How to Save On Moving Costs?

The question on so many minds when it comes to relocating is how to save on moving costs. For some, this seems impossible, while others thrive when it comes to penny-pinching, and a lot depends on the type of person you are. Whether you’re one of these people or neither, we can help you with some tips on how to save on moving.

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July 15, 2021 Posted in How-to

For a Start, Don’t Pack Items You Don’t Need

Leaving things behind is one of the most common relocation tips because it makes the most sense. It’s no use bringing everything you own if you haven’t been using it so far. This is especially true if you’re relocating to a smaller home and there’s simply not enough room for everything to fit in there. Give some serious thought on what should go and then say goodbye to it, Marie Kondo style.

Have a Garage Sale to Sell and Declutter

Selling the stuff you don’t want to keep is one of the most useful things to do before relocating because not only will it let you declutter, but you’ll make some extra money for the relocation process. Make sure not to overprice anything since you’re trying to get rid of unwanted stuff, not actually become a millionaire. That’s pretty much the recipe for a successful garage sale and collecting extra cash for relocation.

Donate Old Clothes to a Shelter

You can always donate clothes if you’re not keen on selling them at a garage sale or otherwise. Reach out to the nearest donation center or shelter and take time to separate the garments that are in good condition. This is vital because no reputable donation center will take stuff that’s in rough shape. We feel it should go without saying that people who come by those centers or live in shelters need wearable clothes.

You Can Also Donate Food You Don’t Plan to Eat

Clearing out your fridge is also vital for decluttering, but this is something you should frequently be doing, not just during relocation. Ensure that you’ve packed some groceries and long-lasting foods for your trip and the first week of living at the other house. Canned goods and foods that aren’t near their expiration date can also be donated to a food shelter that’ll have great use of them. This way, you’ll be doing good and getting rid of excess cargo.

wrapped food and clothes next to a box that says “donate”
Donate the food and clothes you won’t be using anymore

Leave Behind the Furniture – You Won’t Need It at the New Home

Whatever your reasons for relocating, we’d suggest thinking twice about taking the furniture with you. While there are excellent and helpful relocation hacks when it comes to packaging furniture, most of the time, it’s a hassle to take couches and beds on a cross-country moving trip. Not only is it easier to relocate without having bulky stuff in your cargo, but leaving furniture behind is also one of the cheapest way to move out of state since the cost of relocation mostly depends on the amount of cargo you have.

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When Is it Okay to Pack Your Furniture for Long-Distance Moving

There are cases when you don’t have a choice but to bring furniture along with you. Say you’re relocating at the last minute to an empty house or apartment; that’s a situation when it’s okay to pack everything up. Make sure the furniture is disassembled before getting loaded onto the relocation truck, though.

Another example would be if you have a very expensive or valuable furniture item and don’t want to leave without it. Packaging and protecting it with wrapping materials would significantly reduce your relocation stress, and you’ll still be able to brag about it at the new place. However, you’d have to ship your belongings to another state by hiring a relocation service or renting a truck. There’s no safe way to ship valuable furniture with your vehicle or by yourself.

a couch covered in plastic next to some containers
Bring only very valuable furniture, and leave the rest behind

Having an Inventory List is Among the Steps on How to Save on Moving Costs

It’s true, a list of things you’d like to bring to the new house is a crucial part of saving money and relocating efficiently. How? Firstly, making an inventory list for relocating will provide an overview of how much there is to pack, and knowing that makes it possible to know how much packing materials to get. Less is more, especially in packaging and relocating.

In addition, you can research which items movers won’t move and tick them off the list. These are usually highly sensitive, explosive, and potentially dangerous items. Another reason why itemizing is simply the best is that there are many things we tend to overlook and forget to pack. Having a list will keep you reminded of everything that needs to come along.

Something unexpected to add to a relocation checklist is the question of how much should you save up to move. This doesn’t belong to a list of things to pack, but it should be the starting point for any relocation. Pair that with everything you plan on bringing with you, and you’ll be saving money quickly.

