Whether it’s your first move down the block from your current residence; or a move from your Denver, Colorado apartment all the way across the country to a New York City condo, the process is usually never fun, and it always seems to cost more than you had originally thought. To make the process more palatable, we have designed five solid ways to save money on your next move.
Simply, the less items you need to take with you, the more money you will save. Even if you envision a DIY move, if you could rent a smaller truck, you’ll save cash. If you are hiring helpers, the less time they have to spend moving your stuff, the smaller their bill will ultimately be. Even if you are going to go old-school and contract with a major moving van company, a smaller load will translate into a smaller bill.
OK, so you’re with us so far, but how do you ever start to downsize, especially if you’re a first time home buyer moving into a smaller space? First, take it one room at a time, and start analyzing everything you own to determine what things you really need. Old VGA cords—probably not. That old acoustic guitar with a broken truss rod and no pickguard—for sure, get rid of it. Your old high school yearbooks and calendars—this one is now a no-brainer, folks. You get the idea—anything that is not absolutely necessary should go.
If you are not an organized person, get help. A smooth move relies upon carefully packed and marked boxes that can be put exactly where they belong in your new digs. If you randomly toss varied items in containers and expect the unpacking party to go smoothly, you’re not thinking clearly.
Movers charge for space and time. If your stuff is neat and ready to go, it can fit in a smaller space and will take less time to load and unload. Chaos equals dollars and organization means savings.
Carefully research your moving options. You can go traditional and call a major moving van company that will take care of everything. This, however, may be the most expensive method, and it is also prone to disputes. We’re not telling you not to use moving van companies, but we are urging you to do your diligence and find the best one.
Another popular way to move is the container system. In this scenario, a big truck drops a cube off at your residence. You fill it up, lock it up, and call them up when it’s time to pick it up. Your cube goes to a—hopefully—secure location, and then is transported to your new place where you unload it. If you have packed correctly, everything should be in good shape. Getting help on both sides of this move is paramount.
A variant of the container move is accomplished when a moving company drops a semi-trailer in front of your house. Before they deliver it, you agree upon a certain amount of space. Other people’s stuff may be on the truck, but your area will be delineated, and as above, you fill it up, close off your space, and notify the trucker to come and get it. They’ll then drive it to your new location and you can unpack.
Also Read: 5 Ways to Save Money On Your First Home
Finally, you can attempt the DIY move. Box everything up, get some helpers and go to the local truck rental facility and get yourself a 24-footer. Don’t worry, you don’t need a CDL to drive these babies, but we guarantee that you will gain a load of respect for over-the-road 18-wheeler drivers after you have completed your trip.
You’ll need to worry about security if you plan to make an overnight stop, and, in fact, many online moving advisors claim that you should drive all night and sleep all day so that your truck will never be parked at night. They also advise that you stay close to the interstate highways and don’t venture too far off the beaten path.
Vet the Help
Two men and a truck make look great online, but when two grizzled and hung-over movers show up at your door, you can be assured that it is going to be a long day. Don’t wait until the last minute to find moving help. If you are renting a truck and driving it yourself, find your loading and unloading crew weeks in advance. Check references and call people that have used them before. When you are satisfied that you have found competent moving staff, book the date, read the contract, double-check the date two weeks before the move, and call again to confirm the day before. Try not to leave anything to chance.
Whew! Bet you never thought there would be so many choices, but we like the blended move idea. Get someone to help you pack and load and consider using a container. We’ve found that container movers can be the least expensive because, with any system where you are in control of loading and unloading, you’ll feel better about the entire process.