Tip #4 – Used Moving Supplies. Your friends, family and acquaintances most likely have many moving supplies that they can lend or give to you. Ask them for boxes, pens, packing tape, and blankets
that they don’t need. Blankets and sheets are a must for protecting furniture and easy to come by at Goodwill or yard sales. Post a flier at nearby apartment complexes asking anyone who has recently moved to let you salvage their gently-used packing paper and bubble wrap. Not only do used moving supplies lower the cost to move, but it also is a “green” best practice as your move will consume fewer resources.
Tip #5 – The Off-season. The highest demand for moving equipment, vans, and workers is during the summer and at the start and end of the month. This means that prices are inflated at these times. Work with the seller or landlord at your new home to choose an off-peak move date.
Tip #6 – Get an estimate and negotiate. Not all movers are the same. Begin the process of selecting a mover by asking friends referrals. Facebook is a great way to do this.
Once you have the names of a few movers, schedule in-home price quotes so that a consultant can perform a visual inventory. Show them absolutely everything you have from top to bottom and ask what the price estimate includes. Ensure there are no extra fees after the move. Tell each you are comparing companies and selecting the highest quality for the best price. Finally, make sure that your get the quote in writing.
Tip #7 – DIY! Get strong boxes and more packing material than you think you will need, including permanent markers to write contents on the boxes. Line up trusted friends well in advance and verify a few days prior to the move they will be there. Stage or number your items to be placed in the van in order to make it easier and faster for the movers. There are sites that offer efficiency tips on packing boxes and loading a truck to minimize space. If you’re driving long distance, you can even pack some pack some low-cost meals.
The bottom line: the more stuff you hoard and the less you prepare, the more expensive and stressful it is to move. If you follow some of the preceding tips, you can significantly lower the cost to move. Anyone with a moving story – and, by all means, share yours with us in the comments below – will agree that making a game plan and paring down possessions well in advance are key to saving money and finding Zen.