We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Moving is exciting, exhilarating, and…wildly expensive. The average apartment renter will spend $2,500 on the whole ordeal, with the bulk (approximately $900) going toward movers. On top of that, there’s equipment rental, insurance, cleaning/repair fees, and package shipments to account for. All of these numbers are broken down in a new report from Porch, which also happens to spotlight one expense that can be totally avoided: boxes. 

The survey polled more than 900 people who have moved at least once in the past five years, and when asked which costs seemed unnecessary, the majority agreed that cardboard boxes were both a waste of money and time. We did the math using this basic cost calculator and found that the average price for containers for a single person in a one-bedroom is around $230 (that total also includes supplies like packing paper, Bubble Wrap, and a tape dispenser). Ouch.

We tapped Domino staffers for their go-to solutions, and it turns out there are a lot of ways you can save cash (and even pack up your stuff for free!). Give these scrappy tricks a try instead.

Rely on Rentals 

There are a lot of reusable bin companies out there that can help with your move. Gorilla Bins happens to be the most popular pick for New Yorkers, and the cost of renting containers for a one-bedroom is $120. Plus, they’re eco-friendly and you have to return the plastic boxes within two weeks, so your books won’t sit unpacked for months.

Get Creative With Your Wrapping

Old newspapers, towels, vintage tees—these are all great alternatives to Bubble Wrap. When it comes to super-fragile items, think outside the box. (Pro tip: Bras serve as the perfect holders for decorative glass bowls). 

Scour Your Neighborhood 

If you’re set on traditional cardboard containers, skip Amazon and head to your local wine shop or grocery store. These places usually have a ton of lightly used packages piled up in the back that the staff would have tossed anyway.

Go to IKEA 

Next time you’re at IKEA, snag a few of the Frakta storage bags. (Note: They have backstraps and zippers.) They’re perfect for packing up clothes, but you can also keep using them down the road for laundry. Say hej to the extra money back in your pocket. 

See more stories like this:  Millennials Are Moving to These Two Cities—And They’re Not New York or L.A. Why This Is the Best Month to Move Consider This: 5 Easy Ways to Move, the Sustainable Way