Moving can be a very costly affair, whether you chose to do it all yourself, or hire a professional company. And since you’ll need to have money set aside for after you’ve relocated, keeping your moving costs low is crucial. Here are some easy tips to make sure that moving to your new home won’t break the bank.
Move Outside the Season
Most people prefer to move during summer, to make the most of the weather, yet this is also when moving companies charge the highest fees. One way to minimize costs is by moving between October and April, or, ideally, during the winter months.
Move on Weekdays
If you can’t move during winter, or even just want to reduce your moving costs further, schedule your move so that it falls at the beginning of the week, as well as the middle of the month. Moving companies will charge more for weekend moves, as they are more convenient, and they’re in higher demand.
Sort and Declutter
Before you start packing, sort through your belongings and decide on what you’re taking with you. The more items you have, the more your moving costs will increase, so choose wisely. It might be cheaper to leave old appliances and cheap furniture behind, and replace them after relocating. Decluttering will also help you get a better picture of how many packaging supplies you will need.
Sell or Donate What You Don’t Need
Organizing a garage sale is a great way to dispose of what you can’t take with you, as well as make some money on the side. If you live in an apartment and don’t have the space to organize one, you can simply sell what you don’t need online. Alternatively, you can donate those items to local charities.
Avoid Eating Out Before the Move
Eating at a restaurant can be tempting when you’re busy moving, especially if your kitchen is in disarray. Instead, look through your pantry and freezer, and try to get through the food you already have. This way, you’re both saving money and reducing the amount of things you need to take with you, such as cans, which are heavy, and frozen food, which doesn’t travel well. Anything you can’t get through, you can simply donate to your local food bank.
Pack Everything Yourself
A moving company can make packing and decluttering faster and easier, but it’s also expensive. Packing your belongings yourself will reduce costs, as well as help you keep track of the contents of each box. If you have any valuables and fragile items, it’s also best that you take care of them, especially if you don’t want to get moving insurance.
Maximize Packing Space
When packing, try to get the smaller items inside the larger ones, to reduce the amount of space and boxes you will use. Your clothes will take a lot of space, so give them an extra use by wrapping fragile items in them.
Don’t Buy Packaging Supplies
Talk to your local grocery stores, recycling centers, schools and offices, as well as online marketplaces — they’re all very likely to have spare boxes lying around. Substitute bubble wrap and packing paper for towels or linens. Ideally, the only thing you should buy is tape. However, it’s best to avoid using bin bags for packaging. The last thing you want is having your belongings mistaken for trash and accidentally disposed of.
Use a Moving Company for Furniture Only
Unless you have a pick-up truck, leave the furniture and large appliances, like fridge or washing machine, to a moving company. Most of your boxes can easily fit in your car, so there’s no need to hire movers for that, especially if you’re moving locally.
Ask Your Moving Company for a Fixed Rate
If using a moving company for the entire move, give them as much information about your needs as possible and obtain a fixed rate. Many companies charge by the hour, so movers could take longer to increase the cost. A fixed rate will also prevent you taking any unnecessary items with you at the last minute, as any increase in the inventory will break the fare you agreed on.
Check for Hidden Costs
Moving companies often have additional fees that are not immediately obvious, from supplying their own packaging materials, to fuel costs, parking permits, and even fees for stairs or elevators. Therefore, make sure that the company clearly stipulates what is included in the rates they quoted, to avoid any unplanned expenses.
Ask Friends and Family for Help
Friends and family can help with not just packaging, but also moving. They can also help with pet sitting or babysitting while you’re busy packaging or settling in your new home. If you’re relocating across the country, you can also ask if they can have you over for the night, instead of spending money on accommodation.