There’s a good reason why the home moving process is almost always described as stressful and expensive, and that reason is that it actually is stressful and expensive.
While that combination is not very promising for anyone who’s getting ready to move out, the good news – understand the light at the end of the tunnel – is that there are many  ways to reduce moving costs.
And when used smartly, those 20 tips for cutting moving costs and expenses will make all the difference in the world for people moving on a tight budget.
Are you ready to learn how to reduce your moving costs?
#1. Hire an affordable moving company
Without a doubt, hiring a low-cost mover is one of the best ways to trim moving costs. Ultimately, no two professional moving companies charge the same for their services, so it’s a matter of comparing at least 3 different price quotes to choose the one that agrees to your budget.
It’s always a bonus to find a cheap mover but be mindful that sometimes lower rates can indicate poor service as well. And even though it’s obvious that you’re moving on a budget, it’s even more obvious that you still need high-quality relocation services.
#2. Get several in-home estimates
The second tip on how to cut costs when moving is to have the price of your move estimated professionally. Prices can vary greatly among moving companies, so you must ask for several in-home estimates carried out by relocation experts right in your own home.
Do not accept cost estimates done over the phone or via e-mail. Why? Moving cost estimates that are not performed on-site and in person cannot be accurate enough for possible cost reduction.
To get the best relocation deal possible, compare the moving quotes you receive: price + services + terms and conditions.
#3 Ask your mover to lower their price
As far-fetched as it seems, at times you may get a better price by simply asking a moving company to cooperate. Moving company rates are not set in stone, so a bit of negotiation can go a long way.
The thing is that most professional movers want and need your business, so they may be willing to strike a balance between their rates and services to meet your relocation budget. You’ve got nothing to lose here. Besides, the mover you’ve picked can give you some pointers on what you can do to reduce your moving costs.
#4 Book your move ASAP
Once you’ve selected a reputable and affordable mover, there’s no use of waiting any longer – just book your move as soon as you can. This is especially important if you’re moving in the summer – that is, during the peak of the moving season.
You cannot reserve a house move too early, so go ahead and do it. Some moving companies may even give you a discount for early booking – yet another simple way to cut the cost of moving.
#5 Move out during the off-season
Speaking of easy ways to cut costs on your next move, another good cost-saving technique is to move during the off-season, if possible. Of course, it’s not always possible to select when you’re going to move out, but any chance of flexibility concerning the move-out date should be taken advantage of.
If you can’t choose a moving date during the off-season – anywhere between September and May – then aim for a weekday around the middle of the month. Your choice to avoid the peak of the moving season can help you slash the moving price up to 20%, or even more.
#6 Purchase moving insurance
At first, the recommendation to buy additional moving insurance may not seem like good advice on how to cut moving costs and expenses. Nevertheless, if you do happen to be moving many valuable items, then it is nothing but great advice.
Even the best movers out there are not infallible – you know that humans make mistakes, don’t you? Not purchasing extra insurance will leave you with a good-for-nothing 60-cent-per-pound coverage that surely won’t be enough for valuable possessions that get lost or damaged during the move.
Speak with your movers about your insurance options.
#7 Set a moving budget to control your expenses
What is your home moving budget telling you: good news or bad news?
How to reduce moving costs? Do it by setting up a personal moving budget as a way to manage your expenses during the entire home move.
Some moving tasks will require money to be completed, especially when you initiate the major project of packing up your things. So, to stay in control of your finances, you’re going to need a moving costs checklist that lists each of the moving company expenses or the self-moving expenses.
Cut the cost of moving house by means of controlling how each dollar bill is spent throughout the move.
#8 Follow a moving checklist to save time
One of the smart ways to cut your moving costs is to organize your entire house move in a way to make it efficient, and thus save time in the process. They say that time is money, and in your case, the saved time will mean that you won’t have to pay to hire extra moving labor as long as you manage to keep up with the moving schedule.
Follow a moving checklist to organize your time in the best possible way. Save half an hour here and an hour there to complete all moving tasks on time.
#9 Declutter your home NOW
Without a doubt, one of the best cost-saving tips when moving house is to declutter your home and then get rid of any items that you don’t need anymore. It’s simple, really: if you don’t need it, don’t pay to move it.
Your long distance mover will charge you based on the weight of the shipment, meaning that the more things you choose to move, the more you will pay. Think about it: do you really need to take with you all the stuff you’ve accumulated through the years?
Do yourself a favor and declutter your home RIGHT NOW.
#10 Sell your unwanted items
Moving across the country is can be very expensive and while you’re desperately looking for ways to save on moving costs, the one brilliant tactical move remains to sell the things you’ve chosen not to move to the new home. This way, you’ll practically add fresh cash to your relocation budget.
