Moving can be incredibly expensive, even if you are only transferring across town and are just renting a new place. Besides all the deposits and down payments you have to pay for the new place and the services you need, you also have to pay to move all your belongings. The farther away you have to move, the more expensive it will be.
With a little planning and some different decisions, you can save a lot of money on your move. Here’s how:
You have plenty of options for moving companies, and the costs will vary by company, location, type of move and many other factors. To get the best price, you need to shop around and get quotes from numerous moving companies. Call well-known companies like North American moving services, as well as smaller mom and pop type companies. Just make sure that you check out the reputation before you call so that you aren’t wasting your time with scam artists or amateurs.
Be sure to get a written and detailed estimate from each company. The company might quote you a great price to lure you in but then add a lot of fees in the fine print or say that certain expected services were not actually included in the estimate.
Choose the Right Time of Year to Move
People tend to move more during the warmer months, while they want to stay inside where it’s cozy when the temperature falls. If you can stand to be out in the cold when you move, you could save a lot of money. Movers tend to be less busy during the winter months, so they often drop their prices to attract more business. If you can wait until those colder months, you could cut your costs significantly.
Negotiate the Right Package
A full-service move will certainly make things easier on you, but it just might not be in the budget. You can save a lot of money by doing some of the work yourself. For example, if you live in an apartment on the third story landing and there is no elevator, you are likely going to have to pay the moving company more. But if you agree to move all your boxes and furniture to the main floor, you might be able to pay less.
Negotiate with the moving company to figure out how you can get the essential services you need while also staying on budget.
If you aren’t afraid of a little hard work, you could always move your own things and cut the cost of hiring a company completely. You can ask friends and family to help you move your things instead. If you get no takers, you can save money by hiring students. Just know that you have no protection in case these people break your flat screen TV or drop your antique armoire – which is more likely since they are not experienced and won’t have the right tools.
You can also save by moving your own boxes in your car and hiring a moving company just to transport your furniture and other oversized items. Of course, this is only an option if you are moving a relatively short distance.
Many movers based their quotes on the number of boxes they have to move or the size of the truck they have to use. If you learn to pack well, you can minimize the boxes used and the size of the truck needed, which can save you money.
Pack each box as full as you can without compromising the safety of the contents. For example, instead of using bubble wrap to pack your dishes, you can use your bath towels to protect them. That allows you to save space and keep your items safe.
Get Free Moving Materials
You can get plenty of boxes from local stores like Target or Barnes & Noble to move your items. You just need to get to the store before the boxes get broken down. You can ask staff to put the boxes aside for you.
You can also check places like Craigslist and Freecycle for boxes and other moving materials from people who have just moved. You can get tape, bubble wrap, furniture pads and more usually.
Minimize Your Belongings
Of course, the less stuff you have to move, the less you will have to pay to move it. While you are packing, take the time to sort through your things and get rid of the stuff you don’t need. You can donate it, sell it to raise cash for your move, or even trash it if it has outlived its usefulness.
If you are planning a long-distance move, you might even weigh the costs of selling your furniture and buying new in the new place. Sometimes, it can cost less than moving those items across multiple states or countries.
Moving doesn’t have to be expensive. Use these tips to keep your costs at a minimum so you have the cash you need to make your new place a home.