I am no stranger to moving. In the last ten years, I have moved five times. Just typing that is exhausting, but I have moved on average every two years with several of those moves being cross-country moves. One in five Canadians moves for work according to the Canada Post. The number of Canadians using the change of address service with Canada Post was 850,000 in 2012 alone. Our family is part of that number, and we have moved several times because of jobs. The number of movers also doubles in the summer compared to wintertime throughout Canada. If you are in Quebec, the number of people moving quadruples in July due to the longstanding July 1st moving day tradition.
Price Compare Professional Movers Versus DIY
When I was in university, I moved even more often than I do now. Often I would gather a few friends, a friend’s truck and shell out money for pizza and beer. Those days it was much easier to throw my stuff in my friend’s truck as my moves were much more compact.
Now that I have three people to consider in this move, it starts to make more sense economically to bring movers into the picture. According to The Star, on average movers can cost $1000 for a one bedroom move and $2000 for a three-bedroom house. When you are looking for movers, get recommendations from friends and family. When looking over online reviews, look for reviews that specifically mention how quick the movers were. Many movers charge by the hour and one tactic to wring more cash out of you can be dragging their feet. Make sure you get more than one quote to compare as it gives you the ability to haggle a little. Once you have settled on an estimate, getting everything in writing can help ensure that you are protected.
I have personally had a few great experiences with movers. I have tried hiring a friend’s well-intentioned teenager and ended up with a mattress dragged on the ground and multiple broken items. When we hired movers, we had much less breakage and the move went much quicker overall. Weigh your costs for DIY versus movers depending on the amount of stuff you have and how far you are moving.
Moving is an optimal time to cleanse your space. I start by trying to sell anything I do not want and think will sell. I now use Varagesale for these types of sales, but Craigslist is another option. You can also post to garage sale groups on Facebook. I have had great luck selling kids gear to others moms. Just check to make sure you know the rules of your group, and use common sense such as bringing someone with you for the sale.
At some point, I start giving and donating items that I do not want to move. It may seem counterproductive to give things away free, but many of these items would cost me more to move them then to rebuy or do without. Cheap holiday decorations, broken furniture, half-used bottles of cosmetics or lotions, clothes that are worn out, unused gift sets and many temporary fix items I have bought at the dollar store fall into this category. Do not pay to move these items that are cluttering your space.
One of the biggest projects I did before my last move was to digitize my book collection. Any book that I had both in an electronic format and paper, I donated or gifted the paper copy. I also traded paper copies with some friends for electronic format versions. Books are heavy to move, and changing to electronic versions cut out quite a few boxes I did not have to pay to move.
Scavenge For Boxes
Moving supplies costs add up. The tape, the sharpies, the bubble wrap and the round of beers you inevitably need after the fact. Cut your costs by scavenging for moving boxes ahead of time. U-Haul charges $186.85 for a one to two bedroom kit of boxes. For a three to four bedroom kit, you will shell out $354.70. That does not include when you discover you have twelve more boxes of books that need to be boxed up. If you start scavenging early, you can usually gather plenty of free boxes in advance. Here are some suggestions of places to look.
- Check the local wine or beer store. These boxes are generally exceptionally sturdy and usually are clean.
- Ask friends and family
- Tap into your social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Watch for free boxes on Freecycle
- Bring home printer paper boxes from your work.
- Ask the manager at your local grocery store. I find if you ask ahead, they will sometimes save them or tell you what day their shipment is so you can swing by for boxes they were getting rid of.
You can use coffee filters as cheap packaging materials for glass. They are cheap and a nice substitute for newspapers which leaves ink on your glassware. I do recommend using extra sheets, blankets or towels as packing materials in boxes, but make sure you leave a set out for each bed in your house. I like to use them in boxes that are within the same room. For example, I use kitchen towels to help pack glassware and blankets to help pack bedroom items. This makes it easier to find everything once I am unpacking boxes.
Move Next Year Or Renovate
I know this point may seem counterproductive, but the reality is that moving costs add up. Being a person who has moved mostly for jobs, I was surprised to read in the Financial Post that 16% of repeat home buyers move because they are bored with their house and that the average Canadian will own 4.5 to 5.5 houses. That does not even include rental units where people commonly move in an out of units as if there is a revolving door.
If you are bored with your space, you can save much more money by staying put. Change up your space by painting, moving the furniture around and making other smaller changes to freshen up your place. If you need a little more space, you may want to consider renovating your place. If your kitchen or bathroom is not modern, these are both great places to add value to your home through renovations. Consider adding a deck or sunroom to expand the amount of living space you have. If you still want to move, take the time to consider your options, needs and wants before making the leap to a new home.
Bargainmoosers, how do you save money when you are moving?
(Image Credit: Eddy Van 3000, Thomas Galvez, Matt Cornock, Vida Dimovska)