Starting fresh in a new apartment or a new city is both exciting and a huge undertaking.
Packing up everything you own and moving it across city or state lines? Having to find new pieces of furniture and housewares so that you can actually function in your new space? It’s a lot! And it can easily end up costing a lot if you head into it without a plan.
But we would never let you do that. Because your dollars look better in your investment accounts than in Target’s cash register.
Here are 10 ways to save money on moving, stay organized while you move, and generally make the whole moving process suck way less.
Let stuff go
Moving means putting all your stuff into boxes, carting those boxes to various vehicles, then from the vehicles to your new place, unpacking everything and arranging it.
Before you put yourself through that, ask yourself what really needs to come with you and what can be re-gifted, sold or recycled. Letting things go is one of the easiest ways to make moving suck less. Plus, anything you can sell means that money can go to cover moving costs!
Eat what you already have
The days before you move should be the days you spend eating through your pantry. Everything you eat is one less thing to box up!
So reach way in the back of your pantry and pull out that can of blacks beans you’ve had for the last year and chow down before your lease is up.
Make a Moving Budget
A moving budget doesn’t have to be the most thorough financial document you’ve ever written. But try and get an idea of all the costs involved with moving so that you can save money on moving.
Some things to consider: boxes, gas, meals out while you move, rental truck/uhaul, movers, drinks or meals for friends who help, etc. Writing these out and determining the costs for each will give you an idea of what your move will cost you.
Consider hiring movers
Are you shocked I’m suggesting movers? Well, pick your jaw up off the floor, because movers can be such a good investment.
Moving by yourself can be a huge time investment, so for my hourly workers or freelancers, you can end up losing money by not working. Hiring movers means less manual labor, time that can go back to working, and frankly, a smoother move.
Reassess your utility needs (and possibly negotiate them!)
Moving to a new city, state, or even part of town can mean a chance to save on your utilities. Some internet providers don’t operate in certain parts of town or the country (looking at you Google Fiber). Check out what’s available at your new address and see if any utility providers offer a discount for new addressing, or if your current service terms are negotiable at all.
Commit to labels
Label. Everything. For the love of god, label everything when you pack! And get as specific as possible. ‘Kitchen’ is good, but ‘kitchen plates and bowls’ or ‘kitchen appliances’ are even better.
Specific labels will make unpacking so much easier, since you’ll know which box has exactly what you need as you move throughout the first few days in your home.
Pack a ‘Ready to Use’ box
A couple of plates, the coffee maker (and coffee), your toothbrushes, a bathroom towel, and some clean undies: these all go in the ‘ready to use’ box. You’ll be exhausted your first night at a new place, and the next morning you may have to get to work. Keep one box with all the bare essentials super accessible so you’re not trying to find your socks in the sea of cardboard boxes the day after moving in.
This box will also cut down on the need to eat out the first few days. You’ll have packed the basic things you need to feed and caffienate yourself within easy reach, so you’ll be less tempted by the siren call of Starbucks.
Budget for meals out
But let’s face it, no one has ever moved and not bought a meal out in the process. Especially if it’s to a new city, or a new state!
In your budget, make sure to have a line item for meals out. Then try and plan when you’ll be eating out; dinner the first night? Snacks for the drive from Atlanta to NOLA? Beer to toast yourself with?
Set an amount you feel comfortable spending and divide it up amongst the times you think you’ll be eating out.
Make a list of what you need in the new space
Will you need a new comforter? A different sized couch to fit the new space? What do you need in the new space to make it feel like yours?
Please note that I said NEED, not want. Because after you’ve just moved, it’s easy to justify any expense to make your space comfortable and cute. But what is worth cracking open the wallet and what isn’t? The clearer you get on that, the more money you’ll save.
Use your own packing supplies
No need to invest in packing material when you’ve got all those free t shirts from endless conferences, fun runs, and team sports. No need to invest in boxes when you’ve got friends, family, and grocery stores to hit up.
Packing is something that can be done on the cheap. Moving all your stuff will cost you some dollars, but there’s no reason not to save on the packing.
You can save money on moving with all these tips, and enjoy your new place with a mind free from financial stress!