Moving can be stressful for many reasons, including the fact that it can be hard on your budget. It’s hard to anticipate every expense that will come up when you’re planning a big move, and if you aren’t careful, it’s easy to overspend.
But with a little planning and foresight, you can dramatically cut down on your moving expenses. Instead of spending all of your money on packing supplies and hiring movers, you can actually have something left to spend on fun things like decorating your new home!
Let’s look at six tips to help you plan for your next big move.
1. Decide Whether You’ll Move DIY Style
The first place to start is by researching all your options, so you get a realistic picture of where you’re going to have to spend money. This should help you avoid underestimating how much you’re going to have to spend.
The first thing you’re going to have to decide is whether you’re going to DIY the move or hire movers. Obviously, moving everything yourself is the less expensive route to take.
But depending on your situation, this may not be realistic for you. For instance, if you plan to move to another state, you may want to bite the bullet and hire movers.
The truth is, even if you handle the move yourself, it’s not going to be totally free. You’ll still need to pay to rent a truck, pay for fuel charges, and more.
2. Do Your Homework
You’ll want to take an inventory of your current home and decide what to take with you to your new home. A thorough inventory will make it easier to receive an accurate estimate of your moving expenses.
If you choose to hire movers, you’ll likely pay a base fee to start. Be sure to let the moving company know about any large items you’ll be moving, like a piano or a pool table. Since these items are more challenging to move, you’ll likely have to pay extra for them.
If the company offers it, you might want to consider paying for moving insurance. This insurance will reimburse you for any lost or damaged items. Insurance can feel like a waste if you don’t use it, but you may be glad you did if it spares you from paying to replace an expensive item.
If you plan to move on your own, you’ll need to figure out what size truck and equipment you’ll need. You’ll also need to work out the logistics of finding friends and family members to help you move.
3. Declutter and Sell Unwanted Items
When you live in the same place for a long time, it’s easy to slowly collect many items that you don’t truly want or need. That’s why I recommend doing a deep declutter of all your belongings after you’ve done your inventory.
I know this can feel like just another item on your already long to-do list. But decluttering is going to help you in a couple of different ways.
First, getting rid of the items you don’t need will help you cut down on your moving budget. The less stuff you have to move, the less you’ll have to pay in moving costs. This will also save you from worrying about having to store excess items.
Plus, you can sell any unwanted items to earn extra cash to help pay for the move. You can sell your items by hosting a garage sale or posting them on Facebook Marketplace.
4. Decide When You Plan to Move
Many people don’t realize that the timing of their move has a significant impact on the price. Most people move during the spring and summer, so this is considered the peak season for moving.
Moving companies tend to charge higher rates during peak moving season. So if you have the flexibility in your schedule, moving during an off-peak period can help you save some money.
5. Receive Multiple Bids From Movers
If you plan to hire movers, it’s good to receive estimates from a few different companies. Find a list of reputable moving companies from the American Moving & Storage Association and make a list of your top three choices.
Most moving companies will offer a free walkthrough and quote, so this will help you identify who will give you the best value for your money. It’s a good idea to ask each company to provide you with a list of references as well.
You should never agree to pay a large upfront deposit for moving services. If you do this, you have no leverage over when you receive your belongings or what kind of service you receive. Reputable companies should agree to accept payment upon completion of services.
6. Don’t Forget About the Extras
One of the hard parts about budgeting for a move is that there are always expenses you forgot to budget for. That’s why it’s helpful to take some time to think about any additional costs that could come up.
For instance, if you have children, you may need to pay for childcare while coordinating and managing the move. Or if you have pets, you may need to pay to board them for a while
If you’re taking time off work, you’ll need to account for that loss of income. And you may need to pay to have your home or apartment professionally cleaned after you move out.
Moving is hard work, so if you hire movers, you should plan to tip them. ConsumerAffairs recommends tipping movers anywhere between 5-20%, depending on the quality of service.
Moving on a Budget is Possible
Moving can be stressful, but it doesn’t mean your budget has to go out the window. It is possible to plan a big move without completely draining your savings account. And even though this may be a busy season in your life, make sure you plan some time to take breaks and enjoy yourself as well!