Although you may be eager to move, you’re probably not so thrilled about the moving process itself. Anyone who has moved long-distance will tell you that relocating can be not only time-consuming and stressful, but costly as well. Luckily, there are plenty of things to before moving out of state to save money when you are on a cheap budget.
As a top long distance moving company in Sacramento, we’re asked every day for advice about affordable moving options, and we wanted to give you the information you’ll need to lower the cost of your next move. With that in mind, we’ve provided these 12 long distance moving tips to help you save money and time:
1. Don’t Buy Boxes
Instead of buying boxes for your move, visit your local grocery store, wholesale club, or local recycling facility to get them for free. Since cardboard is recyclable, why not reuse it? Let your friends and family know you’re in search of boxes so that they can keep an eye out for you as well.
2. Avoid Using Bubble Wrap
Although many prefer bubble wrap because it’s bulky and keeps objects protected from damage, it is also expensive and damaging to the environment. Depending on how much stuff you have to move, you may find yourself spending a bit more on bubble wrap than you’d like. Instead, use old newspapers, towels, and sheets to wrap fragile items.
3. Get Rid of Unused Items
When it comes time to start packing, you’ll probably come across items that you don’t use any longer or may have completely forgotten about. This is the opportune time to decide which items are actually useful and which ones are just taking up space. If you find things that have been sitting on a shelf for years, then it’s probably time to get rid of them.
Items that are in decent condition could be sold at a yard sale or online for a profit, while others could be donated to charity. This will not only help you make a small profit, but will leave you with fewer possessions to move, helping you save money on moving costs.
4. Know all the Fees Associated with Your Move
If you know all the costs that are quoted in your move, you will also be in control of your final bill. Make sure that you know the weight of your shipment, keep a copy of your moving estimate and understand all the costs that you can expect on delivery day. Also, during the estimate process, always request a binding estimate. That way, from the very beginning, you’ll know that you won’t be paying more than what the moving company estimates.
5. Move in the Off-Season
Most moving companies offer lower rates in the off-season to those who are willing to brave colder weather to save some serious cash on their move. This is one of the biggest money-saving long distance moving tips and tricks. Off-season rates are usually between late October to early April, but it can vary from mover to mover. Ask any long distance mover about their off-season rates before you book.
6. Enlist the Help of Friends & Family
Save money on packing services by enlisting your friends & family. Packing services can become quite pricey, especially when you’re talking about multi-room family homes. So, if you have some strong friends and family members, offer snacks, lunch and/or free drinks to incentivize them, and you’ll still be saving money on your move.
7. Go DIY with Portable Moving Containers
DIY moving containers offer you nearly limitless ability to customize your move. You can choose to hire movers for packing and shipping the container, or you can pack your belongings and load the container yourself to save serious money during your next move. Most containers can fit a studio or one-bedroom apartment and even ordering multiple containers can keep you out of the red on your long distance move. See the SMARTBOX portable storage containers as an example and to get more information.
8. Get Multiple Long Distance Moving Quotes
While it’s best not to shop for price, getting multiple estimates lets you know where the baseline price is for the quality long distance moving service you want to hire. This will allow you to compare prices and services.
9. Take Heavy, Portable Items in the Car
Long distance moves are priced primarily on the weight of the shipment. You can save some significant money on your move by bringing small, heavy items like document safes or exercise weights in your car across the country. This also helps make sure you keep your most important documents with you during your move. Make sure not to overload the shocks on your car!
10. Drive Your Car (and Yourself) Instead of Shipping
Vehicle shipping can get expensive, so if you have the available time it’s often cheaper to drive to your destination. Even driving two cars separately can be less expensive than shipping one vehicle across the country.
11. Don’t Pack Food or Liquids
On the list of what not to move long distance, liquids and non-perishable foods are probably number 1. It’s far cheaper to buy food when you arrive at your new home, and those foods can be donated to local charities before your move. Look for a mover who partners with Move For Hunger to make donating easy. The movers will take your non-perishable food items and donate them for you.
12. Rent A Moving Truck or Use a Freight Hauler
If you really want to go DIY with your long distance move, you can rent a truck. After the fees, fuel cost and per-mile cost, it’s possible to come in well under the fees of most movers, especially for in-state moves. Out-of-state moves with rental trucks can become costly quickly, so make sure to do the math.
Another way to save is by hiring a freight hauler. Much like using a DIY moving container, you can have a freight hauling company drop off a large trailer. You’ll have three days or so to fill it before the driver will pick it up and ship it to your new home. To save time, you can hire professional movers to pack the trailer and still come out spending less. This is an especially good option for large homes and customers who already have a new home that’s ready for them to move into. Just be warned: these freight haulers are not outfitted with the heavy-duty shock absorbers that moving trucks have, so make sure that you use extra packing material and don’t over-pack your boxes.
Save Money on Your Long Distance Move
These twelve items are our best cheap long distance moving tips. DIY is a great way to save money, and there are many small things you can do to save money on your long distance move.
Did we miss anything? Let us know what your favorite long distance tips & tricks are in the comments!