get rid of clutter http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12886/all en-US 10 Ways to Save on a Long-Distance Move http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-on-a-long-distance-move <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-on-a-long-distance-move" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_moving_truck.jpg" alt="Woman with a moving truck" title="Woman with a moving truck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our family launched this summer by packing up our three kids and two cats and relocating from Chicago to the San Francisco Bay Area. Every step of the way, we strove to guard our limited financial and temporal resources without overtaxing our stamina. We saved money on our move, but we could have saved more. Here are the lessons we learned. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-save-on-a-move?wbref=readmore">9 Ways to Save on a Move</a>)</p> <h3>1. Consider Hiring a Driver Directly</h3> <p>Did you know that moving companies typically subcontract long-distance jobs to drivers, who in turn hire their own moving crew? You can save a chunk of the usual moving cost if you can directly hire a driver who has his (or her)&nbsp;own truck. You won't have the customer service agent from the moving company office, and your driver may not offer to insure your belongings like the moving company would, but you should save money.</p> <p>How to find a qualified driver? Check Yelp and Craigslist, and ask around. We hired our driver through a big company, but now that we have his contact information and since we liked working with him, if we or friends ever have to make a long-distance move again, we could just call him directly.</p> <h3>2. Drive Yourself</h3> <p>With three kids and two cats to transport &mdash; plus all their stuff &mdash; we couldn't pull off driving a huge moving truck across the country. But lots of people do it. Choose a company that rents trucks for one-way trips, such as <a href="http://www.pensketruckrental.com/">Penske</a>, and make sure you take into consideration the time lost from your regular job while working as a temporary truck driver. If you have to use four vacation days, how much are those worth to you? Or if you are moving to take a new job and self-moving delays your start date, take that into account too.</p> <p>If you go this route, check out Meg's post, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-know-when-renting-a-moving-truck">What to Know When Renting a Moving Truck</a>.</p> <h3>3. Get Free Moving Boxes</h3> <p>People always say you should collect cardboard boxes from stores, but personally I prefer to use boxes designed for moving. And they can usually be acquired for free. We got our boxes at no extra charge by stopping by the office of the moving company we were using &mdash; new boxes cost money, but used boxes were free to customers. You can also pick up free moving boxes from people who have just moved. Just post on your local Freecycle group or Craigslist.</p> <h3>4. Get Rid of Stuff</h3> <p>Between our movers' first estimate and our final weigh-in, we cut a whopping $1,000 off the price of our move. How did we do this? By driving six carloads of stuff to the thrift store and Freecycling and selling a bunch of other items.</p> <p>We could have saved time and even more money if we had arranged for the thrift store to pick our things up from our house. Our biggest blunder in this area was our couch. Because it was a decent couch and I held out hope of selling it at the last minute on Craigslist, I failed to arrange a thrift store pickup. We ended up putting the couch in the alley, and then scrap metal collectors tore it apart and our town's large-object pickup trash service failed to pick it up, so we ended up having to pay a junk collector to haul it away. Sad. But we still came out ahead in the end.</p> <p>Also see my post on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-rid-of-stuff-frugally">getting rid of junk frugally</a>.</p> <h3>5. But Don't Get Rid of Too Much Stuff</h3> <p>You really need to know how much, per pound, your movers are charging you. A good mover can help you estimate how much any given item would cost to move. For instance, we thought of getting rid of our chest freezer because of its size, but the mover helped us figure out that it would cost more to buy a new one than it would to move it.</p> <p>I probably made the right decision by abandoning bottles of laundry detergent and window cleaner back in Illinois, but now that I am in California and haven't found any good deals to stock up on that stuff, I kind of wonder if I shouldn't have brought my stash.</p> <h3>6. If You Need Help Packing, Hire Amateurs</h3> <p>We were lucky enough to get help packing from friends and relatives. But in retrospect, I would have hired more help because by moving day we were not finished. Things were chaotic, and because I was still packing instead of supervising the move, lots of stuff got put on the truck that was supposed to be left behind. (Like my bag of clothes to wear on the road trip and a kid's bike I had already sold on Craigslist. Oops! I had to email the buyer with a quick apology.)