Save Money, Save Time

Moving is innately stressful — you’re taking all of the comforts of home, packing them into boxes, and then squeezing them into the back of a dark truck. Whether you’re moving from a lofted Milwaukee apartment, a small studio in Minneapolis or a LeBron James-like mansion in the Hollywood hills, moving is something we all tend to despise. During your move, you’re a nomad, seeking your next campsite. And between the security deposit or down payment you’ve recently handed over and the truck rental, boxes, and hotel stays, the expense (potentially can be used for tax write offs) adds up quickly. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few steps to mitigate the stress, cost, and time involved.

#1. Book Your Move Early

Movers and moving trucks often use prices schedules set by demand. When they know the trucks are needed most, they’ll start upping the prices. So, when moving day comes and you head out rent a truck, you could find yourself without a truck or rent, or paying an arm and a leg to reserve one of the final few. Avoid that pinch by reserving your moving truck or setting an appointment with your movers as soon as you know which date(s) you’ll need them.

#2. Find Free Boxes

New boxes are almost guaranteed to be clean and unmarred, but local restaurants, retailers, and liquor stores usually have tons of sturdy boxes to spare. Although you might have to invest some time into calling around to secure enough clean boxes for your move, you’ll save tons of money and time spent assembling. Start calling early, because you want to catch them before they’re recycled — which is typically almost immediately after they’re unpacked.

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#3. Pack Smart

Instead of packing your bulky towels, washcloths, sweaters, and blankets separately, layer them between plates, glass bakeware, mugs, or other breakables for extra protection during transit. Plus, think of all the money you’ll save money on bubble wrap and packing peanuts.

And while you’re carefully tucking your plates into towels, make sure they’re standing on end in the boxes. Although it seems counterintuitive, this arrangement helps prevent breaks during the jostling move. For your stemware, make sure they’re packed on their rims.

As you’re packing, number your boxes and keep an inventory that covers how many boxes you have, and which boxes are carrying your most coveted items. A little color coordination (blue for bedroom, red for kitchen, for example) could come in handy while you’re unloading the truck.And here are 41 more moving tips, just in case.

#4. Skip the Movers

Depending on how much you have to move, and your skills behind the wheel of a U-Haul, skipping the moving company can save you hundreds of dollars. If your new home is within a reasonable distance, you can make multiple trips. Rent a trailer and/or a truck and wrangle together a few friends. On the other hand, if you’re moving across the country, look for a company, such as U-Pack or PODS, that will let you do the boxing, leaving them to do the driving.

#5. Create An Emergency Kit

Your emergency kit will be highly unique. If you’re moving across town, for example, you might just need prescription and other medications, snacks, cash, phone chargers, toiletries, and an extra set of clothes. But if you’re going cross-country, you’ll need a large duffle bag with all of those items, plus additional changes of clothing, beverages, and nonperishable food items. Anything can happen during a move, and you should be prepared to feed and dress yourself for a worst-case scenario.

#6. Finalize Your Financing

Moving means many things, but one of the most important aspect is financing and bill closures. If you bought a new home, perhaps you a used non-traditional financing method like a contract for deed, then make sure that all of your financing has been sufficiently and accurately documented and taken care of. If possible, get help from your realtor as much as you can. The last thing you want to do is have additional costs tacked on when you get to your new home. Also, make sure your utility and cable bills have been finalized at your previous address and that you have plans to set up new bills after your move. This can save you time. And this can save you lots of money. Don’t let unclosed bills haunt your credit score!

If you follow all of the most important steps as listed above, you’ll be ready for any type of move you plan to make. From Seattle to Miami, or simply from Chicago to the Illinois suburbs, you can do it all with the help of the tips above — and maybe a few friends, too.

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