5 hidden expenses you can avoid
Cost-effective moving means getting creative. Apart from your major expenses, such as a moving truck, there are plenty of smaller drains on your wallet, from electricity bills to wasted food. Just because you don't think to add them to your moving budget doesn't mean they are not there. Here are 5 moving tips to cut down on underestimated, small or otherwise just plain forgotten costs during moves.
Don't buy boxes
Moving supplies definitely makes it onto people's budgets for moving, but it's often impossible to guess how many you'll need, so they end up getting purchased in rounds. The cost can add up quick. This is true even if you're moving out of an apartment. In a house, the cost can be downright exorbitant. While it may be convenient to purchase boxes in a store, it's also an unnecessary waste of money. If you really want to save your dollars, then get used ones.
There are plenty of places to get used boxes. Recycling centers should be your first stop, however, plenty of businesses must regularly dispose of boxes of all shapes and sizes. Grocery stores will most likely have all the boxes you need. Liquor stores, too, will have boxes that they regularly ditch. Ask around, as there are bound to be some businesses that regularly purge their containers. You can even get creative from businesses, which are great transporting for heavier or fragile objects.
In the same vein, you also don't need to shell out hard-earned money on small, expensive rolls of bubble wrap, except maybe for your most delicate china. Fortunately, every house is filled with excellent packing materials. Towels, sheets, T-shirts and socks are all great buffers and cushions. Tape down towels over the corners of furniture so they don't get scuffed. Slip socks - preferably clean ones - over glassware. Wrap up other items in T-shirts and bedding. Newspaper can be a common and convenient packing material, but it's not as soft and if it gets wet, you're dealing with a sopping, inky mess.
There comes a moment in every move where someone stands before a refrigerator with an open garbage bag, ready to catch the chilled contents that someone else is sweeping out. The food is about to be tossed or, if the new home is nearby, packed and moved to the next house. Either way, you're wasting time, energy or money. When you're planning to move, don't forget to plan your meals before you move. Eat up the remaining contents of your apartment, so that you don't have to worry about what you need to do with those frozen pizzas or ripening bananas. If you still have plenty of canned goods, box them up and bring them to a local food bank a few days or a week before moving to make your life easier.
Know where to park
Parking is often a frustrating logistical issue if you're moving to a new city. Streets are often packed with parked cars, there are restrictions that disallow parking on some curbs and sometimes there just isn't any physical place to park on the street in front of your building. Police officers will sometimes overlook illegal parking for moving trucks, but that's not always a safe bet. Parking tickets can cost you money, while having to walk an extra two blocks to unload will cost you time. Parking isn't always a cost issue, but you can still save yourself this hidden headache by planning ahead. Call local law enforcement to find out if they can make an exception, or else find another workable solution.