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Moving is hard work, but it doesn’t have to cost you the proverbial arm and a leg. Here are some ways to minimize the expense.
Choosing Your Moving Company
The cheapest way to move is the do-it-yourself method. You rent or borrow a truck and draft relatives and friends to move your belongings. But if able-bodied helpers are in short supply, the amateur plan may not be feasible.
Then you will need moving services. A service will mean charges, but it will also save you time and give you peace of mind.
When choosing a service, it’s always helpful to get recommendations from friends and neighbors if you can. But even without those, you don’t have to ruin your budget. Call several companies and ask about their hourly charges.
Also, ask about any additional services they may have that will make the move easier. For example, some companies will send a representative to look over the furniture and other things you will be moving and advise you on planning and packing.
Choosing a Time to Move
If you’re free to choose a time to move, plan for the best time for you and for your budget. There are peak times of the year for moving, and also peak days of the week.
In general, the peak months are April through October. If you can manage to schedule your move for earlier or later in the year, you can find that the move will cost less.
You can save if you can move on a weekday. Weekends are very busy for movers so rates go up. Many people find week-day moving hard because of having to be absent from work or keep kids out of school for the day, but it can be the right plan if you can manage it without much disruption.
Paring Down Items to be Moved
Make sure you don’t pay to move items you won’t want after you move. Donate unneeded items if they’re still in good shape. Toss them if they’re no longer useable.
Packing for the Move
Moving companies will usually pack for you and if you have things that are unusually valuable or difficult to pack you may want this service. (Make sure the moving company is insured against loss or damage.)
You can save by having as much as possible packed in advance so that the movers need to take only furniture, boxes, and luggage. You can often get free packing materials by asking neighbors for cardboard boxes they’re not using.
Use towels, socks, and “rough” clothes (like tee-shirts) to pad fragile items. Be sure to pack books in boxes, but use plenty of boxes! Large boxes of books are very heavy, which means more time and effort for the movers, and more charges.
Take inventory of what you’re packing and mark the outsides of boxes so that the movers will know what rooms they should go in.
The better your packing, the fewer items the movers will have to handle, and the more efficiently they can get them into the truck. This will cut down on the number of hours you’re charged for.
Yes, that’s hard to do, but moving is pretty normal these days. With planning, you’ll make it through.