4 Shortcuts that Can Help You Save on Moving Costs

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4 Shortcuts that Can Help You Save on Moving Costs

Staff Writer · Jan 21, 2010

Moving costs can pose a financial hardship to many during a recession. Any help can make a huge difference, and finding shortcuts can help you save money. On the one hand, you don’t want to do anything that would cause you to lose your things in the process of moving cheap. On the other hand, if you follow these 4 shortcuts, you can save on moving costs:

1. Get Free Moving Boxes

Whether you’re hiring a moving company to transport your personal items, renting your own truck or using the US Post Office to ship your things, you’ll need moving boxes. Moving service companies and truck companies offer moving boxes for sale, and it’s convenient to just tack the costs onto your final bill. However, you can save on your moving costs if you get your own boxes. Even buying used moving boxes is a cheaper option, but getting free boxes is the best. You can find free moving boxes on websites such as www.craigslist.com or www.freecycle.org. Ask co-workers and family members who have recently moved for any boxes they’re throwing out. Watch for tenants moving in as well, and ask them for boxes.

2. Sell and Give Away Items

Moving presents a unique opportunity to downsize and simplify your life. A shortcut to help you save on moving costs is to sell some of your things. You can use the money to offset some of your rental or shipping costs, or plane tickets to get you to your new destination. Giving items away is also a good way to cut down your moving costs. You won’t get money back, but you’ll reduce your total shipping weight, which will further reduce costs. The opportunity to help someone else will be even more rewarding than any money you’ll save.

3. Buy Minimum Insurance

Moving companies and the Post Office will want to make as much money on your move as possible. Be prepared to say no to many additional services, accessories and bells and whistles that they’ll offer you with promises that your things will be that much safer, or arrive that much faster. This includes insurance, and while some insurance is a must-have, you don’t need everything you’ll be offered. See whether your renters insurance will cover the move. Don’t buy additional insurance if your renters insurance already covers you in the case of loss of damage. If it doesn’t, then buy basic insurance to cover the replacement value of your items in the case of loss or theft.

4. Pack and Unpack Yourself

Another additional service that your moving company will offer is packing and unpacking services. For extra charges, movers will come to your house and professionally pack your items and load them on the truck. At the arrival destination, they will unload and unpack your items for you. When you’re pressed for time, this can be an appealing offer. However, you need to turn it down if you want to save on moving costs. Plan to pack and unpack your things well in advance, and get help from family and friends if the task is overwhelming. Put the extra money towards food, rent and other must-have expenses.

When the economy is in a recession, using shortcuts to save on moving costs is not a luxury. For many, it’s a necessity, and these 4 tips can help you keep more money in your pocket for after the move.

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