5 Tips for Moving on a Budget

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Moving is a typically expensive affair. Beyond the house hunts, search for a reputable moving company that promises affordable moving rates at the same time, sourcing of supplies, and packing, moving expenses only serve to add to the stress of moving.

That’s particularly the case if you’re moving long-distance or moving as a family (probably both). If there are specialty items involved (think pianos, fine art, antiques, pets etc.) the costs can rack up even more.

Regardless of your individual situation, though, fortunately, there are always things you can do to keep that moving bill as low as practically possible.

Here are five of our favorite tips that you can incorporate when moving on a budget.

Moving on a Budget

Declutter your home and sell the excess

When it comes to moving, the volume of belongings being moved has a direct correlation on what you will end up paying. The more possessions, the more expensive it will be.

With this in mind, you should always aim to trim the amount of items being moved.

That’s especially considering that in addition to the bill being paid to the moving company, these items also mean you’ll have to spend more on packing supplies while also sinking in more time into them – which only adds to the headache of moving.

The upside to decluttering is it saves you money while also providing an avenue to earn some much needed cash on some items – cash that you can channel to the moving expenses account.

You could for instance, host a garage or estate sale, sell online through apps like OfferUp or Wallapop, list on a site like NextDoor or neighborhood Facebook community group etc.

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Decluttering the home also has a host of other positives, including freeing up space and clearing old energies.

So, create a detailed list of all items that no longer serve you and cull with ruthlessness.

Donate bulky items you can’t sell

Donate all the other items that cannot find buyers. As with selling, donations can also save you money as you can write off the donation on your income taxes come tax season.

Thrift shops are a fast and efficient avenue for donating. Some shops even provide drive-up garage access where you just drive through, drop off your stuff, and have someone already waiting to provide you with a receipt.

Just make sure to request for an itemized receipt and keep these receipts safely.

Moving on a Budget

Save money on the packing supplies

Packing materials can be costly, especially if you’re buying everything.

One of the items you should avoid buying and instead look for free or cheaper alternative sources is moving boxes, the building blocks of every move.

Search for moving boxes on Craigslist’s Free section or look them up on Freecycle. If you have a neighborhood Facebook or community WhatsApp group, this is also an excellent place to go asking.

Your workplace would be good for starters (if you somehow deal in boxes), as are mid-sized stores and liquor stores near you.

Opt for partial moving services

Unless you’re moving everything yourself – that means packing, loading and moving with your own van or truck – one way you can save significant money when using a professional moving company (like most people do) is to opt for partial moving services. Or even labor-only service.

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Partial moving services are the opposite of full-service moving – you only call on the mover to assist with certain aspects of the move as opposed to having them do everything for you.

For example, you can opt to source moving supplies yourself and/or do DIY packing, two moving aspects that will save you plenty.

Labor-only service is ideal if you have your own means of transport and only need the muscle for the heavy lifting, which some movers are happy to offer for a small fee.

Avoid moving during peak season

This one is usually lost on many people, but the time of the year you choose to move can determine how much your move will end up costing.

The busy moving months are between May and September, and this is when the moving rates also happen to be highest.

If circumstances allow, opt to move during off-season (any of the other months apart from these). Not only will your pocket be happier, but you will also have an easier time moving – from the house hunting, to scheduling the move, and executing the move itself.