photo by rick
As most of you know, we’re in the process of packing up and moving to another city–for the fourth time in less than six years. We always make it a goal to see how efficiently and inexpensively we can pull off a move so I thought I’d share a few tips we’ve found helpful for moving on a dime.
First off, we always move ourselves–with the help of kind friends and family. We prefer to do the work of packing up our stuff ourselves because it not only saves us money, but it also serves as a motivation to rid our home of unnecessary clutter. (You can read more on this here.)
Not paying for a moving service saves us quite a bit of money and since we try to keep our home pretty clutter-free in the first place and only have a small family, the job of packing things up is not too overwhelming. In fact, we’ve found we can usually do the whole thing from start to finish in less than four days.
However, doing the packing ourselves means that we have to find a source for good boxes. We’ve accomplished this in a variety of ways. The easiest way is to find a family who recently moved who has a bunch of boxes they’d love to have taken off their hands. Friends, acquaintances, FreeCycle, or CraigsList are good places to start with.
Another great option is to pick up extra produce boxes or paper ream boxes from grocery stores, Wal-Mart, or office supply stores. The only drawback to this is that you will likely need to hit these stores multiple times in order to procure enough boxes to pack up your home.
Last move, we were in a small town without a local CraigsList or FreeCycle, I was in the middle of morning sickness with baby #2, and we found out we were moving only a few weeks before we actually moved. So, after some simple research, I found 60 good-size boxes on eBay with free overnight shipping that I bought for $53. It wasn’t the best deal ever, but it was much better than the prices you’d find at moving stores and it was perfect for that current life situation.
This time around, I’m again in the middle of morning sickness with baby #3 and we don’t know of anyone who just moved with extra boxes to dispose of, so we began exploring other options. Ebay prices had dramatically increased, all the free boxes on CraigsList were snatched up within minutes of being posted, so we decided to try collecting boxes from local stores.
After two evenings spent making trips to three different stores and only 25 boxes to show for it, I landed upon someone who was selling their moving boxes on CraigsList for a good price. We were able to get over 100 boxes in many different sizes plus lots of packing materials for $35! It was just the deal we were looking for. I doubt we’ll end up using quite all of those boxes, but at least we’ll have plenty! And when we’re finished with them, I’m guessing we won’t have any trouble finding someone else on CraigsList to pass them onto. It works for me!
How have you scored moving boxes on the cheap? I’d love to hear.
Related: For those of you planning a move soon, I shared some tips for successfully moving here.