Packing your things could easily be the most expensive portion of relocation, from either a financial and emotional standpoint. Professionals usually charge lots of money to expertly pack your belongings into sturdy containers. They also usually take full responsibility for the slightest damage. So, how can you save money while packing?
Cheap Packing Methods for Your Next Move
Simply throwing items into boxes is the cheapest way to go financially. Many times, the economic cost is zero or practically zero. But the emotional cost is through the roof. These individuals worry constantly about their things and, if something goes sideways, they have no one to blame but themselves.
At Green Van Lines, we offer cost-effective packing solutions for all our moving customers, no matter how much stuff they are moving or the distance the relocation covers. But we understand that most people prefer do-it-yourself pack jobs. So, we put together a list of ways to reduce the financial costs that preserve your peace of mind.
To maximize these tips, start setting aside items a few months before you move.
Shorten Your Packing List
Many people sell larger items, like used TV sets, before they move. There are a number of very good online classified sites, but watch out for scammers. Never give any personal information to anyone, and always ask the buyers to meet you at your place or a nearby neutral location.
Donate smaller items, like clothes, to charity. Or, give them to family and friends. Most charities are happy to get anything in reasonably good condition. And, although they may not admit it, most people appreciate hand-me-downs. They just don’t want to wear them every day, and who can blame them.
The old rule of thumb for selling or otherwise disposing of items is that if you haven’t used it in two months, you should give the item a new home. Relocation is no time for overly sentimental attachments- that’s what the tidying expert Marie Kondo will say 🙂
Use What You Have
Now is the time to pull out that box which was holding power cables for products you no longer have. Now is also the time to use your laundry hamper for something besides laundry. That box might be little, but it can hold lots of kitchen utensils or other small items. And, you know firsthand how much weight your laundry baskets can handle.
Do not overdo it. For example, pack that wheeled suitcase as much as you can. But if you put too much in it, the weight could break the wheels. Then, you’re back to the previous step of selling stuff you no longer want or need. And, moving is about going forward instead of backward. Did you like how we worked that in?
Don’t Buy Boxes
Yes, the boxes which moving companies sell are designed exclusively for that purpose. Plus, they look cool. However, if saving money is your priority, store-bought boxes have to go. As outlined elsewhere in this post, there are lots of ways to turn ordinary boxes into moving boxes.
Speaking of ordinary boxes, here are some of the best places to pick up used boxes which are still in good shape:
- Recent Relocators: Many people who have moved recently are anxious to get rid of sturdy moving boxes which, in most cases, have only been used once.
- Large Retailers: Stores like Walmart and Best Buy usually receive large inventory shipments every week. So, they have lots of boxes. It might take a few calls to get in touch with the right person, but once you make that connection, you might have too many boxes to count.
- Grocery Stores: Food and produce boxes are excellent for moving, in terms of their size and usability. Just make sure they are dry and sturdy.
On a related note, many liquor stores have sturdy wooden boxes. They are usually willing to give them away or sell them for almost nothing.
Shredded Paper Instead of Packing Peanuts
Almost without thinking, many people buy styrofoam peanuts to cushion their loads. After all, these packing peanuts are like two or three dollars a ton at Walmart. That might be a bit of an exaggeration.
The shredded paper you have lying around works every bit as well. And, reusing or repurposing the things you have is a great way to do something positive for the environment.
That’s also a value we hold very high at Green Van Lines. The “Green” thing is not just a marketing gimmick. Preserving our planet is important to us, and it is important to our customers as well. So, we focus on small changes that make a big difference.
Egg Crates in Your Boxes
This is a really good idea if we do say so ourselves. Used egg crates support the sides of sagging boxes, so they can handle more weight. You might need to trip the crates so they’ll fit, but that’s a pretty easy task.
Additionally, by design, egg crates cushion anything that is inside them. So, in the event you do not handle with care for some reason, you have a backup.
Dollar Store Balloons
This tip is related to the shredded paper instead of packing peanuts tip. Air pillows are outstanding packing materials. They compress easily and are almost unbreakable. Cheap balloons have essentially the same qualities but for a much lower cost. For best results, inflate the balloons a little more than halfway. Otherwise, they are likely to burst.
After all, these aren’t exactly high-quality products. As a bonus, you can take any unused balloons, fill them with water, and throw them at people you do not particularly like.
Clothing and Towels
These items also make excellent fillers. Wrap picture frames and other delicate items in towels or clothes. Try using socks to hold kitchen cutlery and other small items. Also, use your clothes to line the insides of boxes.
You’ll save money on packing materials and also maximize the space in your boxes. At Green Van Lines, we help make your next relocation the best one you have ever experienced.
Free Moving Supplies
Believe it or not, you can acquire free moving boxes for your upcoming move. Take a look around your local community for used boxes that people may no longer want. There are even local businesses willing to give away their cardboard boxes from inventory shipments. If you ask kindly, you could receive all you need for free.
Friends and Family
Many moving services also offer packing services. It is a convenient solution for when you have little time on your hands. However, instead of paying for professional service, although quite advisable, you could enlist a few friends or family members to help you pack everything.