12 Moving Tips That Will Save You TONS of Time & Money

Dec 28, 2020 | How To Save Money, Organization

Is there anything more stressful than moving? We’re pretty much pros at the whole (not so fun) process by now, so we thought we’d share some tried and true moving tips that will save you valuable time and money. We could all use more of both, right?!

Jordan Page in front of moving boxes, from Fun Cheap or Free

Oh, moving. Remind us never to do that again, you guys. No, seriously. Do. Not. Let. Us. The thing is, house hunting, decorating, making new memories in a new home = fun. All the packing, planning, unpacking, and cleaning? Yeah, not so much.

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But here’s the good news, Freebs! We’ve learned a thing or two about moving over the years, and one thing is for sure. You DON’T have to spend an arm and a leg to move! We’re about to share our favorite hacks for moving affordably and efficiently. Your sanity and your budget will thank you. Now, take a deep breath, and let’s get to work! 


MOVING TIPS FOR THE PRE-PACKING PHASE

a driveway full of boxes, from Fun Cheap or Free

Before you start haphazardly start throwing items in boxes at the eleventh hour, let’s think things through. Ideally, it’s a good idea to start planning your move a few weeks ahead of time. These tips will help you navigate the planning phase like a boss:

  • Purge Before You Pack – We don’t know who needs to hear this, but you know that pair of pleather pants you’ve been holding onto since middle school? Yeah, you’re never going to wear those again. So, before you start packing up all your belongings, take inventory, and be honest with yourself. Many movers charge by the pound, so it pays to purge what you’re not using. Make a sell pile and donate pile, then you know what to do!
  • Schedule Your Move for a Weekday – If your schedule is flexible, move on a weekday. It’s much cheaper to rent a truck on a Tuesday or Wednesday. And the sooner you book, the better the rate. Don’t forget to check online for promo codes or coupons! 
  • Create a Moving Master Doc – Avoid moving-day mishaps by planning ahead. Start a quick spreadsheet in Google and document all the essential details of your move. Jot down important reminders, contacts for utilities, etc. When things get stressful, it’s easy to let minor details slip.  
  • Look for Free Boxes – Boxes can be pretty dang expensive to buy, so go treasure hunting. Check Nextdoor, Craigslist, or the Facebook Marketplace for freebies! You can also find boxes behind shopping centers and grocery stores. 

Pro Tip: If you can’t find enough free boxes, buy them from Uhaul! After your move, take the boxes and receipt to them, and they will buy them back.


PACK LIKE A PRO WITH THESE MONEY-SAVING HACKS 

packed suitcases in front of a window, from Fun Cheap or Free

Alright, now that the planning is behind you, it’s time for the hard part: packing! But don’t worry; you’ve got this! These tips and tricks will help make packing less of a pain:

  • Organize Your Supplies –  â€śHoney, where’s the tape?” are four of the most dreaded words for anyone who’s eyeballs deep in a box fort. Save yourself some frustration (and avoid a few arguments) by keeping all your moving supplies in one spot. Grab some tape, markers, scissors, and tools, and put them in a handy bin that can travel with you from room to room. 
  • Skip the Bubble Wrap – You don’t need to shell out money for bubble wrap! Use what you’ve got to wrap dishes and other fragile items. You already have to pack towels, linens, and clothes, so why not use them to safeguard your stuff?! Papers work well, too!
  • Label Your Boxes Well – Do not — we repeat — do not skip this step! Labeling boxes may take a little effort and planning, but it pays off big-time. On each box, note where it should go and list out the main contents. You will be SO glad you did! And you’ll save yourself from having to waste money buying items you can’t find after the move. 
  • Pack an “Open Me First Box” – Think through all the things you’ll need on night one in your new home, and throw them a box that will go on the moving truck last. Be sure to include toilet paper, soap, trash bags, paper towels, bath towels, a shower curtain, paper plates, cups, and utensils.

Now you’re ready for the big day! Will it be exhausting? Yes. But does it have to be stressful and expensive? Nope! We’ve got even more tips to survive moving day and live to tell the tale. 


