(I originally wrote this post in 2013. We haven’t moved since then, but the principles still apply.) We’ve just made our 5th move in 4 years, so I thought I’d share a few things we’ve learned along the way about moving as cheaply as possible.
1. Get rid of as much stuff as possible! I love to get rid of things. It may be the only thing I truly like about moving aside from being in a new, hopefully better, place. We don’t usually get rid of a lot, but a few things here and there can save a lot of space.
2. Get free boxes. Everybody has them, but start a few months in advance just in case. Random sizes aren’t as stackable as actual moving boxes, but the money saved from buying new boxes more than makes up for the little extra space you’ll need. Produce boxes are especially awesome for books.
3. Use soft stuff to pack fragile stuff. Anything and everything soft (blankets, towels, clothes) gets used to pack breakables like dishes and pictures. We hardly use any newspaper, so we also don’t have as much to throw away when we get there and we save a lot of space. We use all of our suitcases and backpacks to pack things as well. That also means fewer boxes to worry about!
4. Get help. Friends offered to help us as soon as they found out we’d be moving. James also had friends from school that he’d already helped move, so it was like payment for him helping them. We paid our friends for their hard work with pizza and popsicles.
5. Shop around on truck prices. When we moved to our small town, Uhaul was the only option that we could return in town, and it would’ve cost us $600. We looked at Budget trucks and found that renting one would cost $117 if we’d be willing to drive 2 hours to return it in Wyoming. Needless to say, we did, and it saved us well over $400. A local move isn’t as big of a deal. We used a Uhaul since we were moving in town and driving to Wyoming wouldn’t be worth it this time.
Moving is a lot of hard work. I’m glad we’ve stayed put now for 6 1/2 years.