Moving, if not properly planned, can be a stressful affair that turns out to be costly as well. When we talk about moving costs, a lot of people automatically think about the actual moving bill paid to the moving company.
Sure, that forms the bulk of it, but there are many other often-overlooked factors that contribute to adding to the final cost that you end up incurring.
It’s some of these factors that we wish to highlight in this article by sharing a few money-saving moving tips so that you’re better able to identify and plug any potential money drains.
What you’ll like about these tips is that you don’t have to go out of your way to integrate them. That, and of course, the fact that you’ll be able to trim your moving expenses by as much as a couple of thousand dollars.
Make your bookings early
If you’re going to use a local moving company – or interstate mover if you’re moving across the country – it’s a good idea to evaluate moving companies and make your booking in advance.
The problem with waiting until the last minute is that most good, reliable movers are fully booked and even if you manage to find one, the cost is likely to be above the roof.
Most movers will give you a concession when you lock in your move with them well in advance – think 2-3 months.
Move during offseason OR during the week
At the same time, you might want to avoid peak moving season and times.
Summer months are the busiest for movers as this is when everybody is moving so the demand tends to outstrip supply, resulting in increased costs.
Similarly, most people move during the end/start of the month and on weekends, so if you can schedule your move for mid-month and weekdays respectively, you should be staring at a more pocket-friendly invoice.
This, obviously, will depend on the flexibility of your schedule and in the case of the latter [mid-months and weekdays], the expiry of your lease. But keep in mind that a lease is transferable.
Consider truck rental
If you own a truck, you’re laughing. Otherwise, there is no shortage of truck rental companies from whom you can rent one. Or borrow from a friend if you know anyone who owns a truck.
Renting a truck is a more affordable option to hiring a professional moving company. But be prepared to do the dirty work yourself, from the packing to the loading and unloading of items.
For the latter, you’ll need extra hands on deck, so consider whether you have people on hand to help you out with that if you’re going DIY with your move. The alternative is to hire a labor-only service for a few hours from a moving company.
That aside, you need to not only hold a valid driver’s license if you’ll be the one driving but also need to be comfortable with driving and maneuvering a truck.
Find free moving boxes and packing supplies
Packing materials may not seem like they cost much, but things like moving boxes alone can cost a couple of hundred dollars if we’re talking about a bigger household.
If you can find somewhere to source moving boxes for free or at a discounted rate, that alone can save you some money. Consider looking at a nearby bookstore, liquor store, or grocery store.
If you can begin your search early, it’s possible that you end up accumulating all the free boxes you need for your move.
For other packing supplies like packing paper, tape, tape guns, and mattress bags consider getting them from Amazon.
Hiring professional movers to do the packing for you will bump up your moving bill considerably.
Instead of a full-service move where the mover handles all aspects of the move for you, you can opt to tackle some aspects such as packing yourself.
The more items you have to move, the more expensive you can expect your move to be.
That in mind, consider paring down on your belongings by donating or selling some of the items on the secondhand market, whether offline by hosting a garage sale or through online platforms like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
If you’re moving cross-country especially, you might need to sell off more items, including old or cheap furniture which can always be bought later.
Here’s another tip for moving: plan your change of address with this checklist.