Nine money-saving tips when you’re moving home
Moving home is exciting. It’s also hard work – and sometimes we end up spending a little more than we hoped to.
Some expenses are necessary and can’t be avoided: agent fees, deposits, mortgage fees, stamp duty, and so on.
But there are plenty of things you can do to save you money as you’re moving home. We’ve listed nine easy and effective tips that’ll help cut down your costs – and leave a little more in the piggy bank for the decorating!
1. Plan ahead
A good chunk of moving expenses are those last-minute snags you forgot about.
Having to get cleaners in because you realise you won’t have the time to do it yourself; paying a premium price for the removals company because you miscalculated how much stuff you have; finding a storage facility for the items you couldn’t fit into your new place.
These are just a few examples, so if you do your best to plan and book things in the months and weeks leading up to the move, you’ll almost definitely save yourself a few bob – and stress.
2. Compare removals services
There’s a lot of competition out there between removals companies to get your business, so make sure you get quotes from several different ones instead of going for the first one you find.
There are several comparison sites you could use that will help you find a company in your area that offers a competitive price and a good service. And remember that if you can book in advance you’ll probably get yourself a better deal.
It’s worth noting that because the market is so busy at the moment, it’s a good idea to book as far advanced as you can anyway so you’re sure to secure a slot.
Having said that, our next top tip is…
3. DIY as much as possible
If there’s any way you can hire a van and do the removals’ job yourself, you should definitely consider it. It is hard work, but it could save you hundreds of pounds.
You may find that as far as the amount of time it takes, the difference may be minimal. You’d need to be around to coordinate the ins and outs of a removal company anyway, so if you have the capability and help needed to do the carrying and shifting, you may as well.
This would be the time to get a hold of those friends and family who nonchalantly told you, “let me know if you need a hand with anything”. Rally the troops – you’ll be surprised at how far a free round of pizzas and beers can go!
Just remember to check what the government guidelines are, and if it’s safe to do so.
4. Avoid buying packing material
If you’re hiring a removal company, they may include packing material in their pricing. If not, here are some ways you could find free boxes:
Supermarkets – many will happily let you have as many boxes as you’d like. Keep your eyes peeled for banana boxes (see what we did there?), as they’re properly sturdy and of a good size. Start collecting boxes in the weeks leading up to your move when you do your weekly shopping.
Friends and family – many people hold on to empty cardboard boxes or reusable plastic ones for years in the hopes they’ll come in handy someday. Well, that day has finally arrived!
Social media – it’s quite likely that a post saying you’re looking for free boxes will generate some positive responses.
Bubble wrap is another annoyingly expensive material. Start stocking up on old newspapers and you may find that that could do the job just as well.
Do you really need to hold on to that old camping gear that you used once 12 years ago? Or that desktop computer you’ve kept since 2002 in case there are any files in the hard drive worth keeping? Or that food dehydrator that you inherited from your aunt?
Let’s face it, most of us have way more things than we actually need, or use. A house move is the perfect time to start anew and find all the stuff that is taking up precious space, and that we’ll end up getting rid of eventually anyway.
Not only has it been proven that decluttering can be great for our mental health, it also means you’ll save yourself effort, time, and money.
Removals fees depend very much on how much needs to be packed and moved, so the less you have, the more you’ll save.
6. Sell your unwanted items
It’s almost guaranteed that that item you’re about to get rid of is exactly what someone somewhere is looking for.
Your aunt’s food dehydrator? Someone might pay good money for it, and give it a whole new second life.
There are many online companies that have made selling second-hand items super easy. Who knows, you might be able to pay for your removals with the money you make from old unwanted stuff.
It’s also an environmentally friendly way of recycling things, so a win-win no matter how you look at it.
7. Sort out your change of address
This has to do with the first point of planning ahead.
There are services available that will redirect mail to your new address, but this comes at a cost – especially if you’re moving abroad, or if you’re more than one person.
You can avoid this extra expense by making sure you update your address with all the main organisations that might contact you via post. Such as these:
Government bodies and local authorities (HMRC, councils, DVLA, etc.)
Online shopping platforms (Amazon, eBay, etc.)
8. Review your contracts and suppliers
Looking through broadband, phone, TV packages and energy providers to see if we’ve got a good deal can be a tedious task, and one that we put off forever, so now is the perfect time to do it.
First of all, make sure you cancel all your contracts on time. In many cases you’ll need to give a two-week or a month’s notice before cancelling, so check if this is the case with your suppliers, and avoid paying for a service you won’t be using.
Moving into a new place is the ideal time to rethink some of your monthly expenditures. Do you still need that top TV bundle with the 400+ channels?
Shop around and do a bit of research. You might find some enticing deals that are only available to new contracts.
9. Empty out the pantry and freezer
Most of us will have a stash of food that we’ve been storing for ages. It could be anything from tins and jars in the back of the cupboard, to frozen meat that we never remember to defrost on time.
Once again, now is the time to take care of this for once and for all.
In the weeks leading up to the move, set yourself the goal of not doing any – or less – food shopping until you’ve used up everything, or most, of the food you’ve been storing. You may have to get creative, and find some recipes that are not in your typical menu, but you may very well find this to be a good thing.
You’ll accomplish two things: cut down on your shopping bill for a few weeks, and reduce the amount of things you’ll need to pack. You know how fiddly it is packing all those random fridge items, so the less of them, the better.
Just make sure everything’s still in date, though!
(Source: Rightmove, 2020)