4 Ways to Save Money When Moving

moving boxes with things piled into them
  • 5-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Moving boxes
Packing materials
What You'll Need
Moving boxes
Packing materials

Sometimes a big move means pinching pennies when it comes to moving costs. If you're moving on a budget, we've got a few quick and easy ways for you to save some green.

Tip One: Declutter First

The more you move, the more it costs in moving van space and in packing supplies. Dejunk and declutter a month or so before go time so you have less to pack and carry. If you like to hold onto stuff for longer than you should, adopt a decluttering method that works for you.

Give the Marie Kondo method a try or check out The Home Edit. Finding a method that works for you will really help you get rid of the clutter and help you determine what you really need in your new space. Especially if you're downsizing, you don't want to move things you'll end up donating later.

Pro Tip: Pack a few boxes in the process of decluttering. This will help you be fully ready when the big day comes.

woman and man packing large boxes and smiling

Tip Two: Use Online Forums Like Facebook Marketplace

Online sales platforms have sections dedicated to free items and moving items. Scour these sites to collect broken-down boxes and other packing supplies. Oftentimes, people will be offering up their moving boxes, tape, packaging materials, and other necessary moving items for free to the first person willing to pick them up. So if you see a listing, act fast.

facebook marketplace menu

Always practice safety guidelines when picking up free items from a stranger, and when possible, bring another person with you to pick them up.

If you don't have any luck with online marketplaces, you can check with local grocery stores or big-box retailers. These locations can often hook you up with free boxes.

Pro Tip: For free, super-sturdy boxes head to your local liquor store. Local liquor stores have the best boxes for moving heavy items and books.

Tip Three: Plan Ahead

Planning ahead makes things easier in a few ways. When you plan ahead, you can shop prices for moving trucks, moving supplies, and even movers. Don't hesitate to call around and start price checking early. This gives you the most control over your out-of-pocket expenses.

Ask your online friends if they have suggestions of companies to work with to save money on a move. Remember to make sure that the companies you work with are reputable though. Saving a few hundred dollars on a moving truck doesn't mean anything if everything shows up broken.

person packing glass in bubble wrap and box

Planning ahead can also save you money depending on the time of year that you move. If you move in the colder months, you could see a big drop in moving prices. If you can be flexible with your move, try to move later in the year. You should also consider what time of year family or friends can be around to help you load and unload the truck.

Pro Tip: Make sure to switch your utilities on the first day that you'll actually need them in your new home, and make sure to turn them off at your old house on the last day you'll need them there. It may not save you a lot, but every little bit helps.

Tip Four: Sell Some Stuff

garage sale with used home goods

If you're having a hard time-saving money on moving expenses, earn a little cash on the side. Sell some of the items that you won't need in the new house on Craigslist, or another local listing site.

If a garage sale is more your speed, set up an outdoor shop a month or so before your move. Take the money you use selling your old stuff and put it toward moving expenses or new things that you'll need in your new home. Moving expenses seem to compound, so a little extra influx of cash is always a good thing.

Pro Tip: Donate what you can't sell and get a slip proving proof of donation. You can use this as a tax write-off at the end of the year.

As you gear up for your big move, take things one task at a time and remember that you've got this!