These days, you gotta do what you gotta do in order to get by without spending an arm and a leg. Moving is no exception. Cheap moving is neither an oxymoron nor a contradiction, it's an actual possibility. You can explore your options and learn how to move for cheap by following these seven tips. (For another way to reduce your moving cost, read How To Write Off Moving Expenses.)
TUTORIAL: Budgeting Basics
Renting a moving truck is far cheaper than hiring a moving company to do the backbreaking work for you, for obvious reasons. If you price the rent for cheap moving trucks and compare them with the cost of having a professional mover do it all for you, you may find that the DIY approach is the affordable alternative.
This sort of goes hand in hand with moving yourself, with the exception that if circumstances force you to hire a moving company, you could save substantially by packing your own boxes. Many moving companies will offer to professionally pack your boxes for you, but by doing it yourself you could save a serious chunk of change. Find cheap moving supplies by staying away from the major brand stores, and look in low-cost dollar stores. Even if you're able to easily get a hold of free or cheap moving boxes, you'll need to buy other supplies like packing tape and Styrofoam popcorn for fragile items.
Time Your Move
Summer is the busiest time of the year for moving and truck rental companies, so unless you absolutely have to move during this time, it's best to wait until early fall. If that's not an option, book far enough in advance so you don't end up paying more than you have to. By waiting until the last minute, you could find the truck size you need is unavailable and end up having to pay for one much bigger than you really need.
Whether you're looking for a moving company or a truck rental, it pays to shop around. Your odds of finding cheap moving companies that are local to your area are best if you're not moving terribly far, as more well-known interstate movers will charge you more.
No cost is truly set in stone; haggle with the moving or truck rental company to arrive at a price you can afford. It's worth trying. Not an experienced haggler? Bring along a friend or relative who's skilled in the art of negotiation to act on your behalf, and secure you a cheap moving truck rental fee. The money you save could be substantial.
Have a Yard Sale
Perhaps no better way exists to kill two birds with one stone than to weed through the belongings that you won't have room for in your new home and sell them to raise money for your move. In the end, you'll have more cash in your pocket and less possessions to move.
Use Your Friends
OK, that sounds awful. Perhaps "borrow" is a better word. To save as much money as possible, try recruiting as much help as you can from your pool of able-bodied friends, family and co-workers. You might even consider returning the favor by bartering for something they could use in return, or by simply offering to buy them lunch. Catering a six-foot-long sandwich to feed your hungry throng of volunteers is far cheaper than hiring out professional help.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of ways to move cost effectively. In some cases, moving your stuff to your new home means spending time with friends, trading stuff you no longer need for cash and saving your money to spend on new things your require for your new home.