HOW LOW CAN YOU GO? ON PRICING, THAT IS...

Moving is often seen as pricey or difficult to plan. There are things you can do make it simpler and less expensive, though.

 Let’s take a look at cutting costs. You can keep moving fees within your budget. And bonus! Some of these hints also help make the move less complicated.

Scale down: We’re not recommending anything brutal, but go through everything you have to see if you still want/need it. Be sure to check out all your hiding places: closets, attic, basement, storage areas. It’s simple: the less movers have to transport, the less you’ll have to pay. 


  • When’s the last time you opened some of those books? Are you really going to fix the rungs of that chair in the cellar? Do any of the old clothes in that box even fit you (let alone being a good fashion choice nowadays)?
  • You don’t want to be sad that you’ve gotten rid of something, but don’t drag things from house to house because you don’t want to bother sorting. So get busy. Your extra items can be given away, donated, sold, or recycled. 


Shop around: You probably wouldn’t buy a car without checking with a few lots to see where the best deal is. Do the same thing with moving companies. Call a few and compare services and prices.

 

  • Check out companies online to see how they’re rated on consumer boards and sites like the Better Business Bureau. Look for customer satisfaction as well as how well the movers settle complaints.

  • Also, ask family, friends, and co-workers for recommendations. Word-of-mouth is very powerful advertising. 


Get covered: Professional movers know how to transport your belongings safely, but, hey, we’re all human, and accidents happen. A reputable moving company will offer insurance. Make sure you understand the details:


  • Does the insurance cover replacement or market value?

  • Are you paying a flat fee or is it determined per pound?

  • Do specific high-priced items, such as antiques or electronics, need extra insurance? 


Pick a good date: Movers are typically busier when leases are up at the start and the end of months. Weekends and summers are also hectic.
 

  • The ideal time to move is on a Wednesday two weeks into February…or thereabouts. Seriously, if you can be flexible about your date, a moving company might give you a discount in order to fill up a slow period. 


Get organized: As you pack, label everything with the name of its new room. Use a color-coding scheme, too—red tape for the dining room, blue tape for the kitchen, and so on. Having an easy reference will help your movers get boxes and furniture where they belong more quickly. 

Pack yourself: Some moving companies offer packing services. You don’t have to find boxes and make everything fit safely if professionals do the job. That’s going to cost extra, however. If you’re on a strict budget, fill those boxes yourself.

Go green: And speaking of boxes, used moving boxes are available and significantly less expensive than spanking brand new ones. And if that isn’t good enough, sometimes you can sell the boxes back to the company. Good for the environment and your wallet.
 

  • You can also use items like towels and dishcloths to pack fragile items. Then you won’t need so much packing paper and bubble wrap. (We know, we know, bubble wrap is fun. But be strong.) 


Save receipts: If you’re moving because of a new full-time job, you may be able to deduct packing, storing and transporting expenses from your taxes. Be sure to check this out at tax time.

  • You’ll need your paperwork to back up your claims, so put it in a good spot that you’ll remember. (Seriously? You’re going to put it there? You’ll never remember that. Find a better spot so you don’t lose it.)

The bottom line for your bottom line: to lower moving expenses, you have to plan ahead and be organized. Moving a household is a big job that can seem overwhelming. But procrastinating is just going to add to the stress and cost. So get cracking. (Right this minute. The post is over. Get up and get going. Now.)

Brian Myers owns Low Budget Movers, a moving company in Phoenix, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa and surrounding areas in Arizona. Low Budget Movers is also a proud new member of the American Moving & Storage Association.