10 Ways to Save Money While Moving State to State in the USA
Now that the papers are signed and you got your keys, you’re officially moving to a new home! While you’re probably excited, you may be starting to sweat at the idea of cross country moving costs.
Moving to a different state can seem daunting, so you might be tempted to get the move over with as quickly as possible. However, your move doesn’t have to break the bank! There are plenty of ways to save money while moving that are easy to do with a little pre-planning.
Shipping your life across multiple states can get expensive, but there’s no reason your moving costs should get out of control. Read on for the best tips for saving money while moving. You’ll be glad you did!
1. Move During the Off-Season
Most people move on the last or first day of the month, which means movers and trucks may be in short supply. Plus, if you’re planning a summer move, you may end up paying hundreds extra in moving costs.
Timing your move well can help you save a ton of money. Having a flexible move-in day or moving during the week allows you to compare movers and shop for the best price. Booking your moving date as early as possible can help you score the best deals, especially if you’re planning a move between October and April.
Keep in mind that bad weather can delay your move, especially if you’re working with movers. Pack an extra suitcase of necessities to travel with you in case your moving truck arrives later than expected. Some moving companies may take as long as 14 days to get your items to you, so make sure you travel with enough season-appropriate clothes.
2. Rent a Moving Truck Instead of Hiring Movers
Hiring movers can seem like a no-brainer for a cross-state move. However, excessive shipping costs and unexpected fees can add up and lead to more stress.
Most people avoid renting a moving truck because they don’t want to load the truck or drive it themselves. If your new home is close enough to drive, renting a truck can give your moving budget more flexibility. Driving your own truck is also a great way to ensure your items arrive at your home quickly.
You can hire a moving team to load and unload the truck with the money you save from hiring a full-service moving company. Posting a gig on Craigslist can help you find affordable movers in a new location. While you are saving money, don’t forget to account for added costs like gas and tolls.
3. If You Use Movers, Read the Fine Print
Working with movers can lead to many unplanned costs. Getting a quote and discovering you owe twice that amount the day of your move can quickly break your moving budget. To avoid extra fees, make sure to read the fine print and discuss all possible costs with your movers before they’re at your door.
For example, many movers charge a fee per staircase. However, the fine print may designate that a staircase is 10 stairs when your staircase is 15. Checking the fine print can help you avoid surprises come moving day.
Before you hire a moving company, have them come to your space to do an estimate rather than answering questions over the phone. While your movers are there, they can give you insight into extra costs and offer a more accurate quote. Getting an in-person quote can help you budget more appropriately for your move.
A moving truck may also be a better option for you if money is tight. Many moving companies only accept cash or check for at least half of the job, so if you’re using credit cards to finance your move, you may be out of luck once you’ve hired a moving company.
4. Don’t Forget Specialty Moving Boxes
Finding free moving boxes from local businesses can definitely save you money. But, using the wrong storage options can lead to broken items, and shipping broken things is definitely a waste of money.
If you’re using a moving service, they may require specific moving boxes for items like paintings, mirrors, and delicate furniture to protect them during a move between states. These boxes are much more expensive when they come from the moving company.
Spending more on the right boxes right away can ensure your fragile items arrive at your new house in one piece. Go to a hardware store or dollar store to review the box options available. Supplementing your free boxes with a few specialty boxes can keep your valuables safe so you don’t have to buy all new dishes for your new home.
5. Consider Renting a Storage Container
One of the top reasons people choose to use a moving service is because they’re moving far away. Renting a storage container can be an affordable way to ship your items across the country without breaking the bank.
Just like with renting a moving truck, you may want to hire movers to help you load and unload. However, using a storage container gives you the freedom to fly to your new home while someone else transports your items.
A shipping container may also give you more time to pack and unpack without the time constraints of a moving truck. If there’s a gap between your move-out and move-in date, a storage container can be a great way to securely store your items and access them when you need them. Plus, you can even keep some items in your container and use it as a storage unit if you have limited time to unpack when you first arrive.
Keep in mind that you need to have the space to have a storage container near your home. If you’re living in a city, you may need to get extra permits to load and unload your container during your move. Check your local laws before renting your container.
6. Measure Your New House Before You Move
After spending money on a new home and tallying up moving expenses, new furniture might be the last thing on your mind. While you may think you’re saving money by bringing along your current furniture, you’ll end up sorely disappointed if you discover your sofa won’t fit in the front door.