</p> <p>I should have tapped local teenagers or our babysitter, all of whom charge more modest hourly rates than professional movers. It doesn't take a pro to box non-breakable things, like clothing.</p> <h3>7. Don't Make It More Work Than It Has to Be</h3> <p>Time = money, especially if you have to hire help. Ask your movers if you can move dressers with the clothes in them. Pack the clothes from your closet still on the hangers. You'll thank yourself when you reach your destination and can quickly rehang all those clothes in your new closet. Label your moving boxes <em>on the side</em>. When the movers stack them up in your new house, you won't know what the heck is in them if you label the tops only.</p> <p>For more tips on planning the packing, see <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pack-up-your-house-tips-for-saving-money-and-sanity-on-a-move">Pack Up Your House: Tips for Saving Money (and Sanity) on a Move</a>.</p> <h3>8. Ask: Is It Really Worth It to Move Your Car?</h3> <p>If you are not driving yourself to your destination, you can ship your car across the country for around $1,000, according to <a href="http://www.shipanycar.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-ship-a-car.php">ShipAnyCar.com</a>. But should you? That depends on how long you foresee keeping said vehicle once you arrive.</p> <p>Because our family had pretty much outgrown our 13-year-old car, we opted to sell it before moving.</p> <p>You can also pay someone else to drive your car to your destination, or look for someone who is willing to drive it for free, but I would be leery of that. For one thing, you'll need to add up the cost of the wear and tear to your car and the gas. You'll have to make sure that your insurance or the driver's insurance will cover the car. It seems to me if you don't want to drive it to transport your family, shipping it would be a better deal.</p> <h3>9. Pick the Right Way to Move Yourself</h3> <p>If we had only considered the cost to get from point A to point B, we probably would have flown our family from Chicago to California. Airfare would have been about $1,700 for five people and two cats.</p> <p>However, we decided that we wanted to grab this opportunity for a grand family road trip vacation. After all, it was going to take some time for our stuff to get to our new home &mdash; we had the movers come just before a holiday weekend, and it was more than a week before they dropped it at our new house. We rented a minivan for a month &mdash; $1,400 &mdash; which gave us the advantage of having a vehicle for shopping trips to furnish our new home in the first few weeks. (We didn't end up buying a new car right away.) Our gas, hotel stays, and campsites were reimbursed by the company relocation package. And along the way, we took in the Laura Ingalls childhood home site in Walnut Grove, Minnesota; the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota; Badlands National Park; and Yellowstone National Park.</p> <p>The agony of moving day faded from our memories day by day, as we heard the kids ooh and ah over a mud volcano at Yellowstone and watched them ride a pony across the Western prairie just like Laura Ingalls did.</p> <p>Did driving cost less than flying? Nope. Was it worth it? In this case, definitely!</p> <h3>10. If You Are Moving for Work, Find Out Which Parts of Your Move Are Tax Deductible</h3> <p><a href="http://www.holmanmoving.com/moving-guide/how-to-manage-your-lump-sum-employee-relocation-package.aspx">Homan Moving Systems</a> has some quick tips about this, but you really need to consult an accountant. Whether or not you are being reimbursed for relocation expenses, you are going to want to keep your receipts from all your moving bills, transportation, hotel stays, and meals, because some moving expenses are tax deductible. But not all moving expenses are treated equally under tax law. For instance, we learned that our corporate relocation funds could be put toward the closing costs of the new home we bought &mdash; but if we used it for this purpose, it would be taxable. So we made sure to claim every expense from the trip before taking a disbursement for closing costs.</p> <p>This is not tax advice, because I'm no expert. Talk to an accountant or consult the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc455.html">moving expenses section of IRS.gov</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-on-a-long-distance-move">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-ways-to-scare-off-potential-homebuyers">10 Dumb Ways to Scare Off Potential Homebuyers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-moving-expenses">5 Unexpected Moving Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-your-electric-bill-with-solar-panels">Cut Your Electric Bill With Solar Panels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Real Estate and Housing budget moving get rid of clutter long distance Fri, 06 Jul 2012 10:36:09 +0000 Carrie Kirby 938564 at http://www.wisebread.com Eliminate Junk Mail With the Click of a Button