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7 Keys To Saving Money on Your Move

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By : T. Scott Clendaniel    99 or more times read
Moving is not only a stressful process, it can also be a very expensive one. If you use professional movers, the total price tag can range from around $1,000 (for a small, local move) to more than $20,000 (for a large, cross-country or international move).

Here a few tips on saving several hundreds to a few thousand dollars on your move:

  • Create a budget. Use a budget to list all the expenses of your upcoming move, including all the line items from any estimates you receive. Then use this as a planning tool to pick the best offer at the best price.

  • Lose some weight. Most of the expense is driven by the weight of the items transported. That means that eliminating items from your move (especially heavy items like old furniture and books) can reduce the final tab significantly. Aim to reduce the total by 1/3.

  • Get at least 3 in-home estimates. Having reliable companies compete for your business does two things: it helps you negotiate the lowest price and it points out services that may not be necessary for your situation. Use this process to identify your best option.

  • Watch your truck rental estimate like a hawk. Make sure you pull out your calculator and fully estimate the cost of the base rental, mileage, fuel, fees and other charges. You might be shocked as to how high the final total can be. Be sure to shop around and negotiate the best price.

  • Consider alternatives. Look into "you pack" moving services, where you load and unload the moving container yourself and only pay for the actual transport costs. This is a great option if you can convince friends and family to help with the physical moving of boxes and furniture.

  • Hold a yard sale. Yes, I realize this sounds silly. You are pressed for time and don't think it can raise much money. However, by selling off items you'll no longer need in your new place, you'll cut down on the cost of your move AND put from several hundred to over a thousand dollars in your pockets. Check out tips on

  • Look for free moving boxes. New moving boxes are the best, but there are alternatives. This one is tricky for two reasons: the wrong kind of boxes can break or bring dirt and insects into your new home, so steer clear of grocery store produce boxes and the like. Instead, try copy paper boxes, your local liquor store (their boxes tend to be very strong), bookstores (all their books come in book boxes and larger) and your local library. NOTE: I recommend you do invest in two kinds of new boxes: "cell" boxes for holding glasses from the kitchen and wardrobe boxes for packing clothes, since they are invaluable and are difficult to find for free.

Following these guidelines can save you from several hundreds to several thousand dollars on your relocation.

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