Whenever you move, you have to spend money -- but it doesn't have to be a lot. As you buy moving supplies, rent a truck or hire professionals, the costs associated with moving can add up.
Don't put yourself into debt. Learn how to end this chapter of your life and start up again in a new home inexpensively. There are plenty of ways to cuts costs when you move.
1. Use free materials
Although buying packing supplies won't be the most expensive part of any move, the costs can still add up. To avoid this, find packing materials for free.
- Find free boxes at stores, work or online rather than buying new cardboard boxes, which can sell for $2 each
- Use old blankets, sheets, or towels as protective padding to cushion any fragile items or to wrap up electronics
- Wrap your plates and glassware in old newspapers instead of buying packaging paper
TIP: If you don't have any of these materials, or if you need more, you can always check out online forums where people list various items that want to give away for free.
2. 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 instead of paying a moving company or professionals packers
- Ask relatives and friends to help with both the packing and moving
- Rent a truck and perform the entire move yourself
- Ask a friend who has a truck if they would be willing to help you with the move
3. Use a moving company
While doing things yourself may be the cheapest way to move, it isn't always possible or practical. Get estimates from at least three different companies and compare the services that each one provides. Check Movers.com for free moving quotes. Although you shouldn't automatically go with the cheapest quote, you can check reviews from previous customers to make your decision easier.
You can also potentially lower the cost of your move by making things easier for your movers:
- Decrease the time movers are on the clock by placing already packed boxes close to the door
- Disassemble bed frames or other large items, so your movers won't be spending time doing these things
- Check if your homeowner's insurance policy will cover your goods during a move before purchasing separate insurance
4. 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? 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 also 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. If you still can't relieve yourself of some things, you can always dispose of them rather than bringing them with you.
5. 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
- 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
- If you can't wait, booking six months in advance should save you money