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5 Tips to save money on your next move

You got your first move done a few years ago, but frankly, it cost a lot more than you thought it would. Now, not only is the process more expensive, you have more stuff.

The preparation, the actual move, the guys you contracted with to transport everything in and out of both locations, the supplies, and the time the entire process always feel more involved, more expensive, and more time-consuming than what you expected.

Before you start the process, you’d like to know some ways to save money. Anything to make moving easier helps.


Less stuff means less cost

Even though you considered throwing some things away last time, you saved many items that you now realize you don't need. You still have a box of old computer accessories, including power, VGA, and suspect HDMI cables. Let them go.

Since you signed onto a music streaming service, you no longer pull out your favorite CDs, and that surfboard you have had since you were a kid has not gotten much use since moving into your land-locked apartment.

Also, your lawnmower has sat idle for the last few years since you don’t have any grass to cut. Get the picture? The cost of moving objects in hopes that you'll use them eventually is adding to the cost of your move. Anything you can give away, sell or just dispose of is one less thing you have to move.

Also, less stuff means less work, less storage space, and lower transportation costs. Now that you have been through it once, take a serious look at your stuff and get rid of anything you don’t need.


Alternative moving methods

You got the big van line company for your last move; you were diligent, you read all of the contract language, you were careful about packing and labeling your stuff, and you had a basically good — but very expensive — experience.

While you didn’t encounter any of the moving scams you read about on the internet about illicit moving companies and their practice of holding your belongings hostage, the move was again costly.

This time consider a container move. With this system, you have a company drop off an appropriate-sized container at your place, you hire a couple of laborers to help you fill it up (or borrow a few hands from your friends), you lock it, and the company picks the container up and delivers it to your new residence where you unload. After the container is empty, you merely make a call for pickup.

Good container shipping companies will provide you with an app or a site where you can see exactly where your stuff is at any time. The container stays locked until you reopen it, so no one has access to any of your stuff. One caveat — be sure you learn to pack correctly because some items can shift during a move.


Pack sensibly

Use the one room at a time method and stick to it. Don’t randomly just pick areas of your house to pack. If you do the kitchen first, you may be eating a lot of fast food until you arrive at your new place.

Use your linens (extra towels, sheets, etc.) to pack fragile items. Everything has to get from here to there, so put some of those household goods to work for you.

Avoid filling a box with easy-to-pack, yet heavy items. For example, if you have books, only partially fill a box with them, and add lighter-weight objects to make lifting and moving boxes easier.

Condense, but don't toss everything. While it may feel like. hassle to pack up medicine cabinets full of over-the-counter supplies, buying everything new can add up, too. Keep what you need, trash what has expired, and eliminate duplicates. the same is true of cleaning supplies, kitchen spices, and computer cables.

Label every box. You may think you'll remember where you put your office supplies until you desperately need a stapler or scissors at your new home. If you know where each box will go at your new destination, add that, too. You'll thank yourself later.


Choose your moving time wisely

End-of-the-month moves are most common since that's when most leases expire. If you can possibly schedule for the middle of the month, you will find more quality help available at possibly lower costs. While you may not have that flexibility, check out the best move dates and plan as best as you can to avoid the busy ones.

Also, pace yourself. Pack in advance for seasonal items you won't use over the next couple of months so you don't leave everything for the last minute. If possible, wait to tape up the boxes until the move is closer so you don't find yourself unpacking before you've even moved.

If you are inclined to dust and clean objects before packing, keep the effort simple. You'll likely want to really clean everything when you reach your new home, plus you'll have more time after you arrive than you will have as you prepare for the move.


Vet your vendors

Finally, make sure you carefully research all companies involved in your moving adventure. Just because something looks great on Craigslist, look for online reviews to corroborate any information you find.

Moving is rarely fun, but if you get rid of unwanted items, do your diligence, and are careful about those that you hire to help, your move can be smoother — and, you’ll save money.

Tags: Budgeting, Future planning, Spending

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