How to Cut Costs When Moving Cross Country
Moving cross country usually entails a lot of stress and anxiety for most of your family members. The thought of leaving the life you've known to start a new one far away can be overwhelming for some. Plus, there's the financial burden that a move requires. Moving is not cheap, and costs can quickly pile up if you're not careful.
This article shares the top money-saving techniques for your next move. Also, we outline the best practices for employing cross country moving services if you're planning on hiring them.
So let's get into it!
9 Tips To Minimize Moving Costs
It's completely understandable to be concerned about the costs involving your move. But unfortunately, even the most inexpensive cross country moving services can charge thousands of dollars. Thankfully, some companies offer less expensive options, and there are things you can do to cut down costs - simple things that can make a huge difference.
Gather As Many Free Boxes As Possible
You'd be surprised to know that moving boxes are not cheap! Yes, each package is priced between one to two dollars depending on the size, but you'll need several! If you live in a studio, you can expect to spend 35 to 50 dollars for moving boxes alone—however, the prices only go up if you have more belongings. For one-bedroom apartments, the estimated cost is between 65 to 85 dollars, and for those who have a two-bedroom place, anticipate paying between 85 to 100 dollars.
To cut down costs involving moving boxes, seek out free supplies from friends, community groups, online marketplaces and various stores. You can find free packages on local Facebook groups, Craigslist, U-Haul Box Exchange, Freecycle and Nextdoor. In addition, check out offices, grocery stores, recycling drop-off points and liquor stores for offline options.
Declutter by Selling Your Stuff
It's perfectly normal to feel an attachment to the stuff you've accumulated over the years. But to make your move a lot easier, you have to go through your belongings and figure out what you want to keep. If you have clothes that don't fit or stuff that hasn't seen the light of day for years, it's time to let them go.
Host a garage sale or sell your belongings online—tons of online marketplaces welcome second-hand items. By selling your pre-loved things, you significantly reduce the number of items you need to pack, making the process easier and cheaper for you. Plus, you get to earn a couple of bucks to allocate to your other moving expenses.
Do the Packing Yourself
When you decide to hire a moving company, they will usually assign a team to pack your stuff. This, of course, comes with additional costs. Packing services generally have hourly rates, costing several hundred dollars.
However, you can always deny this service if you don't want the extra expense. So don't hesitate to speak up and be clear on your terms.
If you don't own many things, packing your belongings yourself will be manageable. The best way to make the experience less stressful is to start packing in advance. Even if the move date is still weeks away, you can already begin to put your stuff away little by little.
Move During Off-Season
Believe it or not, the date of your move has a significant impact on your relocation price. Moving during the "peak" season is pricier due to the high demand for the service. Peak moving days are the weekends. If you can schedule your move mid-week and mid-month, then that dramatically reduces your expenses since these are the days when demand is typically at its lowest. The peak moving season is May through September, meaning it's ideal to schedule your move date between October and April.
By avoiding peak moving days and times, you can save a lot of money on truck rentals and labor costs.
Ship Your Things
Shipping your stuff to your new place is not a popular option, and understandably so. No one wants to be separated from their belongings if they don't have to. But, it is the most convenient and cost-effective method of moving cross country, especially for those who don't own many things. In addition, there are shipping companies like UPS, USPS and FedEx, which offer reasonable pricing for shipping large items.
However, if you have a lot of belongings, this option is not viable for you. Moving costs can add up, and you'll spend more than you have to. Therefore, it is best to hire cross country moving services to reduce costs.
Enlist the Help of Friends and Family
Extra hands are always welcome, so call in your friends and family to help you with your move. This will make packing much faster, and loading and unloading will become more efficient. However, you may need to work around their schedules, or you may want to consider paying your friends back for their assistance.
Deduct Moving Expenses From Taxes
If you must move to a new location because of work, you can use your moving expenses for tax deductions. You can utilize IRS Form 3903 "to claim the cost of your moving expenses as a deduction on your federal income tax return." So make sure to save those receipts!
Hire a Moving Company
Hiring professional services is your best shot at a stress-free and smooth moving experience. These people know how to handle your belongings, keeping them secure during transportation properly.
You don't have to worry about anything. From packing to unloading, movers will do all the heavy lifting to get you settled in your new place with zero stress on your end. If you want reliability, then employing movers is the best choice.
Hiring professionals does mean you need to spend more, but there are moving companies that provide low and reasonable prices for their solutions. So you can rest easy knowing that your personal belongings are in good hands.
Inspect the Contract Carefully
Ensure that you take a long and hard look at your contract once you've decided which moving company to hire. Areas that require careful examination are the insurance and liability clauses. Moving companies often offer lower prices for their insurance options but know that cheaper fees mean minimal protection. Also, inspect your estimate's add-ons and extra fees to ensure you're not being overcharged.
Best Practices for Hiring Professional Movers
Hiring professional movers might sound simple, but it can be challenging to find the right match for your needs with tons of options available. There are no precise rules when hiring a moving company, but knowing the best practices and what red flags to look out for can help prevent catastrophes.
- Determine the services you need - The distance and size of the move will help determine which company is best suited for your relocation. There are full-service moving companies that do the packing, transport and unloading of your things. On the other hand, some companies only offer truck rentals. Assess your needs so you don't spend on services you may not require.
- Do your research beforehand - Before you contact a mover for consultation, it's best to do initial research about their company, services and process. Make sure to check their website or social media business profiles - a reputable company will have some form of presence online. Also, read through the customer reviews and testimonials to get a good idea of the mover's credibility and trustworthiness.
- Ask questions - Don't hesitate to ask as many questions as possible. Ask them about their license and what kind of insurance they offer to protect your goods. In addition, make them explain their policies and how they handle disputes or complaints.
- Sign a contract - Never settle with just a verbal agreement. Get everything on paper and inspect the document closely, as mentioned above. Finally, sign the contract when you believe everything is already in order.
Keep an eye out for the following red flags when choosing a moving company to partner with.
- Unlicensed and uninsured - All moving companies must be licensed and insured. Without these, the business could be operating under shady practices.
- Low-ball estimates - Deceptive movers typically use extremely low estimates to secure jobs. They then increase the prices once they have your belongings in their possession.
- Blank moving contract - Some movers will offer a blank contract and claim that they will only add conditions after signing. This is an apparent scam. Never sign unless the terms are already written and inspected by both parties.
Partner With Armbruster on Your Next Cross Country Move
Armbruster Moving & Storage is one of the most experienced moving, storage and logistics companies in the United States. We offer long-distance moving services to make your relocation as smooth as possible. Our processes are designed with your satisfaction in mind. From consultation to delivery, our team is with you every step of the way.
Your belongings are safe with us. All Armbruster team members have the necessary skills and licenses to guarantee the safe transportation of your possessions. Call us today at (330) 220-6400 or book a move using our online form.