How to Move Quickly on a Budget | Sell Now Iowa™

Moving in a hurry on a tight budget can be stressful. But it can be done. Whether you need to get rid of extra furniture or need help moving, there are budget-friendly options out there if you know where to look. Here are some suggestions for how to move quickly on a budget.

Fun fact: When you sell your house to Sell Now Iowa, we don’t care what furniture or other items you leave behind. If you don’t want ’em, leave ’em! We’ll take care of it from there.

First things first

Don’t panic

You got this. Accept your circumstances. Take a deep breath and dive in. Think of the move as a fresh start, a way to hit the reset button on your life. Don’t waste time or energy dwelling on everything you need to do. Take it day by day, one step at a time.

Make a plan

Your list is your friend. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t write it down, it doesn’t get done. Plus, there’s great satisfaction in checking off items on a list.

Sit down and make a list of what you need to do. List phone calls you need to make, moving arrangements that need to be worked out, and then put your list in order of most important to least important. Delegate what you can and work down your list.  

Get rid of stuff you don’t need or want

There’s no sense in moving things you no longer need or use. Get rid of anything and everything you don’t need for your next place. Be relentless and do a massive declutter. Though it’s a little upfront work, you’ll thank yourself on moving day.

Overwhelmed? Take it room by room. Enlist help. Set a timer and see how much you can get done 15 minutes at a time. Grab a bag or a box and start clearing out!

How to get rid of unwanted furniture

  • Donate it to a non-profit agency. Be respectful and only donate furniture that’s clean and functional. You can deliver items to thrift store locations, or check to see if they have free pick up. If you donate to a nonprofit and get a receipt, your donation will be tax deductible.

The Salvation Army has a free pick-up option. Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK for free pick up. If you’re unsure if they want your item(s), make sure you ask when you schedule the pick-up, so you don’t waste their time – and yours!. (They sometimes pick up used appliances and vehicles – be sure to ask first.)

  • Local theaters. High school productions sometimes need props. Call local community theaters to ask what their needs are.
  • Craigslist. If you have decent items and a little time, consider selling them for some extra cash (to help pay for the move). Otherwise, use the “Free” option on Craigslist to get rid of your items quickly.
  • Freecycle. The Freecycle Network is a non-profit site where every item listed is free (with the goal of keeping items out of the landfill).
  • Facebook Marketplace. Similar to Craigslist, the Facebook Marketplace allows you to list items for sale (or for free) with no charge for your listing.
  • “Free” sign on the curb. Putting your items out on the curb with a “Free” sign can be useful if you have enough traffic in your neighborhood. Be aware of local ordinances and laws to avoid fines.

How to get rid of unwanted appliances

Check your local waste collection company for options. Also, check with local scrap metal and used appliance dealers.

In the Des Moines and surrounding areas, check out these resources:

  • Metro Waste Authority has a list of ways to recycle your old appliances. Note that most of the recycling programs charge a small fee.
  • MidAmerican Energy’s Appliance Recycling Program is a way to get rid of air conditioners, freezers, and refrigerators and make a small amount of money through their rebate program. They’re usually scheduled out a few weeks, so plan for this.

Where to find free moving boxes

  • Check UHaul’s Customer Connect site to see if there are any free boxes available in your area.
  • Ask friends that have recently moved
  • Ask stores for their extra boxes
  • Check out the dumpsters of stores (liquor stores have sturdy boxes with handles)
  • Check Freecycle and Craigslist
  • Ask at office buildings
  • Check apartment buildings’ dumpster or recycling area (where there is probably someone moving in or out all the time)

Instead of packing paper, use newspapers and magazines, coffee filters, or even towels and clothing, napkins, and sheets.

Where to get free help moving

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you can’t handle moving by yourself. Check with family and friends to see if they can help. Local churches and other organizations may lend a hand too. If you have a community agency you’re working with, check with them. Sometimes it takes asking around to find someone to help.

Find help moving by:

  • Putting a message out on social media asking for help
  • Asking your local church for help
  • Bartering or trading for moving help (Maybe you have a lawn mower or other large item you don’t need that you can trade for help. Or maybe you have mechanical skills and can repair someone’s car in exchange for help moving. Get creative! Facebook and Craigslist are good places to offer up your trade.)
  • Asking community organizations (Youth groups at schools, colleges, and community organizations are good places to ask. You can sweeten the deal by offering food and drinks on moving day.)
  • If you’re a veteran, check with your local veteran’s office to see if help is available in your area.

If you find yourself in an urgent situation and need to get help finding a place to move, call 211 to get reach local community services that can help you out.