10 Ways to Cut Your Moving Costs

Moving can be a very chaotic and expensive task, one that needs to be accomplished very carefully. A move carried out in haste can bring about several unnecessary problems. Almost everyone looks for cheap movers. After all, most of us want to save on out of pocket expenses but there are several disadvantages of selecting cheap movers. There are professional moving companies, who offer competitive rates that are easily affordable by everyone. However, there are certain techniques or methods of preparation that can also help you minimize your expenses.

When planning your moving budget, it is very important to keep a check on the outflow of cash. This will make you better prepared to understand the unnecessary expenses. Create a budget template in Excel or Microsoft Word—this will make your calculations easier.

Decide if you will hire a professional moving company or you will do it yourself. If you are hiring a mover, collect quotes from at least three different professional moving companies and include the highest quote in your budget.

Check all the items that you are moving. This will help you evaluate if you need more insurance because the default insurance offered by movers might not be sufficient for you. Along with added insurance, find out if you require extra services.

Because of rising fuel costs and a shortage of drivers, the cost of a full service mover has risen in the past few years. Anything you can do yourself—even if seemingly small—will help cut your moving bill and give you extra money to spend on other relocation costs (like the pizza and beer for after your move).

1. Reduce your load. Get rid of household items that you no longer need. Hold a garage sale and leave books with friends, the local library or sell them to a used bookstore. Anything you can't sell, give to a local charity. Weight equals money. The less weight, the less money. It's that simple.

2. Pack it yourself. Packing services performed by the mover are expensive and could amount to 25% of the moving cost. Even if you don't want to pack it all yourself, you can always do a partial pack, and have the movers handle the rest. For example, items that are nonbreakable such as linens and bedding can be packed easily without the risk of damage. Every box you pack yourself is money in your pocket.

3. Save on packing materials. Luggage and carrying bags are perfect for packing sheets, towels and clothing. Also, the bottoms of wardrobe boxes are great for bulky, lightweight items. Be wary of packing tips that might save you money initially but won't protect your stuff, for example, using newspaper instead of bubble wrap. Sure, it might save a few bucks, but in the end, is breaking something worth it?

4. Drive your own moving truck. Using a full service moving company is extremely expensive. You can rent your own truck and hire movers to help load up and unload.

5. Recruit help from friends or family. If you have friends or family in the area, getting them to help you load up and/or unload is a blessing, because it saves time and money. If you’re going to recruit help, make it a fun event. Order some food, and make it a moving party.

6. Avoid the busy season. If you are using a full service moving company, avoid June, July, and August as these are the most expensive months to move because of demand for moving services. Also, try to plan your move during the middle of the month—rates are higher at the beginning and the end because of the large number of apartment leases with month-end dates. If you can be flexible with your move-in times, you can also save money because the moving company can combine shipments.

7. Get organized. Time is Money. Color-code boxes according to the room they belong in so they all end up in the same place, saving time for both you and your mover.

8. Avoid storage costs by moving into your new property immediately and make sure that you have payment ready for when the truck arrives. Any delay could result in storage-in-transit fees if your things have to be stored until they can be unloaded and after the move is paid in full.

9. Make sure you are insured. Your existing homeowner’s insurance policy might cover your move so you don't have to buy additional moving protection.

10. Your move may be tax-deductible. Keep all receipts and visit the Canada Revenue Agency's website for specific details about which moving expenses you can claim, or consult a professional accountant to maximize your tax return.

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