Whether you’re upgrading to an apartment around the corner or putting down roots across the country, moving can be a pricey life event. Packing supplies, professional movers and truck rentals really add up. But with some creativity and forward thinking, you can make any move more affordable. Here are nine cost-cutting tips to help get your boxes from point A to point B:
1. Budget early
You already put in the work to score a great mortgage from a lender like Ally Home,and now it’s time to begin budgeting for your big move. Planning in advance is key to keeping your costs from ballooning, as a solid game plan can help you stay on track financially and avoid the need for last minute purchases. Start by writing out your budget, to-do list and timeline. Then figure out what moving expenses you’re willing to spend money on and what you’d rather DIY — for example: Would you rather rent a moving truck or load up your car and potentially make a few trips across town?
2. Do your research
If you’re looking for low-cost but highly reliable movers, you’ll want to get quotes from multiple companies. Look at website reviews to get a better picture of what you can expect or reach out to friends for trusted recommendations. And make sure you read the fine print to uncover any extraneous fees before making a final decision.
3. Time it right
The cost of moving, like many large expenses, changes with the seasons. Most people move during summer, making October through April the least expensive time to move as moving companies tend to have less business (and cheaper rates). Not everyone can hold off on moving until these months, but it’s worth a try if it works with your schedule. And if you move during the middle of the month on a weekday, you’re likely to get the best rate.
4. Have a garage sale
You probably don’t need that old lamp or college rug anymore. A garage sale is a fun way to get rid of extra clutter, make someextra cashand find new homes for your used items. Plus, sorting through what you want to keep and what you’re willing to part with makes for an easier packing process and keeps you from paying to move things only to toss them once you’re in your new place.
5. Collect boxes
Boxes can end up being one of the most expensive items you need when moving — almost everything you own must be stashed in one. Save money by checking out your local grocery and liquor stores, Facebook groups, Craigslist users and friendly neighbors who might have an extra box or two lying around for you to use. When it comes time to pack up, your short stint as a “box hoarder” will pay off.
6. Pack yourself
Remember those boxes you collected? Time to put them to good use. Instead of paying movers to pack up your belongings, save money by doing it yourself. Get creative by using newspapers, towels or thick blankets to wrap your breakables. And be sure to label your boxes so you know exactly where to find your favorite PJs for your first night in the new place.
7. Phone a friend
Have a friend with a pick-up truck? Ask if they’ll let you use it to move your couch instead of renting a U-Haul. Or order in a stack of pizzas and host a packing party to get ahead on organizing. While friends may be sad to see you go, chances are they’ll be more than happy to help out. You’ll have more fun working together — and potentially save hundreds on professional movers.
8. Forward your mail
Don’t forget to update your change of address with both online and paper billing. This way, you’ll stay up to date financially and there won’t be any confusion with your bank. (Don’t worry, digital banking and online mortgage management with Ally makes this part a breeze). Follow up with subscriptions you want sent to your new address to make sure your magazines and coupons aren’t accidentally sent to the person who just moved into your old space.
9. Consider moving insurance
Sometimes, you need to spend a little to save a lot. If you have valuable items that might get lost or broken in transit, moving insurance can help cover the cost of potential damage — and give you peace of mind. You’ll pay a fraction of the item’s value up front to cover what could be an unfortunate loss.
Your adventure awaits you
Moving can be a stressful process, but it’s also an exciting one — especially when you can reduce those pesky moving costs. Soon, the boxes you packed will be unloaded and people you once called strangers will become neighbors. The best part? You can see all your hard work pay off when you settle into your new home, while having some extra money saved up from cutting back on moving costs. Now that’s our kind of move.