How to Save on Moving Costs – Best Tips for Budgeting

July 13, 2021Moving Tips
Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

Nearly 70% of relocation costs go on the actual move. Considering this fact, if you learn how to save on moving costs, there is a possibility to save up to 30% of total expenses. In theory, at least. To be fair, there is a chance that this number won’t be this high, but if you implement some of these tips, some of your money will be saved.

If you wish to save on moving, you will have to roll up your sleeves and get a bit creative. When relocating, there are so many expenditures. Still, if you are well organized and plan every step of the way, you will retain some money, and you won’t be losing any in unpredictable situations. With our tips, you will learn how to cut some losses and not to get all caught up in this whole process.

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Decide What You Can Do Alone

When it comes to relocating to another state, many things will depend on good planning and organization and, of course, on the amount of time and energy you have to get involved in this process. Start by making a list of things you can do to make this relocation easier. For example, if you don’t know what to do with a totaled car in your garage, it is a great opportunity to deal with this project.  And yes, you can ship this car to your new destination, but the cost to ship a car in that condition will not go so well with your relocation budget.

When making a list, don’t go over your head just to keep some cash. Some things are better and ultimately cheaper if they are left to professionals to handle. Make your choices carefully and only do alone those tasks you are certain you can manage. Because if you hire professionals at the last minute, it will cost you more in the end. Here are some bits of advice on what you can do alone:

  • Packing small objects,
  • Getting your own supplies,
  • Decluttering,
  • Cleaning.
Woman sitting surrounded by boxes
Sometimes, the best way of helping yourself is to ask for help

Declutter Your Home- Pack Only Items You Need

If you wish to move efficiently, one of the best relocation hacks is to get rid of all of the items you don’t need. Start early with downsizing, go room by room and start making piles of things you don’t need. The golden rule is, “If I haven’t used this item more than two years, it has to go.”

Another tip when downsizing is not to start throwing everything right away. Once all your unwanted belongings are in one place, do more sorting and figure out what can be sold, what is for donation and what is for throwing. Declutter kitchen on time too. If there is a ton of canned food and other supplies, eat some and donate the rest.

Have a Garage Sale

If you ever sold a car through an auction, you know that you can earn a lot of cash with a garage sale, especially if you have some valuable things. And if you wonder how to save money on moving costs, what a better way than earning some. When organizing a garage sale, you should only put things that can be sold. For example, don’t put old towels or bedding on display. No one will want to buy your old personal things. This will probably make people go away and not buy a thing. Try to sell your large and bulky items, like old furniture that has no place in your new home. On the other hand, items you don’t sell you can give for a donation.

Sale sign
Organize a garage sale or donate things you don't need

How to Save on Moving Costs? Compare Different Movers

If you wonder, “How can I save money when hiring movers,” the answer is with good research. When looking for movers, read reviews people left about the companies you find most interesting and check if they have a US DOT number. This way, you will avoid relocation scams. When you narrow down your search, ask for a quote from companies of choice. The quotes will help you to decide about the cheapest option.

Ask Moving Company to Do in-Home Estimation

With initial quotes, you can narrow down your search even further. For example, take three companies with the lowest initial quote and ask them to give you in-home estimates. Make sure you already got rid of the belongings you don’t bring with you. Create an inventory list of your belongings before movers come for estimation so things can go easier and you get the most accurate assessment. This way, you will know how much should you save up to move and, of course, pick the one that will do most things for less cash.

Cross-country movers carrying a refrigerator
Professional help will pay off in the long run

Use Cheaper Options for Car Shipping

When it comes to transporting cars from state to state, several options are available. And some are cheaper than others. If some auto transport company doesn’t have such options, the best car shipping advice is to go with those who have. So, when looking for a  car shipping company, ask them about their transportation options do they have enclosed auto transport or an open carrier auto transport. The option that costs more is an enclosed trailer, and it’s usually used for transportation of some of the most expensive cars in the world. But if you are moving car to another state, and we mean a regular car for city driving, you can go with a cheaper option. And if you recently bought a family car and have more than one vehicle to ship on an open trailer, you can ship more cars at once.

