The task of moving from one home to another is daunting for even the very hardy among us. But add the costs of a move to the physical and emotional stress this change creates and even the most stable can be pushed to the point of no return.
So here are a few tips to minimize the financial impact on your wallet that will also help minimize the impact on your mental state:
1. Plan ahead.
Use up household cleaning items; you don’t want to pack three bottles of Windex. Eat what’s in the pantry and buy only the food you need before you move. There are plenty of grocery stores where you are going.
2. Sort through rooms, one at a time.
Everything that you pack costs money to move, so sell it (turning unwanted stuff into cash) or donate it before packing begins. Take measurements of big items to make sure they will work in the new home, some may need to land on Craigslist. The lighter the load, the less to box up and less to unpack at the other end … win, win, win.
3. Compare costs.
While it may seem like the DIY method is cheaper, take time to compare (especially in long distance moves)! If your move is flexible between October and April, there are lighter moving times and costs may be reduced accordingly. A truck rental plus gas combined with hiring labor in a new city could possibly be as expensive as professionals. Don’t assume—instead get all the info.
4. Don’t buy boxes.
Ask friends, family, and co-workers for boxes. Use social media; you may find someone who recently moved. Check out Craigslist for free stuff, and of course local stores. They often break down their boxes, but if you ask ahead you can find out when and get them before they do. Make sure you ask for the great boxes, like those that are strong enough for bottles. They work well for the heavy stuff.
5. Use what you have to pack.
Towels, sheets, and even clothes can make great wrapping material for the breakables.
6. Maximize your turn-off and turn-on utility dates.
You don’t want to pay the heating/cooling bill if you’re not there to be heated or cooled!
7. Track your cost for taxes.
If you’re moving for work, keep track of all your expenses, check the IRS rules to determine what deductions are accepted and write them off. The potential saving on taxes can offset some of the moving costs.
Keep your cash, keep your sanity, and make the move as budget friendly as possible. I can tell you from firsthand experience, you will be glad you did.