5 Tips to Avoid Hiring Movers

Let’s face it: moving is expensive. Hiring movers certainly has its benefits, but the costs add up.

If you can’t afford to hire a moving company, here are six tips to get you through your move:

Make Estimates
Plan ahead to avoid paying more money to move than you initially thought you would. Make a list of all the potential expenditures you can think of.
Include items like gas, tolls, hotels and meals if you’re driving far. You’ll also need packing supplies like boxes and tape.
Remember that time is a commodity. You’ll be spending time organizing and packing your belongings, loading boxes in your vehicle, driving, unloading and unpacking.
Be realistic about the amount of time it will take you to complete each task. Opting to do-it-yourself means you’re paying in time instead of money.

Start Early
Begin packing and planning early to avoid forgetting items and making extra trips. If you do a poor packing job, you may end up with more boxes than you need.
Start by packing the things you don’t use every day. These can be put away far ahead of time. As you draw closer to the big day, pack by room.
Keep kitchen supplies together and your bedroom items in another spot.
Maintain a list of what is in each box. Staying organized will help you avoid losing something. You’d hate to have to pay to replace that amazing blender you got for your birthday.
Check items off when you pack them and again when you get to your new apartment to be sure you have everything you wrote down.

Get Free Boxes
Don’t pay for boxes! There are plenty of places where you can find boxes for free.
Call your local grocery store and ask if they have extras. The produce section in particular is sure to have something you can use.
Call ahead so that the employees don’t throw boxes out after a shipment. They might even have some ready and waiting when you arrive.
Liquor stores, coffee shops and bookstores are other great sources to find free boxes. Use the smaller, more durable boxes you got at the liquor store for fragile items.

Drive Wisely
Avoid driving during rush hour as stopped traffic will drain your gas tank.
Choose an off-time of the day to hit the road. Shorter moves can avoid rush-hour traffic altogether.
If, however, you’re going far, use busy driving times as your meal break.

Compare Prices
Even without hiring movers, you’ll be spending money on your move.
If you’re renting a cart to push boxes, for example, shop around for the best deal. Find multiple sources to purchase all the goods you’ll need for your move.
Something as small as saving money on tape can go a long way, especially if you end up using a lot of it.

Source: Mint.com

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