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How to Keep Your Moving Costs Down

by Point2 Editorial Staff
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6 min. read

Moving to a new home is an exciting experience. However, one thing that is a little less exciting is the cost of moving house. Whether you take care of it all yourself or hire a professional company to help, you can expect to put your hand in your pocket.

Since moving is an expensive experience all around, let’s look at the best ways to save money when moving house.

How Much Does a Moving Company Cost?

Having a good plan in place before you begin is always an excellent way to save a bit of money. It definitely helps to make an accurate moving cost estimate. To do this, you must ask, “How much do moving services cost?” in your area. Unfortunately, there are a lot of variables to consider:

  • the distance you’re moving
  • the number of items you have to move
  • whether you have any fragile or bulky items

As such, it’s hard to work out the average moving costs. The best way is to use an online moving costs calculator. Alternatively, reach out to several moving companies for estimates. This way, you’ll get a figure based on your unique circumstances.

Want to brush up on your real estate jargon?

6 Hidden Moving Costs to Be Aware Of

One great way to keep your moving costs down is to be aware of the hidden fees charged by moving companies as well as the unexpected expenses incurred during the moving process.

1. Specialty Items Premium

Goods that must be handled carefully will usually cost you an additional fee. This can include bulky and heavy items but also expensive or fragile items, such as antiques, statues or glassware. For the most delicate and costly objects, you may even need to hire a specialist moving company to assist.

2. Temporary Accommodation and Storage

Sometimes the timings don’t work out in your favor, and you can find yourself having to stay in temporary accommodation before moving into your new place. From staying a night or two in a hotel to taking out a short-term rental, you’ll typically need to pay for this, so make sure you budget for it. And it’s not just you that needs somewhere to stay. In the interim, you’ll need to store your belongings too.

3. Travel Costs

This is only usually an issue if you’re moving long distances, but it’s still essential to consider it. From flight tickets to fuel and pitstops, if you plan to drive, however you intend to get from A to B, it’s likely to cost you.

4. Utility Hook-Up Fees

Forgetting to arrange utility connections in your new home can leave you without power or water for days. It’s best to arrange this in advance, not only to avoid sitting around in the cold and dark but also to reduce the cost of doing so. Having the utilities cut off in your old home will also usually cost you, too.

5. Tips

It’s always a good idea to tip your movers. After all, they’ve worked hard to get all your belongings into your new home without causing any damage. Indeed, tipping is expected, so be sure to check what is the norm and set some cash aside.

6. Bridge Financing

Bridge mortgages are extremely handy if you’ve bought a new house but haven’t sold your old one yet. However, they cost more than if you could cover the down payment yourself, so budget accordingly.

woman moving

Image: baranq / Shutterstock.com

10 Tips to Keep Your Moving Costs Down

1. Don’t Pack Too Much

The more you take with you, the more it will inevitably cost you to move. So, reducing what you pack is the number one way to keep moving costs low. Give yourself plenty of time to go through everything and get rid of what you don’t need. You can sell or donate the things you don’t need.

2. Give Your Moving Company Specific Details

The more details you can give about your move in advance, the less likely you’ll be hit with extra costs. In fact, you might be able to negotiate a fixed rate, helping you avoid hourly fees that can soon stack up. Additionally, with a fixed rate, you’ll be more ruthless with clutter to avoid breaking the terms of the agreement.

Before signing the agreement, check for any hidden costs, such as fuel, parking permits and stair fees. Ensure you know precisely what is included in their quoted rate to avoid hidden fees.

3. Don’t Move in Summer

Summer is the most popular time for people to move. With demand at its highest, moving companies typically charge higher fees to move during summer, so if you can, try to make your move between October and April to enjoy the lowest prices.

4. Avoid Weekends

Similarly, moving on a weekday is typically more affordable than on weekends. Generally, if you move at the beginning of the week in the middle of the month, you’ll get the best prices.

5. Empty Your Pantry

The weeks leading up to a big move can be busy and stressful. As such, it’s only natural to be tempted to eat out or order takeaway during these times. However, if you stay home and cook, you will not only save money on eating out but also empty your pantry, fridge and freezer.

This helps to reduce the number of things you need to take with you, lowering your moving costs simultaneously.

6. Take Care of Your Own Packing

You can pay a moving company to help you with your packing, but it’s typically an expensive extra. Instead, give yourself plenty of time — up to two months — to complete the packing yourself. Doing so also lets you eliminate clutter and ensures that any fragile items are adequately cared for.

7. Maximize Space When Packing

The fewer packing boxes you have, the lower your costs. So, make the most of each and every box. Try to put smaller items inside larger ones—for example, you could stack your pots and pans. Clothes take up much space, so you can use some to wrap up fragile items rather than buying bubble wrap. Alternatively, try vacuum packing them to free up vast amounts of space.

8. Upcycle Packaging Supplies

There’s no need to pay for packing boxes as you can easily find free cardboard boxes to use. Simply ask in shops, recycling centers, or even online marketplaces. Instead of buying bubble wrap, use towels, linens or clothes to protect fragile items.

9. Take Care of Smaller Items Yourself

A moving company is great for oversized items, like furniture and appliances. But for the smaller things, you might find that you can fit the bulk of it in your own car. In many cases, this will reduce the costs considerably, especially if you’re moving locally.

10. Ask For Help

Calling on friends and family can really help you keep your moving costs down. If someone has a van, you may be able to forgo a moving company altogether. Even if not, helping with child or pet sitting, packing or offering accommodation can help you cut costs.

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