Between the first month’s rent, upfront utility fees, application fees, and a security deposit, the cost of moving into a new apartment can quickly get expensive. And if you’re considering a professional moving service to help transfer you and your belongings to a new space, that comes with an additional cost: $1,250 on average if you’re moving locally, or $4,890 if you’re traveling multiple states. 

But there are plenty of creative ways to save costs and move apartments while sticking with a budget. Before you begin packing boxes and stuffing your car to the brim, check out these suggestions on how to move apartments without draining your wallet. 

Call Moving Professionals

You may think that using professional movers is way too expensive, but it pays to get a quote for how much it costs to move into an apartment. After all, most moving companies offer free quotes, so it doesn’t cost anything to ask. 

If you’re new to the area or you have lots of items, it might be worth the premium price to hire professional movers. In addition to loading, hauling, and unloading your belongings, many professional movers offer free moving materials like boxes, dollies, and packing tape, which can save you time and money. Just be sure to ask if the movers’ rates are based by the hour or on the number of rooms or boxes to be moved so you won’t be shocked by the final bill. 

Research Your DIY Options

If you do decide to move yourself, you should still need to run the numbers to find out how much it costs to move into an apartment. Do you need to rent a truck? If so, how big does it need to be? You could also look into renting out a temporary storage unit if you don’t need all your items right away. You can also consider portable storage units such as PODS or MI-BOX of Northern Virginia, which can be picked up and moved to your new apartment when you’re ready to move in. 

Get Organized 

By being organized on the front end, you’ll save a lot of time and stress when moving into your new home—and you might even realize you already have things that you don’t need to purchase upon arrival, such as kitchen gadgets or cleaning supplies. 

A good rule of thumb is to move just enough stuff that you can still comfortably. If a gadget or stack of books is gathering dust on a shelf in your old home, it will most likely do the same thing in your new place. Get rid of items you don’t need or that won’t fit into your new apartment home. Declutter, downsize and donate items when you can to save money, time and stress during your move to your new apartment. Plus, don’t forget that the IRS allows you to deduct charitable donations to nonprofits of up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income—just make sure to get a receipt. 

Search Out Cheap Packing Materials

With our modern love of online shopping and deliveries, boxes are literally everywhere. You just have to ask. Offices, retail shops, grocery stores, and even coworkers and friends could be great sources for boxes. 

As for other packing materials, you can use supplies you already have around the apartment—such as blankets, pillows, and towels—to act as a buffer between fragile items in your boxes. Use food storage containers, laundry baskets, hampers and suitcases to pack and move small, delicate items, such as dish ware, glasses, and candles. 

To speed up the move and get a hand with heavy furniture, you can consider renting a moving dolly or hand truck from a home improvement store or from the truck rental company. 

Leave the Furniture Behind 

Perhaps the cheapest, most stress-free moving option is to not have to move anything at all. 

If you’re looking to start from scratch in a new place, consider opting for a fully-furnished apartment. Fully furnished apartments include all of the furniture and many of the smaller home goods an apartment dweller needs, such as couches, dining sets, beds, and appliances. Southern Management offers three furniture packages for every taste, style, and budget. 

If you don’t want to move into a new apartment with your furniture but want your own selection of pieces in your new place, try scouring online marketplaces, garage sales, or thrift shops for unique-to-you furniture finds on a budget. 

Enjoy Stress-Free Moving with Southern Management 

Moving into a new apartment is an exciting, and yes, sometimes stressful part of life. But with these five tips and strategies, you can focus on the exciting part (hello, decorating!) and move apartments on a budget.  

If you still have questions about how much it costs to move into an apartment, reach out to the team at Southern Management. Our team of property management experts is ready and available to help you navigate your moving options. Browse our more than 2,500 apartment communities throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia, then contact us to discuss availability, pricing, and lease options.