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Tips To Save Money on Moving Expenses

moving on a budget

Whether you’re moving across town or 1,000 miles across the country, moving can be a stressful experience. In an effort to help you save money on moving expenses, we’ve gathered some of the best advice we could find to help you on moving day and beyond.

Save Money on Moving Expenses

  • Off-season moves are often cheaper than moves during the busiest moving season (Summer) -- most people prefer to move when school is out, so you can often get cheaper rates if you move during a less busy season.
  • You can cut down on what you need to move by donating unwanted items to charity and earning a tax deduction. Some charitable organizations will even come to your house and take away donated items for free.
  • The key to making your move less expensive, stressful and chaotic is to get organized prior to the big day, stay focused throughout the move and keep a positive attitude so you don’t make rushed decisions that can cost extra.
  • Compare rates -- don’t accept the first quote you are given. It’s a good idea to get at least 3 different quotes so you have a better idea of what your options are and who has the best rates and service. Cheaper isn’t always better -- make sure you see what is and isn’t included clearly spelled out and understand how your belongings are protected in the moving process.
  • If you are moving for business purposes, consider asking your new employer to cover some of the moving costs. The answer may be no, but it could be yes as well. It’s always smart to ask!
  • Avoid paying for packing boxes! There are plenty of places to get boxes for free. You can ask for boxes at the grocery store and the liquor store, you can ask your friends or someone who has moved recently that might have hung onto their boxes. Many times you can scout out free boxes on neighborhood social sites or even sites like Craigslist. Also, make use of any storage containers you already have. Containers, hampers, drawers,  all these can serve as boxes.
  • Cut down on purchased moving supplies such as bubble wrap and packing peanuts by wrapping fragile belongings in towels, blankets, sheets, comforters and old newspapers.
  • Have items that won’t work in your new space? Sell them or give them away prior to your move. Every item you don’t pay to move is a savings for your bottom line. If you can make some extra money towards your move by selling items that you don’t need, that’s an added bonus.
  • Instead of paying someone to clean your new home and/or your old home, if possible, plan to spend a day or two cleaning your new home before you move all your possessions in. You’ll probably want to scrub down the kitchen and bathrooms, do some vacuuming, line the shelves, etc. It’s a lot easier to do all this without tons of boxes scattered around. Same goes for your old home. If you can arrange the dates to allow you a few extra days to do any needed cleaning, you’ll save yourself the money of paying a professional.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of hiring movers versus asking friends to help. If you’re moving far away and don’t know anyone, you’ll probably want to hire movers. But if you have friends in both locations, have one set help you pack everything before you leave, and the other set unload everything in your new place to minimize the impact of the ask. If you’re moving lots of valuables, it may be worth investing in professional movers who are probably insured in case of damage.
  • Look for cheaper options -- many times you can get a cheaper rate if you pack the truck yourself and then have the professional drive it and deliver it on a long distance move. It’s likely that prices will vary widely depending on your needs -- do your homework to find the solution that fits your budget best.
  • Truck rental rates may vary based on the day of the week, so you may be able to rent a moving truck for much cheaper on a Tuesday versus a Saturday. If you’re staying local, consider borrowing a truck and trailer from a friend – but always replace the gas you’ve used!

Additional helpful moving tips:

  • Keep the most important items that you’ll need first separate from stuff that can be unpacked over time. This might include some of your bathroom and kitchen essentials, bedding, or anything else you’ll need right away. You may want to put this stuff in different containers and clearly label them to distinguish it from everything else.
  • Pack a backpack or suitcase with pajamas and clothes for the next day so you don’t have to worry about finding your clothes right away.
  • Put together a box of essential items you can take with you in your car to minimize stress at your new location -- items like paper plates, paper towels, plastic utensils, disposable cups, snack foods, bathroom tissue, toothpaste and any medications you might need right away. This will help you minimize the time you spend hunting down the items you need in the first 24 hours.
  • Don’t pack up everything in your dresser drawers. To move the dresser, you’ll want to take all the drawers out anyway. Leaving the clothes in the drawers turns the drawers into makeshift boxes, so you’ll save time and space. On that line, don’t bother folding up everything in your closet. Hang clothes in the car or fold them over the seat, still on the hanger.
  • When you’re packing your items, tape any removable power cords to the back of the device to keep them together. Same goes for anything with small pieces or hardware – put them in a small bag and tape it to the item.

Do you have any tips to make moving day easier? Share them with us in the comments!

The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt.  For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.

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