According to recent news stories, Americans are staying put because of the recession. The costs of moving can be very high for some, as renters must furnish a security deposit and hope they get their current deposit back, and homeowners haven’t been getting anywhere close to top dollar for their homes in recent months. And of course, the expense of moving a family’s things from one home to another only gets higher with each passing year, with inflation affecting everything from the moving company’s employee salaries to the gas for the truck. Still, moving is unavoidable for some, whether it is due to a job transfer or an illness in one’s extended family. For those who absolutely must move, there are ways to cut down on the overall expense.
If you’re still relatively young and don’t mind some backbreaking work, you can try to do the move yourself, provided you can get some help for the big furniture. Companies such as Budget Truck Rental and UHaul will rent trucks of various sizes to those who want to haul their own belongings. Be prepared to pay several hundred dollars to rent the truck, especially if you’re moving to another city, but that cost is dwarfed by the thousands of dollars you would have paid a moving company to do the same job.
Once you have the truck, it’s time to call up all your friends and family members to ask for help. Be sure to offer them their favorite liquid refreshments and lots of Pizza, but be careful not to break out the beer during the move if you want your belongings to arrive undamaged. If you still need more people, you can also pay people to help you. Again, even if you have to go this route, it’s still cheaper than paying a moving company. To do this, you can post flyers at local colleges – college students are notoriously poor and most would jump at the chance to earn some extra money on the weekend.
If you have weighed the pros and cons of doing a self-move and don’t want to deal with it, you can still take some steps to save money when using a moving company. For starters, you can pack and unpack your things yourself to save on packing fees. Make sure you have notified the moving company that you’ll be doing all the packing and unpacking beforehand to avoid paying these fees, as a lot of times they will conveniently “forget” to remove those fees from the final bill. You can buy moving boxes at the same places that rent moving trucks, and you can also scout out some of the local businesses around your town to see if they have any empty boxes they are throwing out. Liquor stores are excellent places to find smaller, easy to carry boxes. Grocery stores will also typically have a lot of boxes to dispose of, especially during certain days of the week when they receive deliveries. Ask the store manager and he or she should be able to point you in the right direction.
It’s also a good idea to get estimates from three different moving companies before choosing the best one. Each company will send over an estimator to take a look at your stuff and figure out how much to charge you. Don’t worry about wasting the time of the estimators of the two companies you don’t choose; they are used to only getting a certain percentage of the jobs they estimate, so they know that going in. And once the move is complete, don’t forget to apply for compensation for any damages the moving company is responsible for. Usually the company will give the consumer a time limit to complete and send all the necessary paperwork for this, such as 90 days, so it’s important to stay on top of this to make sure you don’t miss the deadline.
Although moving can be a daunting and expensive experience, there are ways to save money if you want to put in some work. By doing all or some of the work yourself, you can cut down on your expenses greatly.