Whether you are planning a move to Pennsylvania, beautiful Bucks County, or just across town, moving day always seems to arrive before you are ready. It seems many people don’t realize how many items are tucked away in their homes until they start filling boxes. Add in logistics like travel arrangements, time off of work, and childcare and suddenly moving feels like a full-time job. At The First, we want to help make the moving process as simple as possible. We’ve provided the following tips for planning your move and maximizing your moving budget.
Find the Right Home
If you are anticipating a move but haven’t found the right home yet, The First can help. Bucks County is our favorite place to work and raise a family, and we want to share this beautiful section of Pennsylvania with our customers. If you are looking for more information about Bucks County, including the differences between local neighborhoods, our Ultimate Bucks County Relocation Guide provides everything you need to get acquainted with the area. Our helpful mortgage lenders can help get you pre-approved whether you are a first-time homebuyer, experienced homeowner, or looking to build the house of your dreams.
Organize Your Home
When a move is approaching, it’s time to get serious about decluttering. No one wants to spend time, money, and energy moving unwanted household items from one junk drawer to another. Going room to room and closet to closet is going to take time. Start inventorying your household items as soon as a move is discussed.
Clearing out unwanted items can also help cover some of your moving expenses. Not only will you save money by not moving unwanted items, selling unwanted items can put money in your pocket for later expenses. By taking a slow and steady approach, you can avoid becoming overwhelmed. After you declutter your home, you’ll have a good idea of how many boxes you need to move and how large a truck you need to hire or rent.
Truck Rental v. Moving Company
Hiring a moving company is a budget-breaker for some families. Most professional moving companies offer varying levels of service from simply transporting your pre-packed items from one home to another to the full service of preparing appliances, packing your boxes, transporting them, and unpacking. If you hire a moving company, you’ll want to invest in additional insurance to cover damages, losses, and delays. Moving.com offers a directory of movers that you can filter by location and service levels. Plan to get quotes from at least 3 companies as their prices can vary dramatically.
Renting a box truck and moving yourself is a more budget-friendly option for most families. Even though this method will save you money initially, you’ll need to calculate additional expenses that come with moving yourself. You may need to buy or rent a hand truck, dolly, moving blankets, and packing supplies. Since you will have to drive the moving truck, who will move your car? Car shipment services are available but expensive. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of gas for the rental truck. Fuel costs can add up quickly depending on the distance of your move.
Plan for Days Off of Work
In a perfect world you could load up your truck after work on Friday, drive Saturday, and spend the rest of the weekend unpacking in order to return the rental truck by Sunday evening. Unfortunately, most moves rarely go that smoothly. Start budgeting your PTO so that you can take days off to pack, move, and unpack without diminishing your paycheck. Other moving tasks that may require time off from work include:
- Cleaning your old house once it’s empty
- Setting up utility services at your new home
- Picking up and returning any rented moving equipment
- Signing your new mortgage paperwork or rental agreement
Collect Your Supplies
If you plan ahead, you can avoid paying for most moving supplies. Start collecting boxes from wine and liquor stores — many have stacks of empty boxes that are free for just this reason. Post a message on your local social media channel. Many people have stacks of Amazon boxes or boxes from their recent move that they are looking to share with a neighbor.
You don’t need to buy bubble wrap for most of your items. Collect free newspapers from around town to pad your items. If you start collecting early, you won’t have to awkwardly grab a stack of 50 free papers. You can also use your towels and blankets as padding for your move. Using dish towels to wrap dishes is a great way to save money and keep all the kitchen items together for easy unpacking.
A good permanent marker and some rolls of packing tape are moving purchases that you can’t avoid. Label your boxes clearly to make unloading and unpacking more efficient. Consider using different colored tape for different rooms of the house for an even more streamlined moving experience.
Keep an Eye on Children and Pets
Every parent knows that things get done much faster and with a bit less stress when the kids are out of the house. Depending on your situation, this could mean taking time off of work to start packing while the kids are at school or even hiring a babysitter to entertain the kids while you plan the logistics of the move. Don’t underestimate the need for childcare during the planning and packing phase. Hiring care or taking time off of work can increase your moving budget.
When moving day arrives, you may need extra help with your children and your pets. The doors to your home will be open all day as you, your friends, or professional movers make trip after trip in and out with boxes. Having kids and pets underfoot is going to make a long day even longer. Many pets get scared and confused during a move and may run off. If you don’t have an unused room or crate that can contain them, consider a day at doggie daycare in order to keep them safe. The ASPCA has more tips for keeping your pets safe during a move.
Enjoy Your New Home
Whether it’s a new job, new home, or new town, we hope your move is bringing with it something exciting. Moving is a stressful time for many people, but the right planning can help make things easier. If your move is coming in over budget, the local lending team at The First may be able to help with a personal installment loan. Personal loans typically offer lower interest rates that credit cards and may be the best solution for funding your move. If you have any questions about moving to Bucks County or are ready to start banking in your new hometown, give us a call. Our twelve convenient locations in Warminster, Richboro, Jamison, Langhorne, Levittown, Doylestown, Newtown, Fairless Hills, Wrightstown, Washington Crossing, and New Hope are open and ready to serve you!