|Whenever you move, whether it is across the street or across the country, you have to spend a lot of money. As you buy moving supplies, rent a truck or hire a moving company, and spend money on all the costs associated with closing out your life in one home and starting up again in a new home, moving can definitely be expensive. However, there are still plenty of ways to cuts costs when you move.
Using free materials
Although buying packing supplies
won't be the most expensive part of any move, the costs can still add up. To avoid these costs, you can always try to get some moving materials for free.
Rather than buying new cardboard boxes, which can sell for $2 each, you can often get boxes from a supermarket or other retail store. Since the store will probably be happy to supply you with some boxes, be sure you ask an employee in advance rather than just take them. By asking first, you can get boxes that are still intact, before they are broken down to be sent to the recycling facility. You can also ask friends and relatives who have recently moved for their leftover supplies. Another idea is to stake out your office's copy room for leftover paper boxes.
If you have old blankets, sheets, or towels lying around, use these things as protective padding to cushion any fragile items or to wrap up electronics. Old newspapers can be used to wrap up your plates and glassware, instead of buying packaging paper. However, since newsprint can stain fine china and crystal, you might want to buy paper for packing these items.
TIP: If you don't have any of these materials, or if you need more, you can always check out Freecycle.org, where people list various items that want to give away for free.
Do things yourself
Perhaps one of the most obvious ways to make your move more economical is to do as much of it yourself as possible:
- Pack your goods yourself instead of paying a moving company or specialized packing company to do it
- Start the process well before your actual moving day
- Ask relatives and friends to help with both the packing and moving
- Rent a truck and perform the entire move yourself
- If you have a friend who has a truck, ask if they would be willing to help you with the move
Using a moving company
While doing things yourself may be the cheapest way to move, it isn't always possible or practical, sometimes you have to hire professionals. However, there are still plenty of ways to be economical when using a moving company. As always, get estimates from at least three different companies and compare the services that each one provides. Be sure to check out Movers.com, where you can get free moving quotes. Although you shouldn't automatically go with the cheapest quote, if you check the company's reputation with the Better Business Bureau and feel comfortable with them, then everything should be okay.
You can also potentially lower the cost of your move by making things easier for your movers. Since many moving companies charge by the amount of time it takes them to get everything loaded into the truck, you can decrease this time by placing your boxes close to the door. Disassembling your bed frames or other large items will also help, since your movers won't be spending time doing these things. You can also save money by checking to see if your homeowner's insurance policy will cover your goods during a move. If so, you won't have to spend the extra money on purchasing separate insurance.
Get rid of stuff you don't want
Everyone has plenty of things in their homes that they don't use. So why go through the trouble of bringing these items to your new home, where they will likely stay in their boxes until your next move? Since the price of your move is often determined by the total weight of your goods, there is no reason to bring things that you don't need or won't use.
TIP: While lightening your load can save you money during your move, you can use this opportunity to make some extra money by selling any unwanted goods.
You can have a garage sale, sell your items to a second-hand store, or post your goods for sale online. Anything that you can't sell can be donated or posted on Freecycle. If you still can't relieve yourself of some things, you can always dispose of them rather than bringing them with you.
Move when it's cheaper
Most people tend to move in the summer, between the months of June and September. Therefore, many of the costs associated with moving will be more expensive during this time frame.
- Move during the off-season, if possible
- Rates for truck rentals and moving company services are often less expensive between September and June
- If moving a long distance, save some money by traveling in the off-season
- Remember that airfare, gas prices, and hotel rates are usually more expensive during the summer months and that many amenities tend to be much more crowded with seasonal visitors
Tax breaks for moving
If you are relocating because of a job, you may be able to get some money back when you move. As long as your job is more than 50 miles away from your old home, you can deduct the costs associated with moving from your taxes. Check out the IRS's Form 3903 to see if you qualify. Moreover, if you are purchasing a house for the first time, you may also be eligible to receive a tax credit.
Photo by: Ambro (Freedigitalphotos.net)