Your new apartment was going to be great! That is, until you found out your new roommate is a nightmare or your landlord turned out to be a real creep. You need to high-tail it out of there fast.
But life doesn’t always wait until your emergency fund is flush with cash to drop an emergency into your lap. And there’s something about moving-related emergencies that have a way of draining your accounts even faster than usual.
You may not be able to avoid hefty security deposits, especially if you’re moving on short notice. But you may be able to save some money—and a little bit of your sanity—as you’re figuring out how to get your material goods to your new digs.
Ask for help
First, take a deep breath. Then take another. “Tons of people have done a last-second move before, and millions will be doing one after you, too,” said Mike Glanz, founder of moving company comparison site HireaHelper.
He recommends posting on social media as soon as you know you need to get out of your current situation. But instead of a question, he advises posing your request for help as a statement. “Can anyone help me move on Saturday?” may be less effective than “I need help moving some boxes on Saturday. If you can lend a hand, I’d be grateful for your time,” for example.
“You’d be surprised how many people might be quick to jump in with an extra hand, some more boxes, or even to take some of your unneeded stuff off your hands,” Glanz, who’s worked in the moving industry for more than a decade, said.
If you’re lucky, a generous soul who owns a large truck will volunteer to haul you and your belongings, saving you from needing the next two tips. But in case you’re short on truck-owning friends...
Don’t just call the first movers on Google
Joe Schmo’s Moving may come up first in your frantic internet search results, but that doesn’t mean he’s the bet guy for the job. Investigate at least a few options for reserving a time slot.
Book movers for the middle of the week
If you need to move on just a few days’ notice, don’t expect moving companies to have a ton of availability, warned Glanz. “Aiming to book when the fewest moves are booked should help you land at a more economical price,” he said. “Think Tuesday or Wednesday instead of the weekend.”
The same goes for truck rentals. If you need to move on the weekend or toward the end of the month, those rental spots will be more competitive—and more expensive for you.
You may not be able to time your move during the month to avoid higher prices, but it might be worth considering calling out of work for a day to get a better price on movers or a truck rental.
If you can’t justify the cost of having movers haul every one of your personal items, consider asking them to only haul the heaviest stuff, like furniture. “You could potentially get mostly moved for as cheap as a couple hundred bucks, depending on your situation,” Glanz said.
Your quick transition to a new place likely won’t be stress-free, but doing a bit of prep work as soon as you know you need to hit the road can give you more time to focus on throwing things randomly into any box you can get your hands on packing in a calm and organised manner.