There are quite a few expenses when it comes to moving your home and knowing what to budget for when moving is important.
The good news is that means there are also a lot more chances to save money on the cost of moving.
If you’re looking for tips on how to save money to move, you’ve come to the best place. Our team at Moversville has compiled a great resource of all the areas of the moving process where you can save money.
We have also neatly organized our saving money tips into each step of the moving process.
Don’t Move What You Don’t Use
The more items you have, the more it’s going to cost to move. In this section we’re going to go over all the areas you can save money by knowing what to move and what not to move.
1. Toss, Donate, or Sell Items You No Longer Want
If you’re looking to save money on a move, you’re going to have to consider getting rid of items you no longer need.
Whether you are moving long distance or locally, the more items you have the more the move is going to cost. Make sure to get rid of, sell, or donate as much stuff as possible if you want to save money on your move. Here are a few charities that offer free donation pickup that will help you get rid of things you no longer need.
If you’re moving long distance, consider getting rid of all your heavy cheap furniture. If you do the math, you’ll find that buying inexpensive furniture at your destination will likely be less money than moving your heavy cheap furniture.
2. Make Everything You Have In Your Pantry, Freezer, & Refrigerator
When coming up on the final weeks of your move date, go through your pantry, freezer and refrigerator and use everything you have. This will help you save money on food costs leading up to the move day as well as help you get rid of the food you already have.
3. Donate The Rest Of Your Food To A Local Food Bank
If you have non perishable food leftover that you’ll never eat, donate it to a local food bank. Or, if your moving company is partnered up with Move For Hunger, they’ll take the items for you. In any case, you want to move the least amount of food as possible.
How To Save Money When Packing For A Move
In this section, we’re going to go over all the areas you can save money during the packing stage of the moving process. If you really want to know how to save on moving costs, this is where most of it will happen.
4. Start Early
The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to gather cheap or free moving supplies. You’ll also have more time to get rid of things you don’t need to move. Many expenses during the moving process come from last-minute purchases due to unpreparedness.
5. Know Where To Get Packing Supplies
Buy packing supplies like tape, mattress bags, tape guns, and packing paper on Amazon.
Buy your normal moving boxes at Home Depot or Lowe’s. These department stores sell really cheap regular boxes but charge a lot for other packing supplies.
Ask your moving company if they let you use wardrobe boxes on moving day. Wardrobe boxes are very expensive in the department stores and some movers offer free use of wardrobe boxes on moving day.
If you are moving yourself, use your blankets to protect your furniture. If you are hiring a moving company, you won’t have to worry about the supplies needed to protect your furniture.
6. Find Free Boxes & Packing Supplies On Craigslist, Offerup, or Letgo
Even better than buying new boxes is looking on sites like Craigslist, Offerup, or Letgo for people trying to get rid of their old boxes for free.
If you start looking on these sites early enough before your move date, you’ll have a lot of time to accumulate all the free boxes you need for your move.
7. Pack Yourself
Packing yourself is the best way to save money on moving costs. The more you’re packed up and ready to go, the less time it will take movers to move your things.
Movers will offer packing services as well, but if you do it yourself, you can save a lot of money. Just be sure you pack the right way to avoid your items being broken.
If you do pack yourself, you won’t have any protection if anything breaks in those boxes, so be sure you learn how to properly pack your breakables.
8. Use What You Have Already
There’s no sense in buying packing materials if you already have some. Consider using your old amazon boxes or collecting packing materials like markers before you go out and purchase anything.
9. Use Linens, Sheets, & Towels To Pack Items
Instead of buying loads of packing paper, use your linens, sheets, and towels to wrap and protect some items (not dishes, plates or bowls).
You will have to use packing paper for your breakable kitchen items, but using what you already have on other miscellaneous items will save you on packing paper and boxes that those items will have to go in.
