Moving on a Budget: How to Move Cheaply

When planning a move, many homeowners and business owners worry about expenses. No matter how small your move is, it’s likely to be more expensive than you expect. Moves tend to be time-consuming and complicated, especially if you don’t focus on arranging them in advance.

Even if you only have a few days before the move, you can still save money. By taking advantage of the following tips, you can minimize moving expenses and keep stress levels down for yourself, your employees, and your family.

Seven ways of moving on a budget

Moving on a budget is possible, and it's easier than you think. With a little bit of planning and some smart moves, you can save a lot of money during your move. 
And don't worry, all our tips are tried and tested by experts in the field of moving. 

1. Hire Professional Movers

Some people mistakenly believe that arranging a DIY move is cheaper than working with a moving company. In reality, no matter how small your move is, it can require significant expenses like hiring a truck, buying packing materials, hiring people to help with disassembling furniture, and much more.

If you decide to work with a moving company, you can get a full set of services for a reasonable price. In many cases, the expenses will be lower than arranging all the work on your own. Meanwhile, professional movers require much less time to move your items than your friends and family do.

Consider browsing your local moving companies and asking them for quotes. You may learn that by abandoning the DIY move idea, it’s possible to save a significant amount of time and money.

2. Find Free Boxes

When you move, you need to find a big variety of boxes of all sizes. If you decide to buy them, the total price tag may unpleasantly surprise you. Thankfully, it’s possible to get the boxes for free. You just need to be creative about it.

Don’t hesitate to ask your friends, family, and co-workers about moving boxes. Some of them are bound to have a couple lying around.

3. Set the Right Moving Date

Not all dates and seasons are equal when it comes to moving. Most business owners and homeowners prefer to relocate on weekends to prevent any work disruptions.

Some moving companies and truck rental companies tend to charge higher fees for their services during busy hours. Meanwhile, it can be tougher to hire assistants on weekends or during the high season (from May to August).

If you want to save money, consider moving between September and April. Choose the middle of the week and the middle of the month.

If you must move during the peak season, you may want to consider doing some of the work on your own.

4. Do Your Own Packing

While it can be convenient to pay the moving company for its services, sometimes it’s cheaper to do your own packing. If you have sufficient time before the move to arrange structured packing, you can do it without assistance.

Take the right approach to the packing process. Pack one room at a time and group similar items together. Make sure to use labels for all items in your boxes. Otherwise, you can have a tough time unpacking.

If you don’t have too much time before the move, consider asking for professional assistance. It can save you a substantial amount of time.

5. Check the Contract

If you are working with a moving company, make sure to check the contract closely before signing. You have to make sure it doesn’t include any hidden fees.

When choosing a moving company, if you find one that has below-average prices, beware. Most likely, you’ll face unexpected expenses after the move.

A respectable moving company won’t give you a quote until it evaluates the size and complexity of your move. To make sure you get what you pay for, ask for a written quote in advance.

Find out if the contract includes insurance. While moving accidents aren’t common, they happen. You want someone to take the responsibility for the damaged items.  

6. Declutter

Decluttering your home and office before the move can save you a significant amount of time and money. People tend to keep a huge variety of items that have already outlived their usefulness.

When you move to a new location, don’t take them with you. Take the time to evaluate your belongings and figure out which items you can get rid of.  These methods can help:

  • Get rid of items you haven’t used in 5 years.
  • Throw out clothing that you haven’t worn in 1 year.
  • Ask yourself if you love a particular item. If not, let it go.
  • If you have more than a couple of months before the move, throw out one item per day.
  • Ask yourself if a particular item can make a great gift to someone you know.
  • Figure out if it may be cheaper to buy a new item (usually, furniture) than to move it.

Arrange a yard sale to earn some money for the move and cut final costs. Or you can give some of your items to charity and get a tax deduction.

7. Ask for Help

If you are arranging a DIY move, you need as much help as you can get. You can still hire a moving company to get the majority of the work done. However, your friends, employees, and family can help with packing, decluttering, and furniture assembly. You can organize a packing party and have fun with it.

Any move can get complicated. If you have someone to rely on working at your side, it can take the stress out of the equation.

What to consider when setting a moving budget?

Whether you're relocating across the country or just down the street, it's important to set a moving budget to avoid any financial surprises. Here are some factors to consider when setting a moving budget:

Distance: The distance between your old and new home is one of the biggest factors that can impact your moving budget. If you're moving across the country, for example, you'll likely need to hire a moving company and pay for transportation, which can be expensive. On the other hand, if you're only moving a short distance, you may be able to rent a truck and do the move yourself.

Time of year: The time of year you choose to move can also impact your budget. Summer is the busiest time for moving, and prices for moving services are typically higher during this time. If you're able to move during the off-season (fall or winter), you may be able to save money on your move.

Size of your home: The size of your home will also play a role in determining your moving budget. The more stuff you have, the more it will cost to move. Be sure to take an inventory of all your belongings before you start packing, and consider selling or donating items you no longer need.

Type of move: The type of move you're planning will also impact your budget. A DIY move will be less expensive than hiring a professional moving company, but it will also require more time and effort on your part. If you're moving internationally or have special items that require extra care, you may need to hire a specialized moving company, which can be more expensive.

Additional costs: Don't forget to factor in additional costs like packing materials, insurance, and any storage fees if you need to store your belongings temporarily. These costs can add up quickly, so be sure to include them in your budget.

The Takeaway

While moves a generally stressful and complicated, they don’t need to be expensive. By learning and using certain tips and tricks, it’s possible to cut the moving costs by half.

Keep in mind, that a DIY move doesn’t always mean a cheap move. Consider combining professional assistance with DIY efforts.

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