Friday, January 28, 2011

Keeping Your Move Cheap

I know I had a simple move, and that these strategies won't work for everyone, but I did several things that I know saved me money on my move. Some are a little more effort than their more expensive counterpart, but I think they're worth it in the end. Obviously this worked because I only moved a few miles from my old place, so take what you can and apply it to your local move. Here's what I did to move on the cheap...

1. Beg boxes off the supermarket. I didn't buy any boxes for the move. I went to Ralph's and got several for free. Yes, they were banana boxes with a hole in the bottom, but they worked. They were more than happy to give them to me, and that definitely saved me some dough.

2. Why just use boxes? I took my biggest suitcase on wheels and moved books on one trip, and clothes and two more trips.  I also used reusable grocery bags for books and other items. Since I moved close by, I took them over (I had about ten of them since I borrowed some from my mom), emptied them, and refilled them again. I filled up laundry baskets with shoes, put dirty clothes in trash bags, and got creative in how I moved just about everything.

3. Goodwill, don't trash. This one was hard. It's so tempting to just toss things in the garbage when you're moving, but that's not only bad for the environment, it's bad for your taxes. I took a few loads to Goodwill and got receipts for what I donated. I had to write items on the back so I can remember come next year, since they just gave me blank receipts. Which is weird. I'm going to write "yacht" on one of them. Just kidding. But, it felt good to know my unwanted stuff didn't go in a landfill and that I will benefit from it later.

4. Avoid renting a truck. I folded down the seats in my RAV4 and got a TON of stuff in there. Bookshelves, dresser, coffee table, they all fit no problem (not in the same trip, mind you, but they fit). i did luck out because the boyfriend was moving the same weekend (to live close to me. Awwww.) and he rented a truck. And had his brother and best friend help him. So when the truck was empty they moved my bed, couch, and TV hutch in the truck he rented. But, since my move was so close if I really had to, I think I could have gotten away with just my car if I had to.

5. Move little things. I took cleaning supplies, spices, condiments, tupperware, plastic utensils, my dish drainer, trash cans,...anything and everything. I think in my less frugal days I would have just bought a lot of these things new, thinking it wasn't worth it to move my $3 bathroom trash can. But this time I emptied it out, lined it with a grocery bag, filled it with cleaning supplies and took it over to the new place. There are plenty of unavoidable new purchases, might as well cut down on some of them. 

6. Say yes when friends offer to help. I hate moving and I hate to ask people to help me, because they hate it too. But, I had some generous friends and family offer to help me, which made everything more bearable. I did some googling of  how to move on the cheap and came up with articles about how to find movers for a good price and how to pack for the movers. I've never used movers, and have depended on muscle and the kindness of my friends to make my moves happen. Obviously I return the favor and offer to help when they move. Again, I know this only works for a local move, but I am thankful to have such lovely friends who help me out. 


  1. Great tips. I think reusable grocery bags are 1,000x better than boxes for most stuff.

  2. You have to be soooo careful with free boxes. I would recommend wine boxes rather than boxes that carry produce, since those are more likely to carry bugs and yucky things that you don't want on your belongings.