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10 Easy Ways to Cut Moving Costs


  1. Get rid of your excess belongings - The easiest way to save money on a move is to simply get rid of unnecessary household items. Start the pre-move purging process early by cleaning out your closet. Then come up with a room-by-room decluttering plan. Donate unnecessary furniture, clothing and knick knacks. If you're looking to sell items, try consigning them, hosting a garage sale or listing them on an online marketplace such as Craigslist. For more advice on how to get rid of your belongings, check out our step-by-step guide to the pre-move purge.
  2. Rent a moving truck - Thinking of taking on a DIY move? You could save thousands of dollars by renting a truck and moving yourself. If moving a large household, consider renting the 26 ft. truck rental option from a reputable truck rental company. These large trucks are capable of holding four-plus bedrooms. To find a large moving truck that best fits your budget and needs, check out Moving.com's truck rental center. Our truck rental center provides discounts on various truck rental companies in your area, as well as more information on the truck rental process.
  3. Enlist friends and family to help - Unless you're prepared to pay for professional movers or labor assistance, try asking friends and family for their help. Make sure to give them plenty of notice when asking for their assistance with a move. Also, be sure that those people are more than capable of lifting heavy boxes and appliances.
  4. Find free moving boxes and supplies - A simple way to slash moving costs is to seek out free moving boxes and supplies from local liquor stores, large chain stores, grocery stores, recycling drop-off points, office buildings and schools. You may also be able to find free supplies on Craigslist, Freecycle, U-Haul Box Exchange, Nextdoor.com and local Facebook groups. In addition, you can save money on various supplies by visiting Moving.com's online box center. We've partnered with UBoxes.com and UsedCardboardBoxes.com to help you purchase any necessary moving boxes and supplies at the best prices possible. Tip: Before ordering the boxes, figure out exactly how many you're going to need for the move by using our Packing Calculator.
  5. Rent a portable moving container - Renting a portable moving container is another great alternative to hiring full-service movers. The cost of renting a portable moving container depends on the length of time needed and the size of the container. To move with a container all you have to do is load it up, and the container company will do the rest. Popular moving container companies include: PODS, ABF's U-Pack ReloCubes, United Mayflower's container, Door-to-Door storage containers, U-Haul's U-Boxes, and 1-800-PACK-RAT. To find a moving container that fits your budget and needs, check out Moving.com's Get Free Quotes Now tool.
  6. Look into moving discounts - Those with a AAA membership may be eligible to receive special moving and storage discounts. For example, Atlas Van Lines offers free Full Value Protection to AAA members moving to a new state. In addition, members of the military may be eligible to receive discounts on moving companies, truck rentals and more. For a look at AAA deals on moving services, check here. To find both local and long distance moving companies that offer military discounts, check Moving.com's extensive network of reputable and reliable movers.
  7. Pack yourself - This one may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how much money you can save by packing yourself. While many professional movers offer some sort of packing assistance, the service doesn't come cheap. Packing rates vary from moving company to moving company but are sure to cost at least several hundred dollars. To save money on packing, I recommend packing yourself or enlisting friends and family to help out.
  8. Choose a less expensive move date - When you move can make a big difference in the overall cost of your relocation. In general, it's best to opt for a mid-month, mid-week move. This is typically when demand for moving companies is lowest and therefore, costs are lower as well. While moving on a weekend may be more convenient, keep in mind that there are a limited number of weekends in a year, and most customers will be vying for one of those dates. Those who have the flexibility to miss a day of work to move during the week should do so. Also, keep in mind that more people move during the summer. In fact, roughly 70 percent of moves take place between Memorial Day and Labor Day. So, if possible, avoid moving during this peak moving season. Instead, opt for a late fall to winter move to save on costs.
  9. Obtain quotes from multiple movers - Before hiring a moving company, be sure to shop around for the best price. We recommend obtaining quotes from at least three moving companies. The mover should conduct either an in-person inspection or a video survey of your belongings before giving you a quote. Don't trust quotes you receive over the internet. For the most accurate quote possible, make sure that the mover is aware of any specialty items that require extra care. To hire a reliable and reputable mover, choose from Moving.com's large network of licensed and insured professional moving companies.
  10. Find out if your moving expenses are tax-deductible - Save those receipts! If you donated items to charities before the move, you should be able to deduct these donations from your taxes. In addition, those moving for work may be able to deduct their moving expenses come tax season. To find out more, read TurboTax's guide to handling moving expenses here.

The average cost of a local move is $1,250. The average cost of a long distance move is $4,890 (distance of 1,000 miles). These estimates are based on a 2 - 3 bedroom move of approximately 7,500 pounds.

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