10. Pack A Necessities Box
You should pack a box of daily necessities or emergency supplies. It’s tempting to go out and purchase a new bottle of Advil or Pepto Bismol because the box you packed the bathroom items it way far back in the moving truck.
Packing a box of emergency items or basic utility items and keeping it with you will keep you from buying new items that you already have.
11. Use Suitcases To Pack Items
Suitcases are great for packing items like books and other bulky items. Since suitcases have wheels and are quite small, putting heavier items inside is a great idea.
12. Get Help From Friends & Family
Moving requires a lot of work, whether it’s during the packing process or moving process, your friends and family can help you out so you don’t have professionals do certain tasks that anybody can do.
Ask your friends or family to help you pack, have a garage sale, clean, paint, or even babysit/pet sit. These are tasks that most people can do and there’s no sense in hiring a professional service to handle these tasks if you’re looking to move on a budget.
13. Pack & Move Valuables Yourself
One of the most important parts of moving that many people tend to forget is packing and moving their valuables themselves. There will be many people coming in and out of your home during the moving process, whether it be realtors, cleaning companies, inspectors, moving companies, prospective buyers, etc.
Before beginning the process of moving, always keep track of your valuables and move them yourselves. That way your valuable items won’t get lost and nobody, in particular, will be to blame if something does go missing.
14. For TV’s – Use The Original Box If You Have It
The easiest way to protect your flat-screen TVs and save money is if you have the original box it came in. That way you don’t have to pay extra for tv boxes from the moving company.
How To Save Money When Hiring Movers
In this section, we’re going to go over all the areas you can save money when hiring movers and how you can still hire a moving company while saving money.
15. Move During The Off-Season
Movers usually increase their rates between the months of May through August. This is the busiest time of year for moving companies.
If you’re looking to save money on your move, consider moving outside of these dates. The best time to move is Between October and April. When movers are less busy, their rates usually go down a bit.
16. Move During The Week
Weekends are the busiest times when people need moving services, especially towards the end of the month. Many movers charge more during these peak times, so consider moving during the week or ask your moving company if they can discount your rate if you choose a day during the week.
17. Read Reviews & Hire The Right Moving Company
When moving locally, movers charge by the hour. You can get a sense of how fast a moving company operates if you do a bit of research on their reviews. If people are saying the movers move slow, understand it might take longer and cost you more money. Find movers with reviews that mention the movers moving items quickly and efficiently.
18. Ask Your Moving Company For A Fixed Rate
Again, when moving locally, ask your moving company for a fixed rate. Many movers simply will only charge by the hour so however long it takes is how much it will cost.
Ask if your movers will give you a fixed rate on your move. This means whatever the fixed rate is, that’s what you’ll pay. If the rate is in your budget and the mover has a good reputation, consider using them. Here’s the difference between a binding and non-binding moving estimate.
Remember, if the mover gives you a fixed rate you must keep the agreed inventory list or the fixed cost can be broken.
19. Compare Moving Quotes
Not all movers will quote your job at the same cost. Also, understand that professional movers will do a better for efficient job moving your items. When comparing quotes, always check the reputations online of moving companies. This will give you a sense of what to expect on moving day.
Just because a mover has a cheaper quote doesn’t mean it will actually cost that much. Always check their hourly rate vs. how long it will take them to move.
20. Understand Moving Company Costs & Extra Fees
Some movers will charge extra fees such as stair charges, fuel charges, long carry charges, use of packing materials etc. Always ask the moving company what is included in the hourly rate and what additional charges you might expect.
Here is an entire guide to how movers charge so you can understand the charges and where you can save money.
21. Don’t Hire Cheap Movers
It’s not always best to hire the cheapest moving company. Sometimes movers will estimate your move cheaper than other movers just to get your business, then ultimately you’ll have to pay the final cost based on how long the move will take (if moving locally).
If you have a very unprofessional moving company, it might take much longer to move your items than with a professional company. Also, with cheap, unprofessional movers, you run the risk of your items being damaged.