Organize a successful garage sale or set up an online sale to earn cash from your unwanted items. Make things easier for yourself with more financial resources to spare. In reality, fewer items to move will not only mean reduced transportation costs, but also lower expenses for packing materials.
#11 Pack up your things by yourself
When looking for good tips for reducing moving costs, you should look no further than this one: do not pay professional packers to pack up your things – instead, complete that packing job by yourself.
Provided that you have enough time until Moving day, you should be able to pack many things by yourself. That’s right, pack all the things that require no special packing skills such as clothes, shoes, bedding, books, etc.
Thus said, you should still consider professional packing services for special and valuable items such as antique furniture, a piano, a hot tub, a big metal safe, and so on.
#12 Save money on moving boxes
It’s good to know in advance that cardboard boxes will be your biggest packing expense. The good news, though, is that it’s relatively easy to find free moving boxes, either by asking friends and colleagues for cardboard containers they don’t need or by doing a quick tour around local businesses that deal with cardboard boxes on a daily basis.
Not paying for packing boxes will reduce moving costs but you still need to be careful what type of containers you collect – the cardboard has to be dry, clean, strong and free from any infestation.
#13 Save money on most packing supplies
Finding good ways to save money on your move is sometimes about the little things that don’t seem that important at first. Cardboard boxes are your biggest packing expense, but the rest of the packing supplies will cost you money as well.
The cost-saving trick here is to use protective materials you already have in your home: ordinary household blankets instead of moving blankets, towels and thick pieces of clothing instead of bubble wrap, newspaper as a padding and space-filling material, and so on.
Get creative when packing for a move and the reward for your efforts will be a more affordable move.
#14 Ask friends for assistance
A friend in need is a friend… missing in action.
Another simple way to reduce moving costs is to ask some of your best friends to give you a hand when packing and/or when lifting and carrying heavy items such as boxes, pieces of furniture, household appliances, and so on.
Instead of having to pay professionals to provide the assistance you need on Moving day, you can save money by getting the move-related aid you need from your pals.
Reach out to your friends early enough, provide snacks, sandwiches and refreshing drinks, and of course – promise to return the favor when the right time comes.
#15 Consider organizing a self-move
You’re getting ready to move out and you’re looking for ways to cut moving costs. And, considering the amount of the average moving costs, you’re right to do so.
In case you’re moving locally, you have moved house before and you know you can rely on your friends when you need their help the most, then you should consider taking the DIY approach to moving.
- Rent a moving vehicle or better yet – borrow a pick-up truck from a friend.
- Pack up your things all by yourself.
- Move the heavy household items with the assistance of your pals.
And most importantly, do factor in the various hidden costs and expenses when moving without hiring professional movers.
#16 Avoid making any common moving mistakes
No matter how much you try to reduce moving costs, the tricky thing when moving house is the one serious mistake can nullify those cost reduction efforts of yours.
It’s not always possible to stay error-free when moving from one home to another and not all mistakes will be serious enough to threaten your finances. Nevertheless, it’s always easier when you’re prepared in terms of what to expect so that you can stay away from any common moving mistakes.
The biggest mistake you can make from a financial point of view? Moving all of your household items without sorting them out first.
#17 Prevent property damage
Property damage to the home can be rather costly –scratched flooring, chipped walls or broken railings will require money and time to be repaired. To make things worse, dropped items due to excessive packing or cardboard boxes in poor condition will also spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E on moving day.
To avoid incurring extra costs on the day of the move, make sure you use proper moving equipment, you have enough helpers – friends or professionals – during the most dangerous day of the move, and you use high-quality moving boxes – brand new or used ones.
#18 Avoid getting scammed at all costs
When you’re moving on a budget, the last thing you would ever want is to get scammed by a dishonest moving company. If you’re careful enough and you know what to look out for, then you shouldn’t worry too much about falling victim to relocation fraud.
The safest way to proceed is to fill out a free moving quote– all the professional moving companies in our database have been properly licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and belong to reputable professional organizations such as AMSA and BBB. This way, you will have ZERO chance of being scammed when you’re only dealing with top-rated and pre-screened movers.
#19 Check your eligibility for tax deductions
You did it!
One way to get back some of your money after the move is over is to check whether you’re eligible for tax deductions. In other words, you may be able to claim the cost of your moving expenses as a deduction when you’re filling out your federal income tax return.
In case you’re moving for a new full-time job and the move distance is more than 50 miles from your previous home, then the moving costs (packing, transportation and storage expenses) may be eligible.
Save all move-related receipts and documents and get in touch with a tax consultant when the move is over.
#20 Use all cost-saving tips at the same time
The final piece of advice on how to cut moving costs and expenses is to use all the above money-saving tips at the same time, whenever possible. Combine the cost-reduction power of all or almost all tips listed above to greatly lower your moving costs and expenses.