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Moving is typically a long and frustrating process. It is usually worth it in the end, but it can be a huge headache and very expensive. Whether your new home is down the street or on the other side of the country, here are my best tips for saving on moving.
Find Free Boxes
What do toothpaste, Redbox Rentals, and moving boxes have in common? You can get them all for FREE! One of the best ways to get free boxes is to start gathering them in advance. Months before you ever fill a box, start asking friends and family to save boxes for you. Two other places to check are stores (especially liquor stores) and the side of the road.
Warning: if you are getting boxes off the side of the road, remember to check for small guests living inside and make sure they are actually free for the taking.
Use Coupons & Watch For Sales on Tape
The last time we moved, I had all of the free boxes I could ever want, but I was blown away by the cost of packaging tape. This is often an item that you have to run out and purchase last minute, but if you buy it ahead of time, you can watch for sales and coupons. The best deals I have seen on are usually at Staples. Don’t forget Sharpies to label the boxes!
If you have anything that something else can fit inside, fill it up! This means laundry baskets, suit cases, and crock-pots should all be filled with stuff on moving day. For example, I have found one of the best ways to pack books is to put them in a suitcase. It can handle the weight and eliminates the heavy lifting. Another fun tip is to transport spices in your crock-pot.
Get Rid Of The Junk
The last thing you want to do when you arrive at your new place is take a trip to donate things at the thrift store. Before you pack anything, make sure you actually want to keep it. Anything that isn’t useful or you don’t find beautiful goes in the trash or in a donate pile. This will also make unpacking and organizing your new home so much easier! Added bonus: you can get a tax deduction slip.
Ask Friends To Help
Movers are extremely helpful but extremely expensive. If you want to really cut costs, ask friends to come help. Many are more than willing, but remember to do something like order pizza for everyone who helps in return. If pizza seems pricey, you can plug in a crock-pot of BBQ (that you prepared in advanced) and serve it instead.
Look For Small Moving Companies
If you do want to hire movers, start by comparing prices of smaller, local companies first. Many are up to half the price of the more well known brands. There are even some services that will contract people on the side for very affordable rates.
Note: when doing this remember to check into the validity of the company. Compare insurance, satisfaction rates, etc. and not just price.
Move On A Weekday
If you are using a moving company or renting a truck, try moving on a weekday. There is less of a demand so many companies would rather give you a deal than have no business at all.
To save even more, move between September and May, which is when rates tend to be the lowest.
Pack A First Day Box
Pack a box with everything you’ll need on day one and set it aside. This box can have trash bags, cleaning supplies, snacks, paper plates and cups, and everyone’s toothbrush. No matter how crazy life is on moving day, you’ll have what you need in order to avoid running out to the store (hopefully).
Keep Those Receipts
If you are relocating for job purposes, be sure to keep all of your receipts. Even if your employer does not cover relocation expenses, you may still be able to claim some things on your taxes.
In order to claim moving expenses you must (in most cases):
-Move within 1 year of your new job position
-New job must be 50 miles farther from your home than your old job
-Must work full-time at least 39 weeks during the first year of your job at new job location
You can read more about the qualifications here.
Make Freezer Meals
When you are in the middle of moving and unpacking, the last thing you want to do is dirty up the kitchen. If you are moving within 8 hours of your old location, make freezer meals. Grab some dry ice and a cooler and move them with you. You won’t have to worry about cooking for at least a few days. This will also save you from order take-out which can quickly add up.
What about my stockpile?
If you are a couponer and have a stock-pile, I recommend you take the bulk of it with you. Sort through it beforehand to remove any expired foods or anything you won’t eat, but take everything else. When life is crazy it will be so helpful!