Moving can be a lot of things: stressful, exhausting, fun and exciting. But most of all, it can be expensive! Between packing supplies and cleanings, opening utility accounts and putting down security deposits, it doesn’t take much to blow a modest moving budget. However, there are ways to keep your budget in check. Use these seven strategies to mitigate the cost of your next move!
Meet the Terms of Your Current Lease
One of the easiest ways to reduce the overall cost of your move is to abide by the terms of your current lease. So as not to incur any charges upon moving out, be sure to give the appropriate “notice to vacate” (usually 30 days), restore the unit to its original condition, and make any necessary replacements and repairs before inspection day. Stained carpets, broken blinds, holes in the wall and dirty appliances are the main culprits for move-out charges, so be sure those things are all clean and in good condition.
Getting ready to move out? Learn the top five ways to ensure you get your full security deposit back!
DIY Cleanings and Repairs
Moving is a busy and stressful time, so you may be inclined to hire out cleanings and repairs or skip them altogether. Not only can fines for unattended maintenance items add up, but hiring professionals to do the job can also be a major budget buster. So that your current unit is in tip-top shape, allow a day or two to do your own cleaning, repainting and minor repairs. A few hours of your time can result in significant cost savings.
Pack and Move Yourself
Hiring professional movers certainly makes a move easier, but the cost is usually unnecessary for short-distance moves. When possible, pack and move yourself, and ask friends to help when necessary. If loading and driving a truck yourself isn’t feasible or practical (like in cross-country moves or relocations with a lot of stuff), consider packing boxes yourself and then hiring professionals to load and drive the truck. The cost savings on packing materials and packer hours alone can be significant!
Use Free and Inexpensive Packing Supplies
New, sturdy boxes should always be used for highly breakable and valuable things, as well as items that will travel long distances on a truck. But for unbreakable items (e.g., clothes, toys and books) and short-distance moves, consider utilizing suitcases, laundry baskets, totes, baskets and storage furniture to pack and transport items. Instead of costly packing paper, use newspaper, sheets, towels, fabric, blankets and clothes to protect fragile items. If you do need boxes, ask big-box and grocery stores for any you can have for free. Just be sure they are sturdy, clean and usable!
Bring Everything You Can
Much of the cost of moving comes from setting up a new place. From re-stocking your pantry and refrigerator to buying new cleaning supplies, trash cans and more, it can require a full paycheck just to get your new rental livable. To keep costs down, bring as much as you can from your old place. If doing a door-to-door move, bring everything with you, including the condiments from the refrigerator! If embarking on a cross-country move, still bring as much as you can. Professional movers won’t pack anything perishable or liquid, but you can still bring these items in the car with you. Just pack food in coolers and load liquids into sealable plastic bags to prevent spoilage and accidents.
Furnish on a Budget
When you move into a fresh new space, it can be fun to implement every idea you see on Pinterest in an effort to make your home “yours.” However, furniture, rugs, curtains, organization systems and more add up quicker than anything else! Before running out to the stores, get creative with what you have first. Repurpose items, move things from room to room, or give things a budget-friendly makeover to give them a new function. You may eventually need to buy new things for your space, so shop thrift stores, Craigslist and local Buy/Sell/Trade pages first. Lastly, don’t feel like you have to buy everything within the first month. Decide what items are priorities, and then furnish and update your place over time as more funds become available.
Check out these three ways to make thrift store finds look like new!