Whether it’s for a new job or for a change of scenery, people move all the time. However, moving can be extremely stressful and expensive. This is why it is important to plan ahead and take action as soon as you make the decision to pack up and go.
Lighten your load
Not everything you own needs to come with you. Declutter your home ahead of time. You can have a yard sale to help earn some money for your move or simply donate some of your things and get a tax deduction. If you are moving less volume and weight, you will need less man hours for packing, less gas for driving and you can potentially rent a smaller moving truck. All this saves you money.
Buying your boxes, tape and padding from a moving company is expensive and those items are often over-priced.
Save on padding
Start collecting newspapers and paper bags as soon as you know you will be moving. Ask your friends to collect them for you as well. Instead of using bubble wrap, use your towels, blankets and pillows to pad fragile items. This is not only cheaper but it is also greener than using plastic bubble wrap and the paper can be recycled after you unpack.
Get free boxes
There are several ways to get free boxes: You can go to stores and simply ask for some. Our local IKEA store has boxes in big crates near the registers for anyone to take. BJ’s Wholesale Club has big carts with free boxes near the exit, too. You can also go to your local recycling center to find free moving boxes. Sometimes people will post on craigslist that they need to get rid of boxes after having moved. They are looking for someone who will pick them up for free. You can do the same after you have moved and pass on the savings.
Compare prices and service
When choosing a moving company, check out online reviews and get three estimates from different companies. Ask what services are included and what restrictions apply.
Use a moving container company
If you don’t mind packing your own things and filling a container that can be transported to your new home, consider a company that uses portable containers like PackRat, Pods or UPack. Since you are packing and loading everything yourself, you will save some money compared to using a full service moving company.
Ask for favors
Ask friends and family to help you pack up and load your things. Maybe you know someone who has a big truck you can use.
Consider your pets
Do you have pets that are moving with you? Be sure to have a plan for transporting your pets and making them comfortable. If you are moving far away, look for a good vet near your new home.
Create a budget ahead of time and choose the best option for you. Consider the distance of your move, the amount of time you have and how much volume there is. If you don’t have a lot of time and are moving out of state, a full-service moving company might be your best option. If you are just moving down the road, you can take a few trips with a rental truck. Maybe you need to get out of your home but can’t move into the next one right away. In this case, a container company might be best since they can also store your container for as long as you need.
Pack a suitcase
Be sure to pack an overnight bag for your family. Once all your belongings are in boxes, on a moving truck or in a moving container, it will be great to know that you have a change of clothes, a toothbrush, medications and some toiletries on hand.