Moving on a Budget? 10 Ingenious Ways to Lower Your Moving Costs

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Moving house is an expensive endeavor. Check out this blog for top tips if you’re moving on a budget and need to cut down costs wherever you can!

Did you know that on average, it costs between $2,000 and $5,000 to move over 100 miles? Additionally, it costs an average of $80 to $100 per hour for local moves if you hire two movers.

For most people, this is a lot of money.

Luckily, there are things you can do to lower your moving costs.

If you’re planning on moving on a budget, check out this guide to discover the top ways to lower your moving costs.

  1. Get Rid of Things Before Packing Up 

The more stuff you move, the more your move is going to cost. Therefore, one smart thing you can do to save money is to get rid of some things before you move.

Not only will this help you save money, but it’ll also help you enter your new place with a fresh start.

To tackle the decluttering process, we suggest going room by room and separating your things into three piles: toss, donate, or sell. If you’re having trouble figuring out which items to part with, think about the last time you made use of that item. If it’s been over a year, then it’s probably time to say goodbye.

Also, if you have stuff you’d like to donate but you don’t have a vehicle, don’t sweat it. Many charitable organizations, like Goodwill, offer free pickups for donated items.

Additionally, if you’re moving long-distance and you have cheap, heavy furniture, you should get rid of it before you move. It’s way more expensive to transport a piece of heavy furniture long-distance than it is to buy a new piece of furniture in your new location.

  1. Move On a Weekday 

While moving on the weekend may be convenient, it’s also way more expensive. The cost to hire long-distance and local movers is always higher on the weekend because this is when the majority of people move.

Therefore, if you can pull it off, we recommend moving Monday to Thursday. Additionally, try to avoid moving at the beginning of the month or the middle of the month. This is when most leases end, so moving companies tend to be extra busy during these times.

Also, it’s a good idea to avoid moving at the end of May and the beginning of September. This is another very busy time for moving companies due to college students moving in and out of their apartments and dorms.

  1. Contact Local Businesses for Boxes 

Unless you’ve made a habit of ordering extra-large items off of Amazon, you probably don’t have a bunch of big cardboard boxes lying around.

Instead of wasting money on buying cardboard boxes, we suggest contacting local businesses. Most local businesses have huge stockpiles of cardboard boxes sitting around that they’d otherwise throw away.

If you’re looking for extra-sturdy boxes for hauling heavy items, head to your local bookstore. You can also find specialty boxes from places like liquor stores, grocery stores, and schools.

Also, don’t forget to ask your workplace if they have any cardboard boxes lying around. You can also find free cardboard boxes on sites like Craigslist and Freecycle.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your packing by using things like suitcases, baskets, laundry hampers, and coolers. You can also place your hanging clothes in trash bags instead of investing in expensive wardrobe boxes.

  1. Figure Out Your Food 

Food is one of those expenses that most people don’t factor in when figuring out moving costs. But, if you don’t plan carefully, your food costs can add up very quickly.

While it may seem like a good idea to start getting rid of your food early, oftentimes, this results in spending extra money on takeout in the weeks leading up to the move.

Instead, in the few weeks ahead of your move, go through everything in your refrigerator, pantry, and freezer and try to use everything you have. If you find there are some non-perishable items in your pantry that you’ll never eat, donate these to local food banks.

We also suggest doing some meal prep in the nights leading up to the move. Having a few frozen meals ready to go will save you from the temptation to eat out every night when you’re still in transition and still unpacking your kitchen.

  1. Try a DIY Move

If you’re looking to save on moving expenses, you can consider a DIY move.

With a DIY move, you’ll pack everything into your car and make multiple trips.

When it comes to moving large items that don’t fit in your car, you may have hit up a friend with a pickup truck. Or, you can sell/donate these items and then buy new furniture once you get to your new place.

While this is one way to cut down on costs, keep in mind that it’s a lot more work to move on your own. This is why it’s usually a good idea to at least hire movers to help with big furniture. A DIY move can add stress to the moving process, something that is usually stressful enough!

  1. Get Quotes from Several Moving Companies

Sometimes, hiring a moving company is unavoidable.  If you need to hire a moving company, or if you simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of moving on your own, then you need to be smart about how you go about it.

Don’t just hire the first moving company you come across on Google. To make sure you get the most bang for your buck, you need to do your research. This means reading online reviews and customer testimonials, asking for references, and contacting moving companies for quotes.

When gathering quotes for moving companies, it’s important to understand how they charge. While some movers charge a flat rate, most charge an hourly free.

If the mover you’re considering hiring charges an hourly fee, then you need to be very smart about maximizing your time with them so you can save money. Get necessary paperwork done ahead of time, reserve the elevator if you live in an apartment, and disassemble items that won’t fit through the door in one piece.

  1. Consider a Hybrid Move 

If you want to cut down on moving costs but don’t have the means to move heavy furniture that you want to keep, then you may want to go for a hybrid move.

With a hybrid move, you’ll move all of the small items that can fit into your car. Then, a moving company will take care of larger items like couches, chairs, and beds.

This way, you’ll still be able to save some money, and you won’t have to deal with the hassle of moving big items on your own.

  1. Pack Yourself 

Most moving companies also offer packing services. However, these of course come with a fee, so packing yourself is a great way to save money.

Just make sure you pack the right way and you invest in the right packing supplies so items don’t break. Also, keep in mind that if you pack yourself and anything breaks in its box, you won’t have protection for these items.

Therefore, if you have breakables, make sure you research how to pack them before getting started. Most breakables can’t just be wrapped up in an old t-shirt. You’ll likely need to invest in bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and extra-duty tape and boxes to get the job done.

However, you can use clothing, sheets, and towels to protect items that aren’t super fragile. This way, you can save some money on bubble wrap and other moving supplies.

  1. Pack a Necessities Suitcase

You’re likely not going to get everything unpacked on the day you move in. For this reason, we recommend packing a necessities suitcase

By having a necessities box handy, you won’t feel the need to go out and buy items that you already know you have but can’t locate quite yet. Treat packing for your necessities suitcase like you’d treat packing for a weekend away.

Your suitcase should contain a few outfits to get you through the next few days, toiletries, medication, and anything else you might need.

  1. Spend the Night With Friends or Family 

If you’re moving long-distance and you need to spend the night somewhere, check with friends or family along the way before booking a hotel.

Oftentimes, driving a little bit out of the way is still cheaper than renting a hotel, as a hotel room usually costs $100+ per night. If you don’t have any friends or family members along the way, consider Airbnb, as you can often find cheaper rentals there.

Moving On a Budget: Are You Ready to Move? 

Now that you’ve read this guide on moving on a budget, it’s time to get ready for your move. By putting these tips to use, you can save hundreds of dollars on your move!

Be sure to check back in with our blog for more tips and tricks.