Saturday, May 22, 2010 -
By Relocation.com Staff
Because of rising fuel costs and a shortage of drivers, the cost of a full-service move has risen in the past few years. Anything you can do yourself – even if seemingly small – will help cut your bill and give you extra money to spend on other relocation costs (like the pizza and beer for after your move).
1. For Every Season: You will save money if you can be flexible on your move time. Avoid June, July, and August – those are the most expensive months to move because of demand for full-service moving companies. And try to play your move during the middle of the month -- rates are higher at the beginning and the end because of the large number of apartment leases with month-end dates. If you can be flexible with your move-in times, that can also save you money because the moving company can combine shipments.
2. Do You Really Need That? Because most long-distance moves are based on the weight of your shipment, evaluate the need to move heavy stuff. Check areas of your home for items that have not been used for a long time and simply get rid of them – if you don't use them, why pay for them to be moved to new place where you won't use them all over again? See this article for how to lower your moving weight.
3. Know What You Own: Inspect your home from top to bottom before you get your moving quote and decide what's "going" and "not going," and that they're marked that way on the survey sheet. Keep in mind that if you change the number of items you move, the cost of your move will change. Inform the mover of any changes.
4. Pack It Yourself: Packing services performed by the mover are pricey (a good rule of thumb is 25 percent of the moving cost). And even if you don't want to pack it all yourself, you can always do a partial pack, and have the movers handle the rest. For example, items that are nonbreakable such as linens and bedding can be packed easily without the risk of damage. Every box you pack yourself is money in your pocket.
However, be aware that if you buy insurance for your move, the insurance won't cover items you pack yourself, unless there's visible damage to the box. The insurance companies don't want to pay damages for items packed by inexperienced packers, ie, you!
5. Save on Packing: Luggage and duffel bags are perfect for packing sheets, towels and clothing. Also, the bottoms of wardrobe boxes are great for bulky, lightweight items. Use that space. Be wary of packing tips that might save you money initially but won't protect your stuff – for example, using newspaper instead of bubble wrap. Sure, it might save a few bucks, but in the end, is breaking something worth it?
6. Stock Up: Make sure you have plenty of boxes and materials so you don't have to keep making trips to buy more. You'll probably need more than you anticipate, so buy extra. If you're buying from moving companies, you might be able to return the boxes you don't use.
7. Is There a Disconnect? Movers do not generally disconnect or reconnect appliances such as washers and dryers. It can be costly to have a third-party do it, so if you or someone you know can do it, you can save a lot of money.
8. Break It Down: Every service that a professional mover performs will come with an additional cost. If you have items that are located at a storage unit or at another location, you should try to move those items to your home to avoid extra pick-up charges. Most items that need to be disassembled, like beds, can be done by the mover. However, other items such as exercise equipment, outdoor gym and play sets require extra labor, and will cost you more. Whenever possible, disassemble and reassemble these yourself.
9. Time is Money: Color-code the boxes according to the room they belong in so they all end up in the same place, saving time for both you and your mover.
10. I Am the Tax Man If it's for business reasons, your move may be tax-deductible. Keep all receipts and ask a professional.
11. Are You Insured? Your existing homeowners insurance policy might cover your move so you don't have to buy additional moving protection. Ask your agent, and see this article for a full explanation of ways to insure your move.
12. Doing Without: Between the time your stuff is loaded into the truck and you get to your new home, think of everything you might need so you don't have to buy it while traveling to your new home.
13. Just Ask: If you have a tight budget, talk to your moving company when you get your moving quote. Many can find ways to work with you and there may be other things that you can do yourself to help reduce the total cost. Most moving companies want your business and will strike an appropriate balance between services provided and costs to meet your budget.