Whether moving for a new job, school, or simply for a breath of fresh air, relocating represents an exciting time in life. A change in scenery can lead to a number of positive incomes, including increased career opportunities and a reduced cost of living.
Over the last eighteen months, Americans have fueled an unprecedented surge in cross-country moving. While the peak moving season is typically confined to the summer (as 80 percent of all moves happen between April and September), COVID-19 totally changed the rules.
In fact, the United States Postal Service found that nearly 16 million people moved between February and July of 2020 (up 650,000 during the same timeframe in 2019).
As Americans continue to relocate, however, home prices are reaching historic levels, and the cost of moving is up 15 percent over last year. This begs the question: how can families move on a budget?
Follow these four fast tips to start your new life without breaking the bank!
1. Aim for the Offseason
The number one way to save money on your move is to wait for the offseason. Right now, COVID-induced labor shortages and increased demand are pushing moving costs to outrageous heights.
For example, a standard-sized move from New York to Texas costs as much as $5,500. At the same time last year, families would pay as little as $4,284.
By postponing your move by just a few months, you stand to save significant costs in two ways.
For starters, the actual cost of moving will level out after the peak season, as it always does. Secondly, the asking price of homes and apartments are also typically cheaper in the winter. According to NerdWallet, homes cost an average of 8.45% less in January and February than they do in June and August.
Still, if an offseason move doesn’t fit your schedule, there are other great ways to save money.
2. Save on Packing Materials
Don’t buy anything from the local UPS store. You’d be amazed how much they charge for a few flimsy boxes and packing tape.
Instead, consider buying boxes in bulk from U-Haul.
While they offer a range of sizes, U-Haul’s basic boxes feature easy-to-carry handles and cost just $1 each. If you order a bundle of 25, they’ll cost just $0.87 per box and even ship directly to your door.
Plus, U-Haul will even buy back any boxes you don’t use — so you’ll have everything you need for moving day. Click here to learn more!
P.S. Make sure you use quality packing tape and secure all of your belongings. The Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packing Tape is highly durable and can be bought in bulk online for under $12.
Moving is always far more demanding than we anticipate. That’s typically because of the sheer volume of stuff that needs to get packed. After all, it’s impossible to appreciate how many things are tucked away in closets and stored under beds until it comes time to move.
As you prepare for your relocation, aim to donate, sell, or throw away as many unnecessary items as possible. Use this opportunity to start fresh and only keep the things that truly have value. Plus, the less you pack, the less you’ll have to unpack in your new home.
While it’s easy to get nostalgic about old items, be ruthless about what you decide to keep. If certain things carry bad memories or emotional baggage, get rid of it. Or, if you haven’t worn certain articles of clothing or used particular items in years, put it in the “donate” pile. That also goes for pieces of furniture you may not need (or have thought about replacing).
Travel light. You won’t regret it!
4. Carefully Choose Moving Companies
There are countless moving companies to choose from. While the quantity of options is clear (as any Google search will reveal), determining a company’s quality can be much more opaque.
Be sure to connect with at least five different moving companies and get quotes from each of them. Remember that all of these rates are negotiable, and when you receive a lower offer from one company, you can use it to negotiate with another.
To protect yourself against hidden fees and ballooning rates, be very specific with your inventory list and get everything in writing. For example, if you have multiple sets of stairs the movers will have to navigate, be sure the customer service agent adds that detail into your contract.
Finally, after you narrow down your top options, be sure to verify their individual service records by checking any available Yelp Reviews. While it’s true that unsatisfied customers are far more likely to post negative reviews than happy ones, this remains an important part of your research.
To learn more about how to hire quality movers, be sure to check out this article!
P.S.: Aim to connect with moving companies on the phone, rather than online. Whenever you enter your contact information on a company’s website to receive a quote, your phone number and email address will immediately circulate in a larger database of movers who will likely contact you for weeks on end.
While moving can be expensive, it’s a worthwhile investment in your future. Whenever you decide to relocate, just be sure to give yourself ample time to prepare. You’ll not only save money, but plenty of anxiety, too!
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