Make a Separate List for Dishes and Glasses

Learning how to pack fragile items is a whole different science, and that’s why we recommend taking inventory of your dishes, glasses, and all other breakable kitchenware separately. These are delicate things that need to be handled slightly differently than other household inventory. Another bonus tip – if you’re relocating with pets, don’t let them in the room where you’re boxing up fragile things, as that’s an easy situation for breakage to happen.

a person off-screen writing on a clipboard
Create a checklist of everything you have and want to bring along

Take Time to Find Cheap and Free Packing Materials

Packaging materials are a huge part of relocation essentials that you need to think about and a great answer to the dilemma of how to save money on moving costs. Once you start packing for a move, you’ll see how important it is to have enough packaging and wrapping supplies at hand. The packaging essentials are:

  • Cardboard boxes and other types of containers,
  • Wrapping materials like paper, bubble and plastic wrap, and cotton household items,
  • Duct tape and rope for sealing containers,
  • Markers, pens, and stickers for labeling,
  • And an optional material – packing peanuts for padding.

Luckily, most, if not all, of these essentials are available for cheap or even for free. You may have them lying around the house, but you can also visit some places to get them.

Browse Your Home for the Much-Needed Packaging Supplies

If you’ve been keeping your old shoe boxes for unknown reasons, relocation day is the right opportunity to use them. These boxes are suitable for packaging shoes you’d like to wear on the first week of settling into your new home, but they’re also good for carrying smaller stuff. Take a look around for containers where you store unnecessary things and clutter. These could be cardboard, plastic, or any other material, and even wicker baskets can do the work. You also get a chance for double preparation – throwing out things you don’t need and getting containers for relocation day.

Visit a Nearby Restaurant or Supermarket for Boxes

What’s unexpected and probably sounds a little crazy to you is actually one of the best hacks for saving up and getting ready for a move. You must’ve passed by a restaurant or a supermarket a million times and saw loads of boxes getting thrown out during unpacking. Next time you see that, instead of letting them throw out precious materials and supplies, ask them to give the containers over. This is the perfect way to avoid another relocation cost. You can also watch the video below on the possible places to get free containers for relocation.

Instead of Long-Distance Movers, Ask Your Friends and Family for Help

The people from your inner circle aren’t supportive of your cross-country relocation, and you’re not sure what to do about it? Ask them for assistance with boxing up and loading the relocation truck. Anyone who loves and supports you in life will answer the call and assist you in getting packed safely, whether they agree with the move or not. Getting ready for a move while surrounded by everyone you love may sound counterintuitive, but if you stay firm about the decision and ask for understanding, it’ll be an enjoyable experience.

Maybe some of your friends or family members have extra packaging materials to bring. You alone may not give the best judgment in some situations, so having people around will keep you in check. One other thing to decide is the best period of the year to move. Can anyone come over to help you in winter, or are they all on vacation in summer? Maybe others could loan you a truck or a car for the ultimate DIY move.

two friends laughing and packaging cargo
Your friends can become a crucial part of the relocation

Book or Rent a Relocation Truck for a DIY Move

You can’t do much without getting a rental truck for relocating unless everything you want to bring fits into a small van or even your car. Hiring rental trucks from relocation companies depends a lot on the size of the truck and your cargo, as well as the company itself. The costs can range from $20 to $200 per day of renting the truck, but we’d recommend getting this for your relocation as it could keep your stuff safe from damage.

There are also trailers you can book for relocation that can be attached to your car and driven across the country. They come in various sizes, but they’re mostly suitable for smaller stuff. The advantage of booking your rental truck or trailer is that you determine the schedule and the method of transportation. Someone can tag along with you to keep you company, too.

a man standing in front of cardboard containers stacked in the back of a van
You can pack and drive your rental trailer, van, or car

If You Feel Overwhelmed, Hire a Long-Distance Moving Company

We understand that suggesting you hire long-distance moving services as a way of saving cash feels counterproductive, but that may not entirely be the case. Whenever someone relocates, whether for the first or the tenth time, they’re bound to feel stressed out and overwhelmed from all the tasks that need to be done. Hiring long-distance relocation experts for any packing service would alleviate those feelings and get you to focus on everything else that’s important to you.

The question you’re probably thinking of is, “How can I save money when hiring movers?” Firstly, you have to learn how to recognize relocation scams. Ways to check the cost of cross-country movers and their legitimacy are numerous and very simple. Say you search “long-distance movers near me” online and get thousands of results. The websites that have all contact information and details about every service are likely the real deal. Legitimate relocation companies also provide estimates of relocation costs.

Estimating costs on relocation companies’ websites is an excellent opportunity to compare prices and see which one’s the most efficient with costs. If there are descriptions of every service, from packaging options to long-distance car shipping, you can trust that firm. In addition, using storage facilities that these companies have is a way to be frugal, too, as storage is free for thirty days of safe-keeping, and you can pick up your stuff whenever. Now, that’s a cool way not to break the bank and to relocate efficiently.

Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.



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