How To Save Money When Moving
Nobody likes moving. The process can be so inconvenient and stressful that it almost seems worth staying in your apartment for another year, despite the continued presence of the things that made you want to leave in the first place. Moving can also be really, really expensive. Unless you’re being reimbursed for moving expenses, chances are you’re looking to move as cheaply as possible.
Choose A Good Date
Moving in the summer, on a weekend or at the end of the month means paying a huge premium over an early October, mid-week move. Throw in a long weekend or an event in town and the price goes up. Moving trucks are subject to supply and demand just like everything else, and moving on a popular date means competing for supplies.
Let’s say you can’t help when you move, and it needs to be the last weekend of August, right before school, In this case, you’ll need to make a reservation well in advance of the moving date, and don’t just pick one company and immediately reserve with it. Call around, and get multiple quotes that cover all the variables. For instance, AMERCO (UHAL) subsidiary U-Haul offers one-way and round-trip moves. While a round-trip move might seem like the cheaper option, once the mileage costs and extra fuel are added in, a one-way move is almost always cheaper. (See also: 10 Hurdles To Closing On A New Home.)
Moving is not a do-it-yourself activity. If you’re a cash-strapped college student with a bed and 30 boxes of books, go ahead and DIY. If you’re moving a house, call the movers. Again, movers are scarce resources in a supply-and-demand world, so look to book in off-peak times to save money.
Although it seems contradictory to hire movers to save money, it’s important to remember that your time has value. People try to move on the weekends because they and their helpful friends usually work 9-5 jobs during the week. By booking movers on a Wednesday, for example, not only do you save money, but you don’t even have to take time off work to do so. Movers come with their own trucks and some will even provide a complete service and pack the house up in boxes.
When moving to a different city, be it across the state or across the country, selling large, bulky items and purchasing similar items in your destination city saves money. While there is a lot more effort involved in doing this, the cost savings of renting a smaller truck and undergoing a relatively easy move should justify the expenditure.
For some people, selling their furniture unleashes a fury of minimalism where they realize they don’t actually need a couch or eight dining room chairs. Selling furniture and then not buying replacements can lead to a inexpensive move that also leads to saving some extra money. (For more, see Five Simple Tips For Minimalism.)
Packing supplies are the cornerstone of moving. Stores know that the people buying boxes are a captive audience – stressed, desperate, unfamiliar with box-buying, etc. – and the price of boxes reflects that. Instead, you should look in the classified section or local swapping websites to find used boxes and bubble wrap for sale.
It should also go without saying but packing tape, knives, permanent markers and other items that can be purchased at a discount store should not be bought at the same place you rent your moving truck. Again, the audience that visits a truck rental store is a great target for inflated prices on moving supplies.
The Bottom Line
Moving is an unpleasant and expensive reality of life. To save money on moving expenses, people should buy their moving supplies somewhere unrelated to the moving industry, embrace minimalism and sell their furniture and pick a good off-peak date to hire movers.