The Cheapest Ways to Pack for Your Move

We get it. Moving can be a big financial burden. Between purchasing your new home (or upfront costs for a new apartment) and having to hire a moving company, the price tag can add up. While we agree that time is money (and hiring a moving company can save you plenty of time), everyone wants to look for more ways to save on their move.

Well, here are our top tips for ways to save while packing for your move.

Pack items yourself.
While enlisting packing and unpacking services from your movers may seem lucrative, these services can be expensive. If you want to save money, simply pack your items yourself. The national average cost to hire packing services is $60 per hour per packer, which can add up to $450-$600 for labor (for a two-bedroom home).

Forgo the professional packers and pack your own items. True, it takes a lot of work and organization, but you’ll save in the long run. We recommend starting your packing journey well before the move date and spending at least a few hours each day on the task. Make sure to protect your belongings with proper packing items, such as bubble wrap. You may even want to leave your delicate items to the pros if you want them to make it through the move unscathed.

Get free moving boxes.
Speaking of packing materials, you can look for cheap boxes and materials to save even more on your move. You’ll probably need quite a few boxes to fit all of your belongings, and the cost of brand-new boxes can add up. That’s why we recommend trying to find used boxes by:

  • Asking friends or even coworkers if they have any unwanted boxes at home
  • Check websites such as Freecycle and Craigslist for anyone looking to give away moving boxes
  • Visit local retail stores during receiving hours and ask if you can take the empty boxes

You may find other packing supplies for free, such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts, by simply asking around.

Use the containers you already have.
As mentioned above, you’re going to need a lot of boxes and containers. But not all the boxes need to be cardboard! If you have other types of containers lying around the house, make good use of them. Things that you already have at home can suffice, such as:
– Suitcases, backpacks, or any kind of travel bag, heavy-duty plastic bags

  • Plastic storage containers
  • Baskets and hampers
  • Buckets and bins
  • Crates and liquor boxes, etc.

Leave non-breakable items in their drawers.
Drawers are designed to hold stuff and are typically sturdy enough to keep their contents safe during a move. What does this mean for you? Another economical packing option.

When packing, you can easily leave small, non-breakable items (such as clothes, linens, towels, office supplies, etc.) in their drawers and transport them as they are. This can cut down on the number of boxes you’ll need, as well as time and effort.

Utilize garbage bags.
No need to look down on garbage bags — they make a great alternative to packing boxes for items that aren’t fragile or breakable.

They are great for soft, lightweight items like bedding, pillows, cushions, towels, clothes, plush toys, and more. These items can safely be transported in heavy-duty trash bags that won’t tear mid-move. Plus, garbage bags are pretty cheap, so they can help you save on your move.

(Pro tip: Use clean garbage bags to move clothes on hangers. Simply pull a trash bag down over a group of hanging clothes and secure the bottom with the drawstrings or packing tape.)

Use alternative packing materials.
Some items can be safely packed with items other than your typical packing materials, like packing peanuts. While they do remain the best choice to keep your belongings free from damage, here are a few alternatives to typical packing materials:

  • Use soft towels or clothes for fragile and easily-scratched items instead of bubble wrap.
  • Store glasses and other small breakable items in socks instead of wrapping paper.
  • Line the bottoms of packing containers with old towels, sweaters, or any soft clothing instead of packing paper or bubble wrap.
  • Tear and ball up old newspapers for an alternative to packing peanuts.
  • Use balls of yarn and/or shredded paper for extra cushioning and padding.
  • Use dollar store balloons (or even small, sealable plastic bags) instead of professional packing air pillows and airbags.
  • Use home blankets instead of moving blankets.

Reuse materials.
If you’re making a local move, you can reuse some of the materials while making multiple trips to your new home. It may seem like a lot of work, but if you’re not utilizing a moving company, you can transport multiple boxes, unpack them at your new place, and bring the boxes back to refill them.

Declutter your home before the move.
While all of the above are cheap ways to save on your move, many people forget about simply decluttering their homes before moving. Go through your drawers (yes, even the junk drawer you’ve been avoiding cleaning out) and clear out any old items you no longer use or want. You never know — you may make a few bucks in the process by selling unwanted items!

Ultimately, the cheapest way to move is to do the entire move yourself. But if you’re wary about precious heirlooms or expensive items getting damaged, we suggest hiring a moving company such as Swamp Rabbit Moving. Our movers are specially trained to handle your belongings with the utmost care to ensure damage doesn’t happen. Plus, with the help of Swamp Rabbit Moving, you won’t have to drudge through multiple trips back and forth between your old house and your new house.


If you’re ready to get your move on the road, 
contact the Rabbits! We’re here to help your move go as smoothly as possible — because we hop to it in Upstate South Carolina, including Greer, Simpsonville, and Spartanburg.

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We pride ourselves in providing the best moving services, at the very best price.

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