How to Make Moving More Affordable
Preparing for a move can be overwhelming but may seem even more daunting if you are on a fixed budget. Luckily, there are ways to move your belongings into a new home while still keeping your moving costs down. Below is a list of tips for planning a move designed to help you save money.
Professional Movers vs. DIY
Please do your research before deciding to take on a do-it-yourself move. Take the time to get a few quotes from professional movers before you make any final decisions. If you are moving during an “off-season” you may get considerably lower rates from the professionals. Did you know that if your move occurs during fall or winter, some moving companies offer rates that are up to 30% cheaper than during spring or summer?
You should also consider portable storage units for a move. You rent the units and load them, but the company drives it to your new home, and then you unload the units. This could be a good, and economical compromise that saves you from doing the whole move by yourself. If your research indicates that doing the move yourself is still the least expensive option, consider saving money by avoiding peak hour traffic. This will cut down on gas costs once you hit the road.
Try Not to Pay for Boxes
Obviously, you will need boxes for your move, but there are ways to secure them for free. Consider checking the Free section in Craig’s List. A lot of times, people will be giving boxes away at no charge. You can always bring empty boxes home from work or check liquor stores or grocery stores for empty boxes that are about the be recycled.
Sell or Donate Your Non-Essential Belongings
Before you pack, go through your stuff and get rid of all things non-essential. When you reduce the weight of your move you reduce the cost of your move. For instance, you may have some old bookcases or gym weights that you could sell for profit.
Consider donating old books that you don’t need anymore, especially hardcover books. Books are heavy to move, and you can earn a tax deduction for your donations. Another tip: measure the dimensions of your new home. If a big, bulky piece of furniture won’t fit nicely in your new house, sell or donate it. Don’t trouble yourself moving something big that weighs a lot if it won’t even fit right in your new space.
Pay Attention to Utility Shut off Dates to Keep Your Moving Costs Down
If your billing cycle for your utilities does not match up with your moving date, cut the service early so you don’t end up paying for that extra time. Some utility companies don’t prorate your bill according to your moving date, so if you are not careful, you could end up paying for an extra month. While we don’t recommend you live without electricity, you could probably make it without cable for a few weeks.