Moving can be an expensive endeavour, but with these tips you can save yourself a bit of extra cash.
Whether you’re moving into a house or a flat, renting or buying, going down the road or across the pond, changing your living situation can entail lots of unforeseen expenses. There are more than 15 items on our moving costs checklist, and that doesn’t take into account your ongoing mortgage or rent payments.
Fortunately, there are ways to cut down on spending during the actual move. We’ve compiled five of the easiest.
Sell or donate unneeded stuff
Packing for a move isn’t as simple as packing for a holiday. You’re going to have to sort through all of your belongings, which can be very time-consuming. However, this also gives you the opportunity to decide what you absolutely need and what you can get rid of.
Sort your belongings into three categories: keep, sell and donate. Sell any unwanted items that are still in good condition. Whatever you can’t sell, you can donate to charity, or recycle if it’s in really bad condition.
Since most moving companies base their prices on weight, reducing your belongings before you move is more cost-effective than lugging everything to your new place and sorting through it as you unpack.
Bonus tip: make sure you actually want to keep all your large furniture, and measure it before you make a final decision so you know it will definitely fit into your new place. The cost of moving a heavy couch or bookcase can be considerable, so you want to make sure it’s worth it – and that you can actually get it through the front door.
DIY v removal service
Many people assume that using friends and family to help with the physical parts of the move will be cheaper than hiring a moving company. This isn’t always the case, though. Hiring a van can sometimes cost as much or more than employing a moving company, so do your homework before making a decision.
Look into multiple companies and get a few different quotes so you know which option makes the most sense for you. Booking your service early is important so that the company has enough time to assess exactly what you need, and you avoid costly last-minute changes.
One more reason timing is important is your utility bills. Companies often won’t have options to pay fractions of a monthly rate, so you can save money by cutting non-essential services early. While it may not be ideal, you can get by without TV or internet for a couple of weeks. Just make sure you don’t shut off your electricity or water too soon.
Moving offers a great opportunity to assess all your providers, so don’t assume that staying with the same ones will be the cheapest option. Shop around for the best deals and assess what products you actually need. Since certain phone and internet providers tend to have better services in different areas, ask your new neighbours for advice as well.
Don’t forget to read all the small print when you do cancel your contracts so you don’t get slapped with unexpected exit fees. Sticking with the same provider for a couple of extra months in your new home could save you paying to get out before the original end date.
Something that many people don’t think about during a move is eating. You’re going to have to empty your fridge and freezer before you go, and you don’t want all that food to end up in the bin.
Make an inventory of the food in your current home and see how much you can use up with creative recipes in the days and weeks ahead of your move. There are a variety of apps and websites that can help you with this. Don’t forget to include dry goods as well – every little helps.
Making the most of the food you already have also means you won’t have to eat out or order takeaways, which can get expensive fast if you’re doing it every day for weeks.
Finding cheap boxes
Boxes are essential to any move, which is why so many companies get away with charging exorbitant rates for them. However, there are other ways to get boxes cheaply. Supermarkets will usually have lots of used boxes that you can take, as will friends who have recently moved. You can also check around your office for printer-paper boxes.
Some removal companies may also be able to lend boxes for free, or rent them for a set period of time. These options are not only cost-effective but environmentally friendly too.