One of the biggest concerns while thinking of moving is about the cost involved. There’s even a cliché saying that ‘to move cheap is the hardest way of moving’.
However, it is not true and you can move for cheap!
But in order to do that, you’ll need to execute and plan very carefully and not leave things to chance.
In this article, we’ll guide you on how to relocate to your new home on a tight budget and keep your moving cost low.
Before we see some of the cheapest ways to move, let’s take a quick look at some average moving cost data.
What is the Average Moving Cost in US in 2020?
Since every move is different, there’s really no one-size-fit-all moving company quote. Estimating moving cost is complex as it involves various factors like distance, the volume of household items, fuel cost, type of truck, and the season of moving.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t give you a good idea of what average moving costs look like.
According to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) , the average cost to move a house locally in the USA is $2,300, while for a long-distance move; it can be approximately $4,300. This is calculated based on 7,400 pounds as average moving weight or a 2-3 bedroom house.
The table below shows some rough estimates of what your moving costs could look like depending on the size of your house and the distance you’re moving. (Remember, these are very rough estimates and your specific cost could look very different)
|Distance||1 bedroom||2 – 3 bedrooms||4 – 5 bedrooms|
|<50 miles||$240 – $675||$710 – $1,400||$1,100 – $4,900|
|250 miles||$800 – $2,300||$1,400 – $3,950||$2,050 – $4,700|
|1000 miles+||$950 – $2,900||$2,100 – $7,800||$4,900 – $8,100|
|2500 miles+||$1,300 – $3,800||$3,400 – $7,900||$8,400+|
But don’t just rely on these estimates, getting a quote from a moving company for your specific move is a great place to start.
Once you have an idea of how much your move could cost, we can start working on ways to bring that moving cost down.
Let’s now take a look at different cheapest ways to move.
1.Reduce the stuff you’re moving with you
The biggest factor in your moving cost is the amount of stuff you’re moving. So the best way to bring your moving cost down is to get rid of stuff you don’t need.
No need to pay to move things that you don’t even plan on using in your new home.
We all have the tendency to collect stuff over the years that we aren’t even using but are reluctant to part ways with. This is the kind of stuf that blows up your moving cost.
So let’s get rid of some of these things and save you $100s on your moving cost.
Once you start cleaning up the home, you will be surprised to note that more than half of the household items are no longer required. You can give them up as this will reduce the requirement for space in the truck as well as impact the moving cost.
- Ways to declutter your home
- Hold a garage sale or yard sale
- Sell items online using apps like Craigslist or OfferUp
- List items on a neighborhood Facebook community or a site like Nextdoor
- Barter the items to settle odds with family and friends
- If there are old notebooks or coloring books, rip out pages to use them as box fillers
- Donate items you can’t sell
- Reuse items like old towels and tshirts that you want to throw away as packing materials
2. Ask your employer for Reimbursement
If you are moving to a new state or a city because your company wants it that way, discuss with the organization if they will be compensating for the moving expense. You would be surprised to know that certain companies pay the moving cost. This will reduce your burden.
3. Check to see if your move is tax-deductible
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows taxpayers to deduct eligible moving expenses from the taxable income they report on Form 1040. If you’ve moved to a new state or city because of work in the last 12 months, you may be eligible to claim the amount you’ve spent on your moving expenses.
Claims can only be made if your move meets the following criteria:
- Your move is closely related to the start of work.
- Your move meets the distance test.
- Your move meets the time test.
To learn more about how to claim your moving expense on your tax return, please read this article.
4. Collect Free Moving Supplies instead of buying
When free boxes are available around, why do you need to buy them spending hundreds of dollars? Get as many cardboard boxes as you can to pack the household items. You can get them free from:
- Local grocery shops
- Local liquor shops
- Neighbors who have recently moved in
5. Try to adjust your moving day
Weekends and holidays are usually when most people try to move. Hence, these days are usually more expensive to move on than, lets say a normal Tuesday or Wednesday.
If you can, try to do your move midweek and when its not a holiday or peak time for moving companies. Movers are always willing to offer discounts to fill up their empty days.
6. Do Not Move in Summer
Summer is obviously the best time to move your home. No one can deny its positive sides like a long day, bright sunny climate, vacation for children, and comfortable for a journey.
However, the same reasons make summer a bad time to move if affordable moving is your goal.
About half of Americans prefer summer to move their home. The costs skyrocket at this time and there is no room to bargain for a better deal.
Instead, if you approach a professional company in winter, the business will be dull and it will be ready to bring down the moving cost. So, if you have the option of choosing what month you can move during, February, March, September, October are generally the slowest months for moving companies.
7. Consider alternative moving services options
Hiring a full service moving company is a great option if you want to reduce your stress of moving and make sure everything goes smoothly. This is especially true when you’re moving out of state or across the country.
The bigger the move, the more complicated it is and sometimes its just best to leave it to the professionals to handle it properly. That being said, there are a lot of situations where a full service moving company might not be the only solution.
- if you’re on a tight budget
- if you’re only moving a small bedroom or a studio apartment
- if you don’t have many heavy and expensive things
- if you’re only moving a short distance
In situations like these sometimes hiring a full service mover isn’t cost effective.
Thankfully there are several other alternatives to moving without hiring a full service mover.
Move using moving containers, Rent a moving truck and hire some moving labor to help you load and unload or simply rent a truck and ask your friends and family to help.
A lot of these options might come out the cheapest ways to move than a full service moving company (especially in the scenarios I listed above), but, just keep in mind, you’re exchanging convenience for saving money. Look into those options and see if one of them is a better fit for you.
Points to consider before deciding on a moving service:
- Can you and the friends move heavy furniture?
- How much do you have to move?
- Are you moving far away or relocating?
- How much can you save by doing it yourself?
- Can I move valuable furniture pieces effortlessly?
- Do you have special items at home to move to?
- Are there any antiques that need special attention
- Are you willing to take the risk of some items getting damaged?
8. Get multiple Moving Quotes
Do not limit to just one moving company. Instead, get quotes from multiple movers– a minimum of 4. This will help you get an idea about the prevailing market rates and how much you can negotiate.
With multiple moving company quotes in hand, you are powerful enough to negotiate to the maximum. Chances are, you’ll get a great deal, which will help you move affordably.
9. Watch out for any hidden costs
To move affordably, you need to confirm that the quote is transparent and there are no hidden costs. Read the contract twice or thrice and ask questions unless you are clear about everything. Later, the company should not ask for an extra payment as your home does not have an elevator or the path connecting the road to the home is narrow to carry the furniture. This can cause an additional burden on you, hampering the entire moving plan.
Finding the cheapest ways to move is indeed a challenge and you need to have a proper plan to overcome this challenge.
But it can be definitely be done.
Careful planning paired with good execution is the key. And ofcourse, we are here to help you find the cheapest ways to move. If you’re ready, let’s get started by getting you some moving cost estimates.