The very thought of moving makes some people cringe, while others are so excited about their new home that the logistics of the moving process are a non-issue. Either way, affordable moving hacks that save you time, money, and overwhelm can make your move a pleasant and easy experience.
You may wonder if you should hire movers or DIY with a moving truck rental. But, of course, you may have many other questions on your mind too.
Should you make your move on a weekend or during the week? What can you do to make your move easy and stress-free?
Is Moving Expensive?
Moving can get expensive fast—especially if you are moving out of state. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, an average long-distance move can cost over $4,000, considering moving supplies and movers, based on an average weight of just under 7,500 pounds and a moving distance of just over 1,200 miles.
Whether you’re a first-time mover or an old hat at the art of the move, this guide full of moving hacks will help. We’ll share pro tips, packing tips, and plenty of ways to save space, save time, and keep your sanity and money.
Pre-Game Moving Hacks Help You Save Big on a Moving Day
You can do many things to help save money during the moving process, but planning is the most important.
Pro tip! Make your moving budget and cost calculator a priority— you’ll be amazed at the savings this affords you.
Researching and strategizing your move will be the most significant moving hack you can make, saving you time and money and (probably) a few headaches.
Here are a few pre-game tips:
- Take the time to declutter, letting go of items you no longer want or need. Donate and recycle what you can, and throw away the rest.
- Ask a loved one well in advance to pet or babysit. Not having The Littles underfoot will go a long way toward making the moving day more manageable.
- Meal prep ahead of time by putting together moving day meals and snacks that don’t require refrigeration or cooking.
Source Moving Boxes and Other Packing Supplies From Unusual Places
Packing supplies go beyond bubble wrap and packing tape. Many things around the house, such as socks, linens, and pillows, can protect your valuable breakables. Still, you may need to buy (or find) some moving boxes and other packing supplies to facilitate your move.
Plenty of places to source low or zero-cost boxes and moving supplies exist. A quick Yelp search using keywords like “moving boxes” or “moving supplies” will turn up plenty of the best places to find affordable packing supplies.
Here are a few more ideas:
- Furniture Stores, Electronic Stores, Department Stores
- Moving truck rental locations
- Your local hardware store
You can also find packing supplies online or at your local Mailboxes Etc. (or similar) store, including packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and small boxes.
Pro Tip! Make carrying heavy boxes easier by creating side handles while empty. Then, near the middle of the pack (not too close to the top), cut out an extra-wide U shape on opposite sides, folding the flap inward so that you can comfortably fit your hands into the “handle holes” for an easy way to lift and carry.
Packing Hacks That Make Moving Day Easier
Many packing hacks can make moving—and finding things upon arrival—more accessible and faster.
For example, you can color-code your boxes by room and household member to make it easier to sort things when you arrive at your new place. Use zip-lock plastic bags for small items that could easily get lost in big boxes full of things.
Here are a few more ideas:
- Pack books in smaller boxes—otherwise, you’ll likely find them too heavy to carry.
- Pack heavy items in medium size boxes. Reserve space at the top of the box for lightweight items (like linens) to offset and cushion your things on the bottom.
- Toilet paper rolls are surprisingly versatile and handy for a move. You can string your necklaces, ties, cables, and cords through them to prevent a tangle, saving yourself the hassle of doing an un-tangle later.
- Pack fragile items in bubble wrap and then give them extra protection by lining your moving box with pillows —avoid the expense of having to replace small appliances, glassware, and more.
Moving Hacks for Hiring Movers
If you hire movers instead of a DIY move, do your homework first and find a few moving companies that offer fixed rather than hourly rates. Then compare their prices to others before making a decision.
Research and comparison will save you money, allow you to fit the cost neatly into your budget, and buffer you from stress if your moving day takes longer than expected.
Plan an out-of-season move, ideally between October and April. Moving companies keep their prices high during the late spring, summer, and early fall because their services and products are in demand. When outside those months, many moving services lower their rates.
