Moving is expensive, but there are ways to cut some of the costs.
I’ve moved a lot of times in my life. Not too long ago my kids asked me how many houses I’ve lived in, and I was stunned when I counted them up. I’ve lived in 22 different houses, not counting the month we spent at my dad’s house recently.
Obviously I don’t remember all of those moves, as a few occurred when I was very young. But I remember my family making some very frugal moves growing up, and I have continued the frugal moving tradition in my adult years. Hopefully I won’t be moving again, though. Ever.
But, for those of you who will be moving in the future, here are some tips on cutting expenses.
Check Craigslist for free boxes. I have never paid for a moving box. Ever. I posted ads on Craigslist and Freecycle asking for boxes and got a few that way. Then I saw an ad on Craigslist by someone looking to unload boxes from his move. He gave me all of them at no charge. When we’re unpacked, I’ll post an ad on Craigslist, so someone else can have free boxes for their move.
Ask friends for newspaper to use for packing. I always use newspaper for packing breakables. I’m very generous with the paper, so nothing breaks en route. So far I haven’t broken anything.
Do you know someone with a trailer? Instead of renting a truck for this move, we borrowed my dad’s trailer and also a trailer from my husband’s boss. A couple of our volunteers also had pickups, and that was enough to move all of our belongings. In the past, we’ve also rented trucks (our best experience was with Budget).
Speaking of volunteers…don’t be afraid to ask for help. We had several volunteers from our church to help us move. Our pastor’s wife even came over to help me unpack my kitchen. Make sure you offer plenty of pizza after the work is done, though.
Plan in advance. Make sure your refrigerator is hooked up and cooled down before you arrive. Make some freezer meals that you can heat and eat, when you’re too tired to cook. And make sure you pack a few “essentials” boxes with the bare necessities you’ll need to survive, while you’re trying to find everything else in your boxes. That will prevent the need to run out and buy toothpaste, when you know you have 5 tubes…somewhere.
These tips won’t work in every situation. If you’re moving across country, it might be well worth it to hire a moving company. But for a move across town, these tips saved us a lot of money!
Do you have any frugal moving tips? Please share!
If you like this article, please sign up for free weekly email updates.
I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, I state that I have a financial relationship with companies mentioned in this website. This may include receiving access to free products and services for product and service reviews and giveaways.
Any references to third party products, rates, or websites are subject to change without notice. I do my best to maintain current information, but due to the rapidly changing environment, some information may have changed since it was published. Please do the appropriate research before participating in any third party offers.