How to Relocate Without Breaking the Bank

These tips can help you make moving day a breeze.

Moving from one home to another is hard work. That’s why it can be pricey to hire pros. If you’ve got a strong back—and loyal family and friends—follow these key steps to get your possessions from place to place on your own.

Plan It Out According to the American Moving & Storage Association, you should allow about 75 days to move. Being strategic about the relocation will help save your sanity.

Pack It In You can buy boxes from a moving company, and dish packs are a good way to go with breakables. But you can collect old boxes from your local grocery store to save a few bucks. Newspapers make handy, free packing material, but avoid using them on anything that attracts ink, like white crockery.

Load It Up Start by putting cardboard or plastic sheeting on the floor of the moving truck. Heavy items like appliances go in first. Pack the truck “tight,” stacking lighter-weight things on top of heavier ones, and fill in gaps with bagged pillows or bedding. Put odd-shaped items like lawn mowers and bikes at the end of the load.

Bring It Home Label everything carefully as you box it up. Use bold permanent markers in different colors to color-code boxes by room. As you unpack, start with the things you’ll need immediately, room by room. You’ll want a way to eat, a place to sleep and clothes to wear while you continue unpacking. Non-essentials can wait.

Pay It Back It’s good to express your gratitude to people who lend a hand, but it doesn’t have to cost you. Robyn Spizman, author and founder of The Giftionary, suggests acknowledging what each person did. If a friend watched your kids during the move, offer to return the favor with a coupon for babysitting. Or maybe just invite everyone to dinner once you’re all settled in your new home.

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