When you’re only moving a few miles (or eve just a few blocks) away from your current abode, the expense of full-service moving packages probably seems outrageous. In Houston, Texas, for example, it can cost more than $2,000 if you hire movers to transport your belongings within the city limits. With that said, there are a few DIY options to help you save money on your next in-town move.
Forget the Boxes
Some items—such as books, DVDs and valuables—require a moving box for transportation, but others require no such protection. For your next in-town move, try loading things like clothes and furniture into your own vehicle loose. You can even keep your clothes on the hanger and drape them over your back seat.
You can also reuse boxes on your next in-town move to keep those packing costs to a minimum. Take one load, unpack the boxes, then bring them back to your old house for a new load. This might take a little extra time, but it will save you from a living room full of boxes to unpack all at once.
Talk to Friends with Trucks
Even if you aren’t hiring professional movers, the cost of renting a U-Haul or Ryder truck can add to the stress of moving. For your next in-town move, solicit the help of friends and family members with trucks or SUVs. You provide coffee, Gatorade and snacks; they provide the vehicles.
For large items, such as bedroom sets and pianos, you can see if anyone you know owns a trailer. If you measure the dimensions of the trailer and compare them to your belongings, you can rest assured that you’ll have sufficient space with which to move.
Ask Around for Boxes
With an in-town move, you don’t have to worry as much about broken classes, shattered china and damaged electronics. For this reason, you don’t need a full set of brand-new moving boxes from the store. Liquor stores, for example, usually have a surplus of boxes on shipment days, which they will throw away if you don’t ask for them. Restaurants, offices and warehouses also offer great opportunities for free boxes.
It’s also a good idea to ask friends and neighbors if they have access to free boxes that aren’t currently in use. You’d be surprised how many people hold on to moving boxes for the next time they’re needed or for potential storage.
Conduct a Pre-Move Clean-Out
You can always save money on your next in-town move by cutting down on the number of trips you have to take to move all of your belongings. Before you start the packing process, clean out your closets and living areas. Throw away or donate anything you haven’t used or worn in more than a year, and make sure to get rid of heavy paperwork that’s no longer needed.
Keep Your Receipts
In some cases, moving costs can be deducted from your taxes, particularly if you are moving for a new job opportunity. Check with your CPA and if your next in-town move is tax-deductible, you can save lots of money by saving your receipts.