BIG List of Moving Tips and Tricks!

Moving Tips Budget

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I received the following question from frugal friend Lena…

“I am moving on March 1st, and would love some frugal ideas and tips for moving on a budget.  Any suggestions??”



Check out this BIG List of Moving Tips and Tricks in the comments below!

Do you have any tips or tricks for moving??  Leave a comment and share!

See Also:
Safe Way to Move Plates

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82 Responses to BIG List of Moving Tips and Tricks!

  1. Emily says:

    You can get free boxes from stores like Wal-Mart, Fry’s ect. Just go up to the customer service center and let them know. They will ask for more info and tell you what time to come back and pick them up. Most of the time it’s the next morning.
    I hope this helps!
    :)

  2. maura says:

    check out craigslist for people who recently moved and have boxes to get rid of. It is much cheaper then buying them new!

  3. MissLady says:

    Hello,
    When I had to move on a budget I went to local stores and asked them if I could have any boxes. I suggest going to a store like k-mart because they get shipments daily and usually have a lot of good sturdy boxes compared to the type of box that you would get from a grocery store.
    I also had family help me with moving so that cut costs. If there is anything that you could sell and buy later I suggest doing thatand also getting rid of any clutter so that you will have les to pack since you won’t need it. Donating anything that may be of use to the local salvation army or chairty and some of them will come to your home and pick it up for you.
    If you have need a moving company, moving during the week is also cheaper because most of them have a weekend premium rate they charge so shop around for a good price if you will be hiring a company.
    Lastly, I suggest you start packing things early and label your boxes so that you won’t have stress along the way and when you move things will be organised.

    Well wishes!

  4. Emily says:

    Also hold onto newspapers, plastic & paper bags to wrap glass and valuables in.
    These are some of the things I did to prepare for our recent move.
    If you live in the Northern MS area I will give you alot of the paper and boxes I have left.

  5. Myra says:

    Along with getting free boxes, make sure to get change of address forms from the Post Office. There are often coupons for local businesses in there that may be of use for you. Also, I suggest taking a carload of stuff prior to the big move. This will help the hired movers or truck to be done more quickly. Also, I suggest packing clothes into garbage bags as opposed to bulky expensive wardrobe boxes. They are more maleable that way and can be stuffed in between things as padding instead of being its own large box.

  6. MP says:

    In addition to bags and newspapers to wrap breakables in, fliers and pages from old magazines you don’t want anymore are good, too.

    Fabric eco-shopping bags can also take the place of boxes – they’re easy to carry and you can carry multiple in each hand at one time. Lighter things can also be thrown into garbage bags, luggage, bread baskets, and containers that are usually used in the home – You’re going to be taking them with you anyway, they might as well be full.

    Sell unwanted books at used book stores.

    • Lola says:

      I have found I enjoy wrapping breakable kitchen items with my kitchen towels. Bathroom items with small bath towels, etc. Since the items were clean I just refolded and put away in the proper place.

      I also have found packing a small breakable item or more inside a plastic pitcher helps to keep breakable items well cushioned.

      My sister in law packs many bags and keeps them well cushioned with the items inside and these fill gaps in the uhaul trailer.

  7. Ying says:

    I collected boxes from work – or do like the previous suggestions and ask around at grocery stores. I also saved newspapers to wrap fragile items.

    The last time we moved, I made it about a 3-4 week long process. I started packing the things I knew we wouldn’t need or could do without in the next few weeks (starting with decorative things). Everyday, I packed additional items until the week before we moved, finally packing the last of the things – it came down to the kitchen as the last room to pack (food and the few last dishes we need to use to eat). Label the boxes clearly as to what room in the new house they should go to.

    When we moved, we rented a U-haul and invited friends over to help. By that time, the house was already packed in boxes (thanks to me) so all they boys had to do was pack the truck. We bought them beer and burgers as a thank-you and were done in half a day.

    It took a lot of work on my part to pack everything myself, but we only ended up spending money on the rental truck and food for our help!

  8. Emily says:

    We bought the different patterns of duck tape, designated a color per room, and put a square of that color on the side of the box for the room it was to go to. It cost a few $ more than just markers, but made our move go a whole lot smoother.

