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Saving money when you’re moving home is simpler than you think

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Moving house can be a stressful time, and nothing makes the stress worse than trying to figure out how you are going to pay for everything. It can be quite a challenge and one that makes everything seem that little bit harder.

But how would you feel if I told you that it didn’t have to be this way? That I had some money saving tips for you when it comes to moving home?

Keep reading this article because we’ll be going through some of the simple ways for how to save money moving house.

How to save money when moving house

Remove it yourself

The first tip is to handle the removal of everything yourself. This can be quite a strenuous task, but one that could be manageable with enough preparation. If you think about it, the amount of stuff in your home will depend on how many people are living there. For example, if it is just you, then you aren’t going to have as much stuff as you would if there were three of you.  So the removal of your goods shouldn’t be too complicated.

If you have a car, then a few trips should do the trick. When I was in my early twenties and single, I moved several times.  It took a few car trips each time, but I was always able to move as cheaply as possible when it came to the removal vehicle.  Either my own car or a friend’s (if I didn’t have one) was satisfactory.  I just had to pay for petrol and devote my time and strength!

However, it could be the case that you are moving quite far away and you don’t have the time to make multiple trips. For this you might look at options to hire a van for the move. It might cost you a little extra, but it is still going to be cheaper than paying for an entire removal team to come and help you. If you look online, you will find a variety of places that allow you to hire cheap vans to make moving a little bit easier.  I’ve also done this option a couple of times.  I’ve always been surprised at how affordable van hire is, especially if you only need one for one day or a few hours.  As you’ll begin to realise, I’ve moved house a lot!  Around ten times in my late teens and twenties!

Moving house should only be undertaken by yourself if you are in good physical condition. You should not put yourself in harm's way to complete this job, and this is something important that you need to remember at all times.  Lifting furniture and heavy boxes is a strenuous task and you don’t want to put your back out if you have a dodgy back for example.  The money side is secondary to your health so if you know that you have a bad back or other issues with your health, do not try to do this alone.  Get help or pay for help and don’t do anything that puts you at risk just to save a few pennies.

Safe packaging

Next we’ll move on to packaging and how you can save money here.  I always advise people to start collecting boxes and packaging as soon as you know you are going to move house.  With most people buying goods online nowadays, you, your friends, family and colleagues can all start saving the packaging such as bubble wrap and boxes for your move.  This will save you a small fortune as opposed to having to buy it all.  Local shops and supermarkets might be more than happy for you to take cardboard boxes off their hands.  They can only say no, so just ask.

You don’t want to go overboard on the packaging, especially if you do have to buy it as that’s money wasted.  But at the same time you want to know that all of your items are going to be safe during transit.  If you end up breaking items because they are not packaged properly then you’ll end up spending more replacing smashed items!

Make sure breakable items are protected and not just loose in the boxes.  Check out online companies such as Easy Foam to find solutions for wrapping up your fragile items.  Foam is a great way to ensure that nothing gets damaged while you are moving, and it can be a lot cheaper than the alternatives.

Once you’ve collected plenty of boxes and materials to safely wrap delicate items, then the fun begins – it’s time to pack!  Removal companies offer a packing service, but it’s going to cost you!  Instead, skip this luxury and pack everything yourself.  Check out my moving house timeline to see how to prepare for the move and have everything packed and organised on time.

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Out with the old

Have you been through everything in your home and decided what you are taking and what you are keeping? If not, then this is something that you need to do sooner rather than later. You might be wondering how on Earth this is going to save you money! Well, the more stuff you are taking with you, the bigger the van/the more trips that need to be completed. For this reason, it is important that you are decluttering your home both before and while you are packing. 

My moving house timeline in the paragraph before this section will suggest when you should start sorting each part of the house.  In brief I suggest starting in the attic weeks before you are due to move as there’s probably a bunch of belongings up there you really don’t need and haven’t used for years.  Then you pack away non-essential items and declutter as you go.

For some people, this is going to be the hardest part of moving. Saying goodbye to items that have been in your home for as long as you can be difficult, but it is something that needs to be done. The general rule for doing this is that if you haven’t used it for years, or even a year then it should be passed on.  I go through my things regularly, like once per month and declutter as I’m always trying to minimise what I own.  This is a good starting point for decluttering all the rooms in your house.

When moving there are usually items of furniture that won’t be of use in the new home, so organise which items need to be sold or passed on a few weeks before moving and start arranging a sale, collection or drop-off.   

Avoid throwing things away as they will be useful to someone else.  You shouldn’t throw things in landfill unless it’s absolutely necessary.  Pass them on, give them away, sell them, give them to a charity, reinvent them into something else if possible – anything but throwing reusable things in the bin.  It’s even better to take them to a local recycling centre as they will be able to dismantle items and recycle different bits.  Our local recycling centres usually recycle around 80-90% of the items dropped off there.  

By doing this in advance then you are not taking them to your new home with you and chucking them into a garage or attic to sit being unused for years on end!  Doing this will save you those extra pennies, but will also make you feel pretty good about yourself.   You might even make some money from sales in the process which can all help towards moving costs!

Friends and family

Asking your friends and family to help out is a great way to get the support that you need without spending the entire content of your account. By using your friends and family to get your stuff moved to your new location, you are going to be saving yourself the high cost of booking removal companies. And you might not even have to hire that van we talked about above, especially if your friends and family can drive and you have plenty of cars.  You might even have a very helpful friend with a van - fingers crossed you do!

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Don’t use storage

You may need to move out of your house before your new house is ready to move into. This is where many people will find a storage unit and put their stuff in there for a while. This is only going to be worth it if you have so much stuff that it can’t be put anywhere else like one of your friends or family member’s homes. Or if you can pay on a monthly basis and the price is not too high. It is all going to depend on how long your items will need to remain in storage to whether it is worth it to rent a space.  It’s going to be a hassle and a cost, but sometimes needs must.

Think of it this way, if your new home is going to be ready to move into in three weeks, but you have to pay for the storage place three months at a time, this is not going to be financially worth it for you. If this is the case, then you can ask your parents or friends if they will have some of your stuff at their house for the next couple of weeks.   Maybe you can spread the items between a few houses.  This way you don’t have to pay for storage and each friend or family member only has to store a small amount to help you out.  Just make sure you return the favour when they need your help in the future!

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Make a checklist

Being organised is key when arranging a house move.  You don’t want to forget anything, so if it helps you stay on track then make a checklist of everything that needs to be done, everything that needs to be moved and so on.  Making a note of everything to sell, all the items that are going into a skip and items you want to donate closer to the time will ensure nothing is forgotten and you don’t end up paying to lug a huge piece of furniture to the new house at a cost, just because you forgot to order a collection or sale of the item.  If you can’t mentally remember everything then checklists are a must for you.

Final word

Moving house can be a costly experience, but there are plenty of ways to make it more affordable from roping in friends and family to lend a hand, to decluttering and planning in advance. 

You can even make money moving house with these tips. Happy moving!

More helpful articles when buying a house:

9 ways to start updating your home on a budget

Why I won’t use a mortgage adviser again

My top tips to prepare for a house move

Is buying a house better than renting?

3 ways to make sure the house you are buying is in good shape

Why you should check the water pressure when buying a new home

How to survive a house move without losing your mind

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