How to Save Money on your Move


After more than a year of living in a shack, my husband and I will be moving. This will be the third time in three years–and hopefully the last for a very long time. Every time I move, I vow it will be the last time I do it without hiring movers.

And then I found out the cost of hiring movers. Even at the cheapest rate with the minimum number of hours, we were still looking at at least $300. “What is $300 in the grand scheme of things,” I tried to convince myself. And then I found out that we were going to have to put every penny we had into our deposit and first and last month’s rent. Ouch.

So the whole idea that we would hire movers quickly went out the window–and the new plan is How to Move in the Cheapest Way Possible.

Here are some ways on how to save money on your move:

Not Paying for Boxes

A lot of companies I know have boxes in their mailing or shipping department they end up just throwing away. For the past two weeks, I’ve become best friends with the mail crew and visit them everyday to get a brand new batch of boxes. I heard the dumpsters behind TJ Maxx are also great places to conjure up some boxes of all shapes and sizes. And if you’re not in the mood for a little dumpster diving, Craigslist always has offers of free boxes. There are, of course, those meanies who try and sell you each box for $1 but if you plan enough in advance, you can mostly likely score some free boxes.

Making lots of friends

I’m lucky that my husband works for a fire department, which means lots of able-bodied men willing to help out. Yes, your friends may hate you when you ask them to help you move, but just know you’ll be the first person they call to repay the favor. To be the best possible moving hostess, make sure to pack everything up before they arrive. And also, use their manpower for the heavy stuff, like beds and furniture. Let the weaklings (like me) carry the boxes.

Extending your move-in date

We find ourselves very lucky that we have a landlord who is willing to start letting us move stuff in before our lease actually begins. This will allow us to make a lot of small trips to drop off boxes. And we don’t have to pay double rent while we’re moving. Ask your landlord if they’d be willing to add this as a perk to your lease.

Using large cars

We plan on using my dad’s truck and my husband’s trucks to transport all the boxed items. We’ll be renting a 17-foot U-haul truck to transport all the big items in one big swoop. Try to limit your rented vehicle to the items that you must import in it. If you use it for small boxes, you may have to do more than one trip and this will cost a lot of money as most vehicle renting agencies charge by the mile.

Claiming your move as an expense

If all else fails, you may be eligible to at least claim your move as a taxable expense if you had to move due to a job. Check the tax code to make sure you are eligible.

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