We’ve talked before about the different things that you can do to save up for a down payment on a home. Today we’re going to talk about some of the things that you can do to reduce the cost of moving into that home once that home is yours. After all, why pay more than you absolutely have to?
What would an article about moving costs be without at least a few words about the importance of downsizing and sorting through your clutter? Thankfully, there are plenty of articles out there already that will help you figure out how to sort through your stuff. In this section, I’ll simply remind you about two important reasons that downsizing should be a priority:
Downsizing allows you to move into a smaller space. Smaller spaces are easier and cheaper to heat and cool, easier to keep clean, easier and cheaper to maintain and require, generally less upkeep inside and out.
Downsizing provides you with a huge income opportunity: before you donate all of the stuff that you won’t be packing, why not try selling it? You can list things on Craigslist and eBay for free. Holding a garage sale takes only your time (and a few bucks for price stickers). You can use the money from these sales to help offset the cost of the move.
Never ever ever buy boxes. Seriously. There is never any reason to spend money on moving boxes. There are opportunities to get boxes for free all over the place. Craigslist, for example, will likely have at least a few posts by people who just want to get rid of the boxes and will happily give them away for free to whoever wants to come pick them up. You can also make the rounds of your local retail stores. Most of those stores have more boxes than they know what to do with and will happily let you grab a few for free.
The very best boxes to grab are the boxes you’ll find at book and electronics stores. These boxes tend to come in standard and easy to stack sizes. What’s more, they’re built to withstand a good amount of abuse both by the people handling them and the shifting of the contents inside of them. So start at your local Barnes and Noble and Best Buy when you begin your box hunt.
There is also very rarely any reason to spend money on bubble wrap. Sure you’re going to have valuable items that you’ll want to protect. That doesn’t mean, though, that you need to fork over the cash for massive amounts of bubble wrap. Have you priced bubble wrap lately? It’s expensive! Instead of bubble wrap or packing peanuts, wrap your most valuable items in your clothes and linens. If you still have things you want to protect, grab some copies of your local free periodicals and Penny Savers and use those.
Hiring movers can be cheap or expensive, depending on whether you do your homework. At the same time, trying to completely DiY your move isn’t exactly cheap. For one thing, those rental trucks are gas guzzlers!
A lot of moving companies, recognizing that customers aren’t too keen on allowing strangers to pack their things, have started offering a sort of “hybrid” option. United Van Lines (www.unitedvanlines.com) offers a portable storage unit or “pod” that you can pack up yourself and then let them transport to your new home. This way you don’t have to pay through the nose for movers or to keep refilling the tank of a rental moving vehicle.
NOTE: Downsizing helps reduce transportation costs as well. The less you have to move the less space you’ll need in a pod, the lighter that pod will be, etc.
What are some of the things you’ve done to reduce your moving costs? Share your insights with the rest of the class!