The average American moves 11.4 times per lifetime, according to fivethirtyeight. That’s surprising for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that moving is so unpleasant. And if you’re thinking about moving across the country, for example, from a Minneapolis apartment to a Rocklin house, moving can be even more painful. That said, even if your new place is only across town, packing up your entire life can be stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. But there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself. Here are 6 ways to make your move as quick, painless, and cheap as possible.
1. Forget Packing Peanuts
Use your own clothes, towels, and bedding instead. It’s cheaper, easier to clean up, and your electronics won’t have bits of white styrofoam all over them when you unpack. And maybe you can find another use for those old packing peanuts.
2. Liquor Stores Are Your Friend
And in more ways than one. They’re the best source for sturdy, free cardboard boxes with handles, perfect for books or heavier items like electronics and cookware. Just ask at the register if there are any you can take off their hands.
While you’re there, buy a six pack or two. You’ll need it for tip #3.
3. It Takes a Village
Hiring movers can really take some of the stress off your plate. But if hiring the pros is too expensive or doesn’t fit with your timeframe, host a moving party. Provide the beer and the pizza and the tunes, and invite your closest friends over to help. Even if your friends have trouble lifting 50 lbs, they can be helpful when it comes to packing things and recycling unwanted items. Think of it as the opposite of a housewarming party. (Just make sure you’re more-than-amply stocked with food and beverages.)
4. Renting a Truck? Call and Compare
Don’t believe the hype: Those “$20 flat rate” deals usually come with strings attached. Most truck companies adjust their prices to account for demand. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get quotes from a number of companies. The difference in cost can be in the triple figures, and many companies will price match if you quote one of their competitors.
If you’re moving cross country, also consider adding extra drive time to drop off your moving truck in another city. Since truck pricing is based on supply and demand, dropping your truck off in a nearby city might save you a little money. You can plug in different destinations online and get instant quotes.
5. Hire Cleaners
It might not be cheaper, but it will definitely make your life easier, especially if you’re moving from a large apartment or house under a time crunch. If you’re in an apartment, take a look at your security deposit. Given the immense fees landlords often charge for minor cleaning jobs, it might be financially sensible to spend money upfront to ensure you don’t lose it later. You don’t want to fall victim to the $200 oven cleaning charge. Hiring cleaners will also decrease your stress and fatigue levels. It’s hard enough to pack up everything you own into a truck, drive it to a new place, and unpack it again. Why worry about mopping the floors and scrubbing the refrigerator if you don’t absolutely have to?
6. Take Care of Financing
Bills are a huge part of our lives. Paying your bills on time can help you avoid a terrible credit score and potential mortgage rejection as a young person — mortgage rejection can be a scary thing to overcome. So, don’t put yourself in this position. First, write down all of the bills you have in your name. Next, call each vendor and let them know when you’re moving out. Lastly, pay each bill in total and make sure you notify the vendor and let them know the bills have been paid off in full. Cable, utilities, water, electric, heat and more. Not finalizing and shutting off these services can result in major financial issues during and after your move.