Find free moving boxes at recycling drop-off points
Don’t fork over your hard-earned money for cardboard boxes. Instead, look for free moving boxes at your local recycling drop-off points. Chances are, you’ll be able to find plenty of cardboard boxes that have been tossed by neighbors. Other places to find free moving boxes include Craigslist, Nextdoor.com, Freecycle, book stores, liquor stores, offices and U-Haul Box Exchange – just to name a few.
Reuse original boxes for electronics and appliances
Speaking of moving boxes, don’t forget to reuse your old ones. From the TV to the blender, most electronics and small appliances come delivered in cardboard boxes. If you happen to still have these boxes, we recommend reusing them for the move. Not only does this ensure that your items will fit perfectly in the box, but it also saves you from having to spend money on boxes.
Schedule a donation pick-up for free
Purging heavy furniture, old clothing and other household items? Try scheduling a free donation pick-up with a local charity such as Goodwill, Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity. Having them pick up your donations will save you from having to haul everything yourself, which means you’ll have more time to focus on the move.
Obtain quotes from at least three different moving companies
Don’t hire the first moving company you interview. Instead, try to obtain quotes from at least three companies to compare prices and services. When interviewing a moving company, make sure they are properly licensed and insured.
Have lots of water bottles on-hand when moving
Given the sheer number of tasks involved when moving, it’s easy to forget the simple things – like the fact that you and your movers will need a lot of water on moving day (especially during the summer). So come moving day, we recommend bringing a pack of bottled water with you to the new house. Trust us – your movers will thank you.
Take photos of your belongings before packing them
Hiring movers? Prior to packing your belongings, be sure to take “before” photos of all fragile and/or valuable items. If the mover breaks or damages your items while moving, you may need these photos in order to file a claim and receive compensation.
Choose a mid-week, mid-month move date
The easiest way to save money when moving is to opt for a mid-week, mid-month moving date. Moving on the weekends when demand is highest will undoubtedly be pricier. Moving company and truck rental rates tend to be lower Monday to Friday. They also tend to be lower in the middle of the month as opposed to the first and last weekends.
Place a fully-charged iPad or other iOS device in a box to track your move
Hiring a moving company to handle your long distance move? Depending on how far you’re moving, it could be a week or more until your belongings are delivered to the new house. To keep track of where your stuff is at all times, try placing an iPad inside one of the boxes that’s loaded onto the truck. You should be able to use the “Find My iPhone” tool to track where your iOS device is at all times, which will also tell you where your belongings are located.
Color-code your moving boxes and household items with post-it notes
Don’t waste money on fancy moving labels. Use simple colored post-it notes to color-code your boxes when moving. For instance, place a pink post-it note on anything you wish donate and a green post-it note on anything you wish to sell. Place orange post-it notes on boxes containing kitchen items; place blue post-it notes on boxes containing office items, etc.
Use foam pouches for plates, bowls and glassware
Covering items in plastic wrap and cushioning takes time and a lot of packing tape to secure. Instead try using simple foam pouches to hold everything from dinnerware to glassware. All you have to do is slip the item inside the foam pouch and place it inside a box.
Bring a door stopper with you
You’ll need to keep the front door open on moving day in order to bring items in and out of the house more easily. You may also need to keep a back door or interior door open throughout the day. To make your life easier, we recommend bringing a door stopper with you to the house on moving day.
Place heavy items in small boxes
While it’s tempting to place heavy items in large boxes, it’s always best to put them inside small boxes instead. Not only will this will make it easier to carry the boxes, but it will also prevent your items from falling out the bottom and breaking the box.
Stuff boxes containing fragile items with pillows and blankets
Kill two birds with one stone by stuffing moving boxes containing fragile items with pillows and blankets. This will provide extra cushioning for items and prevent them from breaking, while also allowing you to pack more of your items inside the boxes.
Flatten boxes after a move and store for later
Planning on moving again in the next few years? Once you’ve finished unpacking, we highly recommend flattening all boxes and saving them for your next move. This will prevent you from having to purchase or find boxes later.
Save donation receipts for tax season
Donating household items to charities such as Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity? Save those donation receipts! Come tax season, you should be able to claim a deduction on your income taxes using these receipts.
Make sure the moving truck has a parking spot
Don’t forget to reserve a parking spot for the movers. Without it, you could end up ticking off your neighbors and getting a parking ticket. Also, don’t forget that time is money. If your movers waste valuable time searching for a spot to park their oversized truck, then your move will ultimately cost more in the end.
Get extra cash to tip movers
Many people choose to tip their movers for a job well-done. If you plan to tip your movers (assuming they do a good job), we recommend heading to the ATM the night before to retrieve cash.
Check cabinets, drawers, appliances and closets before moving out
When moving out, it’s easy to leave things behind. We recommend double checking all kitchen cabinets, bedroom closets, drawers and appliances (think: your fridge) before handing over the keys.
Rekey your new house as soon as possible
From handymen and cleaning services to friends and family, there’s no telling who was given a copy of the keys from the previous owners. For safety purposes, we recommend rekeying your entire house prior to moving in. All you have to do is call a locksmith to come out to the house to change the locks. They should be able to do so in a matter of hours.
Use Moving.com’s Move Planner tool to organize your move
Get organized for a move by using our comprehensive Move Planner. Our tool provides customizable moving checklists, personal tasks list, helpful recommendations, email reminders and plenty of coupons to get you organized.
Pack a moving day essentials box
Don’t move to a new home without a moving day essentials box or bag. This box should contain anything and everything you might need on moving day (and the following few days). Essentials could include toothbrushes, medications, toiletries, clothing, important documents, baby necessities, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning spray, trash bags, a tool kit, pet food, bottled water, wallets and extras shoes.