Thrifty Moving: Save Money on Moving Day

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Moving can be really costly. Extremely costly. If you hire movers, packers, the whole nine yards, it can be a couple thousand dollars to make your move. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, there are a few ways to reduce the costs.

I’ve already covered preparing for your move by getting free boxes and being creative to save money on packing supplies, but there are ways to save money on moving day as well. Here’s a few tips:

Enlist the free help of your friends and family

Everyone hates moving and most people try to avoid helping other move. Still, this is one of the easiest ways to save money. It may take some bribing, but usually you can convince friends and family to give you a hand. Promise to help them move when the time comes, or take the opportunity to help them move ahead of time so they’ll “owe you one.” If they won’t be moving any time soon, think about trading other IOUs–promise to help them remodel their kitchen or pet sit when they’re out of town.

Make sure to feed your helpers! If it takes all day, provide them breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’re doing physical labor for free, so don’t let them waste away!

Find the Cheapest Truck Rental or Borrow a Friend’s

If you only have a short-distance move and are lucky enough to have a friend with a pick-up truck, try to bribe them to let you borrow it for your move. If you offer to reimburse them for gas, there’s no reason they should say no.

If that fails, you’ll have to rent a vehicle. Shop around to find the best deal in your area. Uhaul is usually the cheapest, but not necessarily since they charge you per mile on top of your rental rate. Talk to your friends and family about how much their moves cost. We found it was cheaper to go with Ryder who had an online promotion with a flat rate for an all day rental, mileage included.

Have Food and Water on hand

You’ll need to keep your energy up and your body hydrated since moving is such a physically taxing activity. Have easy to eat and nutritious finger foods on hand to munch on during short breaks. I think the tendency on moving day is to just go grab some fast food, which isn’t healthy and can be expensive. Think about visiting the grocery store the day before to pick up some eatables.

Make sure to have plenty of water or sports drinks like Gatorade on hand. Instead of buying tons of bottles, consider purchasing a portable water cooler, like this 5 gallon watercooler and keeping disposable or cheap plastic cups on hand.

Make a Moving Day Kit

A few days before you move, or as you’re packing, assemble items you’ll possibly need on moving day into one easy to carry kit. This will prevent last minute shopping because you can’t remember where you packed a screwdriver. Check out what I put in my kit.


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