Moving on a Budget

Updated: Mar 27, 2017 13:14
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This post was written by Tyler Thompson

If you are a total minimalist, moving might be a cinch. Otherwise, it can be a daunting task… especially when you need to stick to a tight budget. Is there a way to get everything you own out of your existing place and into the new place while not needing to spend a ton of cash to make it happen? Here are some strategies and tricks to get moved on a budget.

Research Moving Companies vs DIY

It wouldn’t be a good thing to just assume that hiring a moving company would cost more than just moving all by your lonesome. Yes, that rental truck might seem to be a good deal, but many do it yourselfers tend to put quite a bit of hard work into a move just to find out that they spent more for that moving truck than they would have spent on professionals. Remember to do your homework, though. You should get quotes from a minimum of 3 different moving companies, and remember that negotiation is possible.

Get Boxes on the Cheap… or Free

There are lots of places people who are moving on a budget can look for cheap boxes. They sell them at various types of stores and moving companies. You can also get them for free if you know where to look. For good sturdy boxes, liquor stores are your best bet. You can also try furniture stores. Some of your local retailers might also give away their boxes. Don’t be afraid to call or go to these places and ask. You might be surprised at how many boxes you can get this way.

Pay for Your Move with Your Junk

A great way to save money on your move and get rid of the stuff you don’t need at the same time is to sell it. When you are packing all of your stuff before the move, make piles of the stuff that you don’t need, can’t fit, etc. You can sell this stuff on a variety of apps and websites including eBay, Craigslist, 5 Miles, LetGo, and more. If you do this far enough in advance of your move, and if you have enough stuff, you might also consider having a yard sale. Consignment stores are always an option, too. Any money that you make from your old stuff can offset the cost of your move.

Pack it Yourself

Many moving companies will offer packing services, too. This will cost you money, and if you are on a budget, it will more than likely be money you don’t have. Make things easier on yourself by beginning to pack as soon as you have confirmed a moving date. Start with the rooms that you use the least amount of time… think storage areas and guest rooms. This will get some of the packing out of the way without cluttering up the rooms that you use on a daily basis.

Change Your Address

You should do this just as soon as you have your new address. You can do this at the post office or online at It will cost you $1 to do it online vs being able to do it for free at the post office. You can even let them know which day to start forwarding your mail. The post office also has some nifty tips and tricks for moving right on their website. Once you have completed the change of address, you can get money saving coupons from them.

Setting Up Housekeeping

For short moves, it is easy to pack up all of your groceries and cleaning supplies before you drive to your new place. However, if you are making a long distance move, this might leave you having to restock everything when you get there. If your budget is quite tight, (and whose isn’t?) dollar stores can save you a lot of money. They might not always have the best brands, but what you can find there can tide you over until you can get the real things. Second hand stores and thrift stores are great places to look for things like dishes, kitchenware, and other items for your home when you are on a budget too.

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