Relocation, especially when kids are involved, is an adventure that stacks up quickly in both excitement and complexity. Not to mention the extra stress and expenses that come with it.
But there are a few tips and tricks that can make this adventure a bit less stressful and more budget-friendly. To help you out, we put together a short guide for family moves that will help reduce the emotional strain and save some of that hard-earned money.
This way, you can fully enjoy the new place and start this fresh path with positive energy!
Plan and Budget
We’re sure you already know this, especially if you’ve been managing your family’s finances and activities for a while, but we’re going to say it again – the secret to a seamless relocation lies in effective planning and budgeting.
Another key fact to know is that planning begins long before the first box gets packed. So, the moment you find out you’ll be moving, it’s the perfect moment to start planning. And it’s not something as simple as putting together a quick to-do list.
You should map out a detailed timeline of tasks, putting your most critical duties at the forefront. Moving the entire family is a massive undertaking, so it’s best to approach it like a project manager would. By breaking everything down into manageable steps, you’ll make the relocation feel less like a huge mess and more like a fun project for everyone involved.
At about the same time, you also have to start budgeting.
Think of it as a roadmap guiding you to make smart financial decisions during your move. The initial step involves identifying major contributing factors to your moving expenses. These usually include mover fees, packing supplies, and travel costs, among others.
Paint a clear picture of how you’ll spread your cash across each cost area. Remember to keep in mind the must-have expenses and focus most of your budget on those areas. This way, you’ll be able to make sure the most important tasks are taken care of and make moving a lot less stressful.
Why You Should Hire Professional Movers
While adding another major expense to your already diminishing budget may sound counterintuitive, it’s actually one of the smartest ways to save money, time, and sanity.
The good news is that you can get moving quotes online and compare prices and services before you decide on which company is best for your needs. This way, you can make sure your money is well-spent.
Professional movers have years of experience working their magic, so they can pack up homes far quicker than most of us could (especially with kids running around). This way, you can entrust the most difficult parts of the relocation to a reliable company and worry about other important tasks.
You also have to think of all the planning involved. You might be flexible to a fault, but getting a DIY move coordinated can be a real chore. Stringing together all the logistics, from rental truck schedules to asking friends or family for help, is enough to give anyone a headache!
When pros handle things on your behalf, they align their schedules with yours making sure everything runs like clockwork.
Declutter and Earn Some Money
It’s not until you have to move that you realize how many things you don’t really need you managed to gather over the years. But clutter is not just objects you’d rather not have to carry around. If you’re smart about it, it can be an unexpected source of extra cash.
So how do you decide what stays and what goes?
Believe it or not, decluttering is an art that needs careful thought and consideration. For instance, a rule of thumb is to keep things that are used regularly or hold special sentimental value. On the other hand, things that have been gathering dust for the past year(s) and have no sentimental value can go.
Some items can go to donations, others may be headed for trash, and some may be useful to others. Nowadays, you can sell almost anything from vintage clothing pieces to barely-used kitchen mixers. The good news is that you don’t have to organize a yard sale – just post your items on platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist, and the buyers will find you.
Keep in mind that decluttering is not just about getting rid of old things. It’s also an opportunity for renewal. You’ll enter your new space feeling lighter with only possessions that actually matter – plus with some spare money in tow from those goods you sold!
Time Your Move
Just like planning a road trip or booking a flight, timing is crucial when scheduling your relocation. Believe it or not, it could be the difference between a chunky moving bill and considerable savings.
Relocations, as with many services, come with “peak” and “off-peak” periods based on demand. The moving industry generally sees its busiest times during summers – in particular from May through September. Families often opt for this period due to school breaks and favorable weather conditions, thereby contributing to a surge in demand for professional movers.
So, if you can choose the date of your move, it’s best to schedule it during off-peak times when fewer people are vying for the same service. Late fall and winter months are usually slower periods, which means you may get a hefty discount from moving companies.
Work with Free Packaging Materials
Did you know you can reduce your moving expenses by being creative about your packaging materials?
For instance, you can find plenty of sturdy boxes with local businesses, like supermarkets, bookstores, or liquor stores. So, put on your kindest smile and go around the neighborhood to see if there are any unwanted boxes. Most people will be happy to help you as long as you’re asking politely.
You can also find online communities, like Freecycle, Craigslist, or local Facebook groups where people give away boxes and packing materials from previous moves. It’s also a great way to give these materials back to yourself once you’re done with them.
But don’t stop at just outside sources! You’d be surprised what you already own that can double up as packing material. Old newspapers make excellent padding for fragile items. Used linens and towels can cushion breakables while saving space on separately packing them.
Don’t overlook sturdier pieces in your home that can perform secondary duty as transit containers, either. Sturdy laundry baskets or large cooking pots safely house miscellaneous small items like books or kitchenware during the move.
Ready to move?
Now that you’re armed with an array of cost-saving tips, you’re ready to start planning for that move. Keep in mind that wise decisions can help you save money and effort in the long run, so be mindful of every step you take as the relocation date approaches.
This way, when the day comes, and you reach your new house, you’ll be able to welcome this new path in life with open arms. Happy moving!