7 Ways to Save When Moving into an Apartment
Getting ready to move is always, always a stressful time. Even if you’re the most prepared person on the face of the planet, something is bound to go wrong. That said, though… there is a lot to be said about actually being prepared to move, and it really cuts down on the amount of things that can go wrong. Here’s seven tips to help you save not only money, but time and frustration on your first (or next) apartment move.
Never, Ever Pay for Boxes
Here’s the deal… you should never have to buy a cardboard box. They’re everywhere! You simply just need to know where to look, and suddenly you’ll have all the boxes you’ll ever need. So, for starters, if you have a job, chances are you can get plenty of boxes there. Retail or food? Ask for some empty boxes from the inventory deliveries. Office life? Printer paper and other goods often comes in boxes. Also, certain places like liquor stores are well known for stacking their empty boxes near the store entrances for anyone to take. If you look, you’ll find more than enough boxes to pack up your stuff–just make sure to grab more than you think you’ll need, as you always need more than you think.
Pay Attention to Your Area, and How That Affects Rental Prices
It may not be immediately obvious, but the rental industry goes through high points and low points, much like any service industry. During certain points of the year, a bunch of rental companies will offer movie in deals to get their apartments filled, but what time of the year depends on the area you live in. For example, I live in a town with multiple universities–as such, a lot of rental places offer deals during the summer, at first to get people in place of the students that graduated and left in the spring, and then to rope into new students coming to the town in the fall. If you pay attention to the trends, and have the time to wait until rental companies bring out the deals, you can save a lot of money on your move in costs… which is important as it’s usually the most costly part of the moving process!
Always Try and Find Ways to Save on Transportation
You don’t need a car in every city in the U S of A. If you’re moving to a new city, or even staying in the same town, do some research on the transportation options available to you. How are the bus and/or subway systems? Are there a lot of bike friendly roads or trails? Is the weather fair enough to consider the possibility of a scooter or moped? If you are a student living on or near a college campus, for example, you probably won’t need much transportation for what you need other than your own two feet. Even if you’re in an area with poor public transportation support, there are still other options available like carpooling that will help you save money on pricey transportation costs.
Think about Apartment Size and Figure Out What Sizes are Right for You
While it’s always great to have a huge, spacious apartment, it’s not always a financially viable option. Especially for your first apartment, it’s important to know what size is both right for you, and appropriately priced. For example, if this is your first apartment and you’re living alone, maybe a studio apartment is best–they are the cheapest option available, and if it’s your first place, you probably don’t have as much furniture. On the flip side, if you’re moving in with a roommate, it’s important to have enough space for each person living there to be comfortable.
What do You Actually Need?
Cluttered living spaces are never great, but they can be an absolute nightmare when trying to move. If you have a lot of stuff, there’s never a better time than when packing to ask yourself “do I need this?” Something like tools and basic cooking utensils? Yes, you are probably going to need those. But that rice cooker you used one time, or the inflatable Pepsi man? Maybe not so much. It’s important to be able to distinguish things you need, things that maybe you don’t need but like, and just stuff you don’t need. None of that “oh I might need it in the future!” stuff either… oftentimes you either never need it, or you’ve lost it when you do need it.
If you need help decluttering your space (while you’re moving or anytime), it might be worth it to check out The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, as it has a bunch of good stuff. As for what to do with your clutter… you can sell a lot of it on sites like Craigslist, earning you a bit extra moving money, and saving a bunch of time on packing stuff you really don’t need!
Roommates Are a Possibility
No matter where you live, it will always be cheaper if you live with at least one other person. Sure, a two bedroom apartment will cost more than a one bedroom or studio, but once you cut your rent and all apartment expenses in half (or more!), it’s easy to see how much you’ll save. Of course, there’s a lot of consider about roommates other than the cost–you have to make sure you and your roommate get along! As for finding a roommate, if you don’t have a friend or a friend of a friend to ask, you can always check Craigslist–just make sure to meet up with them a few times to make sure you two match in terms of living philosophies.
Keep An Eye Out for Furniture Deals
The biggest expense for an apartment, aside from the rent and move in fees, has to be furniture. While it would be great to have matching living rooms and kitchen sets, getting brand new full sets of furniture is extremely expensive, and not viable for most people moving. Instead, it’s best to piece together your furniture collection via other means. There are a lot of options available to the bargain hunter, provided you keep a regular eye out. Some great examples include Craigslist, local Goodwill locations, and garage sales. You can even pick up furniture off the side of the road if you want, but be careful if you do… make sure it hasn’t been rained on or have any kind of bugs in it!
What tips have helped you save money on moving? Let us know in the comments!