Same goes with moving long distance. Don’t hire a moving company that tells you the weight of your goods is way less than what the other movers estimated your goods to be. That’s a red flag.
Movers might hold your items hostage if a certain payment is not received. Your mover must give you possession of your shipment if you pay 110 percent of a non-binding estimate or 100 percent of a binding estimate, plus 15 percent of the impracticable operations charges (if applicable). If your mover does not relinquish possession, the mover is holding your shipment hostage in violation of Federal law. Although this law protects both the moving company and the consumer, there are moving companies out there who abuse this right and scam customers.
22. Consider Moving Yourself & Compare Costs
Sometimes moving yourself is cheaper than hiring a moving company, and sometimes hiring a moving company is cheaper than moving yourself.
Before making your decision, understand how much stuff you have. If you have a one-bedroom apartment with easy truck access and not a lot of stuff, moving yourself may be your best option. But, if you have a lot of heavy items with difficult truck access, you might want to leave the moving up to the professionals.
Also remember, when moving yourself, if you have furniture you want to protect, you’re going to have to buy all the necessary supplies to protect your furniture. When you hire movers, they already come equipped with the right materials to safely protect and move your furniture.
You can also save a lot on moving costs when hiring movers if you’ve properly prepared for movers prior to them showing up.
23. Be Prepared For The Movers
One of the most important things to do when wanting to save on the cost of a moving company is to be ready for them.
Local movers charge by the hour, so if you’re not all packed up and ready to go, or if the hallways are being blocked by stuff, it will take movers longer to move your items.
The more organized and ready you are for the moving company the better. Consider these tips:
- Each room should have furniture and boxes, that’s pretty much it. Boxes should be labeled correctly on the sides so movers know exactly which room it will go in at the new location.
- Consider staging boxes in the garage. The more items you stage in the garage or in a place that is easily accessible to the moving truck, the faster the movers can load the items onto the truck.
- Keep a clear path – Movers will most likely take the large furniture first. Make sure all the furniture has a clear path to where they will be parking their trucks.
- Have great communication with your crew. Your moving crew will be asking you questions on moving day.
- Be there on moving day. If you’re not there to answer the movers’ questions about where things go and what the plan is, it’s likely it will take more time and cost more money.
24. Have The Movers Only Move The Furniture
If you’re moving locally, consider moving all of the boxes and small items in your car or pickup truck to the new destination. Then, only hire movers to move the heavy furniture.
Make sure you leave enough items for the movers to move. Most local movers have a minimum of 3-4 hours, so no matter how little you need to move, you’ll have to pay that minimum.
25. Ask The Movers To Do A Quick Wrap Of Furniture
Many movers will protect all your furniture with pads and stretch wrap regardless of the quality of furniture. But if you have low-quality items and are looking to save money, you can tell the movers to just do a quick stretch wrap of the items. This will save them time and save you money on your move. Just understand there will be a slightly higher chance of damage and your movers may ask you to sign off in case any damage happens.
How To Save Money When Moving In
In this section we’re going to go over all the areas you can save money during the moving in stage of the moving process.
26. Cancel Your Cable & Get New Service
Many cable services have new customer deals. If you cancel your current cable service and put the service in your spouse’s name, you should be able to get the new customer deals on your cable.
27. Get Used Furniture On Craigslist
Craigslist, Offer Up, and LetGo are great places to find cheap or even free furniture. You can find cheap dressers, coffee tables, dining room tables etc for a fraction of the cost of new furniture…That is if you don’t mind your furniture not matching.
28. Use Coupons & Look For Deals
When you change your address, the post office will send you packets of coupons for services related to moving. Make sure to save these coupons and when you need to use a service, use them.
29. Use The Dollar Store
The Dollar store is great for cleaning supplies, cups & bowls, kitchen utensils, kitchen towels and other items around the house. When moving in, you’ll likely need new stuff and the Dollar store is a great place to start.
