How We Were Able To Save Money On Moving Costs

by Khaleef "Fat Guy" Crumbley on August 23, 2011

in Save Money

Save Money Moving

As many of you already know, my wife and I moved into a new apartment in the middle of July. I’ve already written about how we were able to save money on car insurance simply by calling the company and giving them our new address; and also how we handled emergency travel expenses, and had to postpone our move due to a death in the family. However, people have also asked us if we were able to save money moving.

What We Spent In Order To Save Money Moving

Boxes And Moving Supplies

Normally, I would just take a few late-night trips to our local supermarket and ask for a few boxes while they are stocking the shelves. We didn’t go this route for a couple of reasons.

We wanted to ensure that the boxes we used would have a uniform size and shape. Since many of these boxes are created to transport the items with minimal wasted space, the shapes of them can be very odd. They can be hard to stack and/or carry, making the actual move much more difficult.

Also, many of the used boxes that I have acquired from supermarkets looked as though they’ve been through a war. Many of them were dirty (inside and out), had various liquid products/chemicals spill in them, and extremely “soft” from getting wet or being exposed to excess moisture.

Throw in the fact that the nearest supermarket and department store both closed down recently, and it meant that we needed to find another source for our boxes.

We ended up buying them from a couple of storage facilities and also Home Depot. They cost between $1 and $3 each (depending on the size and build) and were well worth it. It was so easy to pack and organize our stuff, knowing that there were only several sizes of boxes. We knew they would be sturdy, and so we could stack them – saving room on the truck – and we were able to break down most of them for future use!

So even though we spent more money in this category than in the past, I think that it saved us from having to rent a larger truck, wasting time using inferior boxes, and the time we would have spent going on scavenger hunts to find more! Considering all of this, I think we were able to save money moving by buying boxes.

Supplies To Restore Our Old Apartment

Our plan was to paint over some of the bad areas in the apartment and stairway. Thankfully, one of the supers stopped by and told my wife that we only needed to clean up and spackle the walls because they are supposed to paint the apartments every four years (we were there for 5)!

We cleaned every inch of our old apartment! It is amazing how much dust collects under and behind the heavy furniture that can’t easily be moved during weekly cleaning sessions. We had to buy spackle, contractor trash bags, and bathroom tile adhesive (1 tile fell off about a month before we moved out).

I didn’t realize how many holes we put in the walls (to hang shelves and pictures, not as a result of wild parties ;-)) until we had to fill them all! It took an entire day – about 10 hours – for us to fully clean and sanitize our old apartment; but we know that we left it in much better shape than when we got it (including new tiles in the kitchen), and definitely much better than our new place was left for us!

By not having to paint, and deciding to use “elbow grease” to make things look new, we were able to save money moving and also recover a full security deposit! We expect our old landlords to send money to us in the near future that we can use to pay off debt!

Truck Rental

We actually had to rent a truck twice. The first time was for the huge move between apartments. Because parking was tight at my old place, we decided to get the truck on Friday afternoon and park it overnight, in order to secure a great spot! We had to block everyone from taking the ideal spot for the truck – which meant that we had to use 3 cars and have my friend give me a ride to pick up the truck and switch out the cars.

Even though it was over 100 degrees and I didn’t have a/c, it was fun because we managed to get the perfect spot!

It cost $162 to rent the truck over night, drive it for a [possible] 60 miles, insure the truck and the contents, and rent a hand truck for the day. I think we got a great deal and we were even able to return it close to our new place!


Save Money Moving

photo by Ambro

We toyed with the idea of hiring a professional moving company to handle everything. However, the prices were far too expensive. So we decided to call on friends and family to give us a hand. I had some of my family members help out and a number of the men from our church in Somerset showed up as well.

I think there were about 10 men (and a couple of energetic, hard working women) there throughout the day!

The only cost we had to incur was $40 for pizza and about $20 for fresh fruit and water.


  • We used this very cheap roll of masking tape to hold the doors and drawers of various furniture, and the tape stripped the varnish off of some of the pieces
  • It was over 100 degrees when we moved!
  • A couple of lamps were broken
  • The pizza wasn’t that good
  • A couple of other items were either scratched or dented
  • One of my friends hurt his arm/shoulder
  • The heat (oh, I think I mentioned that already)

Final Thoughts On Trying To Save Money Moving

It was great to see so many people will to help us out. I think the move was fairly organized and it went pretty quickly – 5 hours total (about 35 minutes of that was travel time), and a couple of us had to make a pit stop. I can only imaging how long it would have taken if we were actually buying a home instead of renting. I don’t anticipate us trying to save for a house anytime soon, but you never know ;-).

I would have like to go through the move without having anything damaged. We may choose to hire professional movers next time, if we can find a good price with great recommendations.

Time is money – if something costs money, but it saves time and energy over the cheaper alternative, it may be better to spend the money and save on the thing that you can never recover! Good time management can lead to good money management.

article photo by brownpau

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Ashley @ Money Talks August 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Must feel good that you are finally moved. I hate moving.
Where do you live? With temps like that you must live near me.

Jackie August 25, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Sounds like you did pretty well with keeping costs down. The last time I moved, I didn’t even bother packing. Saving money wasn’t the intention, but it was a side benefit since we didn’t need to get any boxes or packing materials (with the exception of a $3 end roll from the newspaper.) It was kind of odd to not pack, but it did save a lot of time. I wouldn’t do that for a long-distance move, but it worked for a local one.

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