While moving to a new home can be exciting, it is often surprisingly expensive. Luckily, there are a few simple and creative options that can help you reduce the cost. If you want to save on moving expenses, here’s how.
How to Save on Moving Expenses
The financial stress of relocating is typically compounded by the work involved in coordinating a move, so finding a way to save on the cost can help you remain calm during what can be a challenging time.
Get Rid of Excess Stuff
The more items you need to move, the more it costs. By getting rid of things you no longer need, you can bring your moving bill down.
Since everything needs to be packed for a move, examine each item before you pop it into a box to see if it is worth taking. Anything that you don’t need should be sold, donated, trashed, or given away. That way, you can lessen the size of the load and reduce your moving price tag.
Find Free Supplies
When you move, you usually need a lot of boxes. However, buying boxes can cost a lot. Instead of purchasing them, consider hunting some down for free. You can save boxes from deliveries, talk with friends or family to see if they have some, or even speak with area retailers and ask for boxes. Just make sure that any you use are in good shape. Old boxes may tear or bend, making them less than ideal.
For packing breakables, also look to items you may have on hand. Weekly sales flyers you receive in the mail can be great options. Similarly, using towels or clothing that you want to pack to pad breakables can be a cost-effective approach.
Consider the Mail
Most households focus on loading a truck for a move. However, in some cases, mailing at least a portion of your stuff might be more cost-effective, especially if you don’t need it immediately.
The U.S. Postal Service offers a Media Mail service for books, computer media, and certain other educational materials. The rate is far below typical package mailing costs and may be worth exploring. Just keep in mind that what can be in a Media Mail package is highly restricted, so you can only include items that meet the requirements. However, if you plan to use a moving company and the weight of your shipment affects the price, it is worth checking this service out.
There may be other instances where mailing is cheaper too, so check out what all of the major companies offer and see if it can help you save.
Compare Costs and Negotiate
If you are renting a truck or hiring a moving company, always comparison shop. Rates can vary greatly from one company to the next. Plus, once you know the various available rates, you can use that information in the negotiating process. Many moving companies are open to negotiating, though your chance for success may depend on demand and the availability of services on your preferred moving date.
Choose the Right Time
As with nearly any other sector, the moving industry experiences predictable fluctuation in demand. For example, summer is typically moving season. Similarly, weekends experience higher rates of demand than weekdays, and the start and end of the month are more popular moving dates.
If you are open to moving during the middle of the week, you may be able to get a moving company or rental truck at a lower cost. Similarly, if you can move during the off-season or in the middle of the month, you may be able to score a deal.
Reach Out to Friends and Family
If you aren’t moving far and know friends or family members with trucks, SUVs, or vans, asking for their help might help you keep the cost down. In many cases, you can possibly get their assistance for the cost of a meal and some gas.
However, this approach can have drawbacks. Since these people don’t work for a moving company, they might not be as punctual or hardworking. However, if they are reliable and in good shape, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Just don’t be insulted if they decline. Most people hate the moving process and, of course, they may be genuinely busy during that time, so don’t take a “no” personally.
Maximize the Movers
Many moving companies charge by the hour or factor time into their quote. As a result, if you can shorten the amount of time they need to spend on your move, you can reduce the cost.
For example, instead of having the company pack your boxes, do it yourself. Disassemble large furniture items in advance. Stay out of the movers’ way while they are working.
If the moving company is only taking some of your stuff and you’re handling the rest, get all of those items in a central location, preferably by the door. If you can take your stuff to the curb before they arrive, then that can expedite the process further.
Ultimately, all of the steps above can help you save money on your next move. Consider using some or all of them to make your move as affordable as possible.
Do you have any tips that can help people save on their next move? Have you ever been surprised about the costs of moving? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
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