I love freebies and prefer — if possible — not to spend money on activities like moving. Moving causes enough stress, you do not need to make it a financial burden as well. Here are some of my favorite free moving resources.
Boxes and Packing Paper: Begin by checking out the recycling center on the nearest installation or contact your local chamber of commerce for information about the recycling center's policy on giving away "gently used" boxes. For my last move I was able to get all my boxes and packing paper for free from the installations recycling center! You can also ask local grocery stores, convenient stores, etc., for their boxes. Often, they will give them to you at no cost. If you cannot find used moving supplies, begin saving your newspapers to use as packing paper. You can also use around the house stuff (napkins, towels, blankets) to wrap your breakable goods in lieu of renting blankets from a moving company.
Get Back Your Security Deposit: Many renters simply assume they will lose their security deposit. In most cases, however, you deserve some of this money back. If you are a good tenant, someone who is respectful of the property and the owners, there is no reason you should not receive part — if not all — of your security deposit back.This extra
cash can help take the financial whammy off of any unavoidable moving expenses.
Do Not Move Unnecessary Items: Instead, make a few dollars selling them. Start your spring cleaning off with a purge. Get rid of items you no longer use in a garage sale, sell them online or simply donate them. The less "stuff" you have to move, the less expensive the move will be.
Utilize Family Support Groups: For Navy, the fleet and family services center offers a multitude of free services in their Relocation Assistance Program (RAP). They provide worldwide relocation information, workshops for CONUS and OCONUS moves, welcome aboard packages and command indoctrination briefs. This site helps you find your specific installation and the any assistance programs that it may offer.
Please share with us (in the comments) ways you have saved money during a move. Some of the greatest tips come from those who have just moved or managed a permanent change of station.