How to save money on moving expenses
Summer is a great season to move into a new home. Kids are out of school, offices tend to be more flexible with granting vacation time and most importantly, the weather is nice. (Who wants to move boxes in the snow?)
If you're moving this summer, you've probably noticed how quickly costs add up. From renting a truck to purchasing cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, there's no shortage of moving-related costs, designed to bust your budget.
If you're wondering how you can slash those costs, here are six ideas:
1. Look for freebies.
Many grocery or appliance stores have cardboard boxes they regularly throw out. Instead of purchasing boxes from a moving company, pick up boxes for free from a retailer and save them from being trashed. It's a win-win for both your wallet and the environment.
Likewise, rather than pay loads of money for packing foam or sheets, you may be able to find free or heavily discounted alternatives. A ratty old bed sheet from a consignment shop, for example, is a useful alternative to a formal packing sheet at a fraction of the cost. You can even use old newspaper to wrap up dishes and other delicate items instead of bubble wrap. If you have a local friend who recently went through a move, then she might have some leftover packing items that you can borrow. Just make sure to take good care of them so she can use them again on her next move!
2. Look for discounts.
Check for discount retailers. Packing tape, bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts might be marked up at a moving store. They're probably significantly cheaper on Amazon.com or through another online retailer.
Purchasing items from the most obvious or convenient sources, like the U-Haul store, is going to be more expensive. Shop in advance, so you're not forced to pay top dollar for convenience or speed, and hunt online for deals.
3. Be conscious of your consumable purchases.
Around a month prior to moving, start minimizing purchases of perishable food, drinks, coffee, shampoo, soap, moisturizer and other consumables. These types of items tend to get thrown away during a move.
You can reduce this waste by "shopping your pantry," or eating whatever is in your cupboard, and using whatever bathroom products are already on your shelves. Don't continue with your normal consumer habits, only to throw away these items on moving day. (In fact, you might find that this scaled-back approach to personal items is a habit that sticks, and that you don't need as many new bottles of lotion on a regular basis as you thought!)
4. Look for group discounts.
If you're renting a moving truck, ask the rental company if they offer any type of group discount. Your employer, your membership with a local nonprofit group or another affiliation could qualify you for a special rate. If you're an AAA member, for example, you might be able to get an AAA discount through major moving truck providers.
5. Think diesel.
If you're moving a significant amount of items, you might want to consider renting a diesel vehicle rather than a gasoline-powered vehicle. This approach can reduce fuel costs, particularly if you're making an out-of-state or cross-country drive.
If you're moving multiple vehicles, it could also be more cost effective to tow a vehicle behind your moving truck. Driving multiple cars, especially on a long trip, might cost you more in gas.
6. Reduce clutter before the move.
The more stuff you need to pack, the more expensive your move will be. More items require more boxes, packing materials, hours on the clock for movers, a bigger truck, more fuel to power that truck and more hours on the other end when the movers unpack those boxes.
That's a good reason to conduct a massive cleaning of your home before you move. Donate unused clothes, games, appliances, kitchen gadgets and anything else you haven't used in the past six months to a year. Unless an item is an heirloom or otherwise highly sentimental, remember that you're not going to miss the items that you don't use, and you'll be glad when there's less to unpack.
If you apply these six strategies to your move this summer, you'll be sure to cost your costs and get settled into your new home with money to spare.
Copyright 2015 U.S. News & World Report
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