Moving is expensive in plenty of ways. One of the worst is boxes.
At $2-5 each, boxes from places like Staples aren’t a very realistic option. Well, maybe if your company pays for your move.
For the rest of us, there’s the old standby: begging used boxes off of stores. Unfortunately, it seems like more and more stores flatten and then crush or shred their boxes. I’m sure there’s some great reason for it. But all I can think is how many boxes I could have used. Then recycled. Or given to some other poor sufferer of move-itis.
Frankly, if they were smart, stores would sell boxes for 50 cents each. If the boxes didn’t sell within 24 hours, they could crush them then. They’d still escape clutter but also make a brisk trade in cardboard reselling. It seems like everyone always needs boxes, after all.
Since boxes are so expensive, I refuse to buy them. I did consider buying used cardboard boxes through Mr. Rebates — because, yes, there are two websites devoted entirely to selling them. Probably more, but those are the two I know of.
I’ve been checking Craigslist periodically, but so far no one is offering moving boxes. In Seattle, it was common to get them for free. At the very least, you paid a LOT less than retail. But apparently people in Phoenix hoard boxes.
Still, I’m determined to go the stingy route. Or, as I like to think of it, the eco-friendly route. Which is to say that the few we have are getting used multiple times. Each trip we make to the house, we bring some things over and then take the boxes back to the apartment. Since we want to be careful about bringing roaches to the new place, it’s easier to pack bit by bit and not leave boxes sitting around to be boarded by icky insects.
In addition, I stuffed a hellacious amount of clothes into two suitcases yesterday. One currently holds 4 loads of laundry. (Thanks, Mom, for teaching me how to cram stuff into a bag from an early age!) I still have the biggest suitcase left. The remaining clothes should take up most of that space, but I’ll add in whatever else will fit.
I also emptied two plastic bins and am using those for the move. I have one more, once I wipe down the dry cat food container. (We’re feeding them wet food until this is over. In Gladware, so we don’t have to wash it.)
We’ll also make use of all the garbage bags we have, for softer stuff. Then those can be reused as actual trash bags. Not exactly a classy way to move, but, as our friends will attest, we’ll take cheap over classy any day.
Tim’s parents are also trying to be strategic about packing. One niece works at Safeway. Once she’s back from vacation, they’ll ask her to set aside boxes for them. As a supervisor, the niece should be able to get them some good ones.
Meanwhile, Nadine’s been cleaning out various drawers and cabinets. The old documents she finds get shredded. She’ll use the shredded paper instead of bubble wrap when packing her boxes.
I suggested she also wrap dishes or other fragile items in towels. It’s how we got our dishes all safely to Phoenix. It was a better use of the boxes — two of our items instead of one plus a bunch of bubble wrap — and the items were still cushioned nicely.
Tim’s parents also plan to stuff clothes into the washer, dryer, fridge and chest freezer that they’re bringing down. That will save them a lot of room, which is always at a premium with the storage/moving cubes they’re using.
Anyone else have any frugal hacks for moving?