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Improve Your Relocation Budget: How to Save on Moving Costs

Posted in How-to on July 26, 2021

Organizing a relocation is a complex and pricey project, especially if you’re moving across the country. If you want to learn the most effective strategies on how to save on moving costs, stay tuned because we will reveal all the hacks to keep your expenses low and still have a great relocation experience.

How to Save on Moving Costs and Still Have an Awesome Relocation

Saving on a cross-country move doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a bad relocation experience. The total cost will mainly depend on your commitment and decisions. There are many things you can do to reduce expenses, and here are some essential tips on how to organize a move when you’re on a budget.

Create a Relocation Budget to Track the Expenses

Being aware of all potential expenses that can come up once you start your relocation journey will help you a lot. Not only will you be able to cut the unnecessary costs, but it will also be easier to make the right decisions. For that reason, having a detailed relocation budget to track your expenses will be of tremendous importance during the relocation. Except for Excel and Google sheets, you can also explore specially designed apps to help you follow your budget and always have access to it.

Also, keep in mind that no matter how detailed you were when creating a budget for the relocation to a new state, there is always some unexpected expense that could easily pop up out of nowhere. So increase your budget by at least 10% to make sure you have enough funds if something doesn’t go as planned.

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Compare Prices and Choose Quality Rather Than Affordability

Comparing prices is incredibly important when setting funds to spend on relocation. However, aside from comparing prices, you should also consider the quality of service or the supplies you want to use. Remember that the cheapest option can sometimes come with a bunch of hidden expenses.

For example, if you’ve decided to use self-storage, it can cost you less at the beginning, but if you don’t have the needed conditions for storing your belongings safely, you could easily end up with damaged goods. On the other hand, if you compare it with professionally run storage units that provide customers with temperature control, 24/7 video surveillance and other security measures that ensure your items are free from the risk of damage, it is easy to conclude that paying for this service is definitely worth it.

The point is – you should always make final decisions only after considering what you get for the money you pay. This is the only way to have some real and considerable savings and stay away from unforeseen expenses.

a couple calculating the expenses of cross-country moving
Budgeting and comparing expenses is a mandatory step to reduce expenses

Don’t Pack All Your Items – Declutter Instead

Relocating to a new home means you’ll have to decide what to keep in order to avoid cluttering your new living space. Downsizing the household is useful because you will get rid of all unnecessary items, but it is also a very beneficial method to keep your expenses low and shorten the household inventory list, which is a defining factor in the cost of every relocation. Bringing only relocation essentials with you is the best way to control the expenses.

Moreover, in some cases, decluttering can even positively impact your budget. Although there are many items in your home you won’t need anymore, it doesn’t mean that all of them should be thrown away, donated, or recycled. Some of those belongings could be sold, so consider organizing a garage sale and selling your things. This will give you an opportunity to spend your funds more freely, and more importantly, to move efficiently to your next place by cutting your inventory list and the time needed to pack.

a girl decluttering her home and getting ready for long-distance moving
One of the most effective ways to cut your expenses is to downsize

Get Free Packing Supplies Instead of Paying for Them

Another effective way to cut costs is acquiring free or cheap packing supplies. Believe it or not, if you want to pack a two-bedroom apartment, you will need to set aside around $450 just for boxes. We are sure we can agree that spending so much on cardboard is a waste of money. And on top of that, you still have to get packing paper, bubble wrap, mattress and sofa covers, plastic boxes, and more.

Ask Local Stores for Free Boxes and Other Packing Materials You Can Use

There is no better way to get necessary free supplies than asking your local shops for used cardboard boxes. Groceries, liquor, and local bookstores can be great sources for protective materials since they usually have plenty of it. So ask the owners or managers if they would be willing to give you those materials and explain you need them for relocation.

