With all the purchases that you make for a move, it’s easy to forget something until moving day arrives, and the whole process can get expensive! A little extra planning and shopping around will help you stay organized while saving a few bucks. Read our shopping list and learn how to find cheap moving supplies.
The bulk of moving costs are spent on special supplies that we only have on hand when we move. Fortunately, there are still ways to save money when gathering these items.
Although individually boxes are not expensive, they can really add up in cost when you buy enough to move all of your possessions.
Start with your own home and take stock of any storage containers, suitcases and duffel bags you already own. Make sure to keep the boxes from any large packages you receive. If you are moving a shorter distance and don’t need everything to be secured, you can toss some items into laundry hampers and baskets.
Once you figure out how many boxes you still need, look around for free or cheap used moving boxes. Check with friends and family and visit businesses like bookstores, restaurants and grocery stores. And don’t forget to check your own workplace! Sites like Craigslist and FreeCycle.org will often have free moving boxes offered by people in your area. Other sites like usedcardboardboxes.com sell used box sets and moving kits at reduced prices.
If you buy new moving boxes, shop around to find the best price. You might find that different stores offer very different prices for moving boxes, and the most convenient place may not be the cheapest. Returns may also be a consideration; some companies give a buy-back guarantee for any unused boxes. This allows you to give yourself the cushion of buying a few more boxes than you think you’ll need without overspending. For some of us, the peace of mind may be worth it even if it means spending a little more on the boxes.
Padding can also become a pretty hefty expense. But like moving boxes, there are options to gain free or cheap protection for your breakables.
Once again, start with your own supply of materials. Old t-shirts and other clothing as well as blankets and towels are great options for providing padding, and you’ll be packing two-fold. Be sure to keep any padding you received with a package.
Websites like the ones mentioned above can also have free or cheap used packing supplies, like recycled paper and packing peanuts.
For many, this could be the most expensive part of a move. Before looking for a truck, take some time to calculate how much room you need, and take into account how far you are moving. If you’re making a local move, it may be cheaper to rent a smaller truck and make multiple trips, or even use a friend’s truck instead. However, if you are moving long-distance, you’re likely better off renting a larger truck just in case.
Sometimes the smallest trucks are not the cheapest, so you may actually get a better deal with a larger one. If you are moving long-distance, make sure the rental company has a drop off location in your new area.
Professional movers can make a move much easier, but they are by far the most expensive part of a move. A great way to save money on moving help is to gather willing friends and family who can help you move in exchange for dinner or treats.
If you do hire movers, start researching and getting quotes early, especially if you’re planning a spring or summer move. Movers often charge less for early reservations, and you will have more choices the earlier you start. If you are more flexible on your moving date, you could also find cheaper rates in the off-seasons.
When you start shopping, read genuine customer reviews and get recommendations from friends and family. Ask for several in-home estimates so that you can be sure you’re getting the most accurate cost calculation. Be careful of prices that look too good to be true; it may be a scam that will cost you a lot more later. Getting several quotes and looking at reviews will give you a frame of reference for a fair price and a reliable moving company. Read our blog post about how to spot a moving scam.
Although moving supplies can be expensive, a little planning and research can help you save a truckload on moving costs!