There’s no way around it: moving is expensive. Most people balk when they see the prices professional moving companies charge, not realizing that renting your own truck, paying for gas, and purchasing boxes can cost as much or more. And that doesn’t even account for the opportunity cost associated with the time you need to spend moving yourself or the potential for damaged property that comes with inexperienced movers trying to pack a box truck.
If you’re starting to sweat thinking about how expensive your move is going to be, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. This article presents five killer tips that will save you from common moving costs.
Don’t Move During the Peak Relocation Season:
The worst thing you can do for your wallet is move during the peak relocation season. Nobody wants to move in the middle of winter, but that means that moving companies are overloaded during the spring and summer, raising demand and prices to match. Approximately 80% of moves in the United States happen between April and September, and, unfortunately, this is also when truck rental rates and gas prices are also highest.
If you can, moving during the relocation offseason can save you a ton of money. Any time outside the April to September window is a good choice, but truck rental prices are usually lowest between December and March. Even if you’re not considering moving by yourself, professional moving companies charge less during the winter months to make up for the lack of demand and attract customers.
Don’t Move On Weekends:
Similarly, moving during the week can also save you significant amounts of money on moving costs. Tuesday is statistically the cheapest day to rent a moving truck or van, but any time from Tuesday to Thursday is going to be cheaper than moving on the weekend. The difference between moving on a weekend and moving during the week is significantly smaller than the difference between moving in the summer and moving in the winter. Still, if you’re on a tight budget every little bit helps, and moving midweek can save you a little bit of money.
If you’re considering moving during the week, don’t forget to consider the implicit cost of burning a vacation day or using sick time. Of course, if you’re changing jobs during the move, this might not apply to you, but if you’re only moving a short distance, it could be important.
One of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to keep your moving costs down is wait until the last minute to acquire boxes. Purchasing boxes as a last resort because you waited until the last minute is an unnecessary waste of money. Depending on where you work, you may be able to take boxes from your office that are heading for the recycling plant. If you start collecting them earlier enough, you’ll have more than enough by the time moving day rolls around.
Another thing you can do to save money is pack up your belongings like furniture and others yourself and then have the moving company take over. Virtually all moving companies charge more for packing services, and some charge by the hour as well. Packing yourself also means you’ll know where everything is when it’s time to unpack, which makes it much easier to get on your feet in your new home.
Get Rid of Things You Don’t Need:
We know you don’t want to hear it, but moving is the perfect time to get rid of some of the things you don’t need. Making hard decisions about what to keep and what to throw away before you move will help reduce your moving costs if you can consolidate enough to fit everything into a smaller truck. Even if you can’t get rid of much, cutting down just a little bit means you need fewer boxes, and you’ll be able to load and unload more quickly, saving you hourly rental costs or fees for professional movers.
As an added bonus, it will also help you start fresh in your new place without the burden of finding a place for that second pasta pot or those ice skates you’re totally going to use again one day.
Hire a Professional Mover:
Most people assume that hiring a professional mover will cost more than moving themselves, but it’s usually closer than you might think. The best moving companies aren’t cheap, but when you factor in the money you have to spend on gas, renting a truck, and the potential costs of damaging your stuff when you pack it incorrectly, the gap becomes much smaller.
We understand the appeal of hiring cheap movers but be warned that it might cost you more in the long run. Professional moving services are expensive because packing and transporting your life from one location to another takes time and attention to detail. Hiring a cheap mover will most likely get you less experienced movers who won’t treat your valuable possessions with as much care as a more expensive service. Moving companies are one place where the adage “you get what you pay for” applies.