No doubt about it. Moving can be expensive. There are many tips for saving money when you move, but some come with a caution. You may be saving some dollars, but you could also be risking the safety of your belongings and bringing more work and stress on yourself in the bargain. Consider these money-saving tips and the adverse consequences that may occur.
Get a Moving Quote.
Call two or three movers and invite them to come to your home to prepare a moving estimate. When professional movers see your home and the items you want to take with you, your estimate will include all the necessary charges and you won’t be low-balled or be greeted with an unpleasant surprise when the move is complete. This will enable movers to see that there are narrow stairs to the third floor, or you have a piano that needs special attention. They will record each piece of furniture to be moved and its approximate weight so your estimate will be as accurate as possible. Only then will you be able to compare one mover with another.
Take advantage of moving guides available from your mover so you don’t overlook crucial steps in the moving process. You’ll want to pay special attention to the timeline of what to do when, as the process can involve more time than you might think, especially if you haven’t moved before. You can request free moving and packing guides from Ayer Moving and Storage.
Inventory Prior to the Move.
Don’t wait until you are ready to pack. See if members of your family or friends want anything you really don’t need. Sell items at a yard sale. Dispose of things that are no longer useful. Donate items to charities and if you itemize on your tax return, take a deduction for their value.
Be Flexible with the Moving Date.
Movers are typically slow in the winter months or in the middle of the week or month. You may be able to save a bit by being flexible. (The months of July and August are peak times for moving companies and they are usually booked way in advance.)
Do Your Own Packing.
You can find many tips for packing your own possessions, including collectibles, antiques, electronics, and clothing online. Keep in mind that professional packers know the precise ways in which to pack and have the appropriate packing materials on hand, including bubble wrap, plain newsprint, and special sized boxes. Compare the costs and the time involved before you decide to do it yourself.
Free Moving Boxes.
Sturdy boxes are available free from liquor stores, university bookstores, and supermarkets (find out when they typically flatten boxes or incinerate them so you can pick them up beforehand!) Moving companies also sell used packing boxes and specialty boxes for wall art, dishes, and wardrobes.
Purchase plain (inkless) newsprint and bubble wrap from discount stores like Staples or Amazon. Or check out used packing materials on Facebook Marketplace or Craig’s List. (When your move is complete you can list your used packing materials for sale!)
Consider Sharing the Packing.
You may want to pack certain things yourself but leave the large furniture and special items like artwork, computers, dishes, and collectibles to the professionals.
Pack Like Russian Dolls.
Conserve space by packing small items inside larger items to save on moving boxes. Don’t overpack, though, as you run the risk of heavy boxes being dropped or bursting under the strain.
Use Linens to Pack.
Make use of towels and blankets to wrap around fragile items and to cushion items against each other.
Solicit Friends for Moving Day.
Ask friends and neighbors to help you load the moving truck and treat them to pizza and libations (after the job is done)! Be sure to plan who is to do what and how you want the loading to be accomplished. Otherwise, you risk having boxes loaded incorrectly which can result in crushing or breaking your treasures.
Rent a COW.
A Container on Wheels (COW) is a portable storage unit that can be loaded in your driveway and then hitched to your local mover’s truck to go to your new home.
Rent a truck, Load, and Drive It.
This can save you a bundle, but you may not be ready or able to take on this huge task. Ask your local mover if you can rent a truck from them, along with a crew to load it. Then you can drive to your new location on your own. (You’ll need to arrange for help on the other end!)
Don’t skimp on moving insurance coverage. You’ll want to talk to your mover about purchasing insurance in addition to the coverage that is included with the move, which pays on claims according to the weight of the item, not its value. It is key to have this insurance on anything that might break during the move.
Ayer Moving and Storage has resources to help you with your move and their Relocation Specialists can give you tips on saving money. Call us at (800) 233-6683 or visit our website for more information.