It seems like the process of preparing to move tends to go so smoothly until you get to those last few days. Suddenly there is so much left to do and so little time. There are all those drawers and cabinets that reveal far more contents that you planned for or expected.
Then there are all the costs involved in moving. MSN Money reports that, “According to the American Moving and Storage Association, an interstate move of 1,220 miles costs an average of $5,630. If you’re staying in-state, you’ll pay $1,170 on average.”
From packing supplies and labor, to truck rental or the costs of a professional mover, moving expenses can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars or more. However, throughout our 10 moves over the past 15 years, we’ve picked up a few key ways to save money when getting ready to relocate.
Starting early on moving prep can help in a variety of ways. We tend to develop moving checklists to help us with this aspect of our relocation.
We create a checklist of items to pack, things to sort for keeping or getting rid of, supplies to buy, and moving-related activities such as cancelling/starting utilities, having a garage sale, making donations to charity, obtaining a storage unit, and similar tasks.
Starting early helps avoid that last minute rush that can result in poor decision-making and increased costs. By allowing yourself several months to go through and properly sort and pack possessions, you can make better decisions that can reduce that amount of stuff you must move (potentially decreasing moving costs and maybe even making some extra cash through resale opportunities), as well as giving yourself time to find the right spot for your next living location.
Analyze professional vs. DIY costs
Some of the better known moving companies out there will offer moving cost calculators or estimators on their websites to help you get a better idea of how much it could cost to relocate whether doing it yourself or hiring a professional. Of course such calculators may not always offer the most exact calculations since numbers can vary significantly based upon the size and location of home, distance of move, and weight of possessions. However, at least running some pre-calculations before making a decision to hire a professional versus trying to conduct the move yourself could end up giving you a better idea of just what the cost differentials could be.
The art of the mini-trip
The art of the mini-trip is something our family has perfected over the years and throughout our various moves. We’ve done it several times and it has worked for us both with local moves as well as to moves to neighboring states (under 200 miles). These moves involved situations where we had the time, ability, and opportunity to make trips between living locations with our SUV, using it as our mode of transportation to relocate.
This tactic worked best in our younger days when we had less bulky furniture and before we had kids with all their belongings. However, it not only saved us on hiring a moving company, but it also cut out the need to rent a truck and have to push ourselves to finish our move in just a day or two. We could move a bit at a time, whenever we had the opportunity, and didn’t unduly tax ourselves in the process or force ourselves to hurry due to time constraints that might have pushed labor costs higher.
So before you move, you might want to consider just how you can make the process more efficient and economical for your own situation. It may not be as difficult as you think.
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The author is not a licensed financial or relocation professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Calculations have not been verified by a professional. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.