Excited to Move? The Silence is Deafening. Here are 4 Tips to Save Money

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Raise your hand if you love moving.


Thought so.

It’s a sweaty, back-achey, lost-boxy and something’s-definitely-gonna-breaky day. Sure, your new home is on the other end of it, but for now? You’re dreaming of teleportation.

And you’re going to pay an arm and a leg for all this headache. (Hopefully not literally, but we can’t be sure. You’ll be surprised what you’re willing to do to get a sofa up six flights of stairs.)

Let’s take the sting out of it.

Here are four tips for moving-day savings from one writer who saved nearly $500 on her last move.

1. Negotiate Your Lease Date

Major life changes don’t adhere to a strict first-of-the-month schedule. You may be ready to move in on the 7th or the 17th. Why pay for a week or more of rent when you’re not living there?

Ask your new landlord to prorate the rent. In a high-demand area, you might not get your choice move-in date, but you could shave off a few days and save a few (hundred) bucks.

2. Sell Your Stuff

Furniture. Sweaters that are so last season. Books, the most impossibly dense things you don’t know why you own.

The big stuff increases your moving expenses. It’s one more thing you pay a mover to lug or one more square foot of space you need in the U-Haul.

List anything you’re willing to part with on Craigslist, Facebook or one of these apps:

  • letgo lets you snap a photo of just about any item you want to sell and list it in less than 30 seconds.
  • Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods.
  • Bookscouter helps you sell old textbooks. Search with the book’s ISBN to find the best price among more than 25 of the best-paying and most reputable buyback companies.

You can always replace your stuff — for free! —when you land at the new digs. But you’ll probably realize you didn’t need it that badly, anyway.

3. Talk to Your Current Landlord

Prepping your apartment for a move out is a minefield.

Does your landlord remember that chip in the front window was there before you? Will they charge you for not spackling nail holes in the wall? Can you leave behind the shelves you installed in the closet?

Don’t leave it to chance. Ask your landlord. Send them an email so you have a record of their response to avoid any takebacks.

4. NEVER Pay for Boxes

Despite the bazillions of cardboard boxes tossed in the trash on the reg from neighbors or shipments at the grocery store down the block, movers shell out cash for new boxes.

Instead, scavenge your building’s recycling bin. Or just ask your neighbors, if you don’t mind the human interaction.

Or, my favorite: Find out when nearby grocery and retail stores receive shipments and stop by later in the day to scoop up empty boxes.

If you’re an extrovert, chat up someone moving into your building and reuse their empty boxes. You know they’re good for moving.

Whatever you do, don’t pay for boxes!

One last thing…

Heading Across the Country?

Consider shipping everything — including yourself — instead of driving. Here’s why it’s the cheapest way to move across the country.

Disclosure: Our friends stopped inviting us over because we were always digging for loose change between their couch cushions. We use affiliate links instead so we still get invited to a few parties.

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).