Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Movin and Savin . . .

Many folks in the Low Country are moving locally for a variety of different reasons. Some of us have lost our homes to foreclosure, some are trying to lower our monthly rent, and some of us are trying to minimize our losses by renting our owned home only to become tenants ourselves. Regardless of the reasons, moving can be stressful, tiresome, and most of all expensive. Time constraints tend to add to the cost, because most of us have only a day or two to get all of our items from one house to another which means that instead of carrying our stuff willy-nilly, we need to box up all of our items and rent a truck.

We recently moved only a few streets away, and the cost seemed much more than the last time that we had moved. Maybe we had more stuff than I could remember, but my one very important tip would be to clean every last cabinet, drawer, and closet out before you even start packing. Get rid of everything that you don’t need, either in a garage sale or give it to Goodwill, but the less you have to move, the better. Even though I have not taken this advice myself, the cheapest way to purchase moving boxes in online, which offers a discount through most of the truck rental companies, and they will ship them directly to your house. Me, I like to go back ten times to the store because I really didn’t think I was going to need this many boxes. From my experience, the boxes at the Uhaul stores are competitively priced, and the packing paper is cheaper at the Uhaul store than buying it at Lowes. This surprised me, but the other great thing is that the cheaper paper is actually larger which really helps with those glass items that need a lot of wrapping. Out of the top companies: Ryder, Penske, and Uhaul, I found Uhaul to be the most affordable for my local move, but I encourage you to price shop as prices change for the seasons, day of the week, and the distance that you are moving.

A great way to save money on your boxes is to reuse them. If you have moved recently, hopefully you had enough storage space to save your boxes, if not, you are bound to have a friend that might have just moved; ask to barrow or use their boxes. The Uhaul boxes I purchased stated that they were good for 4 uses. Now, some of ours did not make it, but most of them did, which will hopefully save us some funds on our next move.

For the actual labor of the move, in order to save money, you need to be ready to do some heavy lifting. Also, asking a few friends to help never hurt anyone. Offer to buy your friends lunch, dinner or both, and even if they only come for a short while to help move some of the larger items, it will be worth it. If you don’t have anyone that can help you, most of the truck rental companies can recommend movers that you need to pay by the hour; the going rate ranged anywhere from $200 to $1000 for about 3 hours of work depending on the company.

Here are some tips for saving money in a local move:

1. When using a moving company, try to book as far in advance as possible so that you will have time to compare prices and get exact quotes.

2. If possible avoid the summer months for moving, these tend to be the busiest as I was told by Uhaul because parents with children want to wait for the kids to get out of school before they move. Prices go up during these months.

3. Call your car insurance company and see if your truck rental is covered, if it is, it can eliminate the need for extra insurance costs on your truck.

4. Order your packing supplies online – some companies offer up to a 10% discount and free shipping, so if you don’t mind waiting a few days, it can save you money in the long run.

5. If you can find a friend with a pickup truck to help, you can either reserve a smaller truck or eliminate the truck cost all together.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your friends are your friends for a reason, and many people are moving these days so you might be helping your friend move next month.

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