How to Get Moving Help on a Shoestring Budget

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How to Get Moving Help on a Shoestring Budget

Staff Writer · Nov 18, 2009

Do you need moving help, but can’t afford the going rates of professional moving companies? The costs of moving can add up, especially if you’re moving out of state. Here’s how to get the help you need when all you have is a shoestring budget:

Only Pay for Transportation Costs

Transportation costs are the most expensive item in your moving budget. Your goal on a shoestring budget is to trim down your moving estimate to only the bare necessities, such as transportation. Don’t sign up for any additional transportation charges, such as carrying appliances up the stairs. Professional moving companies want you to spend as much on the move as possible, and will offer convenient add-on services. You have to say no to these if your budget is limited. Don’t sign up for additional services, such as packing and unpacking. Find your own moving boxes and supplies so that you don’t get charged a premium price for those.

Get Family Members to Pack

Rather than using union movers hired by the moving company to pack your belongings, get your family to do it. Come up with a major deadline, and small deadlines along the way, so that everyone stays on task. Each family member should be responsible for packing their own things. Then, split the common areas among family members, according to ages and abilities. You can oversee the packing process from beginning to end to make sure that it’s being done correctly. If you’re not sure how to pack items, find a video on www.youtube.com. Don’t just look to your immediate family for moving help, but also enlist the help of extended family in the area. You can make a fun packing day out of it, with you providing drinks and snacks, and a meal at the end.

Ask Friends to Help Pack

If you can’t enlist your family, or if they’re too far away, ask friends to help you pack. You’ll be amazed at how your friends will come to your aid when they know that you can’t afford the packing services offered by professional moving companies. The money you lay out to take them to dinner, or buy drinks and snacks for a packing session, will only be a fraction of what a moving company would ask for. If you’re worried about your friends packing certain items, put them in a separate area or pack them yourself ahead of time.

Ask Family or Friends to Unpack

You may be moving to a new location where you have family members who you can ask for help unpacking. Maybe you have family moving with you, or maybe you have friends already in the new area. Don’t be shy about asking them to help you unpack. It can take a very long time unpack everything in a new apartment, which you could be dedicating towards learning the new area or getting acclimated to a new job. You’ll also save hundreds of dollars if they do it yourself instead of hiring a moving company.

The best moving advice is to be creative and find ways to cut costs when you move. You can’t do much with the costs of transportation because they’re standard in the industry, but you can avoid add-on service charges.

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