So you’ve just closed on your new home and you’re ready to move in! In addition to the work involved, moving your home can be expensive. Here are 5 simple tips that can help you save money on your moving expenses and even save some time.
1. Save on Boxes
Boxes are a big money maker for u-haul and other packing companies. Don’t procrastinate packing your household items til the last day – this will cause you to buy overpriced boxes out of desperation. Free moving boxes can be found at many retail stores, you usually only have to ask someone there and they will have a pile of them waiting to be thrown out. Not only will you save money but you can help recycle those unused boxes. If you are not having any luck finding free boxes try buying your boxes at Lowes or Home Depot – while they are still relatively expensive – it is much less than you will find at your local u-haul or UPS store. When you finally arrive at your new home and start unpacking everything – remember the effort you made to get those boxes and don’t throw them away – save them for storage, to give to your neighbor who is moving or for your next move.
2. Tax Savings
Did you know that your move may be eligible for tax deductions? In order to qualify for these deductions you need to meet 3 requirements:
- Your move is closely related to the start of work.
- You meet the distance test.
- You meet the time test.
If you meet those requirements be sure to save all your moving related receipts: packing, moving services, shipping, materials, etc. To learn more visit the IRS website.
3. Try a POD
PODs are a relatively new method of shipping and storing your household items. Instead of a traditional moving company who arrives at your home, packs everything onto a semi, drives across the country to your new home and unpacks it all for you – a POD is a self contained shipping container that you pack yourself with whatever you like. When you are ready they come and pick it up and ship it along with other PODs across the country and drop it off at your new home. This results in less labor for the company and more savings for you. The added advantage is that you can leave the POD in storage and only have it delivered once you are ready. U-haul also offers a POD style system that you can easily tow behind your own vehicle instead of renting a truck. There are several companies who offer this service: Pods.com, Upack.com, 1800packrat.com, uhaul.com
One recommendation is to try to negotiate the pricing with some of these vendors – you would be surprised the savings you can get when you speak with a sales rep on the phone (u-haul may be an exception).
4. Packing Materials
In addition to saving money on boxes, there are several ways to save money on other packing materials. Instead of buying expensive bubble wrap, use your own towels and soft clothing to wrap fragile items – you are going to pack those towels anyways – might as well save space and money and use them for wrapping. Another great money saving alternative to bubble wrap is butcher paper – you can find this with the rest of the moving supplies at your local Lowes or Home Depot.
Save yourself some time (and frustration) by purchasing a decent tape gun from your local hardware store. If you have more than a few boxes to seal you will thank yourself or it.
Moving is all about paying money to move your stuff from your old home to your new home. If you have less stuff to move – it will cost less to move it. While this may seem obvious, many of us end up paying more money to ship a box of items then it would cost to purchase them new again. While packing for your move evaluate everything you before you pack it – have you not used it in the last year, will I ever use it again, can I buy a newer version for less than the shipping cost? Based on your answers you may be able to reduce the amount of house hold items you ship. Have a moving sale and try to sell anything you no longer need.