Moving from one home to another can be stressful. But it doesn't always have to be expensive.
Few things are as exciting as a new piece of real estate to call your own; it’s getting there that’s the problem. Moving is hard work, and expensive to boot.
According to the American Moving and Storage Association, an interstate move of 1,220 miles costs an average of $5,630. If you’re staying in-state, you’ll pay $1,170 on average.
Although we can’t make your moving day completely stress-free, we can help you save some money with these budget-conscious tips.
1. Move yourself
Renting a truck and moving yourself is the cheapest way to go. But if you’re not comfortable with that option, you can still cut costs by doing at least some of the moving yourself. Professional movers generally charge by weight, so you’ll save money if you pack up smaller items such as clothes, dishes and home décor pieces and move them yourself in your car or a smaller rental truck. Leave the bigger items such as furniture and fragile electronics to the professionals.
2. Compare costs
If you are hiring professional movers, get price quotes from at least three different companies. When you’re requesting quotes, be sure to tell the movers the exact number of miles you’re moving, the estimated weight and size of your possessions and any special needs you might have, such as fragile items. Finally, check websites such as Angie's List, Yelp or the Better Business Bureau in your area for reviews and complaints about the moving companies you’re considering.
3. Move in off-peak times
If your move date is flexible, schedule it during an off-peak time. Many families choose to move during the summer, when their children are out of school, and the majority of moves occur at the beginning and end of the month. So if you’re hiring movers, you’ll pay more on the last Saturday of June or the first Saturday of August. Instead, plan your move during less popular times such as the fall or early winter, and shoot for midweek. Moving companies won’t have as much work scheduled, and you can find better deals.
4. Check your insurance
For an added fee, you can get insurance to protect your valuables while a mover is schlepping across town or cross-country, but you may not need to pay extra. Some homeowners- and renter- insurance policies cover your stuff during moving. Check your policy or ask your insurance agent before you end up double-insured.
5. Don’t pay for moving materials
At Home Depot, the price of a moving box ranges from 74 cents for a small, basic one, to $19.97 for a specialty TV box. Instead of paying for new boxes, start early and collect free ones. Friends, co-workers and family members are usually good sources of old boxes. You can also find heaps of boxes by asking grocery stores, big-box stores and gas stations in your area for their leftover shipping boxes. When it comes to packing, go old-school and use newspaper or fabric items such as T-shirts to pack your valuables.
6. Take advantage of tax deductions
If you’re moving for a job, you might be able to deduct some of
the expenses on your taxes. According to the Internal Revenue Service, full-time employees can deduct reasonable moving expenses if they’re moving 50 miles farther from their home than their old job. For more information on moving tax breaks, read Publication 521 from the IRS.