Also, another one of our packing tips for relocating we would like to share with you is – find some alternative solutions for wrapping up your belongings. Old magazines and newspapers, kitchen rags, towels, and even trash bags can be great options to pack your household and not spend a penny.

a man strengthening cardboard boxes with tape to prepare them for cross country moving
If you are using second-hand cardboard boxes, strengthen the bottom with sturdy tape

Shipping Books With USPS Can Save You Tons of Money

If you’re an incurable bookworm who has hundreds of books, we are sure you’ll want to take all of them with you. However, since books are pretty heavy, and since you’ll have a considerable number of them to pack, it might cost you a real fortune to transport all of them to your new address. This means you’ll need an alternative solution with the option of cutting costs and still taking all your books with you at the same time.

That’s why we took a look at the USPS media mail service conditions and prices and found that you’ll need only around $12 to ship a 20-pound box full of books! Knowing this, we highly recommend you take advantage of this offer and get all your books delivered to your doorstep.

man putting books in a cardboard box for long-distance moving
Shipping your books with USPS is the cheapest solution, so ensure to take advantage of this offer

Want to Cut the Costs? Clean the House Without Hiring a Professional Cleaning Service

Since move-out cleaning is a mandatory preparatory step of every relocation, many people usually hire professional cleaners to do it. Although this is the easiest and surest way your household will shine and be perfectly clean (and you’ll get your deposit back), you have to be aware that it will impact your total expenses. So, if you really want to stay within the budget, consider cleaning the house on your own. If you need more relocation hacks on how to clean your home properly and do it like a pro, take a look at the video below and find out useful tips from professional cleaners.



Choosing the Right Period for Relocation Can Also Decrease Your Expenses

The busiest time of the year for all relocation companies is definitely summer. This consequently means summer is also the most expensive period of the year for relocations due to high demand. When it comes to the busiest parts of the week, it is logical that the most requested days are weekends. So if you want to significantly decrease the costs, consider relocating in winter and schedule your dates during the week. Also, being flexible with dates can be another plus for your budget.

 long-distance moving calendar and glasses
Choosing the right period of the year and week can significantly decrease the final bill

How Much Should You Save Up to Move?

Unfortunately, there is no universal answer to this question since the final bill mostly depends on a number of factors like the size of the move, the number of items on the inventory list, and distance. For that reason, there is no general rule or long-distance relocation tip on how much you’ll need for the relocation. However, if you plan to move to another city, you should definitely find out how much movers cost by requesting a quote. This will help you prepare financially and be ready for all the upcoming expenses.

Compare the Costs of DIY Moves and Professional Cross-Country Moving Services

Although at first sight, a DIY long-distance move may seem like a more affordable option, think twice before you finally decide to arrange your relocation this way. One of the most common things you forget to do when you move on your own is calculating all the expenses related to relocation.

Moving cross country involves much more than renting and packing a relocation truck or loading your packed belongings into the truck. It entails many extra expenses like gas, tolls, accommodation, food. Aside from those, there are some additional problematic situations that could potentially prolong the process, such as being stuck in traffic or running into unexpected road conditions.

a woman is using calculator to count her costs for a long-distance moving
Always compare final expenses before deciding on how to organize the move

How Can I Save Money When Hiring Movers?

Hiring professional cross-country movers will shorten and facilitate the whole process. With a reliable estimate, you’ll be able to plan your budget to the tiniest detail without any risk. Once you choose all the moving services you need, book your relocation date and packing services, and schedule car shipping services, your long-distance movers will provide you with a final quote and guaranteed prices so you won’t have to worry about any unexpected additional expenses.

Moreover, when you combine a couple of different services, you’ll be provided with special conditions and discounted prices, so your relocation will be even more affordable. For instance, if you combine moving services with car shipping, you’ll most likely get a discount for the latter. Also, some companies offer a one-month free deal for the use of storage units.

Knowing all these facts, it becomes clear that one of the most effective ways on how to save money on moving costs is hiring a professional cross-country moving company that will assist you with every step of the relocation process. Still, don’t forget that stress-free relocation is possible only if you successfully avoid relocating scams that could completely mess up your plans, financially and otherwise. So ensure to find a reliable and trustworthy cross-country moving company to move you seamlessly.

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