Thursday, January 30, 2014

Moving on the Cheap

First off, to my readers, I apologize.
I know its bad form to start correspondence with an apology, but I feel I should just throw it out there right away so you know I haven't forgotten you. I have found that I often wonder about the blogability of a moment frequently throughout the days, yet I never actually blog about them. For that, I am sorry. Not that I want my blog to become a minute by minute update of everything that's happening in my life (there are plenty of ways to do that these days... ahem FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagrametc...) but I still want to share my ideas with you and hear your feedback.
I haven't posted I the last few weeks because we have been moving. And I'll tell ya what, moving with a 1 year old ain't easy. Fortunately (also unfortunately) he takes long naps so I have lots of time in the house to pack\unpack (and not much time to do out-of-house errands). Besides that challenge, no matter how cheaply you try to move, it always ends up being really expensive. Here's how we did it as cheaply as possible.
We moved everything ourselves with our truck and trailer. Granted this takes a lot of time and late nights, so if you're on a strict schedule this may not work for you, but if you can swing it, the cost of gas for an in-city move is considerably less expensive than renting a truck, albeit more inconvenient. So far we have used one extra tank of gas, costing us $60.
We got free boxes and packing materials. I searched Craigslist for a day or two until I found a big enough bunch of boxes for free, with packing paper and wardrobe boxes to boot.
We enlisted friends for help. Not many people like to actually help you move, but I got several days of free childcare and we are storing a few things in a friend's extra garage. I also swapped childcare with another friend and in return she helped me clean my old apartment. Be creative when asking your friends for help.
We traded furniture we were going to sell for carpet cleaning. That worked out wonderfully, I had a futon couch and a kitchen table I was going to sell, but the family who runs the carpet cleaning business said their couch AND table had broken recently and they were looking for replacements! The original bid was $233, but after some talking and trading, my carpets got cleaned for only $75! I also sold my other couch and bought a much nicer futon for the same price, so I still have an extra bed and a couch AND its way more comfortable than the last one.
Sell off your excess. I was hoping to have this mostly done by the time we moved, but sadly I still have a mountain of stuff to sell. Since the move, I have sold 4 things netting about $40.
If you need to purchase something, shop sales. We needed storage bins for the things we're storing off site, and since it's the first of the year, storage and organization items are on really good sales. I got 14 sturdy bins for $90, about 45% off. Turns out we really did need that many! Unfortunately the curtains I needed were not on sale, so that was a whopping $150 out the window. Literally. Though in reality, because its an old house with single pane windows and its January in Montana, the curtains were a necessity. I'll probably save that much on my heating bills throughout the rest of the winter so it was really worth it.
Plan for the unexpected. I know this is a tough one, because what could possibly go wrong... Well, a flat tire on the truck (could be $400 for new tires), the previous tenant cut the pipes to the washer ($15 per trip to the laundromat), both cars needed new batteries since we no longer have covered parking ($230), none of the plugs are grounded ($15 for adapters), the aforementioned previously unnecessary curtains ($150), we got a new kitchen table since the last one didn't fit ($50), disposable diapers and wipes for convenience ($25), cleaning supplies ($15), eating out ($25ish), the list could go on, but I'll stop there.
So you can see that while moving on the cheap is possible, my advice would be to budget twice as much as you're expecting to spend because you never know. For instance, we were planning to move for about $300, and it turned out to be almost double if you don't count the replacement tires since that is bound to happen anyways.

No comments:

Post a Comment