Regardless of whether you’re heading off to university for the first time or downsizing into your forever home, moving home can be one of life’s biggest headaches, both practically and financially.
The good news is that a bit of advance planning can cut both the hassle and the cost.
Start by setting up a mover’s checklist
You want to do this as early as possible so you can cover everything required for the move. Remember that some actions will need to be completed well in advance of your move date.
For example, applying for a parking permit may just require you to fill in a form (and make a payment), however, it may take several days for your local authority to process it.
Similarly, if you’re going to need to feed parking meters, you probably want to give yourself time to build up a stash of coins (or make absolutely sure that they take cards and, if necessary, set up an account for card payment).
While it may be tedious, it’s generally a good idea to make your list as detailed as possible. For example, instead of just noting that you need to update your contacts after the move, create a sub list of all the contacts you need to update.
If you find it easier, or tidier, you can create a separate list and reference it. Just make sure you know where to find it.
Minimize your possessions as much as you can
Moving can often be the time you find out what you actually have, which may be rather more than you thought you had, which is why you ideally want to start your packing in good time.
Unless you are totally on top of your belongings, you’re going to have some stuff you want to move on and the more time you give yourself to do so, the more options you will have, including selling it.
Having said that, a compromise option is to become a registered donor for an official charity and then your donations can be tax-deductible.
Use up any consumables, especially food, toiletries and cleaning agents, none of which are usually worth the expense of transporting, and all of which have the potential to leak and damage other items.
Think outside the packing boxes
Laundry bags are great for textiles and can be picked up really cheaply. Alternatively you can use thick bin liners and double, or, if necessary, triple them up. Use any luggage and/or storage boxes you already have and then see if you still need packaging.
If so, try asking around shops, friends and neighbours as well as local advertising sites before you actually go and buy packing boxes.
Similarly, see if you can pack items with newspaper and/or textiles you need to carry anyway, rather than buying bubble wrap.
Do your sums before deciding whether or not to DIY move
In purely financial terms, DIY moving versus hire moving essentially boils down to the cost of your time versus the cost of employing professionals (who may do the same job more quickly). DIY moves are not necessarily cheaper; it depends entirely on your situation.