionals, collect at least three quotes from different companies so you can find the cheapest move. Despite what you might think, it is possible to negotiate with movers. Even moving companies have an off-season: if you can time your move in the fall or winter, companies often lower their rates by up to 30%, according to the moving industry consultant.
Do a background check before booking by checking reviews, asking for references from previous customers, and checking the U.S. Department of Transportation‘s electronic safety and fitness registration system. If you choose to go with the pros, make sure you deconstruct your furniture yourself, don’t give the movers the satisfaction of charging you to use an Allen wrench!
Don’t pay for moving boxes.
Boxes are the building blocks of the move, so many moving companies charge exorbitant prices for them. Buying boxes is not necessary when there are many ways to get them for free:
– Bring empty boxes from your office or workplace: paper printer boxes are sturdy and large enough for most items.
– Ask friends who have recently moved or post a request on your social networks.
– Check out the free specialized platform section or take a look around your neighborhood on recycling and garbage day. You never know who else has just moved and is getting rid of their used boxes.
– Ask your local liquor store: boxes strong enough to hold glass bottles of rum or vodka can undoubtedly handle your knickknacks.
– Check outside behind mid-sized stores. You can find perfectly sized boxes.
Want to make some extra money from your boxes when you’re done? Try reselling them to companies, and you can earn up to 5 dollars per box.
Optimize your utility shut-off dates
Some utility companies will not prorate your bill from your quit date. Therefore, if your billing cycle doesn’t match your move date, consider shutting off your service early, so you don’t pay an extra month. Yes, you can survive without cable for a week or two. No, you probably don’t want to try that with electricity.
If you’re moving to a new city, look to see if they offer a free service like concierge service, which has relationships with local utility companies and helps you get the best deals on your new utilities.
Otherwise, to save money, you may well give up some (or all) of your stuff. Selling or donating some of your belongings can earn you money (or a tax deduction) and eliminate the extra weight, a measure some movers use to estimate their cost partially. And as many people have discovered, when unpacking after a move, you don’t really need everything you think you do.