How to Save Money on Moving Costs

October 23, 2017 / Posted in How-to
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking

If you are planning to move soon but you’re running on a tight budget, you’re probably wondering how to save on moving costs. Knowing how not to overpay for company services, supplies, storage, and a lot of other expenses, such as real estate commission, can truly make your whole experience much more comfortable.

person counting money
Make a financial plan in time to save some cash.

After all, one of the things to consider when moving to a new state is that it is important to have some money left over once the relocation is over. Follow these useful tips, and we’re sure you’ll find the ways to make your move much more affordable.

Saving on Moving Costs is a Challenge, but It Could be Planned Successfully

The secret to budgeting, whether we’re talking about relocation or any other major life event, is getting organized for a move and having a well-developed plan. If you do your research on prospective companies and learn the cheapest way to move out of state, your only job will be to stick with the plan throughout the whole process. Of course, you can always make a list of questions to ask movers – after all, they’re here to help.

glass pot filled with coins
Organize your move so you avoid having any unexpected expenses.

The DIY Packing Materials Challenge

Some of the major sources of expenses during the relocation process are packing paper, and other supplies and materials. Those who don’t know any better go all out, spending unnecessary amounts on items such as moving boxes instead of getting them for free. However, unless we’re talking about extremely fragile or heavy things, there is no reason for using brand new materials when it comes to a DIY move. Here are the best ways to save up on packing supplies or even get some free ones.


Original Boxes Are the Best Boxes

Do you still have the original packages from your appliances, shoes, or other items somewhere in your home? Then don’t hesitate to use them. These packages fit the dimensions of their contents perfectly, so you can rest assured your belongings will be safe. Using a box that matches exactly with your delicate and precious thing will provide you with a peace of mind.

Turn to Your Local Grocer for Help

Do you have any grocery or some bigger food and beverage companies near you? Then pay them a visit and ask if they have any leftover boxes they don’t need. More likely than not, they will be happy to let you take those off their hands. And you just got yourself some free supplies.

paper, bubble wrap and tape
Ask your grocer for packaging supplies - every empty box can help you a lot.

Use Old Clothes and Stop Wondering How to Save on Moving Cost

Boxes aren’t the only thing you will need to pack and protect your belongings during your moving day preparations. Professional packers also use items such as wrapping paper, bubble wrap, plastic wrap, and foam peanuts. While none of these are usually too expensive, the costs can quickly add up.

So, instead of shopping for brand new protective materials, using some equipment you already have could mitigate this process. Wrap your fragile items in kitchen rags, winter hats, and other old pieces of clothing. The only thing you need to do is to make sure everything is clean and dry. You can also use newspapers instead of packing paper, although you will run the risk of having the ink rub off on your belongings.

With Decluttering, Your Savings Are Higher and You Can Make the World a Better Place

Relocations can be pretty expensive, especially if you’re relocating from California to Florida and you’ll have to transport your stuff across the country. Aside from reusing what you have in your home to pack your belongings, you should also think about decluttering your home. Here is how that will help cut down on the overall costs.

jar with coins spilled on the floor
One of the best ways to cut down costs is decluttering the home.

Moving Everything Will Cost More

Most companies estimate the relocation price based on the overall weight of the things that are being shipped in the truck, or according to an inventory list. In other words, the fewer things you are taking to your new home, the lower the costs. So before you begin doing anything else, go through your home and set aside those things you don’t like anymore and don’t want to bring with you.

Organize a Garage Sale and Cut the Cost

Once you have your “leave behind” pile, we suggest organizing a garage or yard sale. This way, you will not only be reducing the weight of your shipment, but you’ll also be making some extra cash on the side that can go towards covering your relocation expenses.


Donate What You Can’t Sell

If there are any things left after your garage sale is over, pack them into a box and take to the nearest Goodwill Organizations or just give them away for free to someone you know. Sure, you won’t make any cash off of these items, but you will still be getting rid of unnecessary cargo. Even more importantly, you will help someone in need, like small children and old people, and there’s no better feeling than that.

Additional Money-Saving Tips

Are you interested in learning how to be even thriftier when relocating? Here are some suggestions you might like to reduce your relocation cost a lot.

person holding money
There are several ways to save your money.

Pick Cheaper Moving Services

When hiring a relocation company to provide you with long-distance moving services, you will most likely have the opportunity to choose between multiple options. For example, if you chose to get an auto transport service, choose terminal-to-terminal delivery and have them ship your car in an open trailer.

Likewise, you can request only the basic packing service, instead of having professionals pack everything. Keep in mind that if you need a place to store your belongings, you should consider portable storage units, since using them is quite affordable.

Also, you should contact your movers and request a moving quote before hiring them. This should give you a general idea of how much money you should set aside and you will be able to plan your budget on time.

You can also pick the right time on the week and the month for your relocation when the demand is lower and the prices of relocation services cheaper. For example, when hiring a removal company to move during the holidays, you might save up quite a lot on relocation costs, especially compared to moves in the summer peak season. So, consider which is the best time of the year to move if you want to save up.

If you are relocating to the new home you’ve just purchased, you should talk to your real estate agent, because some real estate companies possess their own truck. You should check whether you can use it free of charge to carry out a short-distance move. So, go ahead and ask your real estate agent if they can provide you with this service.

Furthermore, if your mover and real estate agent work together, which happens, then you can rest assured that your relocation will be less stressful.

Do What You Can on Your Own

Some things, such as disassembling furniture or wrapping fragile valuables should be left to professionals. However, other tasks, such as finding the best way to pack books are much easier and you can tackle them on your own.

All you have to do is find the best and easiest way to pack for a move and leave only what you must to the professionals. Also, you can ask your friends to lend you some handy moving tools, such as hand truck dolly or forklift – they can make miracles with your heavy furniture or huge box.

Planning is Everything

Of course, none of these tips will matter if you don’t plan your budget in advance. Besides hiring the company with the most suitable bid, scheduling the date in time, and finding some free supplies, you should count on your friends’ help. With proper organization ahead of time, you could ask them to give you a hand with packing.

Using your friend’s truck to relocate smaller things and personal possessions may reduce your final cost a lot and it’s needless to say, every tedious work becomes much easier if you have someone to support you.

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