Here’s something you never hear anyone say, “I simply can’t wait to move this weekend. I’ve got two dozen boxes and a ginormous sofa that are all going into the truck. Should be a blast!” On the whole, moving isn’t a fun experience – it’s a hassle. Plus, if you can’t wrangle some friends or family member to help you, you’re probably going to need to hire some movers.
This can get pretty expensive, so here are eight ways to cut costs on moving day:
1. Find a reputable company. When you choose a company, don’t just look for the lowest hourly rate. If a company is charging significantly less money than the competition, they’re much more likely to skimp when it comes to protecting your belongings. The cost to repair a scratched sofa or a broken bed frame will far outweigh the money you might save. Start by asking people you trust if they have any recommendations for a reliable company (the Better Business Bureau is a great resource, too). When you do contact a moving company, ask for a quote and be on the lookout for hidden fees or unexpected costs.
2. Be nice. A little bit of kindness can go a long way with movers. Don’t be afraid to make small talk and get to know them as they work. Offering a refreshing beverage halfway through the day is a good way to score brownie points, too. Moving companies generally charge by the hour, but won’t break the fee down into half or quarter-hour segments. That means that even if they only work for fifteen minutes of the last hour, you’ll have to pay for the entire thing. But if you were friendly along the way, your movers may decide to waive that last hour entirely. This tip alone can save you $100 or more!
3. Get free boxes. It may seem like second nature to buy your boxes at an office supply or hardware store, but there’s a better way! Ask around at local restaurants or liquor stores – they usually have tons of spare boxes that they’ll give you for free.
4. Box liberally. If you have a lot of oddly shaped lamps or pieces of art, it’s worth putting them into boxes instead of leaving them unpacked. Movers will have a much easier time packing your stuff into their truck if most of your things are in boxes. This can shave some valuable time off the clock!
5. Use towels and clothing as padding. Bubble wrap is fun, but it isn’t especially cheap. On the other hand, towels and fluffy clothing that you already own are free! Strategically place your clothing or old towels inside of your boxes to protect delicate items such as dishware or electronics.
6. Measure large furniture. If you have large pieces of furniture that you assembled inside of a room, getting them outside may be tricky. Nothing will run up your moving bill like a two-hour struggle to get that huge bedframe out the door and down the stairs. Measure your furniture ahead of time, and then measure all the doorways they need to pass through (including the ones in your new home). That way you can come up with a plan for moving the tough pieces!
7. Prepare ahead of time. Moving is a situation where a little bit of foresight can save you a ton of money. Gather all of your boxes near the front door so that the movers don’t have to traipse through your house to pick things up. If you have high-value items that will be handled by the movers, take the time to get them appraised so that you have documentation in case they’re damaged.
8. Help them out. Most moving companies won’t mind if you give them a hand! They may not let you load stuff onto the truck, but you can always help arrange things inside of your home, which will definitely speed up the process. Don’t be afraid to give them instructions, either. You know your house and belongings better than they do!