How to Save Money on Moving Costs

How to Save Money on Moving Costs

Moving can cause a lot of stress, even if you aren’t moving very far. With all the things on your moving to-do list, you don’t want to add money stress to the mix. While moving can be expensive, you can reduce your moving costs by following a few simple tips and tricks.

Here’s how to save money on moving costs:

1. Declutter beforehand. As you’re packing up boxes, think about each item you pack and whether or not you actually need it or even use it. If you don’t ever use an item, moving it to your new home is a waste of time, energy, and money. The more stuff you move, the more you’ll pay in moving costs such as help, fuel, space, and packing materials.

Make a pile of those things you no longer need and either donate them or sell them at a yard sale or via online resale sites. Selling things brings immediate extra moving funds, but donating can save you money later and is faster than selling. When deciding which way to go, remember that a tax deduction only gives you a percentage of the value (by way of saved taxes) that you’d get selling items outright, but the time savings when you’re moving can be well worth getting a bit less out of your items.

2. See if your employer will cover some costs. If you’re moving due to a promotion or a new job, ask your employer if they offer any relocation benefits. You may get money upfront for moving costs, or the benefit could come in the form of a reimbursement. Either way, make sure you save all of your receipts.

3. Get the tax benefits. Some moving expenses may be tax-deductible if you moved for job reasons. You’ll need all your receipts and professional advice for this potential benefit.

4. Find free boxes. Boxes may seem cheap to buy, but they add up quickly since you need so many of them to move. Instead of wasting a chunk of your money on boxes, see if any friends have boxes you can use.

If nobody you know has any spare boxes, ask local stores if you can raid their stash of shipping boxes. You can also check out Craigslist and other online sources for people giving away moving boxes. Many times, all you have to do is swing by and pick them up from the curb.

5. Ship books through Media Mail. Books can be heavy and expensive to move. To save yourself the hassle, ship as many of your books as you can with USPS. Label the boxes as Media Mail, choose that shipping option, and ship them to your new address for very little cost. The boxes may take a couple weeks to get to you, but you’ll save money and have fewer heavy boxes.

6. Be creative with wrapping. You need to wrap delicate and fragile items before packing them away, but the cost of packing peanuts and bubble wrap can add up fast. Instead of using those costly items, wrap your fragile belongings in things such coffee filters, linens or newspaper. Just don't wrap newspaper around things that are difficult to clean, as the newsprint can rub off on the items.

7. Load up your own car. The larger the moving truck you have to rent, the more money it will cost you. To minimize the truck size/space needed, load up your personal vehicle with as many of your belongings as you can. You'll also have the items you need right away, in case the moving truck is delayed.