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Tips for Moving on a Budget


moving company truck
By Noel Finley

I’ve moved a lot in my life and one thing I learned early on is that moving costs can turn out to be a nasty surprise. It’s unbelievable how many homeowners, including myself, fail to take the cost of moving into account. Then when the bill comes, not only is it a surprise, it’s a struggle to pay it. If you are moving on a budget, be sure to look into moving services here , along with following some of these money saving tips I have learned over the years.

Shop Around

All moving companies weren’t made equal. Shop around and find the best price you can get. There are often huge differences in what a company will charge. Take into account any added extras along the way. These ‘extra services’ can really hit your wallet.

Provide Your Own Packing Materials

Packing doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Instead of leaving this to the professionals, gather boxes and bubble wrap yourself. If you really want to reduce your costs, use the boxes left over from Christmas or get them from a store that’s throwing them out. You can also use layers and layers of newspaper instead of bubble wrap.

Take Smaller Items Yourself

Moving companies will charge by the size of the vehicle or the number of vehicles they need to move your life to the next neighborhood. Take smaller items by yourself. In other words, pack any smaller items you can into your own car during the move. You would be surprised at how much you can get into a car, and doing so will ensure you minimize the price you pay to the moving company.

Choose the Moving Date Wisely

The vast majority of moves occur between the months of May and September. This is where moving companies can really charge a premium for their time, and they most definitely don’t turn down the opportunity. If you move during the peak moving times when trucks and crews are already fully booked, you’re going to have to pay a premium price for your move. If you have the option, pick a moving date in the wintertime when many movers are desperate for the business. This will give you the power to negotiate a much better deal and save a lot of money.

Take What You Need Only

Before you begin packing, edit the household items that you own. Don’t waste time trying to take absolutely everything to your next residence. The extra cost of moving stuff you aren’t going to be using or will only end up in storage simply isn’t worth it. Instead, plan ahead and make some money from them. Sell them for cash months before and use this cash to fund the move and to purchase items you may need when you arrive at your new home.

(Photo courtesy of Jeremy Rempel)


  • Reply Jodi |

    We have moved countless times in my life and never once hired a moving company. We do all the packing ourselves, and loading/unloading. We have rented a truck or trailer a few times, doing the driving ourselves. We’ve also rented dollies to move heavy items, much easier on your back!
    For a little of your own labor and time, you can save a lot more money, and have the security of knowing where your stuff is and who’s handling it.

  • Reply Chunkina |

    We are older and have always hired ‘2 guys and a truck’ to pack our self rented truck at both ends of the move. We pre-pack everything but allow them to move boxes and furniture into the truck using our moving blankets. Works for us and way less stress.

    other hints:

    1. call around and find the best deal. Then call your favorite company and ask if they will match that deal.
    2. a truck using diesel generally gets better gas mileage than a gasoline engine
    3. If you are not a used-furniture-phobe sell all except what you are very attached to or is heirloom. It is cheaper to replace than to move a 10 year old sofa and chair set (or mattresses or washer and dryer etc. )
    4. Make a bug-out box with tp, cleaning supplies, bar soap, towels, paper plates, flatware, drinks (coffee, tea, etc) and the makings of a quick meal or two ( think canned or boxed meals) so that you don’t have to eat out for every meal while unpacking
    5. Pack you car with the things you need soonest–clothing, toiletries, bug-out box
    6. if you pack the truck yourself, put the heaviest boxes on the bottom of the stack and the lightest on the top. Try and find a source for same size boxes (freecycle and craigslist are often full of offers). Put heaviest items in small boxes so that the boxes are not to heavy to lift.
    Fill the truck with boxes first all the way to the top and then with furniture.
    7. Thrift stores and yard sales are good places to find cheap blankets and comforters to use as moving blankets. Start collecting them early so you can find the cheapest ones. Donate them at the other end to your local animal shelter.

  • Reply Viola Nguyen |

    These are great suggestions! It is also a good idea to throw a garage sale, so you can make some money from the stuff you don’t need. Using recycled boxes is also good.. also watch the prices of the moving companies because they are all different!

  • Reply Sarah Anderson |

    Packing your car with all your smaller items is a good idea. This can save room for the truck and make it so the mover guys can just focus on the bigger things you don’t want to carry. This can also be a good place for a lot of your fragile items, so you know that they are safe with you.

So, what do you think ?