Moving, Tips & Tricks

Cha-Ching! 9 Tips to Make Moving on a Budget Even Cheaper

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When it comes to stressful life situations, moving is ranked somewhere between “trouble with the boss” and “trouble with the in-laws.” And while we’d gladly take packing boxes over spats with our supervisor or S.O.’s mom, there’s no doubting moving is stressful – especially moving on a budget.

One major reason for this? Money: Moving gets expensive.

But this is the era of innovation, and we have a few tricks up our sleeves. if you’re willing to think outside the (moving) box, there are plenty of ways you can make moving on a budget possible. Try these nine tips to make your next move even cheaper:

Give yourself plenty of time before the move to sell items

Start early on your vending efforts to maximize profits. Personally, we’re fans of services that allow you to make money from the comfort of your own couch (who isn’t?).  

Divide to conquer your selling strategy. Got some clothing in mint condition that just doesn’t cut it for you anymore? Designated upselling sites like thredUP will send you a bag to fill up and return; once it’s processed, you’ll get cash or credit for accepted items. If you have some high-end items that you’d rather get a larger chunk of cash for (like designer attire or leather goods), list it on Poshmark and give it a few weeks to sell.

LetGo and OfferUp are both perfect for selling everything from TV sets to sneakers. Get the most buck for your bang by taking high-quality pictures of the items, and being as descriptive as possible in your listing.

And, of course, there’s always the classic standby: Craigslist. Make it easier for whoever is buying your beloved oversized couch or vintage bed frame by using Dolly to deliver – we’re available as quickly as same- or next-day moves.

Who knows – if selling goes well, you might balance out your moving budget (or even profit from it!).

Get creative with how you transport heavy items

Heavy items are one of the main reasons people hire expensive help on moving day. After all, no one wants to throw out their back while lugging an outdated stereo system down the stairs. But trust us, with a couple of hacks, you’ll be able to keep your cash and your back.

Let’s talk about books. Your expansive, curated literary collection is impressive when it’s up in shelves; on moving day, it’s just a pain. Rather than tossing those tons in boxes, pack them in a rolling suitcase, and voila: a portable library.

Think creatively with other heavy items, such as furniture. Remove any attached parts, like legs and drawers, to make the bulk significantly lighter. And always place a piece of cardboard under a heavy item to prevent scratches on the floor. Finally, push instead of pulling -– it’s easier on your body.

Leave the donations to Dolly

Got some stuff not worth selling? Leave them to us – Dolly can pick up any excess items you’d rather donate. We’ll take them straight to your preferred donation center, and save you time for finishing up your packing. After all, time is money.

“Save the date”…  for your move

We know, we know – it’s moving day, not your wedding day. But go ahead and get into that planning mentality anyway: Pick the date and time you want to move well in advance, and you could end up saving a ton of cash.

We recommend moving both mid-month and mid-week (e.g., Wednesday the 13th, or Tuesday the 20th).

Why? As we’ve written about before, almost everything moving-related – from storage to moving trucks and full-service movers – is cheaper in the middle of the month.

Weigh the cost of every item you’re contemplating moving  

If those two boxes of kitchen supplies are all that’s standing between you and a smaller, significantly cheaper storage unit or moving truck, it might be time to implement some tough love.

Do those extra whisks really spark joy? Does that hand-me-down blender leave your protein smoothies chunkier than you really like them? Chances are you’ll find be able to find similar (if not the exact same or better) items when you get to your new place.

This is where decluttering and a minimalist living approach to your home come in handy – the less stuff you have to move, the all-around cheaper your move will be.

Don’t purchase any unnecessary supplies for your move

Are you still paying for single-use, flimsy cardboard moving boxes? There are so many moving box alternatives, ranging from delivered-to-your-door box rentals to recycled wine crates.

Save on other packing supplies, too — you can easily wrap delicate items like picture frames and dishes in spare blankets or even t-shirts. Two birds, one stone, zero dollars.

When it comes time to wipe down your old apartment, instead of picking up new cleaner, use what you already have. A half-empty bottle of vinegar, a past-ripe lemon, and some old rags may be all you need for a through ceiling-to-floor clean.

Got pets or kids? Leave them with a friend while you move

Sure, you could take your furry BFF to a kennel so as not to stress him out during the move. Or you could save cash by leaving him with a trusted friend, coworker, or grand-pawrent.

As for kids, your move is exactly the time you should call in a favor with your family. Frame it as your kids wanting to spend time with grandma, or see if your brother would be willing to take them for the day in return for a big IOU in the future.

Moving out-of-state? Try using a bus to ship your stuff

If you’re traveling far but have a limited amount of stuff (under 250 lbs), the bus might be your cheapest option. Instead of paying hefty shipping fees at the post office, try a service like Busfreighter for rates around 70 cents per pound. Note: This works better for things like clothing and well-packed dishes than it does for furniture.  

Use Dolly for affordable moves

So you want to schedule a cross-town move on the cheap, but don’t want to exhaust yourself (or the limits of your friendships) with a total DIY move? That’s where Dolly comes in.

Book a Dolly to get help from a local truck owner who can help you with your moving needs, or just provide a little extra heavy-lifting muscle. We’re cheaper than traditional movers, and our prices are guaranteed: no metered pricing, no surprise fees. We’re built to be budget-friendly, but more importantly, we’re built to make your move easy.

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