TIPS FOR SURVIVING MOVING DAY

moving trucks parked in a driveway, from Fun Cheap or Free

It’s time for the moment you’ve been waiting for: moving day is here! Have a filling breakfast, lace up your sneakers, and let’s get moving. These tips will help you minimize moving day mishaps:

  • Pack one Suitcase Per Family Member Don’t forget phone chargers, toothbrushes, and PJs! Pack whatever you need to survive for the first week or so when you’ll likely still be digging out of boxes. Don’t forget some entertainment for the kiddos! Check out my video and see how I lived out of one suitcase for two weeks during my most recent move!
  • Make Labels for the New House – Grab some poster board and make a sign for each new room of your house. Make sure those signs match the labels on your boxes. (Ex: Living Room, Bedroom #2, etc.) Tape the signs up outside each room before you start unloading. It makes things go so much more smoothly! 
  • Try this Bed Linens Hack – The morning of the big move, take the sheets off your bed, fold them up, and place them in a dresser drawer. Put your pillows in a drawer, too. Then, either wrap your dresser in heavy-duty plastic or use a little tape to keep those drawers shut. When you get ready for bed, your sheets will be right where you need them!
  • Make-Ahead Meals & Snacks – Moving works up an appetite, so make sure you have plenty of snacks at the ready! Try one of these no-cook dinners for your first night in your new home. Or, pull a freezer meal out so it’s ready to cook with ease. 

Pro Tip: If you’re having friends help you move (which is another great way to save money), it’s nice to order a few pizzas and have plenty of drinks for everyone. Check out Little Ceasar’s. It’s our go-to pizza place for feeding a crowd affordably.


WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR BEST BUDGET-FRIENDLY MOVING TIPS

We hope these tips take some of the stress out of your next move. If you follow this advice, you will stay organized, feel more prepared, and complete your move without breaking the bank. 

You probably have a few tricks up your sleeve, too. So, spill the deets! Leave a comment below and share your best moving tip, trick, or hack. And be sure to join the conversation on the Fun Cheap or Free Facebook page!

Image with text that reads "12 best packing and moving tips that are budget-friendly" from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for other hacks that will make your life easier and save you money?

Sending you good vibes for a great move! 

25 Comments

  1. Sydne

    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.

    Reply
  2. Lacey Waldorf

    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.

    Reply
  3. Dawn Hackett

    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.

    Reply
  4. Drew

    Great idea to use old newspapers to wrap fragile items. I also love to use my towels to wrap breakables. You have to pack them eventually anyway so it all works out.

    Reply
  5. Laura Loewen

    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. 🙂

    Reply
    • FunCheapOrFree

      Such good tips, thanks so much for sharing!!

      Reply
  6. Faylinn

    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.

    Reply
  7. Elaine Starkweather

    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!

    Reply
    • FunCheapOrFree

      Awesome, thanks so much for sharing it with her and for reading!! XO

      Reply
  8. Justin@Supercheapboxes

    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.

    Reply
    • FunCheapOrFree

      Yes agreed!

      Reply
  9. Sarah Anderson

    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.

    Reply
  10. Lillian Schaeffer

    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!

    Reply
  11. Aria Wellington

    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!

    Reply
  12. Robert Smith

    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.

    Reply
  13. emily bennette

    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.

    Reply
  14. Denise

    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).

    Reply
  15. Brianna Brightwerth

    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.

    Reply
    • Brianna Brightwerth

      … 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.

      Reply
  16. Harish

    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!

    Reply
  17. Callie Bowen

    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” ??‍♀️

    Reply
  18. Jeanette

    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!

    Reply
  19. Brooklyn Johnson

    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.

    Reply
    • FunCheapOrFree

      Yes, it’s such a good idea to do that! I hope that your move goes well! 🙂

      Reply
  20. Olivia Smart

    I liked your idea to pack your bed linens in a drawer in your dresser. I’ve been trying to get some ideas for our next move. I wouldn’t have thought to try something like this, but I’ll have to try it this time around.

    Reply

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