Moving can quickly drain your energy – and your wallet. We’ve compiled a list of money saving tips you can apply to your next move to simplify your life during this busy time and reduce the stress that often accompanies relocating to a new home, whether the change is just across the street or in different state or country.

Save on packing material costs. It can be a shock to step into a packing store or Home Depot and see that small, simple cardboard boxes cost upwards of a dollar each, that bubble wrap goes for around $15, and that tape starts at $3 a short roll and adds up quickly. And the cost of hiring a mover, which is usually a must, is already high enough that you shouldn’t be spending much on supplies. Some tips to keep your spending minimal:

  • If you look hard enough, you will be able to find all the boxes you need and more for free. For example, if you work in an office, ask to keep the boxes where the printer paper comes. Apartment Therapy has a list of 8 more places you can find free boxes – just keep an eye out and plan ahead.
  • Most moving companies will allow you to return unused boxes if you bought too many, so if you’re not sure of how many you’ll need, it’s always best to buy in excess so you don’t have to do too many runs to the store.
  • Minimize the amount of boxes you need by keeping clothes or other items inside drawers. You can cover the drawers with Press’n Seal instead of duct tape to ensure they remain closed and free of tape marks. If you do buy duct tape, buy it in different colors and designate a different color for each room in your new home to make finding the items easier (and that way you also save time since you don’t have to write on each box what it contains). Mark the boxes you want to open most immediately with a red sticker so they are easier to find.
  • As much fun as popping bubble wrap is, it’s even nicer to save money which you can then use on more entertaining pastimes. So to wrap delicate and easily breakable items, use clothing, old rags, and even blankets. They will protect your items just as well while being less wasteful. Saving money and being kind to the environment? Win-win!

Tired of scavenging for boxes? If you’d rather save time than money, U-Haul has an option which might be convenient: moving kits for apartments, 1-2 bedroom homes, and students, among other options.

Time is your friend. The farther ahead you plan, the more time you have to accrue your ‘bank’ of materials and to start packing so you don’t fret last minute. A stress-free move is possible!