Unlike snails and tortoises, people can’t just up and move their homes whenever and wherever they need to. There are so many issues to be dealt with, so laborious tasks to be completed, so difficult plans to be devised and so great expenses to be covered that no matter how hard you try, organizing an easy and smooth relocation that will also be merciful to your finances and your nerves is practically impossible. Moving your house and moving your life comes at a substantial price – both financially and emotionally. And while you simply can’t avoid neither the psychological impact of moving, nor many of the relocation related expenses, there are some proven ways to cut moving costs and to keep your budget healthy throughout the moving process. Planning ahead, researching rates and services, and reconsidering the most suitable and efficient moving options you have all constitute a successful relocation strategy that will help you cut down moving expenses.
Hire a low cost moving company
Research carefully all the relevant information to find an affordable moving company that will best suit your needs. Fill a moving quote and you will be contacted by several trustworthy movers who will offer their services. Make sure to choose a legitimate company that will provide the most favorable conditions in your case. What you need is high quality services at a reasonable price:
- Get on-site binding written estimates from several reputable movers and compare the offers – make sure all the relevant details and specifics are clearly stated, all your requirements are met and you fully understand and agree with all the provisions;
- Ask about extra services and their charges – read the fine print carefully and pay special attention to the kind of liability protection included, to the available storage and transportation options, to third parties and subcontractors involved in the process, etc. Remember that some companies have minimum charges, regardless of how long the move will actually take, while others will charge extra for travel time to and from your house, or for overtime on Moving day, etc.;
- Negotiate the details – ask for discounts, ongoing daily deals, vouchers or coupons – anything that may lower the final moving cost. Negotiate the amount of the requested deposit and make sure it is refundable in case you need to cancel the move or change the date (or if the company fails to perform its duties). Remember that many movers will try to beat or at least match competitors’ prices, so let them know if you have received a better offer;
- Read online reviews and ask for references – this is an easy method to check the satisfaction level of former customers and to learn how previous disputes and claims have been resolved;
- Avoid moving scam – always check if your chosen movers are properly licensed (you can verify their USDOT number) and insured. If you receive an offer that is too good to be true, if the company accepts no other payment methods but cash only or if it refuses to send a representative over to your place for an accurate moving estimate, raise your guard and double-check the movers’ credentials.
Schedule your move smart and book early
To prepare properly and avoid unpleasant surprises, you need to set your moving budget well in advance. Take all the aspects of your imminent move in account (moving company’s rates, extra fees, additional insurances, shipping your vehicle and/or your pets, fuel, road tolls, parking fees, meals and lodging on the way if you are driving to your new home or ticket if you are flying, immediate post-relocation costs, such as rent and deposits, furnishing and essential supplies, various paperwork, etc.) and examine the possible hidden moving costs.
To reduce the price and to ensure your peace of mind, you are advised to book your move as early as possible. If you are at liberty to choose your moving date, decide on a day during the off-peak season (from September to May) in the middle of a month and on a weekday – this may save you as much as half the moving expenses.
Get rid of excess stuff
The fewer belongings you move, the less you will pay, so take only the household items you will really need. Create a floor plan of your new home to know which larger furniture and appliances will fit through the doors and will match the interior design, then sort out your possessions – take only those that have high practical, aesthetic and/or sentimental value.
- Declutter your home – discard all the items that have no value and donate those that are in good condition but you don’t like or can’t use any longer;
- Organize a moving sale – hold a garage sale to exchange some of the possessions you will not need any more for much needed money.
Save on moving supplies
- Get moving boxes for free – you can get some sturdy and clean boxes for free from local businesses or people who have recently moved. Besides, make sure to use the various containers you already own – laundry hampers, baskets and crates, buckets and trash bins, purses and bags, and many other household items that can hold small things inside them (and you need to move them too, anyway);
- Substitute professional padding and wrapping materials with your own – use towels and sheets, pillows and blankets, old clothes, clean paper, etc. to provide padding and protection for your items.
Save on extra services
Do whatever you can to avoid paying for additional services:
- Pack by yourself – pack your own belongings, disconnect and prepare your appliances, and partially disassemble furniture to speed up the moving procedures and avoid paying the professionals for these extra services. Make sure to label everything properly and to keep the disassembled parts and the disconnected cords together with the items they belong to;
- Reserve elevators and parking lots – take care of all the little details to ensure a speedy and efficient moving process.
Provide protective materials and remove any obstacles to prevent property damage when your belongings are taken out of your old property and loaded into the moving truck. Plan ahead and measure the doors and corners, hallways and stairs to make sure a safe escape route is available out of your old home. This way you will not have to pay for repair works or medical help in case of injuries.
Make sure your belongings are handled with care, so that you don’t need to repair or replace a damaged item. If some of your possessions go missing or get broken during the relocation, you should be properly reimbursed by the moving company. Consider buying additional insurance if you are moving particularly valuable items.
You will probably have to wait a bit longer for your items if you decide to take advantage of this option because the moving truck will have to stop frequently to pick and deliver other people’s possessions as well. However, it will save you a lot of money (just take your essentials with you).
Job relocation packages
If you are moving for a new job, ask your future employer for moving assistance. Different job relocation packages are available, so make sure to discuss your options and take advantage of the most favorable one.
Find out what moving expenses you can deduct from your taxes at the end of the year. Keep all your receipts and documents and do not forget to add the moving costs to your tax deductions.
If you are moving locally and have reliable friends to lend you a helping hand, you can move yourself to save the money for hiring professional services. Just borrow appropriate moving equipment and get down to work. However, if you need to rent a moving truck and pay for insurances, fuel, parking fees and other forgotten costs when moving out on your own, it may not be worth the time and the efforts.
Many of these practical tips to cut moving costs will work just fine for you. Take advantage of the most appropriate ones and have a trouble-free and economical relocation.