6 tips to control the cost of moving

Depending on your budget, you can hire movers to pack up every item in your house or to just move the big stuff.

Depending on your budget, you can hire movers to pack up every item in your house or to just move the big stuff.

Whether you’re changing apartments across the street or you’ve bought a new home across the country, any move can be a major life event and potentially stressful. According to the Census Bureau, 11.6 percent of Americans changed residences between 2010 and 2011. With the proper planning and preparation, you can complete your transition in a cost-efficient manner. Follow these tips to save money on your next move.

Move during off-peak times

You can help lower the cost of moving by choosing a departure date after the first of the month and before its last ten days. This latter period tends to be the busiest for moving companies, who may charge more. Also avoid the summer months, which tend to be busy as well.

Leave it like you found it

When putting together your moving budget and schedule, leave some room for cleaning your old place. If you are renting, you will probably need to clean the property before you receive your security deposit back. If you are selling your home, it needs to be spotless for the new homeowners. For this job, you may want to hire professional cleaners because they can complete the job in a fraction of the time it would take you.

Pack it up

Instead of having the movers gather and box your things, take the initiative to do it yourself, especially if you are planning to leave or sell your furniture. Check with grocery stores or friends for leftover boxes to defray packing costs. Even if you completely delegate the task of packing to professionals, pack your valuables yourself and keep them with your during the entire moving process. Keep them secure and don't leave them visible in your car. And be sure to pack fragile materials in the proper protective packages.

Don't necessarily go with the lowest price

Obviously you want to check out your moving candidates and see what their past customers have to say, and you will also have to decide whether you want a company that charges by the hour or one flat rate for the entire move. Unscrupulous companies who are paid by the hour might stretch the job out longer than necessary. On the other hand, companies that charge a flat rate might rush through the job to get to their next customers and maximize their profits, being careless with your possessions in the process.

Consider locally owned companies

When you rent a truck from the larger, more popular truck and moving companies, you are often charged security deposits, additional mileage fees, tolls, cleaning fees, expensive insurance and other miscellaneous costs. You may be able to save money by renting a truck from a smaller, locally owned company, but make sure that the truck is in good condition. Make sure you have roadside assistance included in your insurance, especially if you are travelling long-distance. Also make sure that your insurance coverage is sufficient to replace your belongings if they get damaged or destroyed because insurance is often based on the weight, not the quality, of the items.

Deduct it!

You can deduct the cost of moving for many job-related transitions, provided you move within a year after you start your new job and that the move is at least 50 miles farther away from your old house than your old office was. Additionally, you must have been working full-time for at least 39 weeks during the year prior to your arrival in the new location. These 39 weeks of work do not have to be consecutive or even for the same employer.


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