U-Haul put together some money-saving moving tips that I saw on Marketwatch. As someone who has moved twice in the last three years, I have added several tips of my own.
If you have a money-saving moving tip to share, please send me a comment so everyone can benefit. No doubt, it is stressful, expensive, and exhausting. I hope these tips will make it a little easier for you.
Tips from U-Haul:
“The three most important tips to keep in mind when moving:
— Plan ahead. Make your reservations as far in advance as possible by visiting uhaul.com or call us at 1-800-GO-UHAUL.
— Pack your boxes “strategically.” Choose a “packing room” ahead of time and box up a few things each day. Mark each box with its contents and destination room. Have all your boxes packed before you go to rent your truck. Load the heaviest items first, in front and on the floor. Pack items firmly and closely.
— The last thing you want is the expense of having your personal belongings damaged. Protect your items by using the proper moving supplies, such as U-Haul packing peanuts, which are 100 percent biodegradable, bubble wrap or U-Haul furniture pads made from recycled denim.
Suggestions for saving money, and quick tips for do-it-yourself movers:
— Save money on your rental by avoiding the weekend rush and especially trying to avoid the end of the month when apartment leases expire. Typically, Sunday through Thursday offers greater equipment availability…plus, banks, utilities and government offices are open.
— Prior to your move, check out the U-Haul Online Packing Planner (uhaul.com/MovingSupplies/PackingPlanner.pdf) to help you determine how many boxes you will need. Buy your boxes worry free – U-Haul has a 100 percent buyback guarantee on all boxes and moving supplies – so buy as many as you think you may need.
— Drive safely and monitor the equipment while it is in your possession, just as you would your own personal vehicle.
— Parents…don’t want your students to drive a U-Haul moving van? Then check out U-Box portable moving and storage.
— Take advantage of the U-Haul 30-day free-storage offer with every one-way move.
The most common mistakes people make when moving:
— Not planning ahead; waiting until the last minute to reserve a truck or trailer
— Not packing their boxes ahead of time
— Not making arrangements for loading and unloading help.
Suggestions and tips on securing your rental equipment:
— Always secure the back door of the moving van or trailer with a padlock.
— Always make sure your doors are locked.
— Always park your rental equipment legally and in a well-lit area.
— Back up your rental equipment as close as possible to a garage door, building or wall…and if you can, park another vehicle in front of the moving van.
— When parking your vehicle at a hotel, you park your equipment close to entry doors and, again, try to park in a well-lit area, making sure the equipment is locked.
— When parking your vehicle at a restaurant, make sure the doors are locked, the back door of the moving van is locked and then park it where you can see it from the window.
— Prior to moving, look into your homeowner’s insurance policy, as some policies will cover belongings while moving as long as the insurance policy is in force during the move.”
Here are more tips from my personal experience:
Let people know that you are moving and start collecting moving boxes. Often the person who just finished moving is delighted to have you come by and take their moving boxes away. Here are a few more sources for moving boxes;
Craigslist Has Free Moving Boxes – use the Free section of Craigslist to see if any one is giving away free moving boxes. You can also post in the Wanted section that you are looking for free moving boxes.
Freecycle – join your local online Freecycle group and then post that you are looking for free moving boxes.
Check with local retail stores particularly grocery stores, furniture stores, book stores, office supply stores and liquor stores. Our local grocery store put boxes aside for weeks for us, my husband asked the manager and they were happy to help.
Don’t pack all of your kitchen or toiletry items together. Pack the items you need right away separately and label them as such. Don’t search through many kitchen boxes full of cookie cutters and fondue pots looking for your coffee pot and cereal bowls.
We labeled each box with a number and then wrote what was in that box in a spiral notebook. This is also a good way to double check that all your boxes made it to your destination.
Get rid of unused items. Now is the time to purge. Have a garage sale, donate, or give away items to those who promised to help you with your move. Movers charge by the pound so go through your items and ditch unwanted things before you move. Don’t pay to move them, or worse, to sit in a storage unit.
Ask around for a reliable mover. Check the reviews online. Get several price quotes. Ask the moving company to email you the contract ahead of time so you can review it for coverage of items that may get damaged in the process.
Determine if you have special items that you do not want the movers to touch and pack and move these items yourself. Keep an eye on prescriptions, credit cards, fine jewelry, passports, birth certificates, and other important financial documents.
Have food and drinks on hand. Moving is hard work and everyone will be hungry and thirsty. Exhale. Hopefully, you won’t have to do this again anytime soon.