Moving Soon? 7 Essential Tips to Save You Cash

Pack Your Belongings Yourself

moving1The first tip is to box your belongings yourself (even if you are using a moving company, why pay them to do this for you if you can manage it on your own?).
Before you begin packing, be sure to recycle, sell, or give away any excess belongings; this will reduce the amount of work you have to do.
Packing your belongings is not difficult if you work one room at a time, and save things you use every day to pack last (label the boxes of things you use every day as “essentials” so that you know to unpack these boxes first in your new home).
Take apart large furniture items yourself, as well. You may want to make a floor plan of your new home and notate where you would like large items to be placed so that you can move them to their final destination (or have movers put them there) before putting them back together. Be sure to measure large items so that you know they will fit in your new home before you bother to move them.

(Image via Flickr)

Free Boxes

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 5.16.30 PMTo go along with the first tip, make sure you get as many free boxes and packing materials to use as possible.

Check places like or, your local classified ads, your friends, neighbors, local recycling center, shopping market, schools, businesses, membership grocery stores and other organizations, and ask if they have any extra boxes you can take.

In addition, the U.S. Post Office has a special price for shipping books and magazines, and you can use Media Mail to cheaply ship these items. Then, use as many of your own towels, bedding and clothing to ship these items.

Only after you have exhausted all of your free resources should you consider purchasing packing materials, but with a little time and effort, you should be able to find all of the free packing resources you need.

(Image via Flickr)

Which Season is Best to Move?

season If you are using a moving company, move during their off-season, which is between the months of October and May, and choose a date in the middle of the month, which is a less busy time for most moving companies and so costs will be reduced.

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Know the Costs of Renting Your Own Truck

truckConsider renting a truck yourself to handle the move. If you go for this option, just be aware that there are some extra costs that can accrue.
If you need to rent a tow hitch in order to tow your vehicle, this could add a significant amount of money.

If you keep the truck longer than the amount of days in your contract, this will also cost extra, and you will probably need to rent a dolly to transport items into and out of the truck, and furniture pads to cover large items.

In addition, you may want to make sure you have travel insurance (either through your credit card or by purchasing this when you rent the truck). If you go over the mileage allotted in your agreement, you could end up paying several extra cents per mile, which can really add up. Also, you will have to pay for gas to keep the truck fueled, and return the truck with a full tank of gas.

(Image via Flickr)

What's a Pod?

podsYou might be interested in renting a pod, or storage container, that is delivered by the company to your driveway and which you pack up at your own pace. The company who gave you the pod will then take it when you are finished packing it, and ship it to your new location.

This could be more cost-effective than using a moving company, depending on your situation, but beware that delivering to a distant location and/or keeping a storage pod for a period of more than a few days can end up adding several hundred dollars to your cost.

(Image via Flickr)


citymoveIf you want to use a moving company, consider using a reverse-auction moving company bidding site, such as

Companies such as these allow you to sign up for free and enter all of your moving job needs online (such as how many already-packed boxes you have, if you have items you would like the movers to pack, any special instructions, etc.).

Then, moving companies will underbid one another in order to win your job, and you can choose whichever company you would like to work with. By using this method, the price of your move will always be discounted. You can see public, authenticated reviews of all of the moving companies left by all of the customers who have worked with them. This keeps the moving companies honest and reliable, and therefore many people already use this method to choose a moving company.

Keep Records of Expenses and Transactions

form3903Keep records of any expenses and transactions related to your move. You may be able to claim a moving expenses tax deduction. See if any of your moving expenses qualify as tax deductions by visiting the IRS website to view “Publication 521, Moving Expenses.

The general conditions you must meet in order to get a moving tax deduction are: the move is work-related, the distance test is met, and the time test is met.If you find that you qualify for moving tax deductions, you will have to fill out a Form 3903 with your tax return in order to calculate your deduction; this form is also available on the IRS website.