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Unless you’re living in a tiny house, moving can be a real nightmare—and expensive. How do you get all your things out of your current place and into your new home without spending a lot of money in the process?
Check out these moving tips, partially compiled from Lifehacker, for moving on a tight budget and saving money on your move.
Most people make the assumption that hiring a professional moving company is more expensive than moving yourself. However, you need to consider several important factors before you make the decision.
While pricing out that rental truck may look like a good deal, too many do-it-yourselfers put a lot of sweat and time investment into a move, only to realize they’ve spent more on a moving truck, equipment, boxes and pizza than they would have on professional movers. When considering professionals, collect at least three quotes from different companies. Despite what you might think, it is possible to negotiate with movers.
If you’re looking for something between the two extremes of hiring professionals or bribing your friends with beer and pizza, it’s worth looking into portable storage units. A number of companies offer this option, though PODS is perhaps the most well-known. You load the unit yourself, the company moves it to your new place, and you unload it.
Why pay for boxes when you can get them for free? Many stores have boxes they get rid of after receiving inventory in them. Consider furniture stores, pet stores, supermarkets, liquor stores, bookstores, etc. Give them a call at least a week in advance and ask if they have any to give away. It’s also worth checking Craigslist, Freecycle, social networks (like Nextdoor) and your workplace for free or cheap boxes.
Once you have your boxes, it only takes a few seconds and a cutting tool to make small triangle holes at both sides. This makes the boxes much easier to carry, especially if they contain heavy items like books or dishes. Figure out how many boxes you’ll need with Updater’s Moving Box Estimator Worksheets.
Some utility companies won’t prorate your bill as of your departure date, so if your billing cycle doesn’t line up with your moving date, consider cutting off your service early so you’re not paying for an extra month. Can you survive without cable or internet for a week or two? Although you probably don’t want to try this with electricity.
There’s not much to choosing an electric provider, but most of us are pretty concerned about getting the right internet access. To save money with an ISP (Internet Service Provider) that you plan to stay with for a few years, considering buying your own modem and router instead of renting. Many providers charge $10 to $15 per month to rent their equipment. If you stay with that company for two years, the total rental costs would be $240 to $360. You can buy a top-rated modem and router for less than $200.
While this won’t work as well for hardcore streamers, gamers, or people that work from home, you can also consider reducing your internet speed. Dropping to a lower, more appropriate speed could reduce your monthly bill by $35 or more, depending on your internet provider.
When you know how much bandwidth you need for your home, shop and compare to find the best deal on your new plan.
Gently used clothing you don’t wear anymore? That appliance you swore you would use that never came out of the box? Selling or donating some of your belongings can earn you some cash (or a tax deduction) and eliminate extra weight, a metric that some movers use to partly estimate their cost. Do you have older towels, blankets and linens? Consider donating them to the animal shelter in your area.
As many people have discovered while unpacking after a move, you don’t actually need everything you think you do. As William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
Boxes containing books are among the heaviest ones to move. Once you’ve gone through your personal library and identified books to donate or sell, box up the keepers and send them via Media Mail through the U.S. Postal Service.
While they might take a little longer to arrive at their destination, you can’t beat the price: a 20-pound box of books only costs about $13.00 to ship. Your savings on moving your books may take some of the sting off other expenses.
Moving will never be easy, but these strategies and moving tips should help you stick to your budget and minimize the dent in your bank account.
These tips were partially compiled from Lifehacker.