10 Budget-Friendly Moving Tips & Tricks

10 moving tips and tricks that wont break the bank! Stay on budget and keep your sanity! Get the scoop - www.FunCheapOrFree.com
It's MOVING WEEK!!! WOO HOO!! *jazz hands and air high-fives* If you haven't been watching my exciting updates on IG (and my personal IG) and FB, we have officially closed on our new house and are moving this week! As you all know, moving can be tough… and expensive. This week since I am elbow deep in boxes, packing tape, and construction dust, I thought I'd share posts centered around saving you time, money, and hassle when moving.

Today I've enlisted the help of Jennifer from The Craft Patch. When I was prepping to move, I found her post on 10 Cheapskate Moving Tips & Tricks and they were so helpful! I asked if she'd be willing to share these tips with us all because she says it much better than I could. So without further adieu, meet Jennifer

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Hi friends! My name is Jennifer and I blog at The Craft Patch. I write about crafts, home decor, DIY's and recipes and I do everything on the cheap. I'm excited to be posting on Fun Cheap or Free today!

I have moved a grand total of 11 times in the last 12 years. That's a lot of moving. I don't recommend it. Ha! But the good news is that I've picked up a lot of helpful tips through all those moves and today I'm sharing them with you! Let's start with a HUGE tip that not many people know about, that can save you HUNDREDS of dollars:

1. Use a coupon code when renting a moving truck. When you change your address with the post office, you can opt to receive coupons from different companies. The last three or four times we've moved, they have had a 20-30% off coupon with Budget Truck rentals. They are usually cheaper than U-Haul to begin with, so this has been the best deal for us, but definitely shop around! You can probably find coupon codes other ways too. If your moving dates are flexible, it may save you a lot of money to move on a weekday.

2. Get free moving boxes. Most retail stores have tons of great, clean, sturdy moving boxes. We just usually drive up behind a strip mall and look for the “cardboard only” dumpsters. I've also heard good things about fast food boxes. If you talk to a manager, they are usually willing to save a pile for you. You can also find free moving boxes on Craigslist or other online selling pages. If you know you will be moving often, save your boxes from move to move! We have had the same boxes for the last four moves and it was worth the space they took up to have boxes ready to go for the next move.


3. Use old documents as packing paper. You're supposed to dejunk when you move anyway, right? So go through your file box and use old magazines, school papers, phone books, and junk mail to pad fragile items. Then you can dispose of them when you get to your new place. Just be careful if you use anything like bank statements or utility bills that may contain personal information.

4. Create a “packing bucket.” There's nothing worse than spending 20 minutes searching for the packing tape. Prevent that by keeping the scissors, packing tape, markers, plastic bags, and packing paper together and easy to find. I use an old ice cream pail, but any bucket will work. Once you're bucket is filled, you can easily carry it from room to room.

5. Label boxes by content and destination. I used to label boxes by the room they came from in the old house, but I quickly learned that it's useless information. Instead, I label the box with what's inside and where I want it to go in the new house. Then when people are helping me unpack, they know where to put things.

I have seen several tips to use colored duck tape to label boxes, but at $3 a roll, that's way too expensive! Plus then you have to color-label rooms in the new home so people know where things go. I just write the labels on with a permanent marker. I can read, everyone who will help me move boxes can read. It works and I don't have to spend $20-30 on colored tape.

6. Put together an OPEN ME FIRST box. This is the box that holds all the essentials you will need within the first few hours when you arrive at your new home. I like to use a clear plastic bin with a lid so that it's easy to keep separate from cardboard boxes. Here's what I have in my box:

– toilet paper
– shower curtain
– bath towels and hand towels
– scissors
– flashlight
– paper plates/cups/utensils
– paper towels
– garbage bags
– grocery sacks
– phone chargers
– basic tools for assembling furniture (screwdriver, hammer, etc.)
– pieces of disassembled furniture (in labeled ziplock baggies)
– dish soap/sponge
– snacks
– water bottles
– pen and a notepad
– cleaning rags
– moving envelope (see #7)

7. Keep a moving envelope. I keep all information that I need relating to the move in a manilla envelope. This includes things like utility information, new school schedules, rental agreements, realtor contact numbers, moving truck rental papers, etc. You do not want this important information to get lost in the abyss of cardboard boxes!

