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Moving to a new house or apartment can be expensive. Learn how to save money on a move, whether you’re moving across town, across the country.

Wondering, “How do I save money on a move to a new home?” Moving to a new house or apartment – whether it’s across town or across the country – can be stressful, time consuming and expensive. But fortunately, there’s many ways to move to a new home economically; it just takes a bit of creativity and pre-planning as you prepare to move.

Save Money on Moving Boxes and Packing Materials

When packing for a move, there’s a few simple ways to save money and spend less on moving boxes and packing materials, which can cost several hundred dollars when all is said and done.

Find free moving boxes. Visit off licenses and stores like Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s to find free boxes for your move. A big benefit of using smaller boxes is that they’ll be easier to lift and carry during the move.

Use clothing, towels and linens as packing material. Bubble wrap and other packing materials can be substituted with clothing, blankets, towels and other fabrics, and since these items will be coming along for the ride anyways, why not put them to use? It’s a simple way to save on packing materials during a move.

Get free newspaper for packing material. Visit a local newspaper and request a bundle of newspapers. Newspapers typically keep a small number of back-issues, but a vast majority of the newspapers that don’t sell are sent off for recycling. So, most newspapers have an abundance of newspaper that’s headed for the shredder and most will give away the old editions for free.

Use bags instead of moving boxes. Contractor bags (a much stronger version of a garbage bag) are available at home improvement stores like The Home Depot and Lowes for less than $20 USD for a box of 100. Instead of boxing items, like pillows, curtains, stuffed animals, clothing, home decor and other miscellaneous items, bag them instead. Save the moving boxes for fragile items, heavy items and items with sharp, pointy edges (as these will puncture the bags).

One major advantage to packing for a move on your own instead of hiring a moving company is that you’ll be able to oversee the entire process. And if there’s an irreplaceable item with sentimental meaning, you can see to it that it’s packed extra carefully.

Reconsider Hiring a Moving Company

Hiring a moving company to pack boxes and transport your furniture and moving boxes into your new home is convenient, but it’s also very expensive. Consider these alternatives to hiring movers.

Pack moving boxes for a few minutes each day. Beginning several weeks before the planned move, pack for 15 to 30 minutes each day. By moving day, most of the house will be packed and ready to go; this means less time taken off from work or school as a result of the move.

Rent a moving van. Moving van rentals are much more affordable than hiring a moving company to perform the move but be sure to comparison shop. Visit the major moving van rental companies like U-Haul, Penske and Ryder, but also visit some of the smaller, less-known rental companies if the move is local. Obtain written price quotes that can be presented to a competing moving van rental company for possible price matching. And seek rental packages that feature unlimited mileage when moving long distances or out-of-state.

Get friends to help pack the moving van. On moving day, get a bunch of friends and family members together for a “moving party” with music and food (but forgo the alcohol). If you don’t have friend or family members who can help load the moving van, consider hiring a helper. Many companies that rent moving vans also offer a “helper” service for an hourly or daily rate, making the process of loading the moving van much easier.

Another benefit of renting a moving van and moving on your own instead of hiring a moving company is that the family can set their own schedule for the move. The time frame and schedule for the move is much more flexible, so if plans unexpectedly change, it’s not going to be disastrous or tremendously inconvenient.

Moving to a new home is stressful and time consuming, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. With a bit of creativity, flexibility and do-it-yourself motivation, moving can be much more affordable.