The Most Affordable Ways to Move Locally in 2024

By Amanda Lutz | July 31, 2023

Woman carrying moving boxes and moving into a new home.

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Hiring professional movers can make the relocation experience less stressful and more convenient. But if you’re just moving a short distance, you may be able to save on moving costs by taking a different approach. Below, we offer money-saving tips and affordable local moving options that won’t break the bank, whether you hire pros or do it yourself.



Plan Ahead and Do Your Research

Moving affordably requires research and planning. The average cost of movers varies by job, but taking time to prepare can help you stick to a lower moving budget.

If you’re set on hiring movers but still want to cut costs, here are a few ways you can minimize the financial toll.




Before moving to your new home, plan a decluttering session to assess which of your items you must keep and which you can donate, sell, or throw away. Decluttering will reduce the amount of stuff you have to move—which will save time and money spent moving it—while selling unwanted belongings can help cover some of your moving costs.

Try these decluttering tips:



Consider Inexpensive Moving Options

To keep your local move within budget, explore inexpensive alternatives beyond the traditional full-service moving company. While full-service movers handle every aspect of your move, other, more cost-effective moving services are available that can still provide the support you need.

Partial Moving Services

Partial moving services balance savings and convenience. With this option, you must gather your own packing materials, including cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, and take on the responsibility of packing on your own.

Once your moving date arrives, the moving company steps in for the heavy lifting. They’ll load your boxes and any oversized items, such as pianos and fitness equipment, and focus on transporting your items to your new home.

With DIY packing and unpacking, you can significantly cut down on moving costs while still benefiting from professional assistance to ensure your belongings are safely transported.

Moving Containers

A moving container presents an attractive do-it-yourself approach to moving. Moving container companies, such as PODS and 1-800-PACK RAT, deliver portable storage units to your doorstep, which you can pack and load at your own pace.

Once you’ve completed the packing process, the moving company will pick up the storage container and transport it to your new location. Budget-friendly containers are particularly useful for smaller, one-bedroom moves, as they allow you to stay in control of your timeline and reduce moving labor costs.

Moving Truck Rentals

For those with fewer belongings to move, renting a U-Haul or cargo van is a practical and economical choice. The cost to rent a moving truck is usually greater than the cost to rent a cargo van. As a bonus, cargo vans are easier to maneuver, especially in tight city spaces.

A van or small truck rental might not suit larger households, but it’s worth considering for a one- or two-bedroom home or apartment.

DIY Moving

If you’re up for the challenge, a DIY move can save you significant money. Taking on every aspect of the move yourself, from packing to loading and even driving the rental truck or your own vehicle, allows you to avoid the hourly rates associated with hiring a professional moving company.

While it requires careful planning and effort, the potential savings might be worth it. If you want to take on this DIY approach, make sure to come up with a moving checklist to avoid forgetting any crucial steps.

Help From Friends and Family

There’s no reason why moving has to be a solo experience. To ease the physical and financial burden, ask friends and family for help.

Assembling a team of loved ones to assist with packing and loading creates a sense of camaraderie and makes moving easier. Asking around for free boxes and packing supplies will help further trim your moving expenses.



Our Recommendation

As you plan your local move, remember to prioritize cost effectiveness. Cross-country moves can be expensive, but if you’re just moving from a one-bedroom home on the east side of town to a two-bedroom on the west, you can significantly reduce your moving expenses by seeking alternatives.

Research and plan ahead, declutter, and explore inexpensive moving options, such as partial moving services, moving containers, or truck rental companies. Friends and family can also be a great alternative when you don’t want to hire movers.



Moving Locally FAQ

What is the least expensive day of the week to move?

Typically, it is less expensive to move on weekdays than on weekends. Consider scheduling your move between Monday and Thursday to potentially save on costs, as moving companies and packing services often offer lower rates during off-peak times.

How can I find a local mover?

Begin your search for a local mover by seeking recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. Additionally, you can explore online directories and read customer reviews to discover reliable and budget-friendly moving companies in your vicinity.

What are the benefits of using a moving company?

There are several benefits of hiring movers. You’ll save valuable time and effort with their professional expertise, efficient packing, and reliable transportation services. Additionally, the insurance coverage they provide ensures the safety of your items during the moving process.