Moving to a new home is exciting, but it can also be costly. Aside from all the costs associated with buying or renting your new place to live, moving itself involves numerous expenses. Forbes recently reported that the cost for a close move could range from $800 to $2,500 and averages out to about $1,400. But throw in longer distances, and you could be looking at nearly $6,000 — or more. The good news is that there are also many ways to save money on moving costs. Let’s look at some practical ways to spend less and save more on your move.
1. Create a Plan & Establish a Budget
Ordering takeout, tipping the movers, picking up last-minute supplies — there is no shortage of ways to spend money during a move. And if you don’t manage these costs, unexpected expenses can quickly throw them out of control. Start planning ways to optimize your expenditures early. If you’re renting a truck or hiring movers, get multiple quotes. Line up packing supplies well in advance. Create a moving calendar with all the important dates, deadlines, and milestones. Giving yourself time to coordinate packing and transportation will provide you with more options and control over the process and costs.
2. Get Rid of the Stuff You Don’t Need
Moving is a perfect opportunity to declutter. Every item you move has to be packed and transported, ultimately adding to your moving costs. So one way to reduce your expenses is to simply move less stuff. Between garage sales, social media marketplaces, and donating, there is no shortage of ways to get rid of what you don’t need. And if you’re feeling adventurous, consider having an everything-must-go estate sale and starting fresh!
3. Move During the Off-Season
Moving during the winter or school year can be challenging, so it’s no surprise that May through September is peak moving season. Try to schedule your move between October and April if you’re able. Not only are rates lower, but you might also find scheduling the move easier. Furthermore, moving during the week instead of the weekend often provides more flexibility and lower prices.
4. Move Yourself
Moving is labor-intensive, so many people hire professional moving services. While hiring professionals is convenient, it’s also one of the most expensive aspects of moving. If you’re able or have friends you can enlist for help, the DIY approach is much less expensive than paying for a moving service. Just keep in mind that moving is a lot of work, and even a relatively small move can be deceptively strenuous. So make an honest assessment of the size of your move, your resources, and your abilities. The last thing you want is to get into a time-sensitive situation only to discover that the couches are too heavy for your brother-in-law to lift. If you do find that you need a professional moving service…
5. Shop Smart for Movers
A professional moving company is typically one of the biggest moving costs, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay more than necessary. First, get multiple quotes from reputable companies — at least three. And make sure the charges are itemized. That will give you leverage to negotiate and remove any services you may not need, such as special packing for treasured items that may simply be cheaper and more easily moved with you in your car. Check out the companies’ reviews and keep an eye out for mentions of hidden charges or undisclosed fees. Ask your contact with the company if there’s any possibility of accruing additional fees during the process.
6. Or Consider a Hybrid Move
Many people find they can do some of the packing and moving but want movers to handle the big and heavy stuff. If you’re in that situation, consider a hybrid move. That’s when you do some of the work, and movers do the rest. There are many ways it can play out. Some people pack and transport their boxes while hiring movers to handle the furniture. Other people pack and prepare everything for moving and then simply have movers carry and transport it. For example, if you’re moving into a building with a lot of stairs, you might hire a moving company to only unload the truck and carry everything up. Nearly any moving company should be able to provide a custom quote for ala carte services.
7. Save Money on Packing Supplies
You’ll need boxes, packing tape, padding, and more. The good news is that there are many ways to save money on packing supplies. First, try to find boxes from someone who recently moved — they will be extremely eager to get rid of them. Social media groups are a great way to connect with and find those people. You can also contact area retail stores or start saving your Amazon boxes (and ask your friends to save theirs). Packing tape is hard to reuse, but you can get several rolls in bulk much cheaper than buying one at a time. And get creative with items you already have. Suitcases, duffle bags, reusable grocery bags, and more can carry your stuff just as well as cardboard boxes. Towels, socks, t-shirts, sheets, and blankets can protect your fragile items, and they’re free compared to buying bubble wrap and packing paper.
8. Empty Your Fridge, Freezer & Pantry
Depending on the scope of your move, taking perishable food can be tricky. And wasting food is unappealing and expensive. So in the final weeks leading up to your moving date, begin using everything in your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. Not only will it save on your grocery bill, but you’ll also minimize how much food is wasted. Whatever nonperishable food items you don’t use, donate to your local food bank.
9. Take Advantage of Service Offers for New Customers
Moving might be an opportunity to get a lower rate on your TV, internet, or other address-specific services. Many providers offer specials for new and existing customers who are moving to a new address. So if you reconnect the service, you may as well take advantage of the better package. And if you don’t watch a lot of cable or satellite television, maybe moving is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to simply cut the cord and switch to streaming only.
10. Pack a Bag of Essentials
Remember those unexpected expenses we talked about? Virtually all of them arise because you need something you don’t immediately have. So, if there are things you definitely, probably, or might need, pack a bag with those essentials and keep it with you. That will keep you from purchasing a bottle of aspirin because all of the bathroom supplies are packed, and you don’t know which box contains the aspirin you already have. Like we’ve said in other articles, a good rule of thumb for packing when moving is to pack like you’re going on vacation for a week.
11. Improve Your New Home’s Energy Efficiency
You don’t want to save a bunch of money during your move only to have it go out the window at your new place. Before settling in, take a walk around and look for opportunities to improve its energy efficiency so that you can continue to save money after you move. Simple DIY projects like using caulk or expanding foam to seal drafty gaps, adding more insulation, and switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs are all great ways to start enjoying your new place.
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Using these tips can easily help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the cost of your move. Sound good? You might even be able to keep saving money every month by signing up for 100% renewable electricity from Energy Texas. Thousands of other Texas residents are already enjoying our low, fixed rates and wind, solar, and carbon-neutral generated electricity, not to mention our friendly and reliable hometown service. Check out our plans and see what’s available in your area. We’d love to be your new neighbor!