    • sue says:

      Suggestion, put pieces of that tape on the doors of the room where items are to go!!

    • Lynn Marie Caissie says:

      That’s what I do, but with coloured dots. The green dots go in the kitchen, the blue dots are for the living/dining rooms, the yellow dots are for the bedrooms, etc. It’s easy to put dots on 3 or 4 sides of the boxes for easy identification.

  9. Melanie says:

    I grew up in a military family and moved a lot! Here’s what I learned:
    * Put the items that you will need right away in one box that is clerarly labeled – things like a set of bed sheets, a few towels, stuff you’ll need the first night.
    * Label all the boxes with the room that the contents will end up in. That way, the movers (or friends) can put the box in the correct room without having to ask you for each one.

  10. Laura says:

    We moved 2,500 miles last year and rented our own moving truck. There are usually deals out there for the truck if you call around. I also used blankets and clothes to keep breakables safe. I think everyone else has covered the rest!

  11. Stephanie says:

    I’m part of a military family and move quite a bit. The thing I recommend to my friends the most is http://www.whitefence.com. WhiteFence is a site where you can order and compare phone, cable, satellite, electricity, high-speed Internet. You can also change your address through the USPS.

    • Sandy Morgan says:

      Awesome ! Thanks! As a military wife getting ready to move , this is helpful and I will pass this information to other wives here as well !

  12. Lolly Friend says:

    Never buy packing materials. Stop by your favorite Chick-fil-A and ask them to save you all their boxes. The fry boxes are especially perfect for stacking, and they are big enough to be useful but small enough to pack heavy things in. Cup and napkin boxes are also great if you want something a bit larger.
    Also, invite some strong friends to help you load/ unload. Feed them pizza for their trouble; its way cheaper than hiring movers.

  13. Donna Gates says:

    Liquour stores have the best boxes cause they have handles in the sides on most boxes. Get rid of stuff you know longer want/need on freecycle before the move. Pack stuff you don’t need first. When you get to your new place set up the things you packed last which was stuff you use on a daily basis, clothes, dishes, beds, kids stuff and set up right away especially beds for kids. Like the others said mark your boxes for which rooms to go to so you only move them once.

    • Jennifer says:

      Liquor store boxes also come with cardbord inserts for bottles that are amazing for packing things like glasses or vases. I love Spec’s. You can pull up to the unloading dock and they will fill your car up with boxes.

    • sharon K says:

      we used liquor and egg boxes (from the grocery) they are both strong!

    • velvetanne says:

      I agree – best place I have found for boxes.

  14. Kendra Neal says:

    Call a local newspaper or printing company and ask for “End Rolls”. Most usually give them away for FREE. Use this “ink free” paper to wrap things that need to be wrapped. You can ask for a couple of them and it will work.

    For wrapping breakable plates and such:
    Get some cheap foam plates at a Dollar Store or somewhere. Stack the plates by alternating regular plate, foam plate, regular plate, foam plate. Do as many as you feel safe wrapping together. It helps prevent them for “clanking” together and breaking. Wrap each stack in a towel for ‘bumper” protection.

    For silverware: Band all the forks together and rubber band them. Do the same for the rest of the silverware and put it right back in the tray. Slip the tray into a plastic bag and pack with kitchen stuff. Everything stays together for easy unpacking.

    For clothes that are hangers: Take 13 gallon kitchen bags. Cut a small slit in the bottom of the bag(the sealed end) wide enough to fit 8-10 hangers. Bunch some of the clothes together and slip the bag over the clothes and the hangers through the small slit. Tie the bag at the open using the “handles” of the bag. The hangers will be sticking out for easy carrying, but the clothes will be protected in case of “Dropping”. When you get to the new house, place clothes in your new closet, rip the bags off and your closet is almost organized already!

    Hope you have a smooth and easy move!

    • Tara says:

      Good tip & not just for when moving. I use foam plates in between my Teflon coated pots & pans to protect the non-stick surface & in between my glass casserole dishes.

    • Janelle says:

      The comment above, if you don’t want to put a hole in your garbage bag just put your clothes in the bag and tie it around your hangers. Plus the force flex bags work wonders. you pay a little more but you can STUFF them full! They also stretch around the hangers!

