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Blog September 24, 2021

How to Save On Moving Costs – 10 Clever Ways You Can Reduce Expenses

Posted in Moving 101
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

Whether it’s a necessity or a dream come true, relocation doesn’t come cheap. Still, if you learn some tricks on how to save on moving costs, there is a chance you won’t end up without a cent on your name. And we have not one but ten tricks waiting for you to discover them. If we caught your attention, just keep reading.

If you already asked yourself, “How much money should I save up to move,” you’d know that the amount isn’t by any means small. It depends on where you are relocating to, whether you are relocating to another state alone or with a family and alike. It can go anywhere between $600 and $12,000. If you want your relocation number to be closer to the first amount, take our suggestions into consideration.

#1 Do as Much as Possible by Yourself

Getting long-distance moving services is a costly commodity. That is why many opt for a DIY relocation. That means that boxing up, loading, transportation, and all other relocation-related tasks are up to you. So, if you choose to keep more money in your pockets with a DIY approach, know that it isn’t exactly an easy option. Hiring trustworthy professionals is the best choice for a smooth and stress-free relocation. However, sometimes it simply isn’t affordable enough.

First, you must learn how to pack and disassemble furniture and other household goods. Do you want your items to survive the move? Get some relocation tips and learn about packing fragile times and other tricky objects. And when the relocation day comes, figure out the best ways to load your items in the relocation truck, so they don’t end up damaged. Does it sound simple? No? Well, because it’s not, so prepare yourself as best as you can.

With Relocation Containers, You’ll Be Even More Economical

People often calculate only the cost of renting a truck but ignore the rest, such as the price of food, gas, and accommodations. It’s all inevitable when driving the truck by yourself. However, it wouldn’t be the case if you opt for companies that rent and transport relocation containers. When you compare the prices initially, it won’t seem like it – at first sight, trucks are cheaper. Still, when you add up the previously mentioned expenses, you can see that containers are more affordable. In addition to that, wouldn’t it be nice not to drive your car all day long for a few days?

Relocation containers are great solutions when you can't pack all belongings in your car

#2 Don’t Fear Asking for Help

With the amount of work relocation brings, you don’t need to feel ashamed admitting you could use some assistance. Doing everything yourself doesn’t mean you are forbidden to call friends to come to your aid. And what is better than blackmailing and guilting your friends to assist you? After all, they’ve probably done that to you sometime in the past. And there is more than one thing they could be helpful in. Consider:

  • Letting your friends help you pack. Make a packing party and enjoy this otherwise dull task.
  • Staying with them if they happen to live on the route to your future home.
  • Making them your pet and child sitters when the relocation day comes.
two girls Want to spice your relocation up? A packing party is an answer

#3 Know How to Choose a Reliable Long-Distance Moving Company

If you deem it too much work and want to hire professionals, know that there are still many ways to be economical. So, how can moving costs be reduced when hiring long-distance movers? For starters, you need to learn how to get the best cross-country moving services. If you become a victim of relocation scams, it will bleed you dry. When choosing a relocation company, ensure to:

  • See the company’s reviews and recommendations on different websites and BBB,
  • Check their insurance and license status on FMCSA by using the DOT number,
  • Never pay with cash because that kind of transaction is hardly traceable,
  • Don’t agree on enormous deposits,
  • Widen your pool – look for several different estimates,
  • Be careful with suspiciously cheap quotes – they won’t always end up as cheap. Some companies operate by luring you in with smaller quotes but later charge additional services,
  • Read the contract carefully – ensure there won’t be any unexpected charges.

Is Saving Money While Hiring Cross-Country Movers Possible?

This may seem like a paradox, but it’s not impossible as it looks. If you opt for more than one service from one company, it may provide you with a discount. Do you want to transport cars across the state? The cost of hiring relocation services combined with auto transport could be a lot less than you initially thought. The same goes with storage service – some companies will include it in their quote. That means you can utilize storage units for a certain period for free. Some saving it is!

Check how much your move would cost Free Quote

#4 Don’t Move in the Peak of the Season

West Coast movers, as well as East Coast movers, have more work from May to September. That results in higher prices during these months. So, when getting organized to move, plan your dates right and choose the best time of the year to move! Avoid the peak of the season, and you are most likely to meet lower quotes. In addition to that, know that companies also tend to charge less on mid-week and mid-month dates. That’s when their job demand is also lower. Ensure to exploit it wisely.