Read moving company Yelp reviews! Look for words like “fast,” “efficient,” and “professional.”
Here’s what one happy Yelper said about QShark Moving Company, “My movers were Cody, Kevin, and Victor. These guys were magicians! They arrived on time, did a walk-through, and hit the ground running! They were professional. Great communicators! Solid leadership. Efficient and super kickback. There was a minor setback; they were solution-focused and fixed the problem. I will most definitely use them again. Highly recommend Qshark! – Andressa G.
DIY Moving Tips for Saving Time and Money on Moving Day
Since moving can be overwhelming and costly, making arrangements and putting systems in place can save you. Here are some tips for saving time, money, and needless stress.
When you decide to move, the first thing to do is create a moving checklist. Then, you’ll stay on track, find items quickly, and eliminate the need for last-minute “emergency” purchases or fixes.
A checklist makes your move smooth because you’ll ensure you have basics like meals, toilet paper, and necessities like electricity and water. In addition, the all-important internet connection is taken care of in advance.
Our favorite moving tips will help you stay sane and solvent while moving to a new place.
- Enlist your friends and family as movers by making a pizza party out of it. You’ll make a big chore fun, create memories, and save big on hiring movers.
- Borrow a loved one’s pickup truck to save on the cost of a moving truck. A full gas tank and a car wash will cost much less than renting a moving truck, van, or container.
- Do invest in wardrobe boxes. You can store your hanging clothes in them while still on the hanger, enabling you to move your clothes from box to closet in your new home without drying cleaning, or pressing costs. Alternatively, you can save even more by bundling your clothes (still on the hanger) in large, drawstring garden trash bags.
- Rubber bands facilitate many moving hacks. For example, you can use one to secure the doorknob to prevent lockout as you go in and out with your arms full of heavy boxes, bundle flatware together, or secure lids to jars or containers, to name just a few useful tricks.
Make Moving in Easier on Moving Day: Hire the Pro Help You Need
Moving into your new home can be exciting, fun, and filled with fantastic possibilities and tasks that are out of your realm.
You may unpack and organize yourself, but DIY can sometimes only go so far. Hiring a local handyman service or electronics professional for specific jobs is best.
Consider hiring some help for some or all of the following:
- Hanging art and mirrors or installing window treatments and bookshelves
- Wiring your television, surround sound speaker system, and internet WiFI router
- Installing your new alarm system
A Moving Day Must: Pack an Open-Me-First (OMF) Box
The Open Me First (OMF) box is a handy essential as it will include the necessities you’ll need during that first day in your new home.
Clear plastic bins are ideal for OMF boxes because you can see what’s inside, and they are distinct from all the rest of your boxes.
Time and money-saving items will go into your OMF box. Consider packing the following:
- Bathroom essentials like toilet paper, towels, and soap
- Kitchen items like one set of tableware, paper towels, dish soap, and cooking basics
- A small toolbox with a hammer, screwdrivers (flat and Phillips), Allen wrenches, zip ties, lightbulbs, and duct tape
- Basic cleaning supplies
- Trash bags and ziplock bags
Moving to a new home is exciting and challenging. However, unpacking upon move-in will be much easier if you’re comfortably dressed, fed, and rested and can easily find the basics for setting up your new house.
Set aside your moving day clothes, PJs, and toiletries (toothpaste, meds, hairbrush, etc.) in a carry-on so you can pack everything else and not have to dig for personal necessities on moving day or for that first night in your new home.
Super Hack: Time Is Money, so Save Big by Hiring a Move-out Cleaning Service
Perhaps the biggest moving hack, we love the move-out cleaning service.
When you compare the value of your time and energy to the cost of hiring a move-out cleaning service, a move like this could be the most practical moving hack you can do for yourself.
After a long day of packing and loading a truck, the last thing you’ll want to do is clean up the house you’re leaving behind. So instead, you’ll be focused on unpacking and organizing your new home.
Save yourself a lot of time and hard work. Find a local move-out cleaning company near you.