http://www.wisebread.com/eliminate-junk-mail-with-the-click-of-a-button <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eliminate-junk-mail-with-the-click-of-a-button" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/junk_mail.jpg" alt="Mailbox with junk mail" title="Mailbox with junk mail" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On a good day, I&rsquo;ll see a postcard from my dentist, two magazines, and a freelance check in my mailbox. On a bad one, I&rsquo;ll be inundated with phone books, flyers, credit card offers, and even a fake certificate for 20% off a custom-made hearing aid. Generally, I&rsquo;ll dump the unwanted mailings &mdash; or &ldquo;junk&rdquo; mail &mdash; into my recycling bin before I even get into the house. But what if there was a way to easily access the mailing order for these items online and stop them before they get to me? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/magazines-for-free-or-cheap">Magazines for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <p>You might already know about some of the more basic tips for killing mailbox clutter, but did you know about all of them?</p> <h2>1. Sign Up to Get Less</h2> <p>Go to the <a href="https://www.dmachoice.org/">Direct Marketing Association&rsquo;s website</a> and sign up for their services. You could potentially reduce up to 80% of your junk mail by notifying them of each piece of mail you receive that you would rather not.</p> <h2>2. Opt Out</h2> <p>Be careful when you fill out forms for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sweeping-101-what-the-real-winners-know">sweepstakes</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-really-free-freebies">freebies</a>, or more information on products you know and love. Look for language on the form (usually at the bottom) that lets you know if you will be signing up for mailers, including emails. There should be a box to check or uncheck to remove yourself from further communications. Make sure you indicate your preferences.</p> <h2>3. Cut Credit Offers</h2> <p>Address issues with unsolicited &ldquo;preapproved&rdquo; credit offers by going directly to the company that could remove your name and credit info from the lists sent out to companies. <a href="https://www.optoutprescreen.com/">OptOutPrescreen.com</a> is the place to go to sign up for a five-year or even a lifetime halt to having your info circulated. While it will take time to see a reduction in offers, it can eventually put a dent in the junk mail.</p> <h2>4. Challenge Charities</h2> <p>Yes, they can do good things.They can also place a combined total of 2-10 phone calls a day to the average household! If charity request phone calls are driving you batty (and the accompanying solicitation mail pieces feel wasteful and intrusive), use this <a href="http://www.charitywatch.org/articles/fundraising.html">&ldquo;fundraising reduction notice&rdquo;</a> to alert charities that you will be glad to continue sending gifts (if you already do), but don&rsquo;t need the extra communication.</p> <h2>5. Cull Catalogs</h2> <p>Big, thick catalogs and those unnecessary phone book mailings are the worst offenders to your cramped mailbox (and the environment). Get proactive with the next batch of unwanted mailings by signing up with <a href="http://www.catalogchoice.org/">Catalog Choice</a>. They can do a search by ZIP code or company name to find out what mass mailings are being delivered to all the mailboxes in your area, then help you to say &ldquo;no.&rdquo; They can also give you the tools to reject future mailings from virtually any company as well. (Their efforts to reduce waste <a href="https://www.catalogchoice.org/communities">by community</a> are impressive.)</p> <p>While you&rsquo;re waiting around for your efforts to pay off &mdash; with a reduction in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-whats-in-your-envelope">unnecessary packaging</a> and a big break for the mail carrier &mdash; why not check out these additional resources? You can find more info on the process of cutting clutter in the mailbox at <a href="http://www.ecocycle.org/junkmail/index.cfm">Ecocycle.org</a> and revisit some ways to unsubscribe by the good, old-fashioned telephone and postal mail in Nora's take on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-yourself-from-mailing-lists-and-eliminate-junk-mail">reducing mailings</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eliminate-junk-mail-with-the-click-of-a-button">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-ban-spam-and-stop-junk">3 Ways to Ban Spam and Stop Junk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-refill-an-ink-cartridge-with-a-small-piece-of-tape">How to refill an ink cartridge with a small piece of tape</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Organization Technology get rid of clutter junk mail postal service Mon, 27 Jun 2011 09:48:47 +0000 Linsey Knerl 592319 at http://www.wisebread.com Clutter-Free: The Zero-Accumulation Household http://www.wisebread.com/clutter-free-the-zero-accumulation-household <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/clutter-free-the-zero-accumulation-household" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/less_is_more_backgrounda.