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How to Save Money in Your Self-move

by: Jim Sloan
01 Dec 2010

Although 74 percent of Americans preparing to move plan to hire a professional mover to cart at least some of their belongings to their new home, one in four of the country's vagabonds are moving on a budget and elect to do a self-move.

If you are moving by yourself or facing a last minute move, there are many steps you can take to ensure you have a cheap move and a hassle-free move.

Renting a Moving Truck

If you must move during the summer season, the busiest time of year for self-drive truck rental companies, try to avoid the end of the month. The last few days of June and August are the busiest moving days of the year, and even if you have reserved a truck or a trailer well ahead of time, you'll lose a lot of time waiting in line to pick up or drop off the vehicle at the self-drive truck rental company.

If you're packing your own rental truck, use your own blankets and packing supplies. Many truck rentals come with these items in the back, but they cost extra.

If you have your own pickup or SUV with a trailer hitch, consider renting a trailer rather than a full-size truck. Many companies don't charge a per-mile fee for trailers like they do with trucks, and your own vehicle might get better gas mileage.

Planning and Organizing Your Self-Move

If you're moving alone, start going through your possessions weeks ahead of the move and culling out the items you no longer want or need. Throwing or giving away these unwanted items over time saves you the cost of having to rent a dumpster from your waste disposal company.

Box up early. If it's summer, box up the winter stuff. If it's winter, box up the camping gear. Label each box carefully. Packing is tedious but a sloppy job can cost you money in broken dishes, cracked picture glass and pulverized knick knacks. Wrap delicate items in newsprint, bubble wrap or tissue paper.

If you are planning to take large items, such as a hot tub or a piano, you may need help with the move. Book a specialist ahead of time.

Final Tips for Your Self-Move

Dispose of all flammables such as cleaning fluids and aerosol cans before your move. You can pack them but if they explode in the back of a truck, you could have some heavy and costly damage.

Finally, don't forget the tax write off. You can deduct moving expenses if you are moving to a new job that is at least 50 miles farther from your home than your old job was.

Emily B. Hager • Moving Day Without All the Waste • Jan 22, 2009 • http://www.nytimes.com • New York TimesSuzanne Palmer • Initial moves by you can help reduce the stress of moving day • Jul 27, 2008 • http://www.tampabay.com • St. Petersburg Times (Florida)Catherine Smith • Top tips on: Packing with ease • Apr 05, 2008 • • The New Zealand Herald

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