There are so many reasons that people choose to move homes. There is the fact that children move on, they go to university, get jobs in other cities or simply crave independence – and those homeowners are suddenly left with more space than they know what to do with and so choose to downsize. The opposite is also true – a new arrival in the home can mean that space becomes cramped and a new home to accommodate baby is required. Then there are those who want to realise their investment and take advantage of the windfall that selling a home can provide. They may wish to use that money to purchase a new home – or rent. There are a myriad of reasons to seek new accommodation – but one thing will remain constant – and that is the moving process. That can be expensive. The question that those moving should be asking is whether or not it is necessary to break the bank during the move – and the answer is no.
It is possible to be gentle on a budget when moving homes – here are some tips and tricks that will have you (and your bank manager) smiling.
The first step is to do a little comparison shopping. Get between three and five quotes on moving services – and make sure that you are comparing apples with apples. Some of those quotes may seem excessive but pay attention to the types of services that are included in the estimate. you might be surprised at just what you get for your money. Those cheaper quotes often contain fine print about essentials services (or at least services that you will need such as packing) that can cause an estimate to balloon and make budgeting a bit pointless.
Getting an initial idea about costs can be as simple as requesting an off-the-cuff quality based on an Internet inquiry. However, once you have sifted through the responses and discarded those that are completely out of the ballpark as far as your budget is concerned ask for an on-site visit. An accurate calculation of costs requires that visit. It is simply non-negotiable.
Be prepared to undertake some of the work yourself. Moving companies will charge extra for services such as packing up your goods for the move and unpacking at your final destination. If you think that you’re capable of doing it yourself – do so, you’ll be saving significant amounts of money. But there are caveats. Remember that some goods require special treatment. if you have valuable antiques or sensitive I.T. or home entertainment equipment you need to get advice on how to pack those items. And make sure that the moving company you select has the correct credentials and trucks to make sure that those items arrive safely. Also, remember that time is precious – and you are going to be preoccupied with other essential tasks leading up to moving day – can you spare the time to do that packing?
If you decide to do the packing yourself visit local businesses such as supermarkets and get your packing materials for free. You’ll be surprised at the variety of cardboard boxes you can get for nothing. As an added incentive you will be doing your bit for the planet by recycling and repurposing those boxes that might otherwise have landed up at the dump.
You can make packing that much easier (and possibly make some extra cash to go towards the move) by being ruthless. Be honest with yourself – how many times in the last year have you used that stationary exercise bike? Are you really ever going to fit into those skinny jeans again (buy new ones at a shop in your new neighborhood – support local business). Before you put a huge dent in your savings hold a jumble sale or p[awn off the unwanted goods. Sell them online. If you don’t want to do that then donate them to Goodwill. The one approach can make you money and save you on moving costs (less goods = less boxes = less money spent), the other will at least save you on packing and moving costs. It’s a win/win situation.
This is going to be a touchy one for some people – but what are friends for? Get them to lend a hand with packing and moving if you only have a limited variety of goods. Just remember – it’s an unwritten rule that when it comes time for them to move you’ll be first in line to offer a helping hand. Packing needn’t be boring – order some pizza, open a bottle of wine and make an evening out of it. Take into account other people’s schedules. If you are going to ask for help make sure that they are aware of it long before it is supposed to happen. Have all the equipment needed on hand (don’t forget tape and box cutters). Maybe think of a small gift for them to take home – it’s a nice touch to show that you really do appreciate the effort.
Here are some other guidelines that make the move more efficient – and can save you money in the long run. Don’t accept that ‘too good to be true’ quote on moving services – it probably is too good to be true. Don’t sign documents when a mover says ‘don’t worry I’ll fill in the details at the office’. Do purchase extra insurance for delicate or valuable items. And if you are moving yourself remember that superheroes belong in comic books or on the Silver screen – if it looks too heavy or bulky make sure you have the right equipment to handle it. Be conscious of your lifting technique, saving money on your move only to have to spend it on repeat doctor’s appointments renders the exercise pointless.
The key is research and preparation keep those two guiding principles in mind and you should save money and gave a hassle-free move. You’ll reach your new home refreshed, relaxed and with money in your pocket, ready to start a new chapter in your life.