Are you planning on moving any time soon? Are you trying to find the most affordable way to move?
It’s no secret that average cost of moving isn’t cheap. There are also many hidden costs with moving out. Moving can be one of the most stressful things to do, there’s so much to think about and take care of when designing a plan for moving.
You have to remember a lot of things and there’s so much to pay for, making moving quite difficult for most. This gets a lot more frustrating as a student, when funds are already so low, and with so many students in your area fighting over student living options.
If any of you live in huge cities where major universities and colleges exist, I feel your pain when trying to move. It can be impossible, and ultra ‘stresstacular’. I recently moved from a township and back to my hometown of Waterloo, ON. Now if any of you are familiar with the area, there are two major universities, Wilfrid Laurier (major business school of Canada), and University of Waterloo (a highly recognized school for engineering and sciences), and of course Conestoga College (a major business college, being talked about being turned into a University as well).
With a huge rise of students in my area in the fall, I decided to do things a bit differently this year.
I wanted to share with you the obstacles I faced, and what I would do differently to bring down the average cost of moving next time…
Plan ahead always when looking for affordable moving.
This is your number one priority as you don’t want to be running around last minute, looking for moving details. Now, I planned out quite a bit, being a control freak I wanted everything to go nice and smooth to say the least. At least the new apartment floors were smooth and clean when I got there. I didn’t plan enough, and the last minute obstacles bombarded me; leaving me ready to pull out my hair!
First of all, I didn’t plan for the fact that my sister was going to break her ankle almost a week before the move (but who could, right?). If I could do that, I would probably be giving you a bit better advice and be super rich! So, when it came to actually moving my entire two bedroom apartment from a small township into Waterloo, it literally broke my back in so many ways.
I had reserved a U-haul and had everything ready to go, despite the fact that funds were ultimately low due to my sister not working because of a broken ankle, the weight of the move fell totally onto me (once again, literally aha). I was so not expecting how difficult the move actually was. This is a smart thing to do if you are going to do the move yourself, as finding a U-haul or moving truck at the last minute can inflate costs by ridiculous amounts.
Let’s just say I could pay around $100 for the truck, gas and mileage on a weekday, reserved ahead of time; Or solely $180 to rent out the truck last minute, PLUS the mileage AND the gas. Luckily, I had past experience with this, so I had learned my lesson before and knew how to bring down moving costs when renting a new place.
Get boxes from your local grocery store to save lots of money.
This is an essential for your college dorm checklist or for any sort of move. I did get quite a bit of boxes from grocery stores, but I didn’t anticipate that maybe the size of my objects would be a little too big and heavy for the cardboard apple boxes they have at the stores.
So, I had to go ahead and purchase boxes from U-haul, adding around another $100 to the total cost of the move (which we will discuss later). I would highly suggest visiting U-haul companies throughout the months before you move, as they have a spot for used boxes that you can take for free. Two great ways to save money and stress for your next move!
Get LOTS of help for the move!
Now since everyone knows the amount of stress and work involved in moving, this is probably your most difficult task. There are always the last-minute bailers that you have to plan for and then any type of mishaps that could happen during the move as well.
Now a lot of the time you can find some good friends who will come and offer assistance for free. But it’s always a good way to show appreciation by doing something for them as well, since they are taking the day to do strenuous work for YOU! Talk about being a positive/caring person. But, once again, there are more costs and stresses involved with this.
You have to consider money for food for everyone for the day when they’re about to collapse, and then any type of beer or beverage that will make people a little ‘happier’ (hah!) that they are moving you for free!
Again, this added to my total costs which I will total out for you after this. My BIG problem was that almost everyone I had to help me move bailed last minute, and once again, Sammy is in charge of the almost the entire move! Thanks to a great aunt and uncle and amazing friends I called on the day of the move, we were able to make it all in, in one piece. Thank goodness! It helps to plan for the worst case scenario.
Plan to have your services/mail moved to your new address.
Now this part I had pretty much under control, as the company I’m with does moves for free. I just had to make sure I called in ahead of time and gave them the new address and a good time to come.
Also remember to notify the landlord that someone will be in the building to change your services over and may need access to a control room. Also make sure you visit your local post office to have all of your mail forwarded to your new address (you DO NOT want to miss out on important school/work/bills that might potentially lead you to more expenditures). This is something I took care of before the move, and had my address changed on all of my ID’s and personal websites/companies I’m in business with.
