Sunday, May 2, 2010

Moving Cheaply

Today everything is flying in the Penniless residence. Boxes are piled high, cupboards are empty, furniture is largely inaccessible due to the mountains covering them.
Today is moving day for us, and we're deep in the throes of it.

Though today is a busy busy day for us, I thought I'd share with you how we're managing to move without spending any extra money out of pocket.

Moving Cheaply

Negotiate Prices. The largest cost associated with moving  is the price of movers. Even a simple move across the street can be costly if it involves moving heavy appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. To not pay too much for movers, get quotes from different companies. Once you've gotten your quotes, call up all the other companies and tell them about the lowest quote you got; you may be surprised that these companies will be willing to beat your lowest quote in the hopes of snagging you as a customer. More tips on bargaining down movers here.
Pack Yourself. Unless you've got a job that pays well enough to cover professional packers (as in, you'd lose money you could be earning by spending  the time packing), it pays to start packing a bit earlier and get it all done yourself. It is time consuming drudgery, but you'll be saving yourselves many dollars if you do this step yourself.
Move Things Yourself. If you have able bodied males in the house, consider renting a U-Haul, packing it yourself, and moving without the movers. If you do not have people physically capable of doing so, if you've got friends or family with a car (or if you have your own, but that concept is so far removed from me, as  we've been car-less since married), consider asking them to help you move the smaller things. By arranging with our movers to move all our boxes by ourselves, we shaved a hundred off the fee. (This is where being neighborly pays off- if you regularly help others, they'll be more willing to help you).
Simple Foods. One large expense associated with moves is eating out. When the kitchen is all packed up into boxes, it can be hard to make everything from scratch. Save packing the kitchen for last; once packed, your family can survive on sandwiches. Buy the cheapest bread (this is one time I don't suggest making from scratch), serve with tuna or cheese, and vegetable spears. Alternatively, you can make food in advance and freeze it, defrosting as necessary, and even serving on disposables. Even though this method of eating may be a bit more costly than eating your typical menu on reusable dishes, it is still much cheaper than buying takeout.
Moving Sales. If you can declutter and sell some unused things, you can put that money towards the move.
In the end, we're spending 200 dollars on our move. By selling our fish tank, living room furniture, and outdoor furniture, we're making back nearly all we're spending on our move.

Ok, that's all for now. The movers have arrived.
Hopefully I'll be back for tomorrow's post, but that depends on how quickly the telephone company switches our line over to the new place.

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