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12 Ways to Make Moving Cheaper and Easier

12 Ways to Make Moving Cheaper and Easier

I’ve moved dozens of times within 5 cities in 3 different countries on 2 continents. Before I had mastered how to organize everything efficiently, moving was always a real hassle.  No matter of my vast nomadic experience I am always surprised that I have way more stuff than I thought!

Moving to a new place is like a journey when you let go of your past and start a new life. It encourages become minimalistic and more conscientious about what you actually want and need in your life, especially during this time where meeting a new person is often just one swipe right and buying a new thing is a click.

If spending wasted hours wondering should you throw away these tickets which remind you of your travels, should you keep that dress you used to liked 10 years ago (and other stuff you’re never going to use in the next decade), constantly driving back and forth to the new place because you didn’t prepare things properly, fearing of not being able to find anything for the next two months after moving in, sounds very familiar – my article is for you!

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These are little tips and tricks for anyone NOT using a moving service:

1. Plan ahead

When selecting your helpers for moving, give them enough notice.  Don’t procrastinate asking!  People will appreciate it (and maybe even show up!) if you give them notice.

2. Stagger your move-in day and your move-out day at least 1 week apart

If at all possible, try to stagger your move-in day and your move-out day at least 1 week apart to avoid stress. It’s easier if you can go back to your old place and finish up moving / cleaning any leftover little stuff for a few more days after you move.

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3.  Books are heavy

Magazines are even heavier.  Many SMALL boxes with 6-10 books are better than 1 big box with 60 books in it.

4. Quality matters

Do NOT buy/use cheap packing tape to seal your boxes, unless you enjoy having your pinkie toe smashed by a book that fell out the bottom of the box that was sealed with cheap packing tape. This is not the place to save money.

5. Label your boxes with a permanent marker

Some things you may want to write are: (a) Box #, (b) Where the Box is Going (ie. Bedroom, Office, etc.), (c) Contents (ie. Books, Cables, etc. ), (d) Special Handling Instructions (ie. FRAGILE, etc.)

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6. Rent a truck

It’s better to rent a moving truck and make one or two trips than to try moving using your buddies pickup truck and making 68 trips.  The gas savings alone will pay for the truck rental.

Loading a moving truck usually takes 3-4 times as long as unloading it.  Keep that in mind when planning your day, lunch for your helpers, etc.

7. Have snacks for helpers

Have water available in the fridge for your thirsty helpers.  People who are dying of thirst make very poor helpers.

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8. Pack BEFORE moving day, not the moring of.

On moving day focus your energy on MOVING, not unpacking at the new place.

9. The fewer people that help you the better

If you do solicit help packing your stuff, the fewer people that help you the better.  The more people that help out packing, the harder it will be to find something later on.  For moving, the more helpers you have the better, but for packing you don’t want too much help or you’ll go insane trying to find things after the move.

10. Get an early start.

8-9am is a good time to start, not noon.  It’s MUCH better to move the majority of your big things in one day.

11. Check it all

Here’s a quick mental reminder of moving related things that might jog your memory:  You’ll need boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, fragile stickers, packing paper for dishes, and some blankets. You’ll need to call the utility companies (cable, telephone, hydro, etc.), house alarm, change your driver’s license address, and notify post office to forward your mail.

12. Don’t forget to have fun

Indeed, moving can be a hard physical and mental activity. But don’t forget that when you plan it right, it can be a lot of fun!

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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