How To Make Money To Save For Moving Costs
In this section, we’re going to go over all the areas you can actually make money during the moving process.
30. Settle With Your Debtors
Moving is expensive, so now is the time to settle up with everybody who owes you money. Especially if you’re moving out of town, make sure you get the money you’re owed from the people you’ll never see again.
Asking for money that is owed to you can be awkward so here are some tips on how to ask someone to pay you back.
31. Exchange Your Coins
There’s no sense in moving your large jars of change when that money can be put towards moving costs. When you’re purging your items, take a trip down to the coin collection machine and cash in your change.
32. Have A Garage Sale
Having a garage sale is an obvious money maker. When you have your garage sale, mark your items to sell. Remember, it’s just as much about getting rid of your items so you don’t have to incur the costs of moving them as it is about profiting from the sale of your stuff.
33. Have An Estate Sale
Most people when they think of an estate sale, think of someone who has passed away. But, if you have a large home and you’re moving long distance, consider having an estate sale to get rid of the items you don’t want to take with you.
If you’re the type of person who can let go of their things and start over in a new city, consider getting rid of everything you own so you don’t have to incur the costs of moving them.
34. Consider Selling Or Letting Go of Old Appliances
If you have old appliances and will be buying new ones at your new location anyways, now is the time to sell them. Not only will you make some money, but you’ll save big time on the cost of moving them.
35. Sell Heavy Items Like Weight Sets
If you’re moving locally, you may want to keep your weight set. But, if you’re moving long distance where the movers charge by the weight and not by the hour, do the math on how much it will be to move those items instead of selling them and buying them again at your new location.
How To Save Money In Other Areas Of The Moving Process
36. Change Your Address As Soon As Possible
As soon as you know your new mailing address, visit USPS.com to set up mail forwarding. You can even indicate the exact day that you want them to start forwarding your mail.
Once you do that you can take advantage of the moving discounts and coupons they’ll send you in the mail.
37. Stay The Night With Friends Or Family
If you’re moving long distance check to see if you have any friends or relatives you could stay at along the way instead of getting a hotel. Hotels are a very expensive cost to endure during a relocation. Staying with friends or family is great for your budget and could also be a great time to reconnect with them. They may even help you with your meal expenses if they cook dinner for you and your family.
38. Avoid Eating At Restaurants The Days Leading Up To The Move
It’s tempting to eat out every night during the days leading up to the move. Your kitchen will be in disarray and making a meal could be tough.
Although eating at restaurants will be likely, there are other options that won’t break the bank. Cheap and easy things to buy are pizza, rotisserie chicken, or spaghetti. These are all easy things you can still make even if your kitchen isn’t fully functional.
39. Consider Whether You Need Cable Anymore
Cable is a very expensive cost when most people don’t watch traditional TV anymore. Consider whether you even need cable or if you want to save money by switching over to just internet services and streaming your favorite shows.
40. Cancel Unused Subscriptions
When you’re moving, it’s the perfect time to go through all of your monthly subscriptions and cancel any you don’t need at your new locations. For example, if you have a local gym membership and you’re moving out of the area, be sure to cancel it if they don’t have that gym where you’re moving to.
41. Have Family & Friends Watch Your Children or Pets Instead Of Hiring Sitters
On moving day, you don’t want to have kids and pets running around getting in the way of the movers. You also don’t want to have to spend a bunch of money on hiring babysitters or taking your animals to pet hotels.
To save money on move day ask your friends and family to watch your children and pets.
42. Conduct An Energy Inspection Of Your New Home
The home you’re moving into might not be as energy-efficient as the one you just moved out of. It’s possible you don’t have adequate insulation, there may be leaking window sills causing drafts, or your water heater might not be set correctly.
Here are some ways to make your home energy efficient so you don’t lose money on energy costs.
You see, the actual moving part of the process isn’t where you spend all your money. It’s actually expensive to move even after your move. We hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with the world!