How to Save on Moving Costs and Move Efficiently for Less Money

Posted How-to / July 19, 2021
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

According to surveys, relocations take third place on the list of most stressful events in a person’s life, and stressing about how to save on moving costs plays a big part in it. Fortunately, we prepared some tricks and suggestions to minimize your relocation expenses so your mental health stays preserved. Write down all money-saving methods and determine which ones suit your circumstances the best.

How Much Should You Save Up to Move?

Relocation expenses vary depending on many different factors – will you choose cross-country movers or ask your friends for help? How big is your household? When are you planning to move? That is why cross-country relocation could cost anywhere between $600 and $12,000. A sum of about $1,000 should be added to that number, which is the amount you’ll need to set aside “just in case”. So take a calculator, create a relocation expenses checklist, and determine the relocation budget – it will affect all your choices about relocation companies, supplies, travel accommodations, and alike.

DIY –  An Obvious Money-Saving Option

It might seem obvious that your wallet would take the biggest blow from hiring a relocation team for long-distance moving as well as local moving. However, even if renting your own truck is probably the cheapest way to move out of state, additional transportation costs need to be taken into consideration. The price of renting a truck is not the only thing you’ll have to pay whit DIY transportation – think about the cost of fuel, hotel rooms, and food, too.

Without professionals coming to aid, it is up to you to fully organize the boxing up process – keep in mind that it will take more hours to pack by yourself than it would with a hired relocation crew. In addition to that, your relocation to-do list needs to contain learning how to pack fragile items and other delicate belongings so they survive the trip in one piece. Being concerned about the state in which your valuables will arrive at your newest home could interfere with your plans to have a stress-free relocation – so check again if cross-country moving services must be out of the picture.

If the answer is still yes, check out the following video and be sure that all your breakables stay safe:

YouTube video

Cheap Relocation Supplies – Be Economical When Packing

If you decide to pack without long-distance movers, you will have to spend a few hours researching the most affordable supply options. Of course, the first place you need to look is your house – search for cartons from previous packages, shoe boxes, plastic containers, but also don’t forget about duffel bags, laundry baskets, and hampers. Use all your imagination to create some clever storage ideas that could be beneficial for your budget.

LOCAL & LONG DISTANCE MOVERS GET A QUOTE

How to Get Cheap Boxes?

When you reach the limit on supplies you could find at home, next in line is exploring the world, the real and the online one, in order to find free relocation boxes. Visit local stores, especially the ones where you are a regular customer, and ask for any boxes they no longer need. Then, search sites such as Craigslist or Freecycle and see if you can find people who want to get rid of supplies they no longer need after the relocation. And when you finally move, make sure to return the favor – help someone else by giving away packing materials that are still usable.

Use Homemade Supplies to Pack Your Belongings

Foam peanuts and bubble wrap are materials that will protect your items the most. However, if the budget is your primary focus, search your home for any type of material that can be used for boxing up. Towels, clothes, bedding, socks are all suitable homemade wrapping and padding materials. Newspapers and magazine pages could be a replacement for packing paper, but remember not to wrap valuables with them – the ink could leave permanent stains.

Improve Your Budget by Decluttering – Only Pack the Items You Truly Need

Face it – your household is full of things you haven’t used in the past years, and you won’t suddenly start when you relocate to the new home. So when boxing up, be sure to go through each room carefully and move those belongings you no longer need to the side. Many reliable long-distance moving companies determine the price based on the inventory, so if you opt for a relocation service, make sure to reduce the inventory list as much as you can.

Bonus advice – if you have a lot of books, don’t load them on a truck. Instead of packing books for relocation and adding a lot more weight, choose a cheaper option and ship them to your newest address.

Get Rid of Unwanted Belongings

Throw away those belongings that are no longer usable – broken plates, electronics, and appliances that don’t work should be in your dumpster before you load the truck. However, if you have goods you no longer want but may be helpful for someone else, consider organizing a garage sale and earning some cash or donating. Think about donating toys for children and research where you can donate clothes for the homeless – earn yourself some good luck.

Turn Your Friends Into a Workforce

If you estimate that hiring a relocation crew to pack your stuff is way too expensive, you can always get friends and family to join you. Take a trip to the memory lane while boxing up old albums and exploit the opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones. You can even organize a boxing-up party.

Organize a Sleepover Instead of Booking a Hotel

If you want to relocate by using a rental truck, it would be nice (and cheaper) to stay in a familiar place while on the road, rather than in a hotel room. If some of your good friends live along the route to your new house, discuss the possibility of crashing for a night. Hanging out and having fun with friends can significantly reduce relocation stress and anxiety.

How to Save Money on Moving Costs – Don’t Move During the Peak Season

Believe it or not, there is a science behind the question of when the best time of the year to move is. If you want to hire a relocation company but spare your wallet, avoid relocating from May to August – it is the peak relocation season, with half of all annual moves happening then and the prices sometimes 30% higher than during other months. Relocation on weekends or at the beginning of the month could also be financially bad, so it is always better to choose a day in the middle of the week and in the middle of the month if possible.

How Can I Save Money When Hiring Movers?

Relocating with long-distance moving services could be beneficial for your budget in the long run, especially when it comes to maintaining your belongings in perfect condition. The relocation crew comprises professionals who know how to handle every aspect of a move and approach problems connected to the relocation process. On top of that, a relocation team could offer an additional service for free or at an affordable price. For example, you can find relocation companies that offer dissembling, loading, and assembling without an extra charge if you opt for them.

When Is It Time to Ask Movers for Help?

If your household inventory is too much to take or if you have more than a few items that demand special care, it is always better to spend a little more to protect your goods and move efficiently. On the plus side, with a professional packing service, you won’t have to think about supplies – even those expensive ones, such as huge wardrobe boxes, may come without additional costs.

The most affordable and efficient option would be choosing a partial packing service, which is cheaper than the full one. Let the relocation crew pack all those tricky items, and you will be left to take care of those that are less complicated and important.

How Can Additional Services Benefit You?

Because you can’t predict every part of your relocation, some misfortunes may await on the road. For example, if your new home is not move-in ready yet, what will you do with all your belongings? Try to find a relocation company that offers free storage options so you don’t have to pay for storage services.

Insurance is also one of the services a reliable relocation team must offer you. Choose the best option for your budget – pick full value insurance for highly valuable belongings, so you won’t have to replace them if something goes wrong and they end up damaged.

Do a Background Check of Your Long-Distance Moving Company

Of course, the whole relocation could fall through if you don’t choose a trustworthy relocation company. Check online reviews and recommendations, get in touch with previous customers, verify the company’s DOT number, and so on. Do everything you can to avoid falling victim to relocation scamsscammers can bleed you dry if you are not careful.

How to Save on Moving Costs – A Few More Tips

We have a few more relocation tips for those who have to move on a tight budget:

  • If you are relocating for work, ask your employer for reimbursement.
  • Start saving months before the move – home-cooked meals will be your future for a while.
  • Cancel utilities and subscriptions before you leave the old house – avoid paying for services you no longer need.
  • Don’t overbuy things for the new house – this could be very tempting, especially if you are relocating from an apartment to house, but try to resist the urge.
  • Pack a bag with essentials – avoid buying something you need but can’t find at the moment.

Do Some Penny-Pinching Today So You Can Relax Tomorrow

Following some of these relocation hacks won’t make you rich, but it will enable you to breathe more freely. Take our suggestions into consideration, opt for money-saving options that sound best to you, and add them to the relocation to another state checklist. And for the end, let us remind you of a famous saying: a penny saved is a penny earned. Let it be your leading idea when relocating across the country.

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