Smart Ways To Minimize Moving Costs

Moving is not always an easy or enjoyable experience, whether cross-country or just across town. Don’t let the cost make it worse. Minimize those moving costs with these tips.

by Shaunna Privratsky
Smart Ways To Minimize Moving Costs photo

Whether it is a cross-country move or just across town, moving is not a very easy or enjoyable experience. But when it is necessary, it pays to do your homework so you have the most pleasant move possible without costing an arm and a leg.

Plan Ahead

Plan your move well in advance to avoid last-minute expenses. Make a detailed checklist and budget and research different moving options to determine which one works best for you.

Use an Accredited Moving Company

We’ve all heard the horror stories of lost valuables, broken heirlooms, or outrageous fees added to an already high bill. Avoid these troubles by checking first with the Better Business Bureau at You can input your city, state, or zip code and get a list of the accredited moving companies in your area.

Get Quotes and Comparison Shop

Next, you want an idea of price, so go to the website or call the company. Most websites offer a simple or very detailed form to get a quote, but you always want to get a specific quote for your exact situation so there are no surprises on moving day.

Rates vary widely from company to company, so get at least three quotes to compare. Look for free estimates and in-home inspections to get a reliable written quote. Be sure to ask about any hidden fees or additional charges to avoid surprises later.

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Don’t hesitate to negotiate with moving companies for better rates or services. They may be willing to provide discounts or additional services at no extra cost.

Move During Off-Peak Times

Moving during non-peak times, such as weekdays or off-season months, can help you save on moving costs. Many moving companies offer lower rates during these periods.

Move Some Stuff Yourself

Do you own or know someone who has a truck or van? The more you move yourself, the cheaper it is.

Another alternative is renting a truck or trailer. Prices on trucks change continually. So you’ll need to compare close to your moving day.

Don’t Pay for Packing Materials

Another way to save is by boxing up your items yourself. Some companies charge for boxes or offer them free, but you can get free boxes at grocery stores, discount stores, furniture stores, or other places you shop. Just ask at the courtesy counter and check back frequently for new boxes.

Purge Before You Pack

Avoid packing things you no longer need or want. This is a great time to declutter and pare down to what you really use and love.

Go through everything as you pack, keep, donate, discard, or sell. To sell valuable items, try Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay or other popular selling sites. You could also hold a garage sale or check with your local secondhand or antique stores to sell your larger items.

By decluttering, you will reduce the overall weight of your move and save on packing materials and transportation costs.

Pack Efficiently

Use packing techniques that maximize space utilization and minimize the number of boxes needed. Fill all available space in each box, and use clothing or linens to cushion fragile items.

Disassemble Large Furniture

Break down pieces to make them easier to transport and save space in the moving truck.

Track Your Expenses

Keep a record of your moving expenses for possible tax deductions. Some moving expenses may be deductible if you are relocating for work.

Moving doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By getting quotes in writing and checking references, you can find a good moving company to help you transition to your new home. Do as much as you can yourself to minimize the cost and treat everything with a sense of humor.

Here’s to a marvelous moving day!

Reviewed April 2024

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About the Author

Shaunna Privratsky became an expert in personal finance out of necessity. Between writing, reading and gardening, she is always on the lookout for bargains. Visit her at The Discount Diva.

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