3 Money-Saving Moving Tips!

3 Money-Saving Moving Tips!

Whether you’re moving across town or across states, moving can be stressful and expensive. Here are a few tips to help reduce stress, save on costs, and help make the transition as smooth as possible.

  1. Utilize online communities:

There are a lot of expenses related to moving and moving supplies are one of the sneakiest culprits. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars just on specialty boxes – it seems they have created a specialty box for everything – mirrors, TVs, lamps, wardrobe boxes, and the list goes on. Once you add in all the other packing supplies you might need – packing tape, packing paper and furniture pads/covers you could be shelling out a lot of money.

Utilize online communities such as NextDoor, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist for free moving supplies. I was able to find almost all our boxes, tape, and labels for free online. A lot of people want to get rid of their moving boxes and paper and will list them online for free local pick up or will sell them for much less than you might find at Home Depot or through the moving company.

I was able to get 10 fully put-together wardrobe boxes, 3 unused rolls of packing tape, packing paper, furniture pads, and box labels for free. I also discovered that U-Haul stores have a special section in their store for people to recycle their boxes which is a good place to find specialty boxes for free – I was able to score several lamp and TV boxes simply by stopping by the U-Haul store.

  1. Count the cost of DIY v. a Moving company

You don’t have to hire movers to do EVERYTHING.

When my husband and I made a local move across town we used a local moving service to pack, transport, and unload all our belongings and it was worth every penny. However, when we most recently moved states we weren’t sure if it was going to be worth paying someone to transport all of our stuff or if we should do it ourselves. So we decided to do a little of both which worked well for us. We rented a truck ourselves and then hired a local moving company to load the truck and then another local moving company to unload our truck once we arrived. It was much more cost-effective and saved us a lot of time and money.

I recommend running the numbers to see if it is worth the cost, including the cost of your sanity. If you’re able to save on moving supplies by finding them for free it may be worth it to pay someone to fully move you to your new home.  We weighed the cost of gas and renting a truck vs. using a moving company and we liked the “hybrid” option of packing our own things and driving ourselves. However, it was worth it to pay movers to load and unload everything.

  1. Prepare a “Day 1” or “Essentials” box

This is one of the best suggestions I’ve received about moving and can prevent you from having to run to the store to buy things you already have but have no idea where they might be. A “Day 1” box is a set-aside box that you keep with you in your personal car and contains whatever you may need in the first 24-48 hours. I’ve included a list below of a few things we have put in our “Day 1” box:

  • Trash Bag
  • Paper Plates and plastic silverware
  • Dish soap, hand soap, a few dishwasher pods or washing machine pods
  • Dish towel and sponge
  • A pair of sheets for each bed
  • A roll of paper towels
  • A roll of toilet paper
  • A pair of scissors and a screwdriver.
  • Any prescription medicine as well as Ibuprofen or Tylenol just in case.
  • A shower curtain and a couple of bath towels
  • An air mattress if your belongings may not arrive the same day as you.
  • Children’s nighttime must-haves (a special blanket, nightlight, etc)
  • Pet food and water bowls with a Ziplock bag or Tupperware with a couple of days of food.

I hope these tips are helpful and help save you both time and money!


Katherine Edwards
Katherine Edwards

Katherine is a Certified Financial Planner® and joined the Mainstreet team in 2022. She has a passion to help clients achieve financial peace of mind so they can not only achieve their goals but also enjoy life along the way. She has been in the industry since 2014 and received her CFP® designation through Kaplan’s program at Duke University in 2017. She enjoys helping clients create and implement a financial plan that is specific to their needs, values and goals. Katherine believes that having a comprehensive financial plan can change the trajectory of someone’s life and impact generations after them.

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