8. Pack a suitcase for each family member. I pack just like I would for vacation. I include clothes, toiletries and medications for three days. It simplifies things immensely to know you've got the essentials and don't need to dig through boxes at midnight to find pajamas or diapers.

9. Pack bedding at the last minute. On the morning of the move, throw pillows, blankets and sheets into garbage bags. Label them and toss them in the back of the moving truck. Then you can just remake the bed in the new house. When it's finally time to sleep, you'll be so thankful everything is together. And if you want to go above and beyond, make sure to wash all your bedding a few days before the move so you won't have to worry about it for a while at the new house!

10. Snap a photo. Before you drive away, take a picture of your whole family on the front steps of the old house. It is so fun to look back and see how our family has changed. Then I always know how old the kids were when we moved. Here's one of us from several moves back:

Here are a few other articles from Jennifer that you might enjoy:

How I Buy ALL of My Children's Clothing At Yard Sales

Mega List of Budget-Friendly School Lunch Ideas

Cheap Eats: Feeding My Family of Four for $200/Month

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It's Moving Week at FunCheapOrFree! All the tips, tricks, and advice you need to move on a budget, and as sanity-saving as possible! www.FunCheapOrFree.com

Wow, thanks so much for sharing, Jennifer! I hope this was as helpful to you as it was to me.

Exciting news! I have gathered so many great tips and have learned so much in the last 6 months, we are the in the process of writing a “Moving on the Cheap” E-Book…and I need YOUR help! If you have any moving tips, please leave them below and YOUR TIP will be added to the book!

Thanks for the tips, and happy Packing!



  1. AvatarSydne says

    Color coordinated packing! Pick a color for each room at your new place and use that color of duct tape for the boxes going to that room. Then at the new place, make it clear where you want your pile of Orange taped boxes and such. Slap a label on the side of what’s actually in the box instead of what room you want it to go.

  2. AvatarLacey Waldorf says

    My tip is for both de-junking and moving but they work great together. Like you said, don’t just put where it came from, put where it’s going. Think about where specifically it’s going, what drawer, which basket? If you have stuff that is kind of in limbo (except maybe art) consider getting rid of it unless you are planning to buy a bunch of new storage furniture. After our last move I found that we had WAY more blankets than we could possibly use at one time, even if the heat was out, it was ridiculous. Since our new place didn’t have the “forget me” closet we were used to, I just donated them.

  3. AvatarDawn Hackett says

    Get good boxes at Liquor stores they are all about the same size so great to stack on a hand truck
    Also they are small and easy to carry if not have you can sometimes carry more than one.

    Also Get a hand truck if you are moving your self they are about $20 to $30 and it comes in handy to have sometimes.

  4. AvatarLaura Loewen says

    Love this post as we’ll be moving soon, as well! We’ve lived in 5 houses and owned 3 of them in our 8 years of marriage – crazy!

    LOVE the tip of having an “open first” box – totally doing that this move, thanks!

    My biggest moving tip is to have LOTS of grace for yourself and your family. Understand that there will be mood swings, tired family members etc.

    I think grace for the fact that as the parent, you’ll have to let certain things go (such as likely more screen time as you run around getting things done), super simple meals and probably grabbing pizza more than you usually would. 🙂
    Laura Loewen recently posted…Tweaks to be a More Present Parent; Living More Fully EngagedMy Profile

  5. AvatarFaylinn says

    My husband and I are planning on moving next month and his company has already hired us a moving service. Although we won’t be moving everything ourselves, I definitely can appreciate some of these tips. I am definitely going to want to have a moving envelope so that I can stay organized and have all of the information at hand when I need them. I really appreciate that idea and will probably put together another envelope for important documents that I do not want to get lost as well.

