Frugality Wise

Tips, ideas, and resources for living frugally

Moving Tips That Will Save You Money

on April 22, 2014

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Moving is one of life’s stressful activities that we all have to go through at some point or another; some more frequently than others. I moved 8 months ago, and between the seemingly never-ending packing of all my possessions, trying to research and compare the infinite amount of professional moving companies out there (I eventually settled instead on a friend of my father who would do it at a reasonable rate), transferring my utilities from one address to another, arranging to have my mail re-routed by Canada Post, and all the other tasks involved with moving, I was feeling overwhelmed. Although moving is never a joy (I certainly have never heard anyone say that it’s their favourite way to spend an afternoon), moving doesn’t have to be costly. While some people can really rack up the expenses for their move, it is actually one of those activities where you can save money with a little organization, strategy, and common sense. The following are a few tips to save money on your next move.

Create lists.

Take inventory of all your possessions that need to be packed in a box and create a list of which items will be packed together and how many boxes are required. Do not plan to move with junk and things you no longer want or need. Instead, give away things that are still in good condition to a secondhand store, or have a garage sale. Also create an itinerary for your actual moving day so that you know what you’re doing and when, in order to keep on schedule as best as possible. Lists will keep you efficient, and it costs nothing to keep organized!

Scavenge everywhere for boxes.

There are moving supply and office supply companies that sell boxes, but buying boxes is a complete waste of money. Free boxes can be obtained by asking the staff/manager at your local grocery store, liquor store, large retailers such as bookstores and hardware stores, or in the mailroom of your workplace if you work in an office building. Don’t procrastinate and leave collecting boxes until the last minute. It may take a little time to collect all of the boxes that you need in various sizes. For me, collecting boxes became like my second full-time job!

Book a rental truck weeks in advance.

No matter what it is, in life there’s always a price to pay for procrastinating. In the case of renting a truck, you will pay more money for booking at the last minute than you would if you book early. Another way to save money and get a discounted rate on a rental truck (other than being good friends with someone who has a truck to use free of charge!) is to move in the off-season. Peak times of year to move are the late-spring and summer months. A lot of students move during this time of year, and make up a large percentage of the customers of moving truck companies during this period. We don’t always have control over when we move, but if you’re in a position to have flexibility in your moving date then move in the Fall after the peak season is over and the demand for trucks isn’t as high.

Enlist your burliest friends, family members, and neighbours to load and unload the moving truck.

Hiring professional movers incurs one of the biggest expenses of a move. Labour is never cheap; any human resources professional or business owner will tell you that. Plus, I’m sure you’ve heard or read a few negative stories of professional moving companies giving a customer a price quote for the move, and once the move is over, bill them for way more than they were quoted. Get people you know personally who you don’t have to pay to help you move, with the promise of a returned favour (e.g. reciprocating by helping with their move when the time comes).

Pre-pack ready-to-eat meals and snacks for you and everyone helping with your move on moving day.

Moving Day can be a long day for many people, depending on how many possessions you have to move with and the distance you have to travel.  A long day of moving requires a lot of energy. Refuel that energy by packing meals and snacks, as well as beverages, that are ready-to-eat, rather than buying food at a local takeout place when you get hungry. Save your fragile ceramic dishes and use reusable BPA-free containers to eat from and some utensils. Keep the food, utensils, and containers accessible throughout the day in a clearly marked box.

Do a “slow move”.

If there is overlap between when you take possession of your new residence (e.g. 1st of the month) and when you have to move out of your old residence (e.g. last day of that same month), and you’re not moving a great distance (e.g. only within the same city to a new neighbourhood) then this can be a great stress reliever and money saver. This allows you the opportunity to take that overlap month by slowly and gradually moving your boxes over into your new place. Fit as many boxes that you can get into your car (or a borrowed car from a friend/family member) and transport them yourself, or with a friend, to the new place. You can make multiple trips doing this throughout the month, so that by the time you have a moving truck on your official moving day, you only have the large furniture pieces like your bed, sofa, etc. to deal with, which should reduce the amount of time needed to load and unload, and therefore, you won’t need the rental truck for as long.

If you’re relocating for a new job, negotiate moving expenses in your job offer.

If you’re a desirable candidate to an employer and would need to relocate for this new job opportunity, they may be willing to pay for certain expenses related to your move. So, if you know their interest is serious and they really want to hire you, discuss moving expenses as part of the written terms of your employment offer. Also, if you’re already an existing employee and get transferred to another branch, your company might have a policy in place to reimburse your moving expenses. Costs that your employer might cover may include expenses for storage, transportation, and accommodation for you (and your family) while you finalize and establish your new permanent residence.




Photo Credit for this blog entry:

Image courtesy of Ambro /


2 responses to “Moving Tips That Will Save You Money

  1. I just moved, too! Just a few weeks ago. But, in the same vicinity in the greater Atlanta area of Georgia in the U.S.. We were able to add laborers after renting our U-Haul very inexpensively. Once you rent a U-Haul online a list of options come up. It’s a pain to move, though! I don’t plan on doing it again for quite awhile!

    • Saundra says:

      I hope everything went well with your move. And yes, moving is indeed a pain! It can take so long to unpack and get everything organized again.

      Thanks for your comment!

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