How to Keep Costs Down When Moving Across the Country

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

It’s been nine years since the last time I moved across the country. We were hoping to remain here for the long haul, but things haven’t worked out as expected, and now we are repeating, in reverse, our trek of nearly a decade ago. Since then, prices for moving have gone up. As we prepare to move, we are looking for ways to save money on our return to the East Coast. Here are some of the strategies we are employing:

Get Rid of Stuff

One of the best ways to reduce your costs is to reduce what you’re taking with you. We are getting rid of stuff by giving it away in some cases, but we are also looking for ways to get a monetary advantage. We are selling some of our items, getting a few hundred dollars to help with moving costs. Items that we aren’t selling or giving to family and friends who need it, we are donating to a local thrift shop. A goods donation can result in a tax deduction, so while we aren’t receiving direct compensation, we are still getting a benefit.

Because we are getting rid of stuff, we can also manage to live in a smaller, less expensive place. This is saving us money in terms of coming up with a deposit, as well as the cost of rent. It’s never fun to go through your belongings and get rid of things, but it’s often necessary if you want to save money on a major move. The less you bring, the less it will cost you.

Of course, as you determine the cost-effectiveness of this decision, you need to consider what you will need to buy on the other side. In our case, we are only bringing large items that are hard to replace. We have other items, though, that aren’t very difficult to replace. And, of course, some items we don’t plan on replacing at all. It makes sense to go through your items and be realistic. We have one item that is large, but wouldn’t cost much to replace. Indeed, the extra cost of having it on the truck makes it not worth the trouble of bringing with us.

Choose Your Level of DIY

The cheapest way to move is to get all of your belongings across the country is to get it so you can drive them yourself. If you can fit everything in your car, or in your car plus a small trailer to pull behind, that’s the least expensive way to go. However, many of us — especially if we have families — can’t make that work. As a result, it makes sense to look for other modes of transport.

Moving allows for different levels of DIY. You can rent a Uhaul and do most of the work. You can work with a company like PODS or UPack. You pack everything up, but someone else drives. This is the method we used last time we moved across the country. It was reasonably cost-effective, and reduced some of the stress that can come when you do something completely on your own.

Finally, you can get movers who will pack up the truck and drive. We will pack our own boxes (having someone pack your boxes for you can be quite expensive), but we might have the movers to pack up the truck, since we have some large and expensive pieces of furniture that we’re not sure we can manage. The key is to consider what you can afford, and what makes sense for your situation.

Move During Off Times

Your best prices are going to be when you move during “off” times. Moving at the end or beginning of the month will be costly. Moving in August (due to back to school) costs more as well. If possible, try to move during off times, since movers will be more willing to give you a better deal.

With a little planning and effort, it’s possible to save some money on your move. It’s still likely to cost more than you prefer, but you can reduce some costs.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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