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How to Minimize Moving Costs

couple saving money in piggy bank

Moving to a new home definitely has a reputation. It’s stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. These ideas don’t exist for no reason – moving can be stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right amount of pre-planning and attention, your moving experience can fit your budget and energy level.

man on sofa with computer and boxes

We’ve compiled our favorite go-to tips on how to minimize your moving costs.

Free Boxes

When you start counting the costs of moving supplies, it adds up quickly. Inevitably once you begin packing, you’ll find you need more supplies than you anticipated so the costs feel like they come in waves. The best way to start with reducing your moving costs is to find free packing and moving supplies. There are plenty of places with unused boxes to get rid of, so check with your local grocery, cafe, or even office building to see if they have some to spare. By collecting empty boxes you’ll save money right off the bat.


woman with a pile of clothes

Local moving companies tend to charge by the hour and number of movers it takes to do the job. Downsizing the amount of stuff you take with you can immediately reduce the cost of hiring movers, not to mention the amount of time you spend hunting for boxes.

By embracing the minimalist approach, you’ll be sure to only pack (and unpack) the things you actually need. Spend some time going through your belongings, decluttering, and making some trips to a donation center or local shelter. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, so it’s likely that the toaster oven you haven’t touched in months would be warmly received by someone else.

Sell What You Don’t Want

You can offset your moving expenses by making some money back on the stuff you don’t want. When you’re sorting through your belongings while downsizing, make separate piles for donations and selling. There are many avenues for selling the things you don’t want to keep, including Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and local sites or social media groups. If you have a lot of stuff to sell, try hosting a garage sale. If you have some time, you can try local consignment shops, who handle the sale for you and take a percentage of the selling price.

Move at the Right Time

Dates that are most popular carry the highest fees – supply and demand, after all. By planning ahead, you’ll save money on hiring a moving company. Peak times include weekends and holidays, as well as the summer months. If you’re flexible with your dates, you can not only save some money but ensure that the equipment you may need to facilitate your move is available without compromise.

Do Your Own Packing

couple packing boxes

Full-service moving companies offer great services for things like packing and unpacking, and disassembling and reassembling furniture. These services are valuable and time-saving, cutting your moving to-do list down dramatically. They also, of course, come at a cost. To save money on moving costs, take care of your moving prep work on your own.

Try hosting a packing party, enlisting some friends to come for dinner and a good chat while you all put things into boxes. Making a social event of your moving preparations can be a great way to get things done while also getting to reminisce over memories in your current home before you bid it goodbye.

Get a Comprehensive Quote

When it comes time to book a professional mover, having all of your details in order will save you on fees. By having a clear picture of how much you’re moving and how much help you’ll need, you’ll get an accurate estimate from your mover and avoid surprise fees at the end.

Hire a Professional Mover

You may think that moving yourself is a great place to cut moving costs, but these costs also tend to add up. You’ll likely end up renting a truck for the entire day, not to mention the sweat and effort you’ll spend moving all of your things yourself. Professional movers are experts at safely moving items, ensuring they aren’t lost, damaged, or broken along the way. They’re also insured in the event that something unforeseen happens, meaning your items are covered and taken care of.

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Unpakt Team