If you're a small business owner like me, you've had to move for work at least once in your career. And, if you're like me, you crave stability, so the prospect of moving brings a host of new challenges with it. For most people my age though, moving has become the norm because it is increasingly more difficult to find clients.
Unfortunately, not having money is also becoming the norm, with school loans and the cost of living expenses. So even though each move brings the possibility for new dreams, new friends, and new clients, moving is more costly than ever- both financially and emotionally.
I have been both lucky and unfortunate to move several times for my company. Having moved from Ithaca, New York to London, UK before finally coming back to Chicago, I thought moving would make things different for my business. However, it just served to put me in debt. Adding to this stress is the fact that each new place was always a different size, which added a new set of unnecessary expenses every time. Eventually, the expenses became so stressful and costly, that when faced with the prospect of moving out of Chicago again, I had to seriously consider what I was moving from and if it was worth it for my business.
This is a question faced by most people in their 20s and early 30s because we are still trying to find ourselves. Above all though, we are looking to save what little money we have to make sure that the moving process is as painless as possible. According to Naftali Garber, Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Golan's Moving & Storage in Chicago, "Put a dollar amount on your time. And if don't have the time, outsource."
I have gotten to know Naftali over the years from using Golan's for moving my business, but he recommends using a moving company because "You're moving to a new place with a whole list of issues, the last thing you need is to actually plan the move yourself." The logic behind Naftali's view on moving companies is simple: "A little more money up front will save you money with time and energy. Don't waste your time breaking your back to save money on movers because you will pay for it later."
Of course, Naftali has a reason for selling his services, but the value of moving companies is clear. "There are several reasons that moving companies are valuable, but most of all we know how to move," Naftali explained. However, if you are going to move and you don't know exactly how to go about planning for it, Naftali has several tips on how to make the move as inexpensive as possible:
1. Don't move what you don't want: Because the cost of shipping is done per pound, the more belongings you have, the more it costs. So why pay to move items that you really don't need? One thing Naftali suggests is to hold a tag sale or sell items on Craigslist or Ebay. Or you can donate your belongings, which may help you save money because you can deduct them on your taxes.
2. If you hire movers, don't overspend: It is vital that you do not hire more movers than you need because even though 10 movers would help you move faster, it also costs more per hour. "Most moving companies will let you know how many movers you need because they don't want to waste time putting too many movers on the job," explained Naftali. "Two movers and a truck is usually all you need. Anything more than that will start to cost you money because even though a company might be cheap, most movers work on tips. So it will cost you."
3. Use the right boxes: "If you don't organize your move and pack items in the right boxes, you'll end up repacking," explained Naftali. This will drag out how long of a move you have, which will cost you more money and generally make you more exhausted.
4. Movers don't pack: Movers are there to pick things up and move them, not pack and organize.
5. Label everything: Writing the names of each item and each room on the box will make the move faster. This saves the movers time in knowing where you want the boxes to be moved. "This cuts down almost an hour off of every move," explained Naftali.
6. Disassemble everything: Typically movers do disassemble furniture and various items, but you can save time in doing it yourself, and reduce the risk of breaking the items.
7. And finally, location, location, location: Move all of your boxes and small furniture into the front rooms of your house or into your garage. That way, the movers can take the heavy things first and easily grab the lighter things at the end.
Above all though, Naftali's best advice to saving money on your move is to stay put. With Gchat, Facebook and Skype, you can keep in touch with people face to face as much as you would if you live near them. As Naftali explains it, "Wherever I am, anywhere in the world, I feel like I've never left home because I am never out of touch."