"With moving season in full swing this month putting moving services in higher demand, the costs can add up quickly. Relocation.com
To calculate the estimated savings, Relocation.com looked at a hypothetical move from New York to Los Angeles with 7,500 pounds of household goods, which is roughly the size of a three-bedroom house. Depending on the moving companies and the services required, the costs will vary. However, according to the Relocation.com moving calculator, someone moving this distance with this amount of goods would average $6,500 in moving costs. These numbers serve as a general guide for a typical move.
1. Be Flexible on Dates – Save $300 to $600
Many moves take place at the end or beginning of the month, or on Fridays or Mondays. Consumers who are able to move on “off” days might be able to work a deal with a moving company.
Here’s how to do it: Once the movers have come to the home to give a moving estimate, tell them the move date is flexible if it can save some money. If they are full on the weekends, they might have room in a truck that's going out during the week. The same goes for the destination: If delivery times can be flexible, ask the movers if that could cut some costs.
For the ultimate money saver, schedule the move outside of peak moving season, which takes place June, July and August. Inquire about any seasonal discounts.
2. Get Rid of 10 Percent of Belongings – Save $250 to $400
The less that needs to be moved, the less it will cost, and the fewer headaches to be had. Here are a few simple ways to determine what belongings can be shed:
Only pack the items that have been used in the past year. If something hasn’t been used in the past 12 months, it probably won’t be used again – and there’s no point to have to pay to move it.
As each room is packed, have two plastic bins – a 'definite' throwaway bin and a 'maybe' throwaway bin. When the room is finished, throw out everything in the ‘definite’ bin, make a decision on the ‘maybe’ items and then move on to the next room.
For clothes, in the months before the move, divide a clothing rod between ‘must-move’ and ‘not-to-move’ clothes. Which is which? After an item of clothing is worn and washed, put it on the 'must-move' side of the closet. When it’s time to pack, get rid of all the clothes on the 'not-to-move' side of the rod.
3. Don’t Use Packers to Pack Everything – Save $400-$600
Many consider packing an all or nothing thing: Either you pack everything yourself, or the moving company packs everything. In fact, companies can do what is called a partial-pack, which can save some money.
Roughly 50 percent of what needs to be packed is breakable, such as dishes and glassware. Let the movers take care of these items, since they are the most difficult to pack safely. In addition, moving insurance usually will not cover items that are not packed by professionals, unless there's clear damage to the outside of the moving box.
The other half – items that won’t break, such as clothes, toys and books – can be packed into boxes relatively easily and don’t require special handling or supplies. Not using packers for these items can save big bucks; it just requires some extra time and work.
4. Disconnect It – Save $150-$200
If the moving company provides any third-party moving services to handle disconnecting electronics and appliances, the cost of these services will be passed on to the consumer. Eliminate these extra fees altogether by taking the D.I.Y. route. Learn how to safely dismantle any electronics systems and how to disconnect/connect appliances. The estimated savings are based on the cost of using a third-party disconnection/connection service.
5. Avoid Moving Large, Breakable Items – Save $200-$300
There are certain items a moving company won't move without special crating, such as glass tables, flat-screen TVs and specialty artwork such as pottery or big oil paintings. Here are some options to cut down on the need for special, more expensive crating:
Glass items, such as shelves or tables, are generally cheap to replace compared to how much it costs to ship them. Consider the costs of moving them versus buying a similar type of shelf or tabletop at the new home.
For a flat-panel TV, the least expensive method is packing it in the box it came in. If that’s not an option, search online for boxes designed specifically for TVs, which contain special foam inserts for extra protection.
If it’s a long-distance move, fragile or valuable items can also be packed in the car. Or, rent a separate small moving van or a trailer in which to tow them. It will cost more for this, but the greater peace of mind about damages might be worth it. If there are enough items that would require crating by the moving company anyway, the costs might break even.
Sharon is the author of the Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money -- a coming of age memoir about money -- and a contributing writer in Wise Bread's 10,0001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget.