According to Census data, almost 31 million people moved in the United States in 2019 — roughly 10% of all Americans. All moves, big or small, can create stress and financial pressure on a person or family. Between new rent or mortgage, the cost of movers, the need to make home renovations, and other considerations, moving costs can rack up quickly. We’ve put together 7 tips to move without breaking the bank.
1. Sell Some of Your Furniture
Most people discover just how much they have that they don’t necessarily want or need when packing for a move. If you find you have a lot of furniture that you don’t want to take with you, consider selling it to earn some extra cash. You can list on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or even hold a garage sale.
2. Be a Frugal Packer
While it might be tempting to hire help to pack, it’s much cheaper to do it yourself. This also allows you to pack exactly how you want and label your items so you know where everything is. You can also ask for boxes from stores that often have some leftover after stocking shelves. Rather than buying packing supplies, start saving newspapers to wrap fragile items. You can also enlist your friends to help by handing over some packing supplies they may have, too.
3. Consider Portable Moving Containers
Hiring a moving company can get expensive quickly, so many people have turned to portable moving containers as an alternative. These containers allow you to load your boxes and belongings and serve as a storage space until it’s time for you to move. From there, the portable moving container company will handle transporting the container to your new location.
4. Be Strategic About When You Move
When you move can determine a large portion of the amount you pay. During peak moving season (think early spring), movers are busy and charge premium rates to squeeze you into their schedule. If you can manage to move in the off-season and on a weekday, you can save yourself some serious cash. If possible, schedule your move before Memorial Day or after Labor Day to avoid the busy season and enjoy the most favorable prices.
5. Ask Your Company to Cover Some Costs
If a new job or position is the reason for your move, your company may have a relocation policy that allows you to get some financial support for your move. Always check with your company about their relocation policy, and be sure to document your expenses and save receipts in case you need to provide them to receive compensation.
6. Donate What You Don’t Need
It’s always a good idea to downsize as much as possible before moving. While you may be able to sell some of your possessions, another option is to donate. Downsizing can save you money in several ways. If you’re hiring movers, they probably charge an hourly rate. The less they have to load into a truck, the less you’ll pay. If you opt for portable storage containers, you usually have to select a size. The smaller the size, the less you pay.
7. Use a Checklist
Believe it or not, staying organized can save you money in the long run. Use a moving checklist to stay organized throughout the process. There are some great ones available online that you can borrow to ensure your move is as stress-free and inexpensive as possible.
While moving may be stressful, it doesn’t need to put extra stress on your wallet. Consider the tips above when planning your next move and rest easy knowing you’ll be in good financial shape.