Moving can be surprisingly expensive. Most people don’t realize that price is a function of cost and costs of moving are high! Things like fuel, labor, and an ever-increasing cost of packing supplies make moving incredibly expensive. Don’t fret yet – there are many things you can do to ensure you get the best price possible. I’ll outline some of the main ones for you here:
- Avoid summer. Moving services are in high demand in summer. If you are thinking about moving in summer, it is likely because the kids are out of school and you can take your time before school prep has to begin again. You can even make a road trip out of it. Plus, the kids will have an easier transition if they start fresh, right? I hate to break it to you but everyone else is thinking it too. And fuel is more expensive in summer too. Skip it and move in January or February if you can help it.
- Purge. Moving is expensive and the more room you take up on the truck, the more it will cost you. It seems crazy, but consider getting rid of some things. The bigger, the better. Are the kids going to outgrow their bed in the next year? Consider leaving it behind and buying new when you get to your new place. Do you have a ton of collectibles that you just don’t love anymore but can’t bear to part with? Part! You can do it. Plus, the fung shui benefits will be cleansing for your home and your soul!
- Pack. Pack yourself to save hundreds to thousands, depending on the size of your move. Pack wisely since your price will be dependent on how much room you take up on the truck or on weight, depending. Use clothing, pillows, and sheets as packing materials for half of the boxes!
- Be flexible. The more flexible you can be, the cheaper your move will be. For example, a licensed carrier will often give you a discount if you can provide a 2-3 day window for pickup. Another example is how long you wait. A direct move can be double or 3* the cost of a consolidated move. Try to plan for a consolidated move with a delivery up to 21 business days (depending on how far you’re going). You can make a road trip out of your move and hit your summer vacay at the same time then, at arrival, plan a “campout” with mattresses on the floor and candlelight – the kids will love it, promise!
- Insure your move. Moving insurance (full valuation protection) can be purchased through providers like Baker International and Moving Insurance.com and is relatively inexpensive when you consider what you’re getting. It seems counter-intuitive. Why would a blog telling me how to save tell me to spend MORE money? But, no matter how much care your carrier takes in order to protect your things, things can and do go wrong from time to time and the benefits far outweigh the risk in this case. Do yourself a favor and purchase the full valuation protection. The free coverage is $.60/article/lb. Note: that is not $60/lb. It’s $.60!!!! You’re welcome;)
- Organize. We’ve all been there. We spend days, weeks or months packing and think we’re finished and 100% ready for move day. Then the crew comes and points out there are some drawers with junk still in them that you meant to throw out and pictures still on the wall that they will charge you to pack – at a premium price. The cable boxes are still plugged in and on top of the dresser, and boxes are all over the house – some still not labeled. Well, guess what? For a local move charged by the hour, you just added and hour or more to your total! Pack EVERYTHING, label your boxes, and bring them all to the front door to speed things up. Don’t pack anything in bags as it will have to be re-packed. DOT regulations will not allow movement of anything packed in bags. Pay attention to your mover’s list of exclusions and make sure you haven’t packed any prohibited item.
- Plan. Most of your food can’t go. Maybe some items from your pantry that haven’t been opened (mostly dry or canned goods) will be allowed but open condiments, frozen food, and fresh perishables are prohibited on most moving trucks. Plan your meals accordingly in the days or weeks leading up to your move to avoid having to throw anything out.
Moving IS expensive but if you plan ahead, are very detailed, and can be flexible, you will surely find the lowest-cost experience available for your needs. Godspeed!