Whether you handle your move yourself or hire a moving company, moving is expensive. In fact, a recent Home Bay survey of 1,000 Americans found that among those who are unhappy with their location, 52% can't afford to move.
But whichever path you choose, you can save a lot of money with a little strategic planning. Keep reading to learn some good ways to cut your moving costs.
Tip #1: Manage Your Own Move
The easiest way to way to save money is to manage your move yourself. Here are some specific ways you can save some cash:
- Do your own packing.
- Seek out low or no cost moving supplies (e.g., leftover Xerox boxes from work, supermarkets, Craigslist, etc.)
- Buy lightly used packing boxes.
- Reduce the number of boxes you need by putting smaller items inside larger one.
- Use magazines and newspapers instead of bubble wrap or packing peanuts.
- Use your own blankets, rags, linens, old socks, etc., as packing materials.
- Keep an eye out for moving supplies at garage sales and thrift stores.
- Load up on deeply discounted cleaning supplies from your local dollar store.
- Enlist volunteers - Instead of hiring movers, ask friends or family members to help you move.
- If your move is long-distance, spend the night at a friend’s house instead of paying for a room.
- Moving is time-intensive. Enlist a family member or friend to babysit, instead of paying a sitter.
- Ask a friend to watch your pet(s) on moving day, instead of putting them in a kennel.
- Order pizza or other cheap eats that feed a lot of people for your helpers.
- If you’re planning to rent a moving truck, call the 800 number to try to negotiate on price. - You can ask them to match a competitor’s price or to match other promos you’ve seen.
- If you’re moving into a rental or hotel, consider ways to save on storage: - Price PODS and similar storage container moving solutions. Uhaul also has a similar service.
- Avoid parking tickets. Get any required parking permits for unloading your moving truck(s).
Tip #2: Do Your Research — and Start Early
- If you decide to use a moving company, go online and start doing your research early. That will give you plenty of time to follow up, clarify details of agreements, and firm up plans. Here are a few tips:
- Get bids from at least three moving companies.
- Compare rates, services included, charges for additional services, guarantees, insurance coverage, contract details, etc..
- Check a reference or two, if possible.
- Contract with movers who offer a fixed price and time frame, vs. those who work based on an estimate.
- Get all agreements with the movers in writing in advance.
- If you’re moving very far, confirm with your moving company that there are no fuel sub-charges.
- If you need a truck and storage space, look for a package deal.
- Move during off-peak moving season and days–winter, mid-month, and mid-week.
Tip #3: Don't Move Everything You Currently Own
- Here are a few additional ways to get rid of excess stuff and make some cash that will offset moving costs:
- Measure your new spaces and sell any furniture that won’t fit. Use the cash to help cover moving costs.
- Get rid of big, heavy unused items, like exercise equipment.
- Think carefully about appliances, especially if they’re older. It may be more economical to replace them.
- Go to the bank and exchange any heavy coin money you have for lightweight cash.
- Gain some cash to offset costs, and streamline your lifestyle, all-at-once, by having a yard sale.
- Donate any canned foods, clothing, furniture, etc. that you no longer need, and claim tax deductions.
- Sell your used boxes after your move. (Try Box Cycle, or Container Exchange, among others).
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