Moving for a job to a new city is exciting, but it can also be expensive if you hire professional movers to tackle every aspect of the job. Fortunately, there are a number of DIY moving options that can keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
Here are eight moving musts for relocating on-the-cheap.
1. Set a budget.
From putting down a deposit to setting up utilities, there are several expenses associated with moving that you need to plan ahead for. Before you pack your first box, set up a budget so you don’t end up short on cash. Moving for a job with no money (or little money) can be challenging, and a budget helps you stay on track.
Bonus Tip: An app like Mint.com makes budgeting your move a breeze.
2. Get an estimate from a professional mover.
There are obviously a plethora of things to consider when moving for a job. Once you add in the costs associated with renting a moving truck, filling it with gas, and travel expenses, like hotel rooms for you and your buddies, a do-it-yourself move may not be as cheap as you think. Before you nix the idea of a professional mover, get a free moving estimate, then weigh the pros and cons of each option.
Bonus Tip: If you can’t afford all the bells and whistles of a full-fledged professional move, enlist the help of friends and family to do things like pack and load boxes, and hire professionals to load up heavy items, like couches and other furniture.
3. Make a plan.
Moving into your first place requires much more planning and organization than moving into your dorm did. Start preparing for your move at least four months in advance by scouring moving blogs for tips and checklists you can use.
4. Have a yard sale.
Now’s the ideal time to sell things you no longer need. The more you trim down your load, the less you’ll spend on packaging materials and labor. Plus, a yard sale can help you make money to cover expenses associated with your move and minimize the chance you’ll need to pay for extra storage when you settle into your apartment.
Bonus Tip: If a yard sale isn’t practical, donate your items to a local charity. Charities will often pick up items at your house, and you may be able to write off your donation at tax time.
5. Hire professionals for some jobs.
Paying professional movers to handle every aspect of your relocation might not fit your budget, but hiring professionals for some of the peskiest jobs could be money well spent. Whether it’s packing up a few rooms, loading and unloading your heaviest items, or installing your flat screen TV, professional moving services can save you time and relieve a load of stress.
Bonus Tip: A professional mover is covered by insurance should they get hurt while on the job, but your boyfriend and his buddies aren’t. So, while using a professional mover isn’t free, it can help minimize your liability.
6. Secure renters’ insurance.
You may know renters’ insurance is important, but as a young professional just entering the workplace, you might not think you can afford it. You’ll be glad to learn the typical policy only costs between $10 and $20 per month. That’s a small price to pay when you consider how much it would cost to replace all of your clothing, electronics, furniture, and everything else in your place in the event of an emergency.
Bonus Tip: Install a DIY monitored home security system. Doing so may help you save up to 20 percent on your renters’ insurance policy.
7. Gather packing supplies.
Use a packing supply list as a guide, and start gathering moving supplies sooner rather than later. Grocery stores are a goldmine for free boxes, but they often restock their shelves late at night or early in the morning, so stop by at an off peek time for the best luck. If you’re tight on time, and it fits your budget, consider ordering a convenient pre-made moving package. Many moving companies offer these and they include everything you need for boxing up your possessions and the supplies will be delivered right to your door.
Bonus Tip: Keep all your big packaging materials in one or two central areas in your home so you don’t waste time searching for the right sized box or that elusive roll of bubble wrap. Place smaller items, like tape, labels and markers in a caddy that can be carried from room to room.
8. Pack smartly.
A few tricks can make packing a much less stressful process. For example, keep boxes relatively light, use towels and blankets for cushioning, and label the side of the box rather than the top so you can still read what’s in the boxes when they’re stacked. It’s also a good idea to take a picture of your electronics setup before you unplug them, so setting them up in your new home is a cinch. And don’t forget to put together a “first day” box that contains everything you need when you arrive at your new abode (think linens, coffee press, toilet paper, etc.)
Bonus Tip: For the ultimate streamlined packing experience, use the Moving Day app. Moving Day offers features such as built-in barcode scanning, label making and inventory lists that keep you organized and efficient. For more tips, check out our moving hacks and tips here.
How FlatRate Helps Young Professionals When Moving for a Job
Every move is a bit hectic and no move is free, but use these tips and you’ll relocate like a pro without undue expenses. Also be sure to check out our articles on How to Move to New York and How to Move to San Francisco. Moving to a big city can be tricky, and these articles can help you learn how to get to know the areas, explore local eateries and more. FlatRate can help with your long distance moves and even provide moving boxes for packing your belongings.