Ten Ways To Cut Costs On Moving Expenses

by Hank Coleman

Ways to cut costs on movingMoving from one home to another or into your next apartment is expensive. I have come to find this out the hard way. For years, I have been blessed with an employer that covered all of my moving costs, but this time it is different. This time I am footing the bill by myself. You may remember that I have been interviewing property managers to help me rent out my current home. So, without my employer helping with this move, I have to find ways to cut costs on moving expenses. The good news is that there are a lot ways to cut costs on your moving expenses.

Ten Ways To Cut Costs On Moving Expenses

Get Multiple Quotes

If you think that you are going to use a moving company, you need to get several quotes before you decide. Three quotes is a great number to give you a sense of how much your move will cost and whether or not you should simply do it yourself.

Pack Yourself

One way to save over half of the cost of a local move is to simply pack your own belongings instead of having the moving company do it. I was recently quoted over $1,500 in boxes and packing fees alone for my 30 mile local move for the approximate 8,000 pounds of household items and furniture I wanted moved.

Bribe Your Friends

A few cases of beer and a little begging can go a long way. When you are quoted thousands of dollars to have a three to four man professional moving crew move your belongings, $100 in beer and pizza is a small price to pay to help find ways to cut costs on your moving expenses. Even hiring your neighbor’s teenage son for the afternoon is twenty times cheaper than the moving crew.

Get Free Boxes


Boxes are one of the biggest expenses that you will encounter when you are moving. Buying boxes and the packing service was even more expensive on the quote I received from moving companies than the actual travel cost with their truck. There are a lot of places that you can get free boxes. My mother use to go to the liquor store and raid their extras. Most stores also simply just crush their boxes and are more than willing to give them to you instead if you ask. You can also find people giving away boxes that they have used in their moves on sites like FreeCycle.

Sell Your Stuff

I’m a huge fan of selling stuff on eBay and Half.com. This is a great way to get rid of extra stuff that you have in your home and also make a few extra dollars to help out with the move as well. Recently, I have finally taken the plunge and used Craigslist to sell some of our bigger items we didn’t want to move, and now I’m hooked selling things on Craigslist. It is a great resource to help you downsize before the move.

Give Your Stuff Away

When I was growing up, my mother would always purge the excess items that we had in our homes about once a quarter. She called a local charity that picked up donated items. It was a great. We simply left the things we wanted to donate on the porch, and they were gone by the time we got home from school in the evening. I found a great free website, Donation Town, that helps you find charities in your area that will pick up donations from your home.

Pack Smartly

Don’t buy very much bubble wrap if you can help it. This is an expense that will quickly add up. You can save a lot of money by wrapping some of your breakables in your own towels or bed linens. You may also be able to find newspapers or ask friends and family members to start saving their newspapers for you to use.

Rent Your Own Moving Truck

If you are moving yourself, it almost makes sense in simply renting your own U-Haul or moving truck instead of using a pickup truck. You can make fewer trips, save on gas, and save time.

Be Flexible

If you have to use a moving company and are not doing it yourself, you can save money on your move by being flexible on the dates that you want to be packed and moved. As you can guess, the weekends are the prime time that families across America want to be moved. Moving on a week day when there is an opening in the moving company’s schedule will save you money.

Update Your Home Inventory

Now that you are moving and most likely packing your boxes yourself, it is a good time to take a new inventory of the items you have in your home. If there is a loss, you will need your inventory and possibly pictures to help you prove what you had to your insurance company when you file a claim. Ensure that you do not let your renter’s insurance lapse during this time of transition as well.

Moving is expensive, but that does not mean that there are not ways to cut costs. You can save a lot of money on your move by planning ahead and thinking outside of the box a little.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and is currently pursuing his Certified Financial Planner credentials. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 527 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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