  15. LL says:

    We have moved many times. Here are suggestions to help with the cost. 1. Hire loaders and unloaders on each end, but rent the moving truck and do the driving yourself. This will save you LOTS of money, particularly if you can move during the week or are moving across state lines. 2. While you’re packing and shredding, save the shredding for packing. It will help your breakables make the trip safely. 3. Look for online coupons, call for pricing, compare, compare, compare. The loaders we used cost $250 less because we used a pair NOT from the U-Haul site we rented our truck from. However, they were U-Haul site owners, so they knew exactly what the specials were, when to rent, were efficient packers, and worked like dogs to get it done. Cannot say enough about them AND they were inexpensive (we were able to tip generously, based on what they saved us). 4. BEFORE you move in, walk through the house and make simple repairs, paint and clean. It isn’t cheap if you spill on your furniture and it isn’t nice to move into someplace that’s not as clean as you’d like it. 5. See if you can’t overlap your move; have at least a week when you have the ability to “live” both places. This allows you to have a tag/estate sale at the old place for the things you can’t move, but also allows you to see what does and doesn’t fit in the new place. Plus you get some cash for the move. A professional should be able to help you with this for 20-30% of the take. Or, get some friends together, pay them a percentage to help you with the sale, and advertise in the paper, on Craigslist and on estate websites. Take pictures of the big/good stuff and post those to get the most traffic. Then have a charity pick-up available a day or two before you have to be out of the old place and take your tax deduction. 6) When you get to the new house, there will be stuff that you can’t believe you moved. If you have enough, have a garage sale, otherwise, find a place to donate it in your new town. Schedule the pick-up for 2 weeks after your move. It will make you motivated to go through and unpack. Another fun idea is to invite your new neighbors for a free “garage sale” gift and a cup of coffee or lemonade. It’s a good way to make new friends, eye the babysitters in the neighborhood, or get your teenagers hired to mow the grass, shovel snow or babysit.

  16. Amy T says:

    Get the free boxes, then do this!

    ALL boxes with kitchen items, color a RED square with a marker in one corner, then using a black Sharpie write 1. Then, get a 3×5 card and color a top corner RED and write “Kitchen – box 1″, then write all the contents of that box. This will make it easier when you unpack OR if you need to find something you have already packed! :-)

  17. Bertrice says:

    Be cautious about using garbage bags. There are many horror stories out there about things being trashed that were not trash.

    If you have real china (dinnerware) do not wrap in newspaper. It will make permanent stains.

    Use towels and sheets to wrap wall art.

    Use GIANT marker to write GLASS or UP [with an arrow] on boxes that have delicate items.

    Back up all your computer data ahead of time.

    Use a garage sale, Freecycle or Craigslist to get rid of stuff beforehand.

    Have a NEED IT FIRST box or two. Toiletries, change of clothes, towels…

  18. friends, beer, pizza and free boxes! I also recommend getting a larger-size uhaul than you may think you need. if you don’t use all the space, the $20 increased charge would certainly be wasted, but in my experience i always under-estimate the amount of stuff i have, and end up driving the u-haul on two trips or leading a caravan of friends’ cars carrying the rest of my boxes. when i choose to go up a truck size I can make one trip, no extra cars, no extra gas! and filling a u-haul tank for a second trip costs a lot more than the difference in the rates for the next-size truck.

  19. friends, beer, pizza and free boxes! I recommend getting a larger-size uhaul than you may think you need. if you don’t use all the space, the $20 increased charge would certainly be wasted, but in my experience i always under-estimate the amount of stuff i have, and end up driving the u-haul on two trips or leading a caravan of friends’ cars carrying the rest of my boxes. when i choose to go up a truck size I can make one trip, no extra cars, no extra gas! and filling a u-haul tank for a second trip costs a lot more than the difference in the rates for the next-size truck.

  20. Melony says:

    I am a interior decorator in Northeast MS and I have moved a lot during the course of my life. I have found that it is always helpful to have a moving sale before moving to your new home. Not only will there be less to pack, but you will also have a few extra bucks to help with the moving expenses. Getting rid of old decor that you are not going to use in your new place or clothing that no longer fits means less packing=)
    You could also use the extra money for new decor! Hope this helps….

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