Moving can be a real drain both mentally and on the pocket.
With large metropolitan area moving service providers such as Chicago, Los Angeles and NYC movers charging north of $1,000 on average for local moves, with out-of-state moves costing 4-5 times that, it is understandable why you might be fixated on the costs involved.
As steep as they may be, though, there are hacks you can incorporate into your moving process to bring the costs down significantly, whether you are moving locally or half-way across the country.
1. Sell Stuff
Unless you are an ardent subscriber of the KonMari method, chances are you have amassed a lot of stuff over the years that you don’t really need.
As you gear up for life at your new digs, the move also marks an opportunity to start afresh by throwing out items that don’t really serve you. From clothes to old rugs and carpets, furniture to electronics, and other appliances and accessories, weed out as much as you can while only retaining the essentials and items of sentimental value.
Of course, it’s not that you won’t need some of these things. Unless you are moving locally, however, these items only serve to add to the load and in turn, the cost associated with moving them.
If it’s a long-distance move, you can always visit a flea market once you settle down and shop for whatever you need.
Flea shops are also great places for when you are looking to sell your old items – as is hosting a garage sale! – not to mention online marketplaces such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and so on.
2. Avoid Moving Season
Typically, the warmer months are peak moving season. Most people move around this time of year: April through September, with the busiest months being June, July, and August.
Demand for everything including houses and moving services is very high during these months, which means you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket to fund your move.
Thus, if the circumstances allow for some flexibility, instead opt for the off-season when moving companies (and landlords) are actively looking for your business.
Your budget will appreciate the marked difference.
3. Pack everything yourself
Most movers provide packing services as part of their offering. While their packing is top-notch considering these are professionals trained at the task, having a moving service do the packing will, understandably, result in a higher invoice when all is said and done.
So, if you can, purchase the accessories that you need (protective wrap, labeling materials and so on) and do the packing yourself.
If you have friends nearby, ask them to lend a hand and host a packing party. Just make sure to sweeten the deal by throwing in food, drinks and/or snacks.
The less work the movers have to do, the lower your moving cost will be.
4. Save Money on Packing Materials
You can keep the costs even lower by sourcing for free moving supplies like boxes from local retailers, bookstores, offices, grocery stores, liquor stores, nearby schools, and other viable options.
You can also find free or discounted packing materials on Craigslist, Facebook, or Freecycle.
5. Plan in Advance
Don’t underestimate a house move. However much you are strapped for time, plan your move weeks in advance.
Source everything you need and start packing beforehand instead of waiting until the last minute to do everything. This will not only give you some much needed sanity, but you will also save money in the process by anticipating everything.