Pretty much everyone dreads moving day. Whether you are an eighteen year old moving out of your dorm and back to your parents’ house for the summer, or a family of four moving from a small house into a larger home, moving day involves long hours, hard labor, and plenty of stress. You have to be careful to pack everything in an organized fashion, lest you make unpacking it even harder. You also need to be careful to wrap your furniture in moving blankets so that you do not end up with a scratched up tabletop or a torn up couch cushion. And of course, anybody who has moved knows that without proper planning, the move itself and everything that comes before and after it can end up costing you a lot of money. However, there are ways to manage your move without spending an arm and a leg. Below are some ways to save money on your moving costs.
TIP #1 – Be organized. Time is money, so the less time you spend moving, the more money you will save. You can start saving money right away by keeping your move organized. Do not just throw all of your stuff into boxes and plan to sort it out later. Organize by room, by size of items, and by weight. And make sure you label your boxes, too. This will help you on both ends. For example, if you keep your kitchenware organized and labeled, then when you move into your new home, you will be able to unpack that first so that you can cook instead of ordering in takeout for the first week in your new home.
TIP #2 – Ask for a discount on the tariff. Long-distance movers generally charge what a rate published by the American Moving and Storing Association. However, movers still want to stay competitive with each other and so they often offer discounts on the tariff, up to a 60 percent tariff. You can save money by asking the company’s sales rep what kind of tariff discount they can give you.
TIP #3 – Shop around. Whether you are buying a new home, a new dishwasher, or a new handbag, you probably know not to purchase the first option that you see. Shopping around is the only way to get an idea of what is available on the market and how much you should be spending. The same thing applies to finding a mover. Call several and get estimates from all of them. When choosing one, do not just look at the price tag, also look at the movers’ reputation.
TIP #4 – Be as flexible as possible. A lot of movers will offer one rate for the first and last days of the month, but a lower rate for other days. Other movers raise their rates from May to September because they are popular moving months. Other times of year are less busy for movers and if you can move during January and February, you will save money. According to Mary Scott Tuck of the American Moving and Storage Association, “A 40 percent discount in the last week of June probably won’t get any better, but 40 percent in January probably gives the mover some flexibility.”
TIP #5 – Get your boxes for free instead of buying them. Purchasing boxes can get pricey very quickly, especially when you have a lot of stuff. However, a lot of people do not realize that they can get boxes for free from a number of local sources. It is a tactic that not only saves you money but also diverts the boxes from the landfill and is therefore good for the environment. Head to your local supermarket, pharmacy, or wholesale club and ask if they have extra boxes. If they do not have them that day, ask when they expect to get some more in. Chances are they will be happy to have you take them off their hands.
TIP #6 – Don’t bother with bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is expensive and unnecessary. You do not need to spend the money on it – use other materials that you already own instead. You can use newspapers, linens, and other soft materials to cushion your fragile items. Using towels to wrap your fragile items not only saves you money, it also serves to pack your towels!
Jennifer D’Angelo is a writer and blogger who specializes in writing about Chicago real estate and money saving moving tips. Jennifer writes for Right Residential inc.