Moving is usually an expensive process. Fortunately, you can do a lot to cut down on the cost if you’re willing to plan carefully and think outside the box. It does take a little bit of extra effort, but most of the top techniques are easy enough that anyone can use them.
1. Build a Vacuum Sealer
Space is at a premium in most moving vans. People who need to move a lot of boxes need to pay for more vans or a larger van, so anything that compacts your possessions will save money. A vacuum sealer can shrink bag by pumping the air out of them, which compresses flexible items inside. It’s a great way to make clothes and bedding take up less space. Buying a vacuum sealer is expensive, but it’s fairly easy to build one.
The process involves using a syringe, a valve, and some tubing to create a system that can suck the air out of a bag. You also need to create the bags to go with it, which you can do with normal freezer bags. It’s quick, cheap, and works just as well as a commercial sealer.
2. Free Packing Materials
You need boxes and packing peanuts or an alternative cushioning material to keep your possessions safe when you move them. Most people need a lot of boxes, so the cost can add up quickly if you buy them at a store. The bright side is that buying packing materials is rarely necessary. You can usually get them for free.
The trick is finding people who want to get rid of old boxes and packing peanuts. The materials are just garbage to them, so they’ll be happy to pass them along. Stores are a good place to start, especially furniture stores or other shops that have a lot of big items in their inventory. Try to catch them on a day when they are getting new inventory to make sure they have boxes laying around. You can also get decent results by asking your friends and family for help. People who recently moved may still have their boxes laying around, and others will often have boxes from when they ordered things over the Internet.
Improvised materials can also help. If you can’t get bubble wrap or packing peanuts, you can use old newspaper as a cushion. You can even use your blankets in some cases, which also cuts down on the space that you need to pack them. You should be careful when you do this because it’s usually cheaper to buy packing peanuts than it is to replace broken items, but there are plenty of times when these materials will work just as well.
3. Take Tax Deductions
You’re still going to have to pay some money for moving expenses, no matter how much you manage to cut off the bill with these techniques. In some cases, it’s possible to claim those expenses as a deduction on your taxes. The requirements are a little bit complicated, and not everyone will qualify for them, but it’s a great idea for those who do qualify.