Jun 6 19

Moving on a budget

Being the proud owner of your dream home or flying the nest and flatting with friends, it is a well-known fact that moving from one place to another is considered one of the more stressful events one has to endure in your lifetime. Whether it is a short drive away or moving abroad, the emotions do run high and with this in mind, it would be a good idea to have a good plan in place to keep your stress levels low. This plan will anticipate any issues that may come up and ways to overcome these with ease and keep your mind focused on other important things, so you can actually enjoy the time spent at your new destination.

It is possible to have a budget in mind and it is very important to stick with it, provided you have done your research and looked at all your options. Just to be on the safe side, it’s always good to have a little buffer in case of any emergencies.

First of all you want to start off by looking at the belongings you currently have – you will definitely have items that you need to take along with you, those that you truly cherish and cannot live without. But then think about the other underused things that could possibly be sold or donated. Be mindful that certain items are replaceable and if you’re not getting much use out of them now, perhaps they can go to someone else, a better home, where someone will be able to use it to its full potential. Create a space for the unwanted stuff in the garage or an unused area of the home and set a date to get rid of these. If parting with these items does not sit well with you, you could always see if there is someone you trust who can hold onto to these possessions until you find a home for them. Or if the budget allows, you can store temporarily at your nearest storage facility until you can figure out what to do next.

You want to minimise the clutter which means less items to be moved, therefore less space taken inside the moving vehicle. It’s a win-win situation. If you want to try and adopt a minimalist lifestyle, there’s no time like the present – take only want you need and get rid of the rest. This will make life a lot simpler and easier to manage with fewer things to bog you down with.

Once you have an idea of what needs to be taken to the new place, you can then make contact with various moving companies and obtain a quote for the job. Be mindful to get a flat rate for the entire job, which takes into account travel costs and traffic delays, because you don’t want to be surprised with additional costs at the end. Choose reputable companies that have great reviews and affordable prices. You could even ask people for recommendations or post a comment or listing online and see what responses you can get.

Another thing to take into consideration is the time of year you are planning to move. During the summer months, moving companies tend to charge a higher rate. You will also find that weekend jobs will also incur a much higher rate than a job done during the week.

To cut costs even further, you could ask family and friends if they have any availability to help you out for the big move. If you’re lucky, there will be someone you know who has a vehicle or a trailer for you to use. Sweeten the deal by offering food and drinks or any other favour they may need. Make sure when you do pick a date, pick a time that is outside of peak hour traffic. There’s nothing worse than packing up the vehicle and then facing a killer of a traffic jam to your new place. The stop-start motion will drive even the calmest person to the brink of a road rage frenzy.

If you are moving into the city, think about places to park and access to the elevator if moving into a high-rise apartment building. If you are lucky, the building manager might give you permission to use the basement service lift to move your stuff. Parking wardens are pretty ruthless and can issue an on-the-spot fine, if you’re not careful. Again, timing is everything so aim to plan this move in off peak hours. You want to be considerate to your neighbours and holding up the lift to move your belongings can cause a nuisance to others and won’t be a good start to your living environment.

If you have decided to use a moving company, be aware that some companies may charge if they have to park a certain distance away from the apartment building. Make sure you do advise the movers that access may be an issue upon arrival and discuss options should any problems arise on the day. They may have some suggestions on the best ways to ensure the move runs smoothly.

When it comes to packing your belongings for the big move, I would suggest doing several boxes a day, a few weeks before the day. Ask around and see if anyone you know have some spare boxes or you could even pop down to the local supermarket or hardware store and ask the manager if they have any spare that you can take off their hands. That will cut costs on packing supplies significantly and all you may need is a few rolls of quality packing tape.

On moving day, make sure your phone is charged so you can keep in contact with everyone during the move – saves time having to rush to the nearest phone booth or stopping at a local establishment to ask to use their phone. Familiarise yourself with the route and make sure everyone is on the same page. Take note of any traffic delays and try and find an alternative route if required.

Another money-killer is the purchasing of food on the go from your local store. Instead of purchasing takeaway food, think about meal prepping and having food sorted in microwaveable containers, ready to be heated up when you’re hungry. The costs of food from the petrol station and from the local café are priced heavily. Keep your wallet and your bank balance happy and prepare your food in advance. Even setting some time aside the night before to make sandwiches and snacks will work out a lot cheaper than purchasing on the day. Make sure to also have a container nearby with a range of beverages to help quench your thirst over the course of the day. Keep these within easy reach and not buried underneath all your other belongings during the move.