Terminal to Terminal Car Shipping or Door to Door Auto Transport

Ask the auto transport company about the pick-up and drop-off system they have. Most USA auto transport companies have both delivery systems – door to door and terminal to terminal. The cheapest way to ship a car is to choose the terminal to terminal delivery system combined with an open trailer. With this option, you will have to leave and pick up your vehicle at the chosen company’s nearest terminal, while with door-to-door, your car will be picked up from your doorstep and delivered the same way.

Is It Cheaper to Drive Or Ship a Car

If you’re immune to driving stress, then the idea of a fun family road trip will pay off in some way. By driving along the most famous routes in the USA, you will salvage some cash but not as nearly as you may think. Car shipping is not that expensive as people believe it to be. In fact, for 2,750 miles, you will spend around $1,200 to drive and $1,270 for shipment. As you can see, there is a difference, but the big question is, is it worth all the driving anxiety you might experience? But if you own an RV, you will be more comfortable and get to your destination without much trouble. Just double-check if you have a tire repair kit, map, and snacks, and you are good to go.

Open trailer car shipping
The cheapest way to ship a car is with an open trailer

Cut Some Expenditures on Packing Supplies

A lot of cash can be saved on packing materials for relocation. For example, one of the best relocating tips is to get free boxes at your local grocery store. Stores and big markets toss aside tons of boxes daily, and you can take some that are in good condition. For your glasses or wine bottles, go to the nearest liquor store and ask them to give you some sectioned cardboard boxes.

Use What You Have at Home

DIY method for packing is the best way to cut some expenditures. A lot of your household items can be used as protective materials. If you didn’t procure many boxes, you could pack some of your clothes in garbage bags. Put your books in strong contractor bags. Instead of using moving blankets use old sheets and towels to protect large and bulky belongings. Newspapers can be used for protecting fragiles or some regular paper, and the best way to replace a bubble wrap is with some standard plastic wrap from your kitchen. Check out this video for more info on how to pack efficiently.

YouTube video

Start With Packing Early on

Time is money! And this saying can not be more accurate than when it comes to relocating your entire life. If you start with your preparations on time, you will probably cut a lot of unpredictable last-minute expenditures. Start with packing at least three weeks before your relocation day. Do parts of your house bit by bit. First, pack belongings you don’t have usage for right away, like winter clothes if you are relocating in summer. Or begin with a room you don’t use that often, like a garage or basement. You can also organize a packing party and bring your friends and family over to help you with this. This way, you can give them some of the stuff you don’t want anymore.

Let Movers Pack Some Items

As we mentioned before, it is important to be realistic about the things you can manage and those you can not. For example, many companies offer free-of-charge protection of your large and bulky belongings with top-notch materials. They will disassemble and reassemble all your furniture and load and unload everything at your house. So when looking for movers, make sure you ask them if they provide this service, so you don’t need to pay someone else to do this for you. Or to do this alone and end up with broken stuff. This way, you will have to worry only about your smaller stuff.

Professionals wrapping up a sofa
Let professionals do the heavy lifting

Don’t Move During the Busy Season

Choosing the right timing for your relocation is one of the crucial things to do if you are short on cash and wish to have a relocation that will pay off. So, hire movers out of season. And the busiest time for relocation business is in the summer. The cheapest relocation will be in the wintertime – in February, to be precise. And don’t worry, you will not have to worry about opening frozen car doors or some other cold weather-related issues. In fact, because movers work out of season, not only will it pay off, but you might even book them to do everything for you.

Car on a snowy road
Relocating in winter is not impossible

Prepare Your Meals in Advance

One of the most common things people forget to do when they move is eating. What happens? They start packing everything up alongside their kitchen things. And when relocation day approaches, they soon realize they have nothing to eat. And the only option that has left is ordering some food or eating in the restaurant, which is not a good way to cut expenditures. If you wish to avoid all that, cook some meals in advance and freeze them, and when your relocation day comes, defrost everything, and you are all set up. On the other hand, if all this is too complicated, make a bunch of sandwiches and buy some snacks. This will keep you going, at least till dinner. And as you can see, the best way to cut some losses is with little details and good planning. Last but not least, making good choices about a company to assist you will probably be the crucial part.

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