When planning a move on a tight budget, the last thing you want is to spend money on expensive packing materials. To help you pinch your pennies, this list will spark your creative problem-solving skills and save you money while packing for your next move.
1. Never Buy Boxes You Can Have for Free
Before you buy boxes for your move, look around your community for used boxes that people no longer want. Many businesses receive weekly inventory shipments, so they have an overabundance of cardboard boxes. These boxes may be yours, if you only ask.
Here are a few places you can ask for boxes in your area:
- Online Classified Ads - Many people that have recently moved want to give away their moving boxes.
- Home Appliance Retailers - Big stores like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy often have large boxes for items like fridges, washers, and electronics.
- Grocery Stores - Grocery stores often have plenty of spare boxes. If you find old produce boxes, make sure they are dry and sturdy before you bring them home.
2. Pack Heavy Objects in Liquor Boxes
Wooden liquor boxes are designed to carry heavy glass bottles and cans, which makes perfect boxes for moving your heavier belongings. These crate-style boxes often come with handles, which also makes them easy to carry.
Ask the staff at your local liquor store if they would be willing to give you their used boxes, or at least sell them to you at a discounted price.
3. Use Clothing to Pack Breakables
Instead of buying bubble wrap, cover fragile or easily-scratched items with clothing. Delicate items could include silverware, plates, picture frames, and ceramics.
Line your boxes with your sweaters, pajamas, and other soft clothing before you pack your breakable items into boxes. This method not only saves you on packing material, but it also saves you packing space. You won’t have to pack your clothing in separate boxes, and you won’t have to throw away countless piles of bubble wrap after your move.
4. Pack Your Glasses and Stemware in Clean Socks
While sweaters and pajamas work well for larger, yet delicate, items, they don’t do as well for glasses and stemware. Fortunately, clean socks make perfect impromptu covers for packing glassware. Just slip each of your glasses into a sock and pack them snuggly into packing boxes. The socks will act as a buffer to keep them from clinking together during the move.
5. Use Dollar Store Balloons as Packing Materials
Instead of using expensive air-pillow packing materials, buy a few packs of balloons from the dollar store. Partially inflate the balloons and use them to fill open space in your boxes. Balloons absorb impact without popping as long as you don’t over inflate them. You can buy various balloon shapes to fill up different sized gaps in your boxes so your items stay secure.
6. Line the Sides of Your Boxes with Egg Cartons
Egg cartons are strong and lightweight. Take advantage of their design by using egg cartons to buffer the insides of your boxes. Egg cartons can take a beating, so they add a layer of protection for your belongings during the move.
7. Use Shredded Paper Instead of Packing Peanuts
Give your paper shredder another purpose in life. Use your shredded documents as filling for your boxes instead of packing peanuts. Shredded paper is good packing filler that would otherwise go to waste.
8. Put All Your Containers to Good Use
Gather your baskets, hampers, and luggage and pack them full of your things. This will cut down the number of boxes you will need for your move. You can also pack heavier items in your wheeled luggage to make it easier to move. Watch the weight, though! You don’t want to break your wheels by rolling around a shelf’s worth of books.
9. Sell Bulky, Unwanted Items on the Internet
You can cut packing and moving costs by selling some of your big, unwanted items before you move. If you have old items you can easily replace, don’t waste money moving them. Instead list them on a local classified site and pocket the proceeds. The fewer things you have to move, the less you will pay to pack them.
10. Donate Your Other Unwanted Things
Collect remaining items in good condition but that you aren’t able to sell. Bring the items to a local charity or give them to your friends. If you donate them, you may be able to write off the value on your taxes.
Follow these 10 simple tips to save money while packing for your move. The money you save may help you stay within your moving budget. And since these tips encourage re-purposing household items and reusing boxes, you can also help the environment by relying less on new materials.