Moving on a Budget

I told my sister-in-law that I wouldn’t be able to write unless I wrote about what was going on in my life and this week we are moving again. So I thought that I would give some tips on how to move effectively and inexpensively. It is our 6th move in the 8 years that we’ve been married, so I do have a bit of experience with it. 🙂

Packing Materials:

Tape: I recommend not skimping on good packing tape as this will be what holds your boxes and things together. Home Depot has heavy duty packing tape $31.97 for a 12 pack.  You should also invest in a packing tape dispenser also found at Home depot for under $10.

Boxes: Check on your local Craigslist under their Free section to see if anyone is giving moving boxes away.  If you can’t find any there, another place that I check are stores like Walmart, Target, or grocery stores around their stocking time to see if they have any that haven’t been compacted yet.  I find that most stores are very friendly in regards to this and will usually help you out.  Just make sure if you do have someone set aside boxes that you go and pick them up.  If you don’t, then they might be reluctant to help others out.

Wrapping: This is a good opportunity to put your many copies of the newspaper to even better use.  I wrap all of my fragile items in newspaper.  Try to use small boxes and label them as fragile, that way you don’t have too many fragile items in one box.  You could also use packing peanuts or bubble wrap, but unless you can find those on Craigslist or elsewhere, then they can be expensive and I find that newspaper does the trick.

As for spending money on renting expensive furniture covers, I skip that and use blankets from my house instead.  We have a lot of blankets and sleeping bags and we just wrap our furniture in that so it doesn’t get damaged in the move.

Moving van/truck: If you are just doing a short move, it might be worth saving money renting a big moving van by either asking someone with a truck to help or by renting a truck from Home Depot.  Remember that you need to pay for gas too!  Another way to go if you have farther to move or just want to move all your things at once instead of several trips, then I would recommend U-Haul.  They are a great company to work with and inexpensive as well.  I have looked into pricing at other companies and haven’t found any others that compare with price or service.  I would also recommend renting a dolly, unless you know of someone who has one.  This will save your back. 🙂

Help: One of the major lessons that God keeps teaching me, is asking for help.  It not only makes the job more fun, but it also goes a lot more quickly and everyone is blessed in the process.  We have been so blessed to be a part of wonderful churches who send people flocking to us whenever we need help moving.  If you don’t have that kind of help available then call on friends and family to help you out.  I find that paying my helpers with food and plenty of thanks is the best way to go.

Labeling: This is the key to organization for packing your items and will let your helpers know where to put them in your new home.  I use masking tape and a sharpie.  I put one strip on the top of the box and one on the side.  I label it with what it is and where it goes in both locations.  I also will put whether it’s fragile or heavy so that those helping can be aware when they pick it up.  ex. Books Office Heavy.

Remember that moving can be stressful, so make sure that you get a good night sleep the night before and that you eat a quality breakfast the next morning.  If you have young kids, try to find a sitter for them until the moving part is done.  Try to have a great attitude and not worry if things get broken.  That is an inevitable part of moving and it is just stuff and can be replaced.