If you’re among the thousands of people this summer who are packing up their lives into boxes and preparing for a move into a new home, you’re probably worrying about how much the move is going to cost you. While moving can be expensive, there are easy steps you can take to save hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Here are the top seven ways:
1. Never Pay for Boxes
Purchasing boxes from a moving company or home improvement store can cost you hundreds of dollars. Depending upon size, those pieces of cardboard can add up fast, ranging anywhere from $.50 to $4 per box. And, when it comes to moving across the country, you need a lot of boxes.
Instead, look to borrow boxes from friends or family. Check out the areas behind grocery stores, liquor stores, and warehouse stores, for many of those places toss out their boxes to be recycled and do not mind if the public takes them. Some moving companies have bins with free boxes customers have recycled, and sites like craigslist usually has a few people who are selling their boxes for cheap or for free.
Over the years, many people accumulate too much stuff they don’t need, use, or even remember they have. One of the easiest ways to save money while moving is to donate or sell all of the items you no longer use. Not only will you make a little extra cash to put toward the move, it’s less stuff you have to pack up and move.
3. Skip the Bubble Wrap
Bubble wrap and other packing materials are expensive. Old newspapers and magazines make the perfect wrapping for dishes and other breakable items. And, instead of packing all bed linens, towels, and blankets together, use them as packing materials.
4. Paper Trail
Keep a record of all moving expenses, for if your move meets a certain criteria, you can deduct your moving expenses from your federal income taxes. You can call the Internal Revenue Service or check the policies online to see if you meet their three tests, which deal with distance and/or work.
5. Negotiate Costs
If you’re moving for a new job, talk to your boss about moving compensation. If it’s a new employer, look to negotiate the move as part of the job offer. The company might be willing to pay for a moving van or some of the shipping costs.
6. Friends and Family
If moving across town, skip hiring an expensive moving company, and ask your friends and family to lend a hand. Let them know you and your family will return the favor the next time they move, and offer food and other refreshments as compensation for their hard work.
7. Get Creative
For expensive moves or last minute moves, especially moves across the country or out of the country, look to companies like TitleMax that can offer a quick loan to help foot the bill.