Thrifty Moving Tips

>> 1.06.2010

I’m not going to lie; I’m no expert when it comes to moving. Since leaving my childhood home, I’ve only moved twice… and one of those times I used movers. The boyfriend, on the other hand, has quite a bit of experience. He’s moved 8 times in the past five years… that’s an average of over once per year! Talk about commitment issues! With his last move fresh on his mind, I asked Nate for the best of his thrifty moving tips:

*Start slowly. By dropping in with a few boxes at a time in the weeks leading up to the move, Nate not only cut down on the moving day work, but also reduced his load enough so that we could rent a less expensive (smaller) truck. In addition, he ended up not having to buy any additional boxes because he was able to load and unload using the same durable Rubbermaid containers over and over. (Oh, and may I mention that he shoved all of his clothes in garbage bags? *sigh* Boys!)

*Find move-in specials. The upfront fees associated with moving into a new place take up a large chunk of the expense of moving.
For renters: Nate lived in one apartment complex because they offered $0 move-in for the employees at the large company that he worked for. Some places might offer discounts for government employees, long-term leases, or referrals.
For buyers: Ask for closing costs to be included in your offer. Oh, and how about that $8000 tax credit for first-timers?

*Go DIY. Movers can be expensive! Rent or borrow a truck then bribe some friends to help you save big..

*Make some donations. Some thrift stores will actually move your large furniture items away for you! To top it off, you could be eligible for a tax deduction on the donation!

The number one tip that Nate offered to save on moving costs?
Don’t move. Instead, spend that money on something to improve living in your current place.
At first, I was a little frustrated with this statement. I mean, I asked him for tips on moving! But really, this is a great thought. Even if you follow all of the above advice, there are set-up fees for things like internet, cable, and electric that you’ll never avoid. With the costs of moving in the hundreds and up (think about those crazy closing costs on a home!), why not spend the money on a new rug that transforms the feel of your room or a bathroom renovation that changes the way you live? Nate estimates that with everything included, he spent over $300 in moving fees for each move (and he never hired movers or bought boxes). Think about what else that money would buy you!

Why pay closing costs when you could turn a bathroom around for $3,200?

tiny shower before

shower after

sink before

sink after

Have any great thrifty moving tips that you like to use?

Once again, I'm linking up to the 15th Penny Pinching Party over at The Thrifty Home. I'm loving finding all of the great ideas! Why don't you head over and join in on the fun?!


LizzieBeth January 6, 2010 at 12:21 PM  

I've only moved about 6 times in the past 10 years, but I have become a complete champ at it. I gather my hangers in groups of 10 or so, rubber band them (clothes are still on the hanger) and pull a trash bag over the top. Keeps my clothes together, and clean from the dirt of moving. And all you have to do to unpack that stuff is hang up the hangers and cut off the trashbag and rubberband!


Danielle and Clint January 6, 2010 at 1:43 PM  

Lately, we have had to help a bunch of friends move into new places. So, I like to think I am a pro at moving. lol.

Steph January 6, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

Look on Craigslist for free moving boxes. People are often just giving them away after they're done unpacking.

Alexis L. of One Grand Home January 6, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

'Don't move' and reinvest in your current home is great advice. I also have learned though that some times it is cheaper to pay someone to do the move for you so take time to get some quotes. We did a long, complicated, multi-destination move using a combination of a Lexus sedan, a Toyota Highlander, a UPS moving truck and a donkey and it was really penny-wise, pound-foolish, especially when I almost ended up in the hospital with a broken foot. By the times vehicles were gassed and rented, feet were elevated and iced and I drowned my muscles in tubs of IcyHot, it would have been cheaper and easier to just pay two men with a van.

Meg January 6, 2010 at 4:13 PM  

I only moved once in all of childhood but moved 7 times after college until now. Yep, crazy!

I HATE moving. There's nothing I despise more. But those are all great tips. I especially love the doing a little at a time part. If you get the opportunity to start moving a little bit in advance, dropping off a few boxes a day can make the big day way less traumatic.

Great post!

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" January 6, 2010 at 6:09 PM  

I totally agree with starting slowly. When I moved out from the apartment to our new home, we stored everything in our double garage (which really wasn't much) and stayed with my in-laws for about 2 weeks while we spruced up the new place. This really helped up keep a few more extra hundred dollars in our pockets instead of paying out extra rent.

I also have another tip that worked great of us. We decided not to move-out of our parents home and in to an apartment until we had paid off all of all debt, which was only our new car loans. Not only did it motivate us to pay off our car loan much faster, it was also a nice clean bill slate for the both of us. Ten months later, we purchased a home!

alanna rose January 6, 2010 at 7:22 PM  

Here's my tip: let your company pay to move you ;)

My husband has been transferred a few times and those moves have been wonderful (mostly because his company has a great relo package). Not only did they cover the realtor's fees and pay for full-service movers, he received an extra bonus because we sold our homes within 60 days of listing. We're thinking about moving again, and we are realizing how much $ they spent to move us - and it's making us seriously consider reinvesting in our home (large addition) instead of shelling out the cash to move.

Carolyn January 6, 2010 at 11:57 PM  

That is so true about just not moving and improving what you have. We moved into our apartment in August and were having so many problems with the place that I kept thinking we should just move to another apartment nearby. However, when I really thought about the moving cost as well as all the fees we'd have to pay to stop and start services, I realized we could spend that money on making our current apartment more comfortable and livable. I'm happy with this decision and luckily the problems we were having seem to be lessened now anyway.

Jen January 8, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

You make a good point about the closing costs and using the money to improve your current home. We only planned on living in our current home for about 5 years and here we are 9 years later because we kept fixing up the place. I'm finally at a point where I am willing to pay all of the costs of moving though. I can't change the fact that my backyard neighbor's yard is above mine and we have no privacy. Or the fact that I have no master bathroom and with 3 kids we have finally outgrown a lot of our house. I dread the whole process of buying a new home, selling the old, and moving.

SeeJaneGetRich January 9, 2010 at 9:22 PM  

I've moved a whole bunch of times!
(1) I always get free boxes by going to grocery stores and asking them for boxes.
(2) And like your BF, I use trash bags but my favorite are pillow cases!
(3) For my last move I rented a Uhaul and asked four of my friends to help!
(4) Always make a trip to Goodwill before the move so that you are not moving things that you don't use and don't really need.

freelanceronfly84 April 29, 2010 at 4:34 AM  

Great lists of thrifty tips! to add on this, Finding Self Storage helps getting access to several secured companies offering an RV Storage depend on your location, moving boxes, insurance, utilities, mortgage and many other services.

Nebraskaland Moving,  March 13, 2012 at 1:04 AM  

Starting early and planning your move can indeed be beneficial for individuals. This way, belongings are packed properly and there is much time to handle other concerns. Being one of the moving companies Lincoln NE, preparation is key and help from friends, family or professionals to make moving worthwhile.

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