Six Ways to Save on Moving Costs

Moving van and lift, Germany,2007

It’s that time of year when most people start bemoaning the approaching end of summer. For many, there is another reason to be complaining. August and September are two of the busiest months for moving.

Of course, there is excitement at the prospect of moving either to another city or even to a new apartment. That excitement, though, wanes shortly after you realize that you’ve done nothing to get ready for the impending move.

After all, moving can be expensive. If you aren’t paying attention, you can rack up some big bills just from the move. Here are a few tips to help you minimize your relocation costs.

  • Shop Around. Plan ahead and shop for your packing materials. Your usual suspects (and most convenient) are going to cost you. Consider making a trip out to a Home Depot or Lowes to get a better deal on boxes and packing tape. Or, consider calling around town before you head out or the new online services that deliver to you. Ten minutes on the phone or online can save you big. A freebie option is to check out your local warehouse store (just make sure that you are picky when choosing boxes so you don’t end up with banana guts on your clothes).
  • Wait to Buy Things. If you will need things for your new place, consider holding off on buying things until you get there. Not only is it less to move, if you buy online, you can have everything shipped to your new place. The exception to this, though, is when you are moving from a low-cost location to an expensive urban area. Things might be cheaper where you are.
  • Limit What You Move. Whether you are moving cross-country or across town, the more you have to move, the more it will cost you. Take the time to go through your belongings. If you are like most, there are some things in your apartment that you’ve moved several times and still haven’t used. Maybe you can pick up some extra cash– or at least a tax deduction – for your surplus.
  • What are friends for? Of course, your best (and cheapest) bet is to get your friends to help you move. If that’s not an option, price out several options. If you rent a truck on your own, you can probably hire movers on the side (with a no-cost online ad) for a lot less than a moving company. Buyer beware, though. You might want to consider hiring a professional mover. Packing a truck the right way can save you money, so having someone who knows how to do just that could be essential.
  • Share the load. If you know someone else who is moving to your city, consider joining forces. By sharing a truck – even a larger one, you’ll save big.
  • What can you do on your own? Figure out what you can do on your own. Can you move the fragile items and hanging pictures in your car, so you don’t have to pack them? Can you take a few loads over in your car (or your friend’s car)? By taking your clothes, you’ll save on wardrobe boxes. Remember, with movers, time is money.

Don’t forget, too, that you need to pay your rent.  You can easily use wherever you move to make sure that your rent is on-time, every time – and have the flexibility of using a credit card, if those moving costs have left you a little short this month.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stuff Parents Need September 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Amen to limiting what you move. We got rid of some of our furniture before our most recent move (nothing that we got rid of was fabulous), and that alone kept us from having to rent 2 PODS instead of 1. True, we have to replace some of that furniture on this end of the move, but we'll replace it with things that cost close to what we sold the items for, so there's little lost, except for some time hunting!


2 LittlePeopleWealth September 9, 2010 at 2:34 am

Sometimes it costs more to hang on to your stuff then get rid of it!


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