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We swim in a sea of objects every day. Malls, websites, garage sales, friends, and family all deliver to our doors entire catalogs of new and used &mdash; stuff. We accumulate things we need and things we don&rsquo;t. Over time, our homes become showcases of surplus and we just let the stockpiling continue. But freedom from the stresses of too much can be found in just one simple goal: become a zero-accumulation household. Follow the four steps below and feel your mental space grow as you become clutter-free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toss-it-or-not-5-organizational-tips-from-a-chronic-clutter-bug">Toss It or Not? 5 Organizational Tips from a Chronic Clutter Bug</a>)</p> <h3>1. Be Immediate</h3> <p>When we bring something new into our home, it&rsquo;s on a kind of &lsquo;trial period&rsquo; as we adjust to it, fit it into our routine, or simply remember we own it. After the adjustment period ends, the item has either become integrated into our life, or it&rsquo;s been rejected. Maybe that new pair of shoes make your arches sore, or the new bike is slightly too small and uncomfortable. Typically, we keep the items around anyway, in some constant hopeful state that the reality will change &mdash; the shoes will correct themselves, we&rsquo;ll shrink to fit the bike, etc. Meanwhile, we buy a more comfortable pair of shoes, a bigger bike, and our personal inventories grow.</p> <p>But what if we operated under no such delusions? When it was clear the shoes were torture devices, we returned them if we could, sold them on eBay, or donated them to charity? What if the bike was promptly put on Craigslist? What if we were ruthless and immediate in refusing to own anything that we couldn&rsquo;t use? What would our homes look like then?</p> <h2>2. Embrace Multifunction</h2> <p>Wouldn&rsquo;t it be great if every new item we bought was truly multifunctional &mdash; making two or three other objects that we already own obsolete? A well-designed hamper that&rsquo;s also a laundry basket, a <a href="http://www.oxo.com/p-253-luau.aspx">rechargeable nightlight</a> that&rsquo;s also a flashlight and camping light, an <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40134106">end-table</a> with a detachable tray top for serving &mdash; all examples of multi-purpose items that are designed with clutter-busting in mind. Shop with multifunction in mind and purge what these objects cleverly replace.</p> <h3>3. Don&rsquo;t Just Accumulate &mdash; Coordinate</h3> <p>We spend more time parking our car at the store than thinking about why we&rsquo;re there in the first place. From clothes to furniture, we&rsquo;re tempted by delicious and novel &lsquo;one-offs&rsquo; &mdash; items that are attractive but don&rsquo;t coordinate with what we already own or fit into our larger goals. It&rsquo;s a pitfall of a society that has too much stuff to offer and consumers who have too little time to think. Personal styles get muddled, homes become a mash-up of things that looked great in the showroom but don&rsquo;t quite fit in at home.</p> <p>Step back. Take a 30 or 60-day sabbatical from buying and truly decide what you need and then begin looking for just the right thing. Examine your wardrobe &mdash; what clothes work together and how can you get more versatility out of fewer items? It&rsquo;s not nearly the adrenaline charge that spontaneous buying can be, but what you end up with will probably be more classic, of higher-quality, and less prone to the &ldquo;back of the closet&rdquo; syndrome.</p> <h3>4. Follow the One-In-One-Out Rule</h3> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve discovered your &lsquo;golden mean&rsquo;, defend it ruthlessly. For every new item you bring home, say goodbye to another. You can approach this literally and exchange similar things (old shirt for new shirt, old TV for new TV) or you can mix and match &mdash; old pair of shoes for new shirt, old set of dishes for new toaster oven. Donate it, sell it, set it on the curb &mdash; just make sure that for every object coming in, one is heading out.</p> <p>In the end, saying &lsquo;no&rsquo; is the best method of reducing clutter and becoming conscious of what we bring into our lives and why. As we all swim against the tide of too much stuff, hold on tightly to that little life preserver called &ldquo;Enough.&rdquo;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clutter-free-the-zero-accumulation-household">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-closet-ready-for-summer-with-these-5-hacks">Get Your Closet Ready for Summer With These 5 Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/organize-a-room-for-10-with-no-extra-effort">Organize a Room for $10 with No Extra Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories">9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization clutter get rid of clutter Thu, 10 Mar 2011 13:00:20 +0000 Kentin Waits 502134 at http://www.wisebread.com