With the completion of our new home, the realization of how much “stuff” we had to move to our new house sent chills down our spine. We've been in our first home for just under five years and I'm amazed on how much junk we accumulated over the years. My wife and I had enough stuff just by ourselves; but then you add our son, who has more toys at the age of 2 than I did for my entire childhood- and what you have is a garage sale junkie's dream.
Moving your home may break your back, but it doesn't have to break your wallet, too. If you are in a similar situation and are looking to move your home, here's some tips on saving money when doing so.
1. Ask for Boxes, Pack, Repeat
DO NOT underestimate the number of boxes you will need. You can never have too many. We called our local grocery stores and they were willing to give us as many boxes as we could take. All in all, I loaded over 5 loads of boxes in the back of my Tahoe and a friend gave us about 20 additional boxes. This was not including the 40 or so storage bins that we already had. Yes, we are pat racks.
2. Shop Your Movers
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Having never moved before, we turned to the Yellow Pages to look for some moving companies. We called three different companies to give us a bid on what it would cost to move our house. Keep in mind that our new house is only approximately 2 1/2 miles from our old house, so we didn't have that far to go.
The first two moving companies did even come out to the house and quoted us $80/hour and $107/hr respectively and both expected the move to take around 6-8 hours. If we wanted them to pack the boxes for us it was $24 per box and $34 if it was fragile (glassware and dishes). See why it makes sense to get plenty of free boxes?
The third company actually came out to look at our house to see how much we had to move. They quoted us $132/hour and claimed that the other companies underestimated how long it would take to move us and would then end up costing us more. Maybe so, but we weren't sold yet.
Luckily, our fourth option was a referral from a friend. They had hired some guys from a local furniture store to move there house. After giving them a call, we learned that it would only cost us $475 total to move the entire house and all we had to do was rent the U-Haul-which ended up costing us $49.98 plus $20 gas. Needless to say we were sold.
3. Line Up Some Trucks
To expedite the process, I had my Tahoe, my father-in-law's truck and a few other friend's trucks on backup if needed. While the movers were hauling the big bulky stuff, I loaded up pictures, clothes and other items that I was worried would get damaged in the move.
4. Beg Your Friends
Having a strong support team is crucial in successfully moving into your new house. Whether its family, friends, or gracious neighbors; they prove to be invaluable in helping you cope in the moving craze. We had friends that helped unload the trucks, unpack our boxes, even organize our kitchen! It was so helpful and made it that much easier to get moved in and not living out of boxes for an extended period of time.
5. IRS Moving Tax Expense
While we don't classify to deduct any expenses in the move, many may; so it's good to keep track of all your moving expenses. According to IRS Pub 521, here are the two tests that you have to pass to be able to write off the moving expense:
If you moved due to a change in your job or business location, or because you started a new job or business, you may be able to deduct your reasonable moving expenses but not any expenses for meals. To qualify for the moving expense deduction, you must satisfy two tests. Under the first test, the “distance test”, your new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job location was from your old home. If you had no previous workplace, your new job must be at least 50 miles from your old home.
The second test is the “time test”. If you are an employee, you must work full-time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months right after you arrive in the general area of your new job. If you are self-employed, you must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months and for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first 24 months after you arrive in the general area of your new work location. There are exceptions to the time test in case of death, disability and involuntary separation, among other things.
Good luck on your move and don't forget your back brace. You're going to need it!