Did you know that moving house is in the top three things that can cause the biggest stress in life? Moving is stressful. It can also get very expensive if you don’t sort everything out before you begin to move. I am going to give you my top 12 tips for moving on a budget that will help with all the stress and anxiety that comes with moving.
I have moved a lot! about 7 times in the last 5 years, I promise I am staying in this house now, but It’s just so easy to move when you rent. So hopefully that makes me an expert in this moving malarky. I hate spending money to move, I just don’t see the point in it, so without further ado here are my top 12 tips for moving on a budget.
1.If you don’t need it get rid of it.
Sometimes this is easier said than done. Let’s be honest we love to hoard. Not many people live the clutter free lifestyle that we are all striving for. So before you start shoving things in boxes pick it up and work out if you are actually going to use it. No? then put it in the bin or give it to a friend or charity. It’s only going to move to a different house to sit in a box for 12 months until you realize you actually kept it and then you would throw it anyway. You could even try to sell some of the things you don’t want and you would actually make money from moving, win, win.
2.Label every single box
You will thank me in the long run. Work out what item you want in which room and then put it in a box and label the box. The best way I do this is label my boxes for the room. e.g. living room, kitchen. You could label it by item if that is easier for you and you don’t know where they will live in the new house e.g. CD’s, clothes. It might sound like a waste of time and too much effort but when you get the other end and you have to guess what is in every box, or open a box and find the thing you were looking for isn’t in that box, you will be so glad you did. It makes it easier moving boxes too as you can put them straight in the room they need to go.
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3.Don’t buy boxes
You don’t need to go to Argos or The Range to pick up overpriced cardboard boxes. The best thing to do is head to Mcdonalds, or KFC or your small local corner shop and ask if they have any boxes they are getting rid of. Some people even give cupboard boxes away for free on eBay or Freecycle. They will usually say yes and give you big cupboard boxes for free. It depends on when their deliveries come in or when they get rid of the rubbish but it’s always a good idea to ask. They won’t look at you funny, they will actually be thankful you are taking them off their hands.
With this I mean the materials you use to pack, you don’t need to buy bubble wrap. A couple of months before you decide to move keep any empty packaging. You can use egg cartons, pillowcases, tea towels. Anything that is soft and you can wrap around things. This is really useful for mugs and cups, things like that. Use socks to fill out the boxes and stop breakables touching. I use this trick every time and I have never had anything break on me. Even when I trusted some people with a van to move things for me.
5. If you hire someone, look for a flat rate
Depending on how big the house is and how much time you have to move from your old house, you may need to hire someone to help. Look for someone who offers a flat rate. A flat rate is just one standard rate a person charges regardless of how much stuff you have. It also means that they can’t suddenly increase the price because you had something that was heavy or the van wasn’t close enough to the house. Moving vans also take the stuff from your old house and put it in your new house, you just need to make sure everything is boxed and labeled, this saves a lot of stress on your part.
6. Ask for help
You could ask your parents, partner, friends or family. Anyone that is free to help. If they have a car even better! You could ask them to put some things in their car and take it to your new place. Saving you on shelling out for a van. Or they could help you pack so you save time. Pro Tip: Turn it into a moving party by having lunch/dinner together and packing everything as you go.
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7. Create a budget and stick to it
This is good if you are one of those people that doesn’t pay attention to how much they spend. Say you only have £100 to spend on moving. Stick to that and do not go over it. It is very easy to go over your budget as you think about more things you need to do. Sit down and work out what you need and how much it is going to cost. Shop around if you need to, to find a better price.
8. Move in offseason
I didn’t know this one until I was doing some research. If you need a removals company book them between September and May. They tend to have lower prices as people don’t often move around this time. They then lower their prices to encourage more people to move with them. If it is an independent company try to haggle (If you are good at this) if they are low on business they will be more inclined to accept a smaller amount. Also if you can plan your move in advance try to book things in as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it to your moving date the more they tend to charge, and it might be harder to find people to help if you don’t give much notice.
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9. Change your utilities
As you are moving house, you are able to shop around and look for better deals for your water, electric or broadband. Sometimes you can’t change these if you are on a contract but it’s a good time to check as you will need to change your address anyway. This could save you a couple of hundred.
10. Use vouchers and coupons
Lots of things use vouchers and coupons to give you money off. I have found that Tesco’s club card lets you use Clubcard points for a discount on moving vans. Search online and in magazines. If you’re a student, lots of apps and the NUS card offer discounts on moving as well. Even look for vouchers for setting up your household will save you some extra pennies.
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11. Clean as you go
I hate moving into a dirty house. When I move from my old house I spend hours cleaning it and then spend another couple of hours cleaning the new house. Clean as you go, this is great if you are packing up your stuff. Take everything out of the room, pack it and then dust, hoover and clean the windows before moving onto the next room. Do the same as your unpacking. It saves a lot of time and you don’t feel like it is so much of an effort if you leave it all until the end.
12. Don’t buy anything else until you have unpacked
I left this one until the last on my top 12 tips for moving on a budget because it is so tempting when you are in your new house to buy everything new. Don’t! Unpack everything you have first and then see what you are missing or what you need to buy. There is nothing worse than thinking you have no spoons, buying 10 and then realizing they are in a box in the bedroom. Make sure you have sorted everything out and settled in before buying food as well. If you run and go get a big food shop and don’t even have your fridge/freezer then all that food will go to waste. If your hungry pop to the local shop or get a takeaway, it’s not going to hurt for one night.
We have a tradition in our family now that whenever anyone moves we always order a takeaway and sit on the floor eating it. As we haven’t even got any chairs out yet. It creates lasting memories too.