Moving On a Budget: 8 Ways to Spend Less on Your Move

24 September 2013 by


Stressed Over MoneyEvery year, approximately 16.5 million households move across the country, spending close to a $1 billion in the process on moving costs. It goes to show how expensive moving can be. And yet, moving on a budget is not impossible. It just takes a lot of planning. If you have a move around the corner and you are concerned about costs, here are some ways you can trim down your bill.

Have a Budget

The first step to moving on a budget is to actually have a budget. Don’t work with a vague range. Decide on exactly how much you’d like to spend. Creating a budget will give you a reference point while planning your move. This way, when you get quotes from movers, trimming away the excessive options won’t be difficult. You can quickly narrow down your options in order to hire companies within your range. That being said, it is important that you set a realistic budget for the move. For example, if you’re hoping to move across the country with a budget of less than $100, you’re setting yourself up for some disappointment.

Trim Your Load

Movers charge by the weight. The more weight you have, the higher your costs will be. Expect to pay more if you are moving thirty boxes than if you are moving five. It really is that simple. To trim your cost and optimize your budget, avoid moving anything that you really do not need. For instance, if you have an extra couch or a cupboard, consider selling it, giving it away, or at the very least putting it in storage. Measure the space in your new home, take your existing furniture into account, and make sure everything will fit. There is no point in moving a table across the city if it is too big for your home. The less weight you have to move, the cheaper your moving cost will become.

Look for Creative Ways of Getting Cheap or Affordable Supplies

Instead of buying your supplies from the moving company, look for cheaper ways to get supplies. Most people already know that supermarkets and convenience stores are good places to find free boxes. For double-walled boxes (which you will need for heavier items), try hospitals and pharmacies. You can also try asking friends or family members who have recently moved for their old moving boxes. Sites like craigslist are also a good place to find people who have recently moved, and who might be looking for ways to get rid of their boxes for next to nothing.

Ship Some of Your Belongings

It is all about trimming the weight again. For heavy items such as books, use the local posting service. You can box your library and have your books shipped to your address. It costs a lot less to ship books and magazines this way. It may take a little longer before they arrive, but it’ll give you time to set up your shelves, and get some of your unpacking done before attending to the books. Save the moving truck for delicate items such as your china and glassware.

Do not Waste Money on Bubble Wrap

Not unless you have to. Socks, napkins, towels, and clothing are all great alternatives for padding delicate items. You can use newspapers too, but be wary of the ink. It could rub off against the object.

Use a Pod

Moving companies charge you for the services they provide. You can lower the costs associated with your move by taking on some of the responsibilities. One way of doing this is to use a pod. With the pod option, the moving company leaves a cube outside your home, and then ships it when you are done loading it to your assigned destination. This approach can save you a lot of money. You can have the cube dropped outside your home at the start of the week, and spend most of the week loading your items into it. In some cases, you can save even more money by carting the cube to the moving company’s office, instead of asking them to pick it up.

Be Flexible with Your Move Date

Moving companies have dry spells. If you have the time and you are willing to wait, you could reach an agreement with the moving company to schedule the move for such periods (with the condition that you get a discount). Most companies will appreciate the fact that you are willing to wait, and may be willing to work in a discount. Consider scheduling your move for the middle of the month, between a Tuesday and a Thursday.

Move Yourself

A large percentage of overall moving expenses relate to fees associated with hiring people or companies to help you move. You can trim your costs by moving yourself. Nevertheless, moving yourself is not as easy as it sounds. It should only be done after careful consideration of all the elements in play. Some of the things that you will need to factor include the amount of items you have to transport, the distance to your new home, and whether you will need special help to move certain items.


Consider developing a color-code system for your boxes and cartons. Visit your new home and place a different color of tape at the door of each room. For instance, put a strip of red tape outside the kitchen, a strip of blue outside the bedroom, and yellow tape outside the living room. Then mark each of your boxes and cartons with the corresponding tape. Place blue tape over the cartons designated for the bedroom, etc. This way, you will not have to tell the movers where to take each carton. It will make the moving process that much quicker.

SSF Team

SSF Team

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