This is a sponsored post by Taylor Ryan of Apartment Showcase. Rental Trends runs alternating Thursdays on Reston Now.
Moving can be expensive, time consuming, and stressful. Here are some tips to save you from the pitfalls and hassles of moving! For additional tips on moving and finding apartments, stop by the Apartment Showcase blog.
Boxes are meant to be free — Have you seen how much brand new cardboard boxes go for these days? U-Haul sells moving “kits” for no cheaper than $68.74. That’s madness! Considering you’re almost certainly going to toss the boxes out after you move, the act of buying those boxes is literally the equivalent to throwing your money away. You may not believe it, but other people fell for buying new boxes. Now they have lightly used boxes that they don’t want to throw away (because they spent money on them), but need the boxes to go away. This may be why craigslist was created. On any given day, you can find an assortment of boxes on the “free” section of craigslist. Find a listing near you and snag yourself enough boxes to get the job done. Always grab more than you think you need.
Keep similar things together — If you’re packing up the kitchen, make it easier on your future self and only pack kitchen supplies in that box and label it. Labeling will help save you trips and keep you organized. The only exception to this rule is below.
Packing supplies — If you’re thinking about buying packing paper for your plates/dishes; don’t. Newspaper does the exact same job. For larger objects that are bit more delicate, use blankets, towels, and clothing to soften the blow. A small note on tape, there isn’t much of a difference between what they sell at the dollar store to what is sold at the Penske truck rental center, except for the price.
Renting a truck — Schedule your move in advance. Not only do you want to make sure the Apartment Community knows what day you’ll be moving in, but you need to make sure you have a truck reserved if you need one. You can’t expect to reserve a moving truck the day before your stuff has to be out of your old place. It might make for a funny story later, but it only serves as an agonizingly stressful speed bump in the moving process. Sometimes there are specials and coupon codes online that can save you $20+ on your truck. Do a quick google search for, “Moving truck coupon code” or something similar to it and you’ll find some deals. And just like a rental car, make sure you put gas back in the tank before you return the truck.
Rental truck insurance — A quick google search of “Should I buy insurance on my moving truck” will confuse and worry you. Do you know for certain that your personal auto policy will cover that truck? What are the exceptions in their policy? Before you fork over the extra $25-$50 that might not even cover you in case of an accident, place a quick call to your insurance agent and find what their policy is on moving trucks. You pay them every month to answer your questions.
Getting an extra hand
Moving services — Similar to reports about firemen on the news, you only hear about the “moving services industry” on yelp when something bad happens. You can do as much research as you want to and it’s still a toss-up at the end of the day. Know that these people aren’t perfect, they don’t always finish on time, and they can make mistakes (just like you and me). The service isn’t cheap, it’s meant for those that don’t want to deal with the hassle of moving. If you want to save yourself some anguish, use a service- but don’t expect the sun and the moon.
Find a friend — Friends hate helping one another move. It’s not supposed to be a joyous occasion, but you are expected to reciprocate the move in the future or provide refreshments (beer/pizza). If you don’t have friends that can carry a couch or boxes, post your move on the “labor gigs” section of craigslist. A lot of people need the extra money and are willing to spend the time moving you on a Saturday. The average rate is $10-$20 an hour (often times it’s a flat rate), and you get what you pay for.