You’ve got the keys to your new home and it’s time to make the move. Whether you’re moving across the country or just down the street, moving can be stressful and expensive. The cost of packing supplies, movers and truck rentals can quickly add up. For long-distance moves, these costs can easily reach several thousand dollars.
Use these tips to help you save money on your next move.
Cut Down on Your Belongings
The less you have to move, the less money you’ll spend on packing supplies or room in storage. As you pack away your old home, make sure you’re not including old, unused items in the boxes to bring to your new home. Packing for a move offers a great chance to declutter your belongings and save on moving costs. As you go through your belongings, consider which you haven’t used in a year. You usually won’t miss items that haven’t been used in a year or are broken.
The best way to cut down on your belongings is to separate the things you want to keep and the things you can let go. Once you know what isn’t worth saving, you can then divide that list into things to donate, things to sell or things to throw away. Many people choose to hold a yard sale as a moving sale to help reduce belongings and earn a little extra cash for the move.
Do the Moving Yourself
Hiring a moving company is more convenient than trying to make the move by yourself. Movers usually include service options for removing large items and securing them in their trucks. Some moving companies even allow you the option for your movers to pack your things in boxes before the move. Each of these added services, however, comes with an additional cost.
One of the easiest ways to save money on a move is to do the moving yourself. For short moves, such as across town, you may be able to use a pickup truck to move, if you have access to one. Even for longer moves, renting a moving truck and driving it yourself is much less expensive than hiring a moving company. Remember to practice safe, defensive driving strategies when driving a large truck or moving van to keep yourself, other drivers and your belongings safe on the road.
Consider Shipping Containers
You may be able to save money on the cost of a professional moving company by using a company that provides shipping containers instead of full-service movers. While a full-service company will come into your home and carry your things to their truck, some companies drop off a shipping container or other portable storage unit at your home. You’re responsible for loading belongings from your old home, however the moving company will pick up the container and deliver it to your new home. You can then take your time unpacking while your items are still stored safely in the container. While using a shipping container is likely more expensive than renting a moving truck and driving yourself, it can potentially save you money over using a full-service moving company.
Plan a Move on Cheaper Dates
Most people don’t realize that different times of the year or days of the week are more expensive for moving. Late spring, summer, and early fall are prime moving times. During the months of April to September, moving companies raise their prices to meet demand. You can potentially save a lot of money by planning your move for the off-season. Depending on your local weather, a move in winter may wind up more enjoyable than moving in the summer heat.
You can also save money on your move by choosing the right day of the week. Weekend moves tend to have a higher price tag that moving on a weekday. Choosing to move on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday can help you save money on your move. Moving during a week in the middle of the month may also help you save money when moving.
Get Your Packing Supplies Cheap or Free
Whether you choose to go through a moving company or rent a truck and haul your things yourself, the cost of moving supplies and packing equipment may surprise you. Moving companies usually offer things like cardboard boxes, packaging tape and packing peanuts as part of their services. The moving company will also usually charge a large premium for this service. While buying supplies from the moving company is more convenient, it’s generally less expensive to buy them on your own. Watch for deals from packing supply stores or shipping stores to get a great deal. By buying in bulk you’ll be able to reduce your costs even further.
You should also start saving boxes and packing supplies as soon as you know you’re moving. Ask friends, family and neighbors if you can have their old boxes or packing supplies like packing peanuts or bubble wrap from shipments they may receive. You may also want to consider asking local stores if they have old cardboard boxes or packing supplies from shipments that they’re willing to give to you for free or cheap. Look for free newspapers around town and start saving any magazines that come in the mail to use as packing materials with little to no cost.
Saving Money on Homeowners Insurance Before the Move
Moving is expensive, but there are lots of ways to save money as you move to your new home. Before you arrive and begin unpacking, you should look at how you can best protect your belongings and save money. Learn more about potential money-saving discounts for your homeowners insurance.