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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
If you’re set on hiring movers but still want to cut costs, here are a few ways you can minimize the financial toll.
- Research moving options: When looking for moving companies in your area, explore both large- and small-scale providers, including national van lines and independently owned businesses. Look into the range of services they offer to determine which type is the best fit for your move.
- Get quotes from a few companies: Request free quotes from at least three movers to establish a price range and get an idea of which services are standard and which are add-ons.
- Compare and contrast quotes: When comparing moving quotes, prioritize uncovering the best value for your move, ensuring you pay only for essential services.
- Look for promotions: Take advantage of special discounts, deals, or offers provided by local moving companies to reduce your overall costs.
- Consider off-peak moving: Schedule your move during the offseason (mid-September through April) or on a weekday to potentially secure lower rates from moving companies.
- Seek recommendations: Ask friends, family members, and colleagues for recommendations on reputable and budget-friendly local movers they may have used in the past.
- Check for hidden fees: Scrutinize the fine print of moving company contracts to ensure there are no hidden charges or additional fees that may inflate your moving costs. Examples include charges for stairs and long carries, fuel surcharges, or additional charges for bulky or fragile items.
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:
- Digitize documents: Scan and save important documents digitally to reduce heavy paper clutter. This will make it easier to stay organized during and after the move and reduce the number of heavy boxes movers must transport.
- Digitize media collections: If you still have them, convert physical media collections, such as DVDs and CDs, into digital formats for your future enjoyment without the heavy boxes to move.
- Dispose of expired items: Check and discard expired pantry items, medications, and personal care products to shrink the bulk of your belongings and ensure you only move essential, fresh items.
- Donate or sell unwanted items: Not only does this help declutter, but it also lets others benefit from these items and might even put some extra money in your pocket to cover moving costs.
- Recycle old electronics: Instead of taking that old laptop or television with you, recycle old electronics responsibly, freeing up space and preventing environmental waste.
- Sort through your belongings: Set aside time to sort through your possessions, thoughtfully evaluating each item to decide what you genuinely need and what you can part with. Consider the KonMari Method if you’re not sure where to start.
- Use up consumables: Try to use up consumable items, such as pantry goods, cleaning supplies, and toiletries.
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.
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.
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.
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.