About 70% of relocations occur during the summer months, which is why relocating in winter is cheaper

#5 Saving Money While Packing

If you opt against getting packing services, the whole process will be up to you. Simultaneously, it means that you’ll be able to do some penny-pinching, especially when it comes to choosing packing materials. You’ll be able to choose cheap supplies or even get some free ones. Think of the boxes, for example. There are numerous places to seek the used ones that will be available to you without a cost, such as:

  • Your storage spaces – attics, basements, and garages usually hide a box or two that could be useful to you,
  • Friend’s houses – ask to see if they have some spare ones,
  • Your office,
  • Local stores – liquor stores, retails and restaurants probably don’t know what to do with all the boxes they get daily,
  • Websites such as Freecycle – find people who want to get rid of their relocation supplies as much as you want to get them.

Don’t Pack What You Won’t Use

People never utilize more than half of all items they have. Are you one of those? Decluttering your house will enable you to move efficiently but also manage relocation costs better. Keep in mind that reputable relocation companies determine their quotes based on the weight of your inventory. The less you have with you, the lower the final price will be. So, when making a packing list, carefully consider what not to pack. Remember that not all of your belongings are worth keeping, and let it be your mantra.

Donate or Sell Unwanted Items Before Moving

Decisions on what to do with things you no longer want can also be beneficial to your budget. Host a garage sale or post your unwanted stuff online to earn extra few bucks. On the other hand, donating surely should always come from your willingness to aid others. However, it could also be beneficial for your wallet when tax season comes. Ensure to save donations receipts and later claim a deduction on your taxes.

Make the Most of What You Already Have

So, you purged your stuff and got the boxes. What’s next? You need to pack your belongings carefully. Using paper or bubble wrap is most likely to keep them damage-free, but they are not necessary for every item you possess. For those less valuable belongings on your household inventory list, try using homemade wrapping materials. Newspapers, linens, towels, rugs can all be used as good wrapping and padding supplies. Also, if you find yourself having few boxes too little, be creative. Utilize laundry hampers, plastic containers, and decorative baskets as a substitute replacement. If you are curious to find out more relocation hacks regarding the boxing up process, don’t miss watching the following video:

YouTube video

#6 See If Your Moving Costs Are Deductible

Once upon a time, everyone could have claimed tax deduction on their relocation expenses. However, after 2018 it is no longer a possibility for many Americans. Nevertheless, if you are a part of the military, for example, this option still exists. Also, some states haven’t accepted the federal suspension, such as Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, and so on. Do your best to find out if you’re eligible for it. You lose nothing if you try and realize it’s not possible, but what if it is? It’s worth a shot.

#7 Learn How to Save Money on Moving Costs When Relocating for Work

If you are relocating for work, one of the most important questions to ask your employer will be about relocation packages. Some companies have a policy to pay relocation and accommodation costs for employees. So, if your company is relocating a business to another state or sending you to another office across the country, ask if reimbursement is an option. Know that with it, you shouldn’t feel any financial consequences from the relocation.

If your relocation is work-related, all of the expenses might be already covered

#8 Coordinate Relocation and Utility Shut Down Dates

So you don’t end up paying your utility bills one month more than needed, ensure to transfer utilities on time. And while you’ll need electricity and water until the day of your move, are your internet and cable necessary until the relocation date? Cancel them a few weeks before, so you don’t end up paying the whole month for something you won’t utilize.

#9 Ship Books Separately From Other Items

Even if you don’t like reading, you are very likely to have a few books around your home. And if you are a bookworm, the number can go to several dozens or even hundreds. With all the weight they bring, one of the things to consider when relocating to another state is what to do with them. If they don’t mean a lot to you, gift, sell or donate them. However, if you are determined to move them, ship with USPS and its Media Mail Service. It offers a reasonable shipping price for educational materials, so it’s an excellent way to reduce relocation costs.

Books are good for your mind, but not for your finances when the relocation comes

#10 Carefully Consider What You Need for Your New Home

You probably already started imagining what your new home will look like. If it’s the case, know that you are stepping into a dangerous zone. You are just one step before searching through the Ikea website and impulsively buying all that will look good in your new space. If you catch yourself doing it, stop, or you’ll make some of the most common relocation mistakes. Let buying be one of those things to do after the move. By then, you’ll know how much you can spend and not go broke, but you’ll also have a better picture of things you actually need. If needed, create a new apartment checklist and try sticking to it.

If you see signs of compulsory purchasing, learn to restrain yourself

Learn How to Save on Moving Costs Now So You Won’t Have to Stress Tomorrow

No matter if you simply want to spend less or you don’t have a choice, there is no doubt that the suggestions we made above will help you achieve it. Whether you utilize all of them or just pick the ones you like, you’ll breathe a little easier after the move. You don’t have a hefty budget to make a relocation successful. Apply what we recommended, and you’ll soon see the truth in it.

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