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Tips For Moving on the Cheap

Savvy Community: I Need Your Savvy Moving Tips!

This post comes from MandyWH in our How Do You Save? group.

Fellow Savvy readers, I need your help! I just moved about five months ago, and have since discovered that my apartment is in a not-so-great location; let's just say I'm not getting much sleep (or wanting to leave my apartment after dark). So, I'm moving again!

I'm in love with the new place and can't wait to move in, but I'm not in love with the idea of shelling out moving costs all over again. Since I just used my network of friends for their moving help, I can't ask them to move me again, so I'll have to pay for some kind of help schlepping boxes and furniture. That cost, plus the cost of renting a truck, plunking down a hefty security deposit, and making the inevitable new-apartment purchases, has me feeling a little panicky.

I'm sure you've all moved house a time or two (or three, or four, or . . .), so I'm interested in hearing how you saved cash in the process. Share your tips below!

Share your budget and organizational tips with SavvySugar readers. Create a PopSugar account or log in to your account. Then post your tips in the How Do You Save? group.

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MandyWH MandyWH 7 years
Thanks so much, everyone! Thanks to you, I've started collecting boxes from friends and grocery stores and started getting quotes from movers I found on Craigslist, and will be using plenty more of your tips by the time we move, I'm sure!
Chipa Chipa 7 years
I have never paid straight cash for moving costs (and I have moved six times in the last five years! Yikes!) I always collect boxes from grocery stores/liquor stores/friends and hire my friends to help. In return for their help, I always either cook them dinner (they love my cooking) or buy pizzas/beer. Also, I always help when a friend needs to move. Even though I am a lousy lifter, I am great at packing. This last move (I moved to China), I gave most of them free reign in whatever I was ditching--mostly pantry food and refrigerator food.
wildsngrny wildsngrny 7 years
I know some storage rental places will loan a moving truck for free when you rent a storage unit. Boxes are plentiful and free at many businesses, including schools. Craigslist, colleges, and day labor centers are good for finding helpers, and many apartments will pay you (or rebate your rent) when you refer people who then sign a lease. If you used an apartment referral service, they will sometimes pay for your move, as well. I went that route when I moved into my last apartment.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
We never paid any money for things when we moved. To get boxes, I asked people at work to save big boxes for me (I worked at a factory) instead of buying them. And we used our pickup truck to haul things instead of renting a Uhaul. If you have friends with a pickup, ask if you can borrow it. And definitely ask your friends to help you move the furniture...we "paid" people to help us with beer and snacks!
DrAzucar DrAzucar 7 years
When we moved last year we had about 6 friends help with loading the truck and moving furniture, then we bought them lunch out at a local favorite restaurant. No clean up for us, and well worth it at $200 for lunch to have everything moved by people we trust.
Yesi-Jukebox Yesi-Jukebox 7 years
ShaynaLeah hit it right on!
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
Don't be afraid to ask your friends again! That's what friends are for - no, not cheap labor, but support and a helping hand. Just be sure to reciprocate. Offer to make them dinner (just be sure to set aside any cooking utensils you'll need) or order some pizzas and pick up some beer. Above all else, let them know that you'll be happy to lend a hand when THEY need it. I'm sure they'll still be happy to help - especially if they know you're getting away from kind of a bad area. Even if you have to spend a little money on your friends, you'll be spending a lot less than you would on professional movers. Also, look into studen movers - they're generally cheaper. If you're worried about the quality, you can always get at least one or two big, strong friends to help move a couple of fragile pieces then have the students do the rest. Last but not least, I'm also throwing my vote in for asking for boxes at businesses. It may seem a little weird, but they're usually pretty used to it. Hit up family members and ask if their place of work has some boxes they can bring home. After you're done moving, flatten the most sturdy boxes and store them somewhere just in case you need to move again - or in case one of your helpful friends takes your offer to help the next time they move. :)
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 7 years
I moved last summer so not only do I have sympathy for you - I remember the pain!! These are my tips/tricks as they are: - You can get boxes for free from most grocery stores/liquor stores (try the liquor stores first) - Take your time to pack wisely to minimize the chances of breaking items, bringing things that should be thrown out, and maximize the amount of stuff fit into each box - If you have a friend or a friend of a friend who is out of work or in need of cash, considering hiring him to help with the lifting and rent a U-Haul - Call at least three moving companies for rates to make sure you don't overpay - Check Craigslist to see if there are any college kid crews advertising their moving services - but buyer beware... Good luck!
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