  6. AvatarElaine Starkweather says

    Very helpful tips!My sister is moving for first time and your post is exactly what she needs right now. I’m sure she’ll be very glad to have your advises and suggestions on mind while working on the preparations for her move. Surely recommending your post! Greets!

  7. Avatar[email protected] says

    They’re Fast. If time is of concern to you, hiring professional movers makes a lot of sense. Friends and family may mean well, but in my experience, they can make a move take a lot longer than it needs to be. Pros know how to get people moved quickly and efficiently.

  8. AvatarSarah Anderson says

    Using old papers is a good way to prevent breaking or otherwise harming glass items and such. I have used that trick before when moving and it worked out fine. Next time I move, I will even do it again.

  9. AvatarLillian Schaeffer says

    These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to label boxes by content and destination. My husband and I are going to be moving in a few months, so we’re about to start packing what we won’t need until then. I was just going to label them by destination, but it would be useful to know what’s in the box without opening it, so I’ll definitely put content on there as well. Thanks for the great post!
    Lillian Schaeffer recently posted…Dealing with FinancingMy Profile

  10. AvatarAria Wellington says

    It seems like using old papers for packing material would be really smart! We have a lot of old papers in files that we were planning on throwing away but I think that we will use them for our next move. I will heed your tip about making sure that the paper doesn’t have any sensitive information on it. Thanks!

  11. AvatarRobert Smith says

    When packing boxes for a house move then wrap breakables items together and place in a box that’s been lined with several layers of newspaper and a sheet of bubble wrap. Any breakables should also be wrapped in bubble wrap.

  12. Avataremily bennette says

    These are some really good things to know when you are moving. I like what you said about how you should pack your bedding last. That way, you know where it is when you get to your new home. It seems like something else that would help would be to hire a removalist to help you on the day you move.

  13. AvatarDenise says

    Spend a little extra $ to have pizza delivered at a strategic time for the friends and family helping. A cooler of ice and drinks and wipes for faces and hands (no greasy hands unloading furniture). Set a play area in a corner of the last area to be arranged since your own or some helpers kids will be there. Breakfast and school/work lunch items need to be left on the counter so they are together and not buried if you need them the next day. Pack a specific box for the first day’s meals after the move. Including the pan, bowls, spoons and crackers. That way the meal decision is made. A notebook close for helpful information your new neighbors tell you. Phone #s for the ones you want to collect as friends (Hehe).

  14. AvatarBrianna Brightwerth says

    I’m a year late to this party but wanted to share this tip. Uhaul sells several different size boxes by the bundle (they are much cheaper by the bundle than individually), after your move take the boxes and receipt to them and they will buy them back.

    • AvatarBrianna Brightwerth says

      … also i don’t recommend wrapping breakables in towels and linens. I did that for several moves until during one move some breakables broke and then i had a mess of glass shards & slivers in my towels, that didn’t wash out.

  15. AvatarHarish says

    Your tips are very helpful and should be followed by everyone that needs guide and help with relocation. As we all know that it’s very stressful thing to move to a new place and every bit of help should be appreciated. I am surely going to share your post with my friends to spread all the helpful info you put out. Thanks!

  16. AvatarCallie Bowen says

    Love this! We are planning to move soon and this is so helpful. I also learned something that made me feel a little not so smart, I honestly always thought it was “vanilla envelopes” come to fine out it’s “Manilla envelopes” ??‍♀️

  17. AvatarJeanette says

    I used large bins to pack my clothes that were not hung up, but in between the clothes I put the kitchen supplies ( plates, bowls,glasses, coffee mugs) then used my husband bin of clothes to pack the picture frames around the house, then used each child’s bin for their sports trophies! It was definitely a 2 maybe even 3 to 4 birds with 1 stone!

  18. AvatarBrooklyn Johnson says

    I like how you mentioned that when you’re moving, you should put together an “open me first box” that has all the essentials that you’re going to need right away so you don’t have to dig through boxes right away to find everything that you need. My husband just got a job promotion in another state, so we need to start the moving process right away. I will definitely keep all of your great tips and information in mind while I’m in the process of moving.

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