So you’ve found the perfect house, beat out the competition and are ready to make it your own — congratulations! Now there’s just one task left to conquer: moving all your stuff.
The days of bribing your friends with pizza and beer to help you move are likely behind you, but there are other ways to save money on moving costs. Here’s how.
DIY What You Can
If you have a car, consider moving as much of the small stuff yourself as you can. Things like clothing, personal items, pillows, books and more can be easily transported — and you don’t have to waste precious boxes and tape; opt for totes or duffels instead. Bundling hanging clothes together and covering with a garbage bag saves time and money. Plus, by moving important possessions yourself, you can help ensure they don’t get broken or damaged in the move.
If you decide to rent a truck and move yourself, you can use this price comparison to help find the cheapest option, but be sure to call for quotes before you commit. Moving items beforehand can also mean you can rent a smaller truck for less money.
Time it Right
If you decide to hire professional movers, choose the timing of your move carefully. Opting for an off-peak window can help lower the cost, since there’s less demand. While you can’t necessarily pick the time of year you’ll move (spring and summer are the busy seasons), try to plan your move for a weekday, and avoid the middle or end of the month. While it’s tempting to wait for the weekend, it can be worth it to use a day of PTO if it means getting a deal.
And don’t put off booking your movers. The longer you wait, the fewer options you’ll have.
Ask friends, family or coworkers who’ve recently moved for moving company recommendations or check out online review sites like Yelp. Once you’ve narrowed down the list, start calling to get quotes from each one. And don’t be afraid to ask for multiple quotes from the same company to see which time of day, week and month translates to the most savings.
Don’t Buy Boxes
Packing materials are a must, but don’t spend money on something you’ll just break down and recycle after one use. Start saving boxes from online orders, ask friends to do the same and check in your office’s mail room and recycling center. Stores in your area can also be a wealth of cardboard; find out when they receive deliveries and you’ll have your choice of quantity and sizes.
Avoid buying tape from a post office or directly from the moving company, since these will likely be more expensive than other retailers. Instead of packing peanuts, use towels, linens and old newspapers to protect breakables.
Prep As Much As Possible
Movers charge by the hour, so the easier you can make their jobs, the less it will cost you. Have all your stuff packed and ready before they arrive. Pre-wrap furniture with blankets and disassemble items you know won’t fit through doorways, then have everything near the door or landings ready for them to grab and load into the truck.
As you’re going through all your worldly belongings, this is also a good time to get rid of unwanted and unused items. After all, the less stuff there is to load and unload, the less time it’ll take the movers to complete the job. Plus, you can also earn some money if you sell your gently used items on apps like Poshmark, thredUP or Facebook Marketplace.