Are you gearing up for a big move across the country? Such a move can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be financially draining if not handled prudently. From hiring gold-standard moving companies to buying new furniture for your new abode, the expenses can quickly add up. However, with some practical tips and savvy tricks up your sleeve, you can make the journey far less daunting for your wallet. Here are the cheapest ways to move across the country:
Plan Your Budget Early
Long before you pack your first box, sit down and establish a realistic moving budget. This planning phase is a great time to factor in all possible costs and keep track of expenses as they creep up.
Downsize and Declutter
One of the key ways to save money during your move is by reducing the number of items you take with you. The cost of moving is often based on weight, so this is where decluttering pays off. Sell, donate, or recycle items that you don’t need or haven’t used for a while. The less you pack, the less you pay!
Get rid of everything and restart at your new location. Classified sites like craigslist make it easy to sell your larger belongings for a decent price. You can have a garage sale or if you have time list some of your things on ebay.
Opting to facilitate the move yourself can significantly cut costs. Renting a moving truck or van can be a far cheaper alternative than hiring professional movers. This option, though labor-intensive, affords you full control over your belongings and allows you to move at your own pace.
Rent a truck and move everything yourself. A large cost of using a moving company is the labor to move everything. If you have to move large items like furniture and a refrigerator, you could enlisted a friend to help and pay their way back. Or you could find someone local that you could pay for the day. Either way should be much cheaper than paying a moving company.
Consider Portable Moving Containers
A popular and inexpensive option in recent years, portable moving containers, is a hybrid between a DIY move and hiring movers. The company drops a container at your residence, you pack up your belongings, and then they move it to your new place for a flat fee. These containers can also be used as temporary storage before, during, or after the move.
These services drop a container off at your home. You pack it and they pick it up. They can store it in a warehouse for a time if you need them to. This gives you time to setup other things before you have to unpack your home in your new location. For long moves they can haul them on a truck or put them on a train.
Utilize Freight Moving Trailers
For those with very large households or a tight moving budget, consider renting a freight trailer. You only pay for the space you use in the trailer, making it a cost-effective choice.
Ship Your Stuff
If you don’t have a ton of household items, consider shipping your belongings through USPS, Fedex, UPS, or even Amtrak. For your bulky items, there are also many LTL (Less than Truckload) shipping companies available.
Ship all of your books, videos, and other media via the United States Postal Service media mail.
Make Smart Travel Arrangements
Keep your travel costs to the new location low by booking flights well in advance. If you’re driving , plan your route to include affordable accommodations and budget-friendly meal options.
Tune up your car or truck before the move. Changing spark plugs, air filter, and other parts as needed can be a huge money saver during your move across country. You also get the added benefit of saving during your driving after the move.
Look for gas prices online for the best prices all along the route you will travel. Gas stations in the same area can have vastly different prices. And gas along interstates can be very high. Going of the highway just a little can save you a lot.
Take Advantage of Moving Discounts
Hiring a moving company might seem expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Check for seasonal discounts, ask for price matching, or negotiate a better deal. For those who’ve served in the military, are senior citizens, or AAA members, several moving companies offer discounts.
Timing is Everything
The time of your move can significantly impact the cost. Peak moving season typically runs from April to September, and it is generally more expensive. If possible, plan your move for off-peak times like late fall or winter. Similarly, moving mid-week or mid-month can often be cheaper.
Pack Creatively and Safely
Boxes, packing paper, peanuts, bubble wrap – these costs add up. Endeavor to pack using materials you already have. Towels, blankets, newspapers, and even socks can replace packing materials without compromising on safety for your items.
In essence, moving across the country doesn’t have to cost a small fortune, but it does require some shrewd planning, resourceful packing, and smart decisions. Remember, the real joy lies in the journey and the thrilling prospect of starting fresh in a new place.
Employ as many money saving and time saving tips as you can find. This will ensure you will experience the cheapest way to move across the country.