Moving On a Budget

Shipping supplies, packing supplies, moving supplies… call them what you will, you need them to move and they don’t grow on trees.   Here’s the thing, even if you are moving for work and your place of employment is paying for the move, that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to wind up with a free move.  Something always needs to be paid for last minute, or in a pinch.  If you are paying for your own move you will realize how incredibly expensive it can be (moving out of state usually runs around five thousand dollars, and moving in state still winds up costing half that).  Shipping supplies alone, regardless of what you are using them for, really wind up adding up (a regular household can expect to use one hundred boxes during a move!).  But you don’t have to freak out.


There are ways and places to find deals.


  • Use Facebook. Everyone has boxes laying around because everyone is always moving, or even just from making purchases.  Everyone is also always on Facebook, or check it at least once a day.  You don’t have to be BFFs with someone for them to see your post and go, “hey, I’ve got some boxes”.  Then you say, “Awesome! When can I come grab them?”  Who knows, maybe the whole process will respark an old friendship.
  • Use your community. Grocery stores and other retail stores are going through boxes on a continual basis.  Some of these boxes already come with packaging, or inserts if they held wine glasses or something like that.


  • Do not buy cheap tape. If a move doesn’t make you want to crawl under a rock, then cheap shipping supplies sure will.  Tape is just not one of those things you can afford to skimp on, and I’m talking about your mental and emotional resources here.  Read some reviews and decide which one people like the best.


  • Use what you have! Newspaper, towels, and old phone books make awesome packaging.  Newspaper may be kind of messy, but it doesn’t stain and it does the job well.  Do you have a shredder?  A couple times a year I let my kids shred everything that has been accumulated for that purpose, and we wind up with a massive pile.  This provides awesome protection for valuables and breakables.
  • Use what you get! Do you order stuff from Amazon?  More than likely it comes wrapped in one of three things: bubble wrap, butcher paper, or air pillows.  They usually use way more than they need to, and it won’t take long to accumulate a nice little cache.