4 tips to reduce the cost of your move

4 tips to reduce the cost of your move
moving boxes

moving boxes

Moving comes with plenty of expenses, but what most people don’t consider is that they easily can reduce the cost of their moves by simply planning ahead and slimming down.

I’m not saying it’s easy. When we moved a few years ago to our current home in Cincinnati, I had to come to terms with all the gadgets and tools I had bought and stored over the years, many only used once, some not at all. When we packed up the toys the kids were too big for, it did tug at the heartstrings a bit, but we knew that the toys could find a better home than the back corner of a dusty attic.

As someone who grew up in the moving business – I’m a fourth generation owner of Bell Moving and Storage – I’ve seen people move all sorts of things. I’ve seen them move boxes that haven’t been unpacked from the last move, wobbly swing sets, basketball goals, firewood and even vintage stereos and TV sets they had good intentions of repairing.

The bottom line is simple economics: The more stuff you move, the more it will cost you. That means, the easiest way to save money on your move is moving only those items that you need, that you really want, and that you really use or wear. Everything else needs to go away.

Here are five tips to help save money on a move:

1. Think ahead. If you know the floor plan and style of the house where you’re moving, take room measurements, and decide in advance what is going to fit and what won’t. You easily can donate those items to a local charity, sell them or even offer them to the buyers of your home. In addition to furniture, consider all those knick knacks, sets of dishes you never use and the clothes that have gone out of style or no longer fit.

2. Don’t furnish your new attic. It’s time to climb into the attic, go through the mini barn and dig into all those closets. Unless it’s really necessary, there’s no need to fully furnish your new attic.

3. Age does matter. Before you decide to move your washer and dryer and other heavy appliances, consider the cost of moving them. In many cases, it makes more economical sense to sell or donate old appliances instead of paying for the cost to move them.

4. What you can’t eat, donate. It’s simply not cost effective to move most food, plus frozen food cannot be shipped. So instead of bagging up all the canned goods in your pantry, consider donating them to a local food pantry. The same goes for pet food.

If while packing you discover something you hadn’t thought about, used or even seen in years, then you probably won’t need it in the next house. Sell, donate or trash it.

I watch HGTV every now and then and I always like the shows about home organization where the crew will go into someone’s house and help (or prod or bribe) the residents get control over all the clutter. Several years ago, after hearing and seeing the need from our customers, we decided to do something similar.

If a customer is overwhelmed by the move, getting the house ready to be sold, and all the other things that go with it, we can send in a crew of two to three professional packers, who will help the homeowner divide belongings. The first are items that will be moved, which need to be packed. The second are items they don’t need, but could donate or sell, and the third pile is for all those things that no one really wants.

People really can save hundreds of dollars by getting organized. There are other benefits, too. Houses that are in tip-top shape and no clutter sell faster and for more money. Plus, unpacking is a lot less work.

About this Angie’s List Expert: Tamara Kissel, along with her husband Bill Kissel, owns Bell Moving & Storage. The company, in business since 1922, offers local moving services in Cincinnati and Columbus and is an interstate agent for Wheaton World Wide Moving.

As of August 29, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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Organzing and prioritizing your household belonings in advance can make moving much less stressful. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Patricia S. of Sedona, Ariz.)
Organzing and prioritizing your household belonings in advance can make moving much less stressful. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Patricia S. of Sedona, Ariz.)

A highly rated Chicago-based professional organizer shares her tips and advice on how to cut down on the clutter and make successful, organized move.

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