12 Cheap Moving Strategies

When looking for the best moving company, there's no question that both price and reliability are important. The practical question, however, is whether you can enjoy both of these qualities simultaneously – is there such a thing as a cheap moving company that is also dependable? I'd like to think that there is, and that by implementing the following strategies you'll be able to get cheap moving quotes from some of the most reputable companies in the industry. Here are 12 ways you can save money on moving without compromising on the quality of your move:

Cheap moving strategiesAffordable moving tips
  1. Get multiple moving quotes. One of the easiest ways to overpay on your move is to take the first price quote that you receive because it sounds reasonable. Receiving multiple moving quotes will let you know approximately what you should expect to pay for your move and will let you familiarize yourself with your options.
  2. Negotiate a cheap moving quote. Just because you've received a price quote doesn't mean that it is set in stone. If you get multiple moving quotes (see strategy #1), you'll be able to play each one off the other to get the cheapest moving quotes available. Don't be afraid to negotiate – most movers expect you to do it.
  3. Get both expensive and cheap moving quotes in writing. Hidden moving fees account for a significant part of the moving expense. When you get your moving quotes make sure that they are in writing and that they are binding estimates which your mover will be forced to honor. This way you won't be stuck with surprise moving fees.
  4. Only take things you'll use in your new home. Moving quotes are usually based on weight and distance. An easy way to create a more affordable moving experience is to avoid taking things you know you won't use. For example, if you're moving to a warm climate, you'll save money by leaving your bulky winter clothing behind. Likewise, if you're moving to a smaller home, there's no need to pay for items which won't fit into your new home. Make a conscious effort to downsize as much as possible so that you won't pay to move things that you'll eventually get rid of anyway.
  5. Measure your new space to make sure everything left will fit inside. Once you've decided which items you no longer want, consider which items will no longer fit in your new space. Will your oversize couch fit into the narrow doorway of your new home? Will your kitchen table fit into your new (but smaller) breakfast nook? If your furniture doesn't look like it will fit on paper, it probably won't fit in practice either – so save money by leaving it behind.
  6. Sell or donate things you don't need any longer. This is a great way to make extra money for your move.
  7. Pack things yourself. While it may seem easier to let your movers do the dirty work, you can save a bundle by packing most things yourself. Leave the fragile stuff to the movers but pack the books, clothing and house wares yourself to save money.
  8. Buy your own supplies. Most moving companies will offer to sell you moving supplies. This may be convenient, but it's not always the cheapest option. You can have a more affordable move by purchasing your own moving supplies – or, even better, borrowing boxes or leftover tape from others who have recently moved.
  9. Drive instead of flying. Airfare can be rather expensive, especially if you have a lot of people in your family. Moving your car can be even more expensive. To avoid both of these expenses, drive your car to your new destination. You may even enjoy the forced family vacation!
  10. Move during the off-peak season. Summer is, understandably, the most popular time to move, and when there's high demand, prices generally rise. If you're looking for an affordable moving experience, consider moving at off-peak times such as during the fall or spring, when the weather will still be pleasant but your moving company will be more eager for clients.
  11. Leave your aerosol cans behind. You may think you're saving money by bringing all of your cans with you (hair spray, bug spray, etc.), but these cans tend to explode which can accidentally ruin your stuff. You may be losing a few dollars by leaving your aerosol cans behind, but you'll prevent a potentially expensive accident.
  12. Look into mailing your books. The U.S. Postal Service has a special rate for the shipment of books so if you've got an extensive library you may want to investigate whether it's cheaper to ship them or send them on the moving truck. You may be able to save a few dollars by shipping them with the USPS.

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