To Finalize my move…
I would have done quite a few things differently, as the cost of the move entirely was huge! And the stress that came along with it, was unbearable and completely avoidable had I done a little more research ahead of time.
I’m now spending the week exhausted, working full time, blogging and setting up my apartment almost alone, with help of a couple AMAZING friends once in a while. Plus I’m completely broke for the rest of the month, due to the move and the costs that come with a new apartment. To summarize my spending before I lose my mind, here we go:
- $50 to rent out solely the U-haul for the day (not incl. gas and mileage).
- $120 on gas for my car and the Uhaul to go back and forth from Elmira (small township) to Waterloo.
- $70 to U-haul for the mileage that I used for the move from such far (for a student) places.
- $50 on booze to put everyone in a little bit higher spirits while trying to heave 3-seater couches up three flights of stairs.
- $50 or around there for food and water for everyone so I didn’t have to make any hospital runs for exhaustion during the move.
- $100 the large boxes, shrink wrap, tape, and other moving accessories needed which I’ll rarely use again, and pretty much a TOTAL waste of money!
- So to sum up how much I spent (and I want to close my eyes for this but unfortunately I have to type, so at least I’m sitting down) a total of $440 dollars! That is my total amount of rent for August, and an INSANE amount of money for a student to be spending on moving!
How could you totally reduce the average cost of moving?
Here’s the best part guys: I could’ve avoided all of this stress and extra money on the move if I had just looked into movers! Now that is PRICELESS!
Hiring movers is probably your best bet, to getting everything done quick, efficiently, safely, and ultimately, nearly stress-free. I sadly, looked into it the day before, after I had already spent so much money and reserved my truck and some help. Since most of the help bailed by the last day, I was desperately looking for people to help out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to hire movers with the amount of money I had already spent. Sadly I would’ve spent almost the same or less if I had just hired them earlier and looked into it.
See, the thing I didn’t know was that the movers do quite a few things for you that make moving the easiest thing possible. Now I know all of you DIY’ers out there are shaking your heads, but trust me, unless you have the help and the money to spend, this is your safest bet.
I, personally, hate to ask for help and I love to do everything myself, which in both of these cases was impossible. But hiring people to do the job for you definitely takes off the pressure of having to cave and ask people for help. PLUS you’re paying for your services, so you can ensure the best job is done when it comes to moving your precious stuff.
Why should you look into hiring moves?
Movers make it easy by doing so much, including:
- Supplying everything you need for the move including the truck, gas, mileage, boxes, tape, shrink wrap etc.
- Packing everything for you and arranging it for the move, or if you want to save a couple hours of money, you can do this one yourself (which I highly suggest because they do charge by hour). And if you are organized this is the one thing you can do yourself. I would recommend them setting up the big stuff and leaving the small stuff for yourself (also another way to save money and hours used).
Now your only job is calling them and arranging them to help you for your move, and transferring your services. What a load of weight taken off your shoulders! If you plan everything correctly and pack your own stuff and only have the movers arrange the big stuff you could have everything done in less than 3 hours and with quite a bit of money saved.
I did some research and found out that for three guys to help you move for an hour (which they are specialized in and know the most efficient ways to get everything done faster) it only costs $95/hr. or for two guys it costs $65/hr. You can do it either way but they both would probably end up costing the same amount unless you had less stuff to move and two guys were more suitable for you. I would’ve paid somewhere around $350 with taxes, when I estimate the moving time compared to professional movers at around 3 hours.
Now, I could’ve saved over $100 and tons of stress for me and my friends! I could’ve got a lot more sleep and a lot of more productive things done to actually make money instead of waste it in the wrong ways.
To sum up, after all these moves, at least I learned my lesson, and I want to do that for you too:
Save yourself the hassle of having to do everything alone AND worry about moving constantly before and after the move.
For me, to remove stress out of my life is more priceless than anything else, if you have checked out my blog I’m trying to find the best, most efficient and positive ways to do things in life, and tackle everyday challenges. Hopefully, my story helped you to realize that maybe taking another (more frowned upon) route, might be better for your personal situation.
Either way, whether choosing to move yourself or hire movers, hopefully I shared the best ways to do both with a smile, or at least without breaking a sweat! Keep staying positive folks and looking into the best solutions possible, to make every day easier and less stressful! The less stress, the more positive you allow to enter your life! For all those students reading as well, I wish you luck if you have any moves planned for September, and maybe this advice helped!