December 23, 2021

5 Cost-Effective Ways To Pack For Your Move

Moving to a new place is exciting, but it can get costly. For most people, creating a moving budget is helpful to ensure you don’t spend too much money. However, if you’ve made a budget and it’s a little more than anticipated, here are five cost-effective ways to bring down the packing aspect of your move.

1. Move During the Off-Season or During Off-Peak Times

The time of year you move isn’t exactly packing per se, but it can help bring your overall costs down to help you shift more money into the packing portion of the moving budget. Moving companies charge less for customers moving in the off-season, generally between the end of September and the end of April. If not off-season, aim for a non-holiday weekday move to get the most cost-effective rates.

2. Downsize the Clutter

Donate, sell, give away, or toss any possessions that don’t “spark joy” for you or your family. Downsizing before the move is a wise – and cost-effective – strategy since moves typically are calculated by weight and volume. Start with large items, such as furniture, and then work from there. In the end, downsizing clutter also means fewer packaging materials needed and fewer workers to manage the move, all of which lower the overall price.

3. Use Household Items as Packing Materials

To help bring down the packing costs associated with a move, look around the home and see what household items you can use as packing containers and materials. You need to move these items anyway, so why not put them to use?

  • Suitcases
  • Duffel bags
  • Laundry baskets/hampers
  • Dresser drawers
  • Large plastic storage bins
  • Reusable grocery bags

Additionally, to safeguard items, instead of buying more packing paper or bubble wrap than is necessary, try using towels, sheets, blankets, and clothing. You might be surprised how much can be accomplished before buying packing paper and bubble wrap.

4. Look for Free Moving Boxes and Packing Materials

To scale down the costs associated with buying moving boxes and packing materials, see if you can find ways to obtain them for free. Put out a call to friends, family, and colleagues who have recently moved and may have extra moving supplies. (Chances are they’d be happy to unload them!) Look online at Freecycle, Craigslist, and Facebook Market to see if anyone wants to give away boxes and bubble wrap. Also, check into local grocery, liquor, and retail stores—ask store managers when they get deliveries and if it’s OK for you to stop by later that day or the next to grab boxes slated for disposal. Also, check with your moving company. They often have gently used moving cartons available at a reduced rate.

5. Pack a “First-Night” Bag

Planning to pack a first-night bag makes for a stress-free first 24 hours. However, you can save money by making a list and checking it twice because you avoid late-night runs to the store to get any forgotten essentials that you already have packed somewhere in the pile of boxes and containers. Essential items to remember include medications, toiletries, PJs, clean clothes, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, and anything else household members will need immediately. Make sure this bag goes in the vehicle you’re traveling in.

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