Buying new furniture may actually be the affordable choice once you see how much it costs to move your piano, sectional, king-sized bedframe, or pool table.
Before you move, be sure to take plenty of measurements in every room. Don’t forget to measure any doorframes you’ll need to pass through and account for staircases!
If you’ve already returned home and your house is too far away to do your measurements, ask the seller, realtor, or landlord to measure key spaces for you. You may be able to request the floor plans for your new home to get a clear perspective of how much space you have to furnish in your new home.
Then, go home and measure your furniture. If your old furniture won’t fit in your new home, you can sell it right away to make extra cash. Otherwise, you can donate your furniture, receive a tax deduction, and save on the moving fees of bringing it along.
7. Decide What You Are and Aren’t Taking With You
You may get rid of some furniture that won’t physically fit in your new home, but have you considered furniture that may not fit your new home’s style?
Most people wait until packing to sort through what to take and what to leave behind. However, categorizing your belongings during a move can bring added stress and extra boxes packed with things you don’t need. Once you decide that you’re moving, start noticing the items you no longer use and cleaning out drawers long before you begin packing.
Make a note of your new house’s style or put a picture of your new home on your refrigerator to remind you of your new aesthetic. This can help you get rid of items that won’t fit in when they arrive at your home. Sell these items early to reduce your shipping costs and sell or donate excess clutter.
8. Take Your Time Packing
Decluttering can sound really stressful when your move is only a few weeks away. Instead of parsing through items when time is tight, schedule your packing ahead of time can help you only store the items you need. Plus, packing incrementally can help you avoid overbuying boxes or packing supplies.
Taking your time packing can help you make sure you rent the right size moving truck and accurately measure how many boxes you’ll be moving. As you pack, you can also ship items you don’t need right away with flat-rate shipping boxes. This is a great way to save money and spread out moving costs.
Packing early can also deter you from buying new things for your house. If you’re anticipating your upcoming move, you’ll be more aware that shopping now can cost you more later. Remember that you’ll need to ship anything you buy, so holding off on shopping until you move can lead to significant cost savings.
9. Use Clothes and Linens for Packing
Even though packing supplies may seem inexpensive, packing peanuts and tape can add up, especially if you get supplies from a moving company. However, there are plenty of things around your house that can keep your valuables safe during your move. One of the best ways to save is by using clothing to protect your items.
Coats and sweaters can separate dishes to keep them from breaking, while socks can be stuffed in glasses to help them stay safe. Save up newspapers to wrap items as well. Blankets and towels can be wrapped around art and furniture to prevent scratches and breaking.
Folded clothes can take up a lot of space in boxes, but they can also lighten a heavy box without wasting space. Add your shirts or sheets to a box of books to balance the weight without sacrificing room. Out of season clothes are a great asset that can help you save on unnecessary packing supplies.
10. Request Reimbursement From Your Company
If you’re relocating for a job, you may have benefits that your HR department didn’t share with you. Some businesses will cover moving expenses if you’re relocating for a new position or a promotion, so it never hurts to ask if your business will sponsor your move.
Depending on your business, they may offer a flat amount for moving expenses or they may ask you to submit reasonable expenses to them. While any reimbursement is money saved, you may be able to get your entire move covered with careful planning. You may be surprised with what costs they cover, like hotel costs, storage, or insurance on your move.
Speak to your company early about what expenses are covered and what isn’t to help coordinate your moving plans. Keep in mind that a reimbursement benefit is taxable income, so you may have to pay taxes on an expensive move. However, the tax amount will certainly be much less expensive than paying for the move yourself.
Save Money While Moving with Less Stress
Eliminating the stress from a cross-state move can be tough. Even if moving to a new place comes with extra nerves, you can rest easy knowing that you’re saving tons of money on your move with these valuable tips. Carefully planning your cross-country move can give you more money to spend on customizing your new house.
There are a ton of ways that your moving budget can balloon out of control. If you don’t know what to look for, you can find yourself overwhelmed with unexpected moving expenses. Before you book your move, review these tips and create a strategy to keep your move as low cost and low stress as possible.
If you’re looking to move for less, we’ve got you covered! Check out our other blog posts to get the best tips to save money while moving, whether you’re going down the block or thousands of miles away.