Reducing the Cost to Move House: 10 Tips and Tricks to Moving On a Budget

boxes in a living room getting ready to move

Moving house can be an exciting new chapter in your life, but it often comes with the stress of high costs and extensive planning. Thankfully, you can drastically cut these expenses down with a few clever hacks. And with all those savings, you can start renovating your home sooner!

Moving from one place to another, whether it’s across the city or across the country, is a significant undertaking. The process can be both physically and emotionally taxing, and if not planned well, it can also be heavy on the pocket.

This guide will provide valuable tips and tricks to navigate moving on a budget. Let’s embrace affordable moving for a stress-free start in your new home!

The Cost to Move House: 10 Tips and Tricks

Moving house is undoubtedly one of life’s most significant events, both in terms of its emotional weight and its potential financial cost. Proper budgeting and planning are not mere suggestions but essential strategies to ensure that the moving process is both efficient and affordable.

By learning how to plan effectively, save on packing supplies, negotiate moving fees, and more, you’ll be able to transition into your new home without breaking the bank.

1. Start With a Plan

a removal van in the front of a house

The first step should always be developing a plan and pricing up the cost to move house. A solid approach will not only save you time but also money.

Assess each room and identify which items you want to keep and what can be discarded. Tools like 9Kilo’s moving costs calculator can aid this planning process. 

To create an effective plan when organizing a move, follow the next steps: 

2. Purge Unnecessary Items

Don’t just move all your belongings, take the opportunity to declutter. Not only does this mean fewer things to pack, but you can also sell items you don’t need.

Downsizing or simply choosing to move with fewer items can lead to significant cost benefits during the relocation process. The financial implications of this choice can be seen both immediately and in the long term.

Turning unwanted belongings into cash will add some extra funds for your moving house expenses, making it a win-win situation! Selling furniture, electronics, clothing, or collectibles can quickly turn unwanted items into cash. This immediate influx can be directly applied to the cost to move house like hiring movers, renting trucks, or buying packing supplies.

Utilizing online platforms like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or specialized apps can help you reach a broad audience, ensuring you get the best price for your items. Garage sales are another effective method for selling multiple items at once.

Finally, if there’s a gap between moving house and settling into your new place, you might need storage. Fewer items can mean renting a smaller storage unit or avoiding this cost altogether.

3. Save on Packing Supplies

boxes in a living room

One significant area for moving house on a budget is in packing supplies. Instead of buying new boxes, consider reusing older ones or getting them for free from stores. People you know might have recently moved or might have spare boxes from deliveries or purchases. Always start by asking around.

Additionally, wrapping fragile things in soft items like clothing and blankets can eliminate the need for bubble wrap. Utilizing your own belongings as packing materials serves a dual purpose: it helps you pack efficiently and reduces the need for (and thus the cost of) bubble wrap and other protective packaging.

The sooner you begin collecting boxes, newspapers, and bubble wrap, the more materials you’ll amass without feeling rushed.

4. Pack Smart

Smart packing can save you both space and help towards moving on a budget. Start by using all available containers, such as pots, Tupperware boxes, or suitcases.

Next, pack as much in one box or container as possible. These changes can help reduce the amount of packing material needed and keep your costs down.

5. Compare Moving Company Quotes

It may seem tempting to go with the first moving company you find but resist the urge. Shopping around for moving companies is a crucial step in the moving process. It’s not just about finding the cheapest option, but about ensuring you get the best value and quality for your money. 

Spend some time gathering quotes from different movers. Moving companies often have different pricing structures, and the costs can vary significantly from one company to the next. By having multiple quotes in hand, you can negotiate better rates or ask companies to match or beat competitors’ prices.

Different companies also offer various services – from packing to storage to specialized moving equipment. Comparing allows you to find the best fit for your needs.

And don’t forget your vehicle! You may not want to drive or may not have someone to drive an additional car. Remember to look for services from a state-to-state auto transport company that can handle your vehicle.

Also remember, while some companies may offer lower rates, they might be newer in the industry. Others might have decades of experience, ensuring a smoother move. Finally, remember to shop around and dive deep into customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials, ensuring you pick a reliable moving company.

Unfortunately, the moving industry is not immune to scams. By doing your research, you can steer clear of companies with questionable practices.

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6. Try Negotiating Rates

When it comes to engaging a moving company, never accept the first offer. Brush up on your negotiation skills and haggle for a better deal. Ask for discounts or bargain for free services like packing materials. It’s worthwhile to negotiate, as this could lead to considerable savings.

