Do you know how to move cheaply? These money-conscious moving tips will help you move on a budget regardless of distance.

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Not many of us are lucky enough to move for free. For most of us, moving expenses add up fast, which can lead to unnecessary stress when money is tight. We’re experts at keeping spending in check and can help you move on a budget without compromising your sanity.

These ten moving tips will address some effective ways to move cheaply. Before you dive into these practical ways to save money, create a moving checklist that you can edit and trim as you continue to plan for your move.


Moving on a budget

1. Declutter your home and sell the excess.

Did you know that you can make money when moving? Start by gathering some unneeded items that are still valuable enough to sell. Consider if these items are worth the time, cost and headache to move. If not, sell them and pocket the cash for moving expenses.

Some decisions are easier than others, like selling the television set that no one uses anymore. Then, there are more difficult judgment calls. You may love the piano you grew up learning to play on, but if you rarely spend time playing it, it may make sense to sell it to a home that can enjoy it.

Once you’ve made a mental note of all the items you’re not going to be packing, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get rid of these pieces and make the most money on them possible.

How to get rid of unnecessary belongings:

  • Have a garage sale or estate sale
  • Sell online using apps like Wallapop or OfferUp
  • List items on a neighborhood Facebook community or a site like Nextdoor
  • Barter – an excellent way to settle odds with family and friends!

2. Donate bulky items you can’t sell.

It’s essential to have an itemized receipt so you can write off the donation on your income taxes.

Take what you can’t sell and donate it. Thrift shops are ideal for quick and effortless donating. Some shops even have drive-up garage access. You drive through the doors into an enclosed hallway, unload your items, and someone will be waiting there to give you a receipt.

In order for a donation to potentially save you money, request an itemized receipt, so you can write off the donation on your income taxes.


3. Reuse cheap or free packing materials.

save money on packing materials

Packing materials can be costly. Instead of buying an oversized roll of bubble wrap, try to use household items as packing material for household goods.

How to save money on packing supplies:

  • Socks can be used to wrap glassware.
  • Kitchen towels are a great way to separate plates.
  • Leverage original packaging to transfer what originally came in them, or find a way to use these old boxes to protect finer goods.
  • Avoid buying moving boxes altogether. Try sites like Craigslist to search for people who are willing to give them away.

4. Measure access points before moving.

We’ve all heard stories of the sectional couch that couldn’t quite make it through the doorway. Or a king size bed that won’t make it up the stairs in a cape cod. Don’t make the mistake of eye-balling size.

Make sure to measure your larger fixtures – tables, sofas, custom pieces, etc. – and evaluate how they will fit into your new footprint.

A straightforward way to do this is to measure dimensions of each room in your new living space and consider the width and heights of door frames, stairwells and hallways. Live too far away to do this? See if your new landlord or current seller can give you this information in advance.

A straightforward way to do this is to measure dimensions of each room in your new living space and consider the width and heights of door frames, stairwells and hallways. Live too far away to do this? See if your new landlord or current seller can give you this information in advance.

READ ALSO:  How to Pack Clothes for Moving

Once you determine what won’t fit, the easier it will be to determine what has to go and what can stay.


5. Don’t overbuy for your new home.

avoid overspending when moving

This trick to moving on a budget is a mental one. You’re going to need to freeze spending, even when it’s tempting not want to spend. It’s easy to start clicking “Add to Cart” for everything you see on Wayfair, but reign in the emotional spending and hold that mouse. To stay on track, commit to a spending hiatus while in the middle of a move.

Remember:

  • One way to save money while moving is to strive to buy only what you need at your new place.
  • Resist mentally decorating your new space until you’re actually in it.
  • It’s common to be more impulsive with spending in the short-term because you might start to visualize what you think you need in each room.
  • The less you buy now, the more money you’ll save and the less you’ll have to move on moving day.

6. Ask your company for reimbursement.

If your company won’t compensate you, your moving expenses may be tax-deductible if you’re in the military.

Before you accept that job offer in another state, ask your company if they will pay for moving expenses or offer compensation for relocation. You’d be surprised how much some companies are willing to reimburse.

If your company doesn’t compensate you at all, then your moving expenses might be tax-deductible if you are in the military. Talk to your accountant or tax advisor to see if you are eligible for a write-off.

Read Also: Are Moving Expenses Tax Deductible in 2019?


7. Decide if you should spend money on movers.

Recruiting either friends or movers is always one of the most significant decisions you will make when moving on a budget. While you may be quick to bribe your friends with pizza and beer, it’s sometimes better to call the professionals.

Ask these questions before hiring movers:

  • Are your friends capable of moving heavy furniture?
  • How much do I have to move?
  • Am I moving far away or relocating?
  • How much money will I save by asking friends?
  • Do I have any valuable furniture pieces to move?
  • Do I have a piano, pool table or otherwise complicated pieces to move?

Movers come with a cost, but they can save you a lot of headaches with speediness and efficiency.


8. Don’t move during the busy season.

While this may be out of your control, try to avoid moving during the peak season (May through September). Not only are off-season rates lower, but you will have an easier time scheduling the move.


9. Shop around for better prices.

Seek out new cable or satellite providers that offer a 12-month special for movers like you.

If you’re moving on a budget, figure out as many ways as possible to cut your monthly spending, even if it’s just temporarily. Moving to a new place is the perfect opportunity to seek out new cable or satellite providers that offer a 12-month special.

Be suspicious of any deal that seems too good to be true, but seek out new cable or satellite providers that offer a 12-month special for movers like you. You’ll need to know how much the plan will cost after the special expires and what the terms of the contract are to compare offers against each other.

In the period before you move, consider canceling TV or Internet services early. Surviving on your phone’s Wi-Fi – if possible – can help out your budget before you even begin to pack.


10. Use self-storage when in a pinch.

If your move is temporary or you have a gap between when you need to leave your old place and when your new home is ready, renting a self-storage unit may be your only option.

We hope you enjoyed our ideas for moving on a budget. Do you have any tips you’d like to share that saved you time or money? Let us know on Twitter.

This post originally appeared on the Life Storage blog on 7/1/16 and was revised on 4/17/19 to provide new information.

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How to Save Money Moving When You're on a Budget

About the Author

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Lauren Thomann

Lauren Thomann is a moving and storage expert. She attended the University at Buffalo and has worked in the storage industry for over five years. Here on the Life Storage blog, you can find Lauren covering everything from finding a home, settling into a new home and all the stages in between.

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