Moving house is famously stressful. The prospect of packing up your whole life and relocating it is daunting – and that’s before you start worrying about the cost of movers, sorting out all your utilities again, and covering the hidden costs that inevitably pop up, such as Wi-Fi and utility installation, cleaning products, and charges for any unforeseen eventualities. Trust me, I moved cities last year and I definitely learnt a lesson or two. With a little planning, you can drastically reduce the amount of money you spend on moving house. Here’s how.
Give your possessions the full Marie Kondo treatment and throw out everything that doesn’t spark joy. In fact, throw out as much as you can, full stop – whether it’s those ugly wine glasses that have stayed in the back of the cupboard for the last five years or a sofa that’s seen better days, moving stuff that you don’t really need, or want, will cost you time (to pack) and money (to move). If you’ve got any unwanted gifts that you just can’t get rid of, now is the perfect time to tell a white lie and say they got lost/broken/stolen in the move.
Don’t take things to the landfill
If you’ve got bulky items to get rid of, don’t drive them to the tip – instead, try giving them away on Freecycle or Gumtree, and you’ll often find that people are willing to collect anything you’re giving away for free, and can pick them up at a time to suit you. Plus, you’re doing your bit for the environment, so it’s a win-win situation all around. If you’ve got smaller household items, give them to a charity shop.
Do your research
If you go down the route of hiring professional movers or hiring a van, make sure to compare quotes from lots of different companies. Hunting for the best deals can be time-consuming, but can reap substantial rewards in terms of saving money. Book in advance, and if your moving date is flexible, consider moving at non-peak times (generally the winter months and weekdays) to get a cheaper rate. Make sure that you’re aware of any hidden costs.
Some moving companies offer discounts – when you’re comparing quotes, ask whether there are any discounts available that you might qualify for. Examples include things like being a student. Even if there aren’t any discounts going, being cheeky and asking if there’s any way to get a reduction will often pay off. Either they’ll offer you a discount – after all, they want your custom – or they’ll suggest ways to reduce the cost, and perhaps advise you of dates when moving would be cheaper.
Consider moving yourself
If you’re a student or living in fully-furnished rented accommodation, this is likely to be your best option. Pack up all your things into boxes – after decluttering, of course! – and take a few trips in a car (if you’re not moving too far), or hire a van (if you’re moving further). If you hire a van, always remember that smaller is better (or at least cheaper).
Don’t miss work
Moving on a weekday might save you a little bit on van rental fees, and roads are less likely to be congested. If you’re moving by yourself, however, these things pale in comparison with the cost of losing a day’s pay-packet. Of course, this isn’t always possible and there’s so much to consider. Such as when your first rent or mortgage payment is, paying rent in advance and all the other little bits and pieces. Obviously, the best thing to do is to make sure you’ve got enough savings in place to cover all eventualities. But sometimes that isn’t always easy. It’s times like this you’ll have to be super sensible with money. Getting a short term loan could work if you know that you can pay it back. Even with bad credit, you can secure a loan so you can get out of any tricky moving situation if you need too.
Before shelling out on bubble-wrap and moving boxes, take stock of what you already have. It saves both space and money to use clothes and fabric to wrap up fragile items, and to pack these in things that you already own, such as suitcases, laundry baskets, and storage boxes. You can normally get cardboard boxes for free from local businesses.
Review your utilities
Finally, use your move as a chance to save money long-term. You’ll have to reconnect your internet and all your utilities, so go through different providers’ offers and make sure that you’re getting the best deal. This can save you a lot of money over time.