Moving your household requires planning and careful attention to detail. You will save time and money by requesting multiple quotes from moving companies, decluttering possessions, sourcing free moving supplies, and sourcing labor from friends and family. You can then make an intelligent plan with respect to fair market prices while budgeting for the move. Here are some tips on saving money during your next move.
Moving Cost Basics
Market Price: Most things cost money. It’s the way of our world. It’s hard to know if you’re saving money if you don’t know the market price. This holds true when considering what to budget for moving costs.
A great way to start is using an online moving calculator to estimate the cost of your move. Various sites such as Realtor.com provide free estimates when provided with some basic information. This includes:
- Where you’re moving from.
- Where you're moving to.
- The number of bedrooms in your home.
- The packing services you will use (full, partial, or none).
You can use this figure as a starting point when obtaining multiple quotes from moving companies, and then choose what you feel is the best deal. This will likely be a combination of service and price. The lowest price rarely guarantees the best quality service. You will be choosing from bottom shelf, mid-shelf, or top-shelf services. Choose wisely.
A Helping Hand: There are different moving services available. Some are full service (loading, move/haul, unloading), some are partial service (you load, they move/haul, you unload). You can employ the help of family, friends, and neighbors to load and unload the moving van to help save money. Keep in mind that loading and unloading an entire household is a very physical undertaking. Be polite, and tactful, and use good judgment when making requests to able bodied family, friends, and neighbors.
A Hired Hand: You can also hire out just the loading and unloading (and do the driving yourself). This is sometimes a wise decision, as loading and unloading an entire household requires a lot of physical work (as mentioned above).
DIY Trucking: You can drive the moving van yourself. Simply refer to the moving quotes you requested for full transport, and compare them to the cost of renting a moving van and the amount of fuel you will need (and don’t forget to factor in food and lodging for long distance moves). If the numbers work in your favor and enjoy driving long distances in moving vans, this can be a great option.
Plan Ahead: Companies such as U-Haul recommend reserving your equipment early to get the best rates when renting moving vans. When scheduling moving dates it is also important to understand that weekend rates are typically higher than weekday rates. Rates are also higher during the months of May-August. This is considered the peak moving season with an increase in demand. Plan ahead to avoid higher rates when possible.
IRS: Moving expenses were tax deductible for taxpayers before 2018. That deduction is no longer available to the general public. But it is available to certain U.S. Armed Forces personnel. Refer to IRS form 3903 for detailed information when preparing your individual tax return for 2022 if you are a member of the armed forces.
Divide & Conquer
Heavy Weight Book Champion: Let the U.S. Postal Service do a little bit of the heavy lifting. If you’re an avid reader and have an extensive library you can save space in the moving van and save money by shipping your books via media mail. The program was initiated to promote the shipment of educational materials around the country starting in 1938.
You are not allowed to ship items with advertisements (magazines, comic books, newspapers). But you can ship boxes of books (and film, DVDs, vinyl records, CDs, and cassettes) up to 70 lbs. Weight and dimension are factored into the price, not the shipping zones. The combined length and distance around the thickest part cannot be greater than 108”. The price for shipping 70 lbs media mail rate (the upper limit) was $51.38 in 2022. Refer to USPS What is Media Mail® (Book Rate)? from their faq page for detailed information.
Properly packing the books in your library is imperative. We wouldn’t recommend sending rare books, or high value items using this method. But it is a great way to send the less valuable, but collectively heavy, bulk of your personal library. You will save space in moving boxes, use less space in the moving van, and eliminate the necessity of staggering your books from box to box, more evenly distributing weight. You will earn the title “Heavy Weight Book Champion of the Move'' when you make and follow an intelligent plan!
Less is Less: It will cost less to move less stuff. It’s a simple concept. You will benefit greatly by thinning out your possessions. You will save money by reducing the weight of your move, and the space required to move your household.
You can sell unwanted high value items to help finance the move, and donate gently used but unwanted furniture, items, and clothing to charity centers. You can also use some items to barter for help. Perhaps your neighbor has had their eye on that self-propelled lawn mower you no longer use. It might just be the perfect item to barter for help in loading the van.
Discard broken and completely worn out items. Nobody wants them, and you shouldn’t move them to your new home. You will enjoy moving your entire household much more, without all the distracting clutter, when you downsize intelligently.
Think About the Boxes
Boxes: You’re going to need a lot of boxes. Each room of the house will need approximately 40-50 boxes to pack up. The Home Depot includes a moving box calculator on their site. You can estimate how many boxes you might need for your entire home and calculate the price. The price of 50 boxes including one wardrobe box and an assortment of small, medium, and large boxes is around $125. That’s $125 per room just for the boxes (and don’t forget the packing tape).
Spending $18 on a brand new wardrobe box might be money well spent, but you can save a considerable amount of money by carefully sourcing used boxes for the remainder. Talk to friends, family, and neighbors who have recently moved to see if they have boxes they no longer need. Retail furniture stores, appliance stores, and big box stores are also great resources for free boxes. Be polite, make inquiries, and save money on boxes!
Kingfisher Real Estate associates are the most well respected group in today’s marketplace serving Captiva & Sanibel Island. We look forward to helping you with all your real estate needs. Contact us today!