According to financial guru Dave Ramsey, the average cost of a long-distance move with a moving company can range from $2,000 to $5,000. And, considering most of us will move more than once in our lives, forking over a $5,000 check is none too pretty.
This is when most people start to wonder how to save money while moving. Without cutting corners since, obviously, these are our most prized possessions, there has to be a way to chip away at that price tag.
Of course, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Start doing your shoulder and back stretches because we have your step-by-step guide to pocketing a little bit here and little more there.
Step 1: Cull Out the Excess
First things first. The more you have, the more it’ll cost you to move. The more boxes your movers have to carry, the more they’ll charge you (since they typically charge at an hourly rate). Also, the more specialty items you have, e.g., a piano or antique 500 lb. armoire, the more they’ll charge you for heavyweight items.
So, if there are things you can cull out and donate to your local thrift store, start there. (Don’t forget to claim the approximate amount that you donated on your taxes.) This will also take away some of the feelings of anxiety that surge when you look around and wonder how you’ve accumulated so much stuff and how you’re going to pack it all up.
Step Two: Hunt for Moving Boxes
Unless there’s no avoiding it, don’t spend, say, a hundred dollars or more on moving boxes. Since there are so many places around town to scoop up empty cardboard boxes, it’s almost silly to shell out money on something you can pick up for free.
Start with the liquor stores. Those guys unload sturdy boxes ’round the clock. All you have to do is stop in, ask if that’s something they’d do, and then load up your car. You can do this a few times a week all around town and you’ll likely do quite well.
If you or someone you know works in an office, you can also score big on printer paper boxes, office supply boxes, Amazon boxes, and more. So, take time to do a little bit of poking around and save yourself a Benjamin or two by picking up boxes around town.
Step Three: Scavenge for Miscellaneous Supplies
Of course, it’s not all about the moving boxes (which cost a fortune) from your local stationery store. Families are also tempted to purge their bank accounts on bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Instead, salvage old newspapers and magazines.
Also, use your own blankets, linens, towels, socks, and rags as cushioning for your fragile items. The only thing that’s almost unavoidable is packing tape. But, in the end, if that’s all you had to pay for, you’ve done quite well for yourself.
Step Four: Compare Moving Company Quotes
Our first three tips are operating under the assumption that one of the ways you’d like to save money is by packing up your home yourself. And, if you have the time to scour for recycled supplies and do it yourself then, of course, this will lower the cost of your move.
If, however, you’re crunched for time and can’t get creative like this, then, in some cases, professional movers can actually be more cost-effective.
Consider it kind of a bundle deal. By the time you pay for fresh moving supplies, secure a rental truck, and hire movers to come out and haul your boxes, you may actually come out on top by allowing a moving company to do it all for you.
However, you must select wisely; not all moving companies are made the same. Some charge more or less based on the number of stairs and rooms in your home. Others charge varying rates after the first hour or two of your move. Insurance rates will also vary. So, needless to say, it’s important to spend quality time price shopping.
Step Five: Choose Your Shutdown Dates Wisely
Do you shudder when you hear about friends and family who have to carry two mortgages during a move? That has to hurt. Well, on a slightly lesser scale, it’s also a bummer when people have to pay for cable, Internet, and utilities across two houses.
If you’re able, try to shut everything down, so you’re not carrying a bill for two properties. Even if this means you have to forego the Internet for a week or water for a day, try to get ahead of this dreadful scenario where you have to pay for services, you’re not benefiting from.
Step Six: Be Wise About Personal Travel Expenses
We’re trying to do the math in our head right now… It’s probably safe to say that an average convenience store stop for, say, a Subway sandwich, drink, and snack will chime in at about $20. If you’re a family of four and do this twice a day over a span of three days, be prepared to let another $100 bill fly out the window.
This doesn’t even include hotel costs, nice sit-down meals at a restaurant, and gas prices. Well, that last one, gas, can’t be avoided.
But, food and drink can be drastically reduced if you invest in a styrofoam cooler, some ice, sandwich materials, snacks, and a couple of bottles of Gatorade. Travel expenses tend to be an “after the fact” thought. So, oftentimes, families forget to find unique ways to reduce this bill. But, you don’t have to.
That’s How To Save Money While Moving
And there you have it! If you walk through each of these steps, you’re going to come out of your latest move feeling like a champ. While the rest of the world goes on to wonder how to save money while moving, know that you can do it with this roadmap to success.
Here at Moving Relocation, we’re your go-to for free moving quotes. Just pop in your current zip code and we’ll get you to your future zip code while saving you hundreds of dollars. Start here to begin researching the best quote for your brand new life today.