7. Consider Off-Peak Moving Times

When planning your move, consider timing it during off-peak periods such as weekdays, the winter months, or non-holiday seasons. Many moving companies offer lower rates during these times. Off-peak times might also mean special promotions or deals, as moving companies try to secure business during slower periods.

Also, with fewer people moving house during the mid-month or weekdays, your moving company might not be as rushed, leading to more attention to detail and potentially reduced risk of damage to your belongings.

This strategy keeps moving on a budget in check and ensures a smoother moving experience.

8. Ask Friends and Family for Help

Involving friends or family members can significantly cut down costs. Their assistance could range from helping with packing to providing transportation if they have adequate vehicles. Plus, making it a group effort could turn the stressful process into quality bonding time.

Gathering a group of friends or family to help pack, load, and unload items can considerably speed up the process, reducing the labor hours you’d pay professionals for. You might have friends skilled in disassembling furniture or setting up electronics. Leveraging these skills can reduce the need for specialized moving services.

If you have a specific skill or service you can offer, consider bartering it in exchange for moving help. For example, if you’re a web designer, offer to revamp a friend’s website in return for their assistance.

Promise to return the favor when someone else is moving or needs assistance with a different task.

9. DIY Some Tasks

While professional movers can simplify the process, they don’t come cheap. That’s where a DIY move can come in handy.

By packing and unpacking yourself or driving the moving truck, you can save on service costs. But it’s only cheaper if you aren’t taking off work or moving close by.

Renting a Moving Truck Pros: 

  • Typically, renting a moving truck is cheaper than hiring professional movers, especially for local moves.
  • You choose your moving date and time and can adjust your plans without being tied to a professional company’s schedule.
  • You have complete control over how items are packed, loaded, and transported, ensuring that delicate or valuable items receive the care you deem necessary.
  • Without multiple stops, you can drive straight to your new location, which can be faster, especially for local moves.
  • Some truck rental companies offer overnight or longer-term truck rentals, allowing flexibility if you can’t move in immediately.

Renting a Moving Truck Cons: 

  • You’ll need to do all the heavy lifting, loading, and unloading yourself or with the help of friends/family.
  • If you’re not comfortable driving a large vehicle, maneuvering a moving truck can be challenging, especially in cities or tight spaces.
  • Fuel, insurance, and other costs can add up, narrowing the cost difference between truck rental and hiring movers.
  • Damage to belongings, the rental truck, or other vehicles is on you.
  • Packing, loading, transporting, and unloading takes time, especially without professional equipment or experience.

Your decision should factor in the size of the move, your budget, comfort levels, the distance of the move, and any unique requirements you might have.

For short-distance moves or smaller homes, renting a moving truck can be more cost-effective.

However, for long-distance relocations or large residences, the convenience and efficiency of professional movers can be well worth the added expense.

10. Be Prepared on Moving Day

Being organized during a move is essential not only for peace of mind but also for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. When you’ve planned and sorted things in advance, moving day becomes a much smoother and less stressful process.

Here’s a checklist to ensure you’re well-prepared on moving day:

  • Create a list of all items you’re moving. This helps in keeping track and ensures nothing is lost or left behind.
  • Use permanent markers, colored stickers, or labels to label each box
  • Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to. Consider adding “Fragile” or “This Side Up” labels when necessary.
  • Use colored stickers to designate boxes for specific rooms. This makes unloading and organizing easier.
  • Create a separate box or bag of toiletries, medications, chargers, a change of clothes, snacks, and any other items you’ll need immediately.
  • Make sure important documents such as birth certificates, passports, leases, financial documents, and any other essential paperwork are packed separately. 
  • On the day of the move, ensure there’s a clear path inside the house. Remove any obstacles or hazards.
  • Ensure there’s parking space for the moving truck close to your home.
  • Consider putting down protective sheeting on floors and using corner guards for walls to avoid damage.
  • On moving day, consider making arrangements for pets or young children to be elsewhere to ensure their safety and reduce stress.
  • Ensure you have basic utilities set up in your new place – water, electricity, and possibly spectrum internet if needed immediately.
  • Have some snacks and drinks available, especially if you’ve enlisted the help of friends and family.

With the right knowledge and approach, moving house on a budget is achievable. These tips provide a practical roadmap to curb unnecessary costs and make savvy choices.

Moving house is all about planning smarter, not harder, from utilizing old packing materials to asking for help from friends.

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