By Sandra Mackey
So, you have a new job, or for whatever reason, you need to move to another location! OK, great! Even if your new employer helps you foot the bill for relocating, they will appreciate it if you are aware of money-saving opportunities as your moving day approaches. Don’t panic! If you are not in a rush, start making your To-Do List immediately. Establish a time-line for action items according to your moving date. The less stress you have trying to get and stay organized, the less money you’ll spend purely out of convenience.
1. Choose Moving Company – One of the first things you need to do is to seek out a reliable moving company. Be sure they are bonded and insured for damage and breakage, in case of that unfortunate possibility.
- You will have several options as you make your plans. Do you want to do the packing and crating yourself? Or do you want the movers to do the packing, crating, and loading the truck? Or, it may be a combination of both.
- It may benefit you financially to move across the country as light as possible. Consider the cost difference between hiring a large moving truck to haul your large items versus the cost of buying new stuff when you get to your destination. What you discover may surprise you (or it may not)!
2. Packing Materials. If you want to do it yourself, make sure you have enough packing materials. Every time you visit the grocery store ask customer service for any heavy-duty boxes they still have after stocking their shelves. Check for boxes that glass jars or wine bottles come in that are segregated, which makes packing glasses and small breakables much easier. Gather other materials like newspapers and bubble wrap from neighbors and friends to prevent having to spend money on those types of packing materials. Old towels and blankets are a great way to protect the furniture that will be going with you.
3. Throw Away / Give Away / Destroy. Now is a perfect time to get rid of stuff you have not used, clothes you have not worn in years, or personal papers you no longer need. If you want to buy a shredder, now is a good time to do that as well. An alternative action plan would be to put those old documents in a bag to take to a specific place where you can pay them to shred them for you. Plan to give clothes and household items to local charities or churches. Donations to many organizations are tax deductible. Get receipts for donations.
- Keep a JUNK and GARAGE SALE box close by. While you’re boxing up your keepers, you’ll easily be able to toss your junk and garage sale items into their proper boxes. Moving is a great chance to clear out the stuff that finds a way to accumulate over the years.
4 . Keep a “WORKING BOX” handy as you begin. Keep one larger box or a plastic tub to the side where you will keep all of your must-have items such as packing tape, pens, markers, scissors, note paper.
5. Also keep an “OPEN FIRST” box handy as you begin. Think about it. When you arrive at your destination, the last thing you want to do is turn everything upside down looking for your toothbrush and toothpaste. This box will contain your medicines, toiletries, important documents, and anything you’ll need until the minute you leave home. This will prevent having to buy new stuff every time you pack away or lose things you need. Keep this box with you at all times so you can get access to these important items when you reach your destination. Include some bottled water and snacks to cut down on stops along the way. Maybe you’ll want to include things like the coffee maker, coffee cups, toilet paper, towels, and toys to keep the kids busy. Give some thought to what items you’ll need (or want) to have right when you get to your new home. Consider if you want to take along a small cooler, especially if you have a baby or small children.
6. LABEL ALL BOXES, BUT ONLY ONE MISCELLANEOUS BOX
7. Clean as You Go. When you pack up an area, give it a good cleaning immediately after the space has been cleared. This will keep things efficient and prevent you from having to hire cleaners to do your entire residence when you are sick of the moving process. Cleaning will also be beneficial if you rent and are counting on a security deposit refund.
8. Storage near your new home. If you have items that have sentimental value or heirlooms that you cannot bear to part with but really don’t have room in your new home, consider renting a small, inexpensive storage room. But those can be a trap if you are not careful, because the tendency is to pay and pay and pay for storage, when it might be more logical to give away or sell.
9. Don’t Leave Money on the Table. If you are required by your employer to relocate, ASK if they will financially assist you with your move. Often big business will chip in to pay for your move, but you may need to ask for it. Be sure to keep good records, receipts, and documentation for reimbursement, if offered.
10. To Summarize: Plan Wisely, Pack Strategically, Travel Carefully. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff! Make it an Adventure!