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Whether you’re taking the next step in a relationship, moving into an awesome new home, or relocating for a job, moving can be expensive. The different aspects of this transition can add up. Here’s a list of ways to avoid blowing your decorating budget before you even move in!

Try to do the search on your own or look for buildings that pay the broker fees themselves.

Don’t pay a fee if you don’t have to! With a little extra time and know-how, you can find a place on your own by using different sites like, StreetEasy, Craigslist, Trulia, and Zillow. Search “no-fee,” “by owner,” or “broker no-fee” to avoid spending that extra 15%.

If you’re moving for a job, see if the company will help with any costs.

Some companies will foot the moving bill if you’re moving far to work for them, and it never hurts to ask! The worst they can say is no.

have a garage or stoop sale for all the stuff you don’t want to take with you.

Get up with the sun, and see how much of your trash is someone else’s treasure. Clearing clutter is the first step in relocating. If it doesn’t serve a purpose in your current home, chances are it won’t in the new place, either.

donate used items and get a tax receipt.

Don’t fill your new place up with old stuff you don’t even like. What a waste! Instead, take it to a local donation drop-off and make sure you get a form to use on your next tax return.

better yet, try selling on craigslist.

If you’ve got stuff (bikes, TVs, dressers, and more) that you think people will want to take off your hands, put it on Craigslist and send the link around. You’ll avoid moving it yourself, plus you’ll make more money than you would at a garage sale.

if you’ve got nice-ish clothes you don’t want anymore, you could try selling or getting store credit with them at a vintage/clothing exchange shop.

Get a shiny new wardrobe this way to go with your new digs.

cut your cable bills early if you can.

If you can live without some of your favorite shows for a few weeks, do it so you’re not footing the bill for them post-move.


If your dishes, pots, and pans will be packed away a few days before your move, you’ll probably be tempted to order lots of take-out. Skip the delivery and make a few meals and snacks that you can stow in Tupperware containers in your fridge. Grab fruits (like bananas, apples, and oranges) that don’t require any dishes at all.

save old boxes.

If you have the space, make sure you flatten and store boxes that come with appliances, fans, and heavy-duty products so you can slip them back in for the move or…

get cardboard boxes from your office.

If you work in an office, then you’re highly likely to have access to cardboard boxes that are probably going to be thrown out. Just ask your office manager if there are any extras and take them with you instead of paying for them at a store. (They can be pricey!)

save newspaper and magazines. 

Instead of buying paper, save your old magazines and newspapers. Wrap fragile items and dishes in the old papers you know you’d otherwise throw out. You can also…

use linens to wrap your delicate stuff.

For the items that need extra cushioning and bubble wrap, use your towels to wrap them. It beats folding them up and carrying them in your suitcase. Money-saving and space-saving: win-win!

clean yourself instead of hiring a service.

Yes-you-can! Take it one room at a time and even watch a few YouTube vids for help getting started. With an empty apartment, it should be a piece of cake.

pack up your essentials, like your shower or curtain rods, trash cans, and A/C units, so you don’t need to buy new ones.

During the packing process, you might be tempted to leave these behind, but you can avoid a possible fee from your landlord by taking them with you. And you won’t be heading to Target for new stuff once you’re at your new abode.

rent a smaller truck or van and make multiple trips instead of paying for a larger truck.

Big trucks = big bucks! Rent a budget-friendly truck and make multiple trips, especially if your new place is close to your old one.

enlist friends to help!

Very good friends, to be specific. Sweeten the deal with pizza/beer/dinner, play some music, and make it fun! It’ll be cheaper than movers, just be prepared to return the favor one day!

join online groups to find out about furniture giveaways.

Search for communities on Facebook who have similar interests as you. Often times, those are the places you’ll find deals and giveaways for inexpensive items you need for your new place.

use bars to hang clothes rather than buying a garment rack.

Lacking closet space in your new place? Screw towel bars or dowels in your closet or the walls of your bedroom to avoid shelling out more money for a garment rack. This will also take up less space too!