Oh, the fun of moving: the promise of getting a fresh start; the anticipation of stretching out into a new place; the excitement of packing every single thing you own, hauling it across town and praying it all gets where its supposed to without major damage and without costing an arm and a leg.
Here are some MoneySmart tips to make the move a little more bearable.
Have a moving sale. The less you have to move, the cheaper and easier it will be. Take an unforgiving look at everything you’re about to pack and decide whether it’s really worth lugging to your new home. If not, sell or donate it. Take an extra hard look at big, bulky items that could cost more to move than they’re even worth.
Do as much yourself as you can. Yeah, I know. Packing stinks. But so does paying someone else to do it for you. And just think, no one is going to take as much care packing your grandma’s prized gravy boat as you will.
Get free boxes. I thought this was a no-brainer, but moving companies charge a pretty penny for cardboard boxes, so apparently there are people out there who don’t realize they can get free ones at the liquor store, fast-food places and just about any other retailer.
Use double-duty packing materials. You have to get your china and your towels to the new place, why not wrap one in the other and save room? Use jeans and sweatshirts to wrap breakables and save a fortune on bubble wrap.
Move during the week. Most people move on weekends, which means there is more demand and higher prices for those days. People also tend to move sometime near the first of the month, so being flexible with dates can also help save money.
If you’re having your car shipped to your new home instead of driving it, consider having it shipped to a central facility where you can pick it up, suggests Dependable Auto Shippers. It will be cheaper than having it dropped off in your driveway.
Get a detailed, binding estimate with a guaranteed, all-inclusive rate. You don’t want any surprise charges when the move is over.
Make sure the moving company does the estimate in person to get the most accurate assessment, suggests FlatRate Moving.
Be sure to get a bill of lading before the truck leaves. It’s your contract as well as your receipt.
Pay with your credit card. You’ll have more protection if anything goes wrong or if there is anything to dispute.
Take action if you’re overcharged. If a mover overcharges you for mileage or transportation costs, call the Surface Transportation Board at (866) 254-1792.
File a claim for anything missing or broken and send it by certified mail. By law, you have nine months to file.