Moving is a bitter financial pill to swallow but, through careful planning, you can save both money and time. There are several factors that influence the cost of the services related to moving—take them all into account!

The day of the week, the time of the month and year, how much stuff you transport, if it’s a local move or a cross-country one—all that influences the final price.

The Best Time for Moving

People tend to move during weekends, at the end of the month or mid-month, and during the summer season. That’s when the moving companies and truck renting businesses are at their busiest and have the highest rates. If you have some flexibility about the moving date, try to schedule it as off-season as possible, based on:

  • Day of the week – workdays are cheaper than weekends
  • Time of month – avoid end of month and mid-month
  • Time of year – October through April is less expensive

It’s a good idea to call companies and get quotes for various dates, in order to identify the most affordable period for moving.

It takes time and effort to plan a move this way, but in the end, it will pay off. You’ll save money on the moving company and other moving-related services. Since it’s a workday, you can contact utility companies and service providers to fix any issues at your new address. It will also be easier to park and unload everything – neighborhoods and apartment complexes are more deserted during workdays.

Get Packing Supplies for Less

Packing supplies add to the total cost of a move. You’ll probably be needing dozens upon dozens of boxes to pack your entire home. Ask your friends, family, and local grocery stores, or search on Craigslist for boxes. A lot of people donate or sell them very cheaply.

Hit your local liquor stores for extra sturdy boxes. The crates used for delivering bottles are designed to hold heavy items, so they’re perfect for packing. The same goes for apple boxes from grocery stores.

Local vs. Cross-Country Moving Tips

Moving locally is no piece of cake, but it’s still easier than a long-distance move. The best-case scenario, where you pack your house and call friends or family to help you move costs you a nice meal for the moving party. It’s usually doable in one day and could be significantly less pricey than moving to a different city or state.

Long-distance moves are expensive and require serious planning. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, an interstate household move over about 1,225 miles costs, on average, $4,300. This means that moving from, let’s say, Birmingham, Alabama to El Paso, Texas, will cost you a pretty penny.

The more stuff you move, the more expensive it gets. Decide whether it makes sense to move heavy, bulky items like furniture or appliances or if it’s better to sell them and get new things at your destination.

Check out local marketplaces to see for how much you could sell your things, then estimate how much you’ll spend on furnishing your new place. Do the math to find out if it’s convenient for you.

If you decide to move your household, entirely or partially, you have several options:

  • Hire a moving company for the entire job – easy but expensive;
  • Get transportation services while you deal with packing, loading and unloading – saves money, but you risk wasting time waiting for your stuff to arrive;
  • Rent a truck you can drive yourself.

The last method is the most frugal, and it also allows you to go at your own pace throughout the whole process. However, you need to be comfortable driving a truck long-distance.

Rent a Storage Unit to Save Time and Effort

Storage is very useful during a move. If your new home is not ready for new occupancy by the time your stuff arrives, you can deposit it all in a storage unit. You’ll be able to coordinate contractors, scrub floors, paint walls and vacuum dust without having to go around dozens of boxes.

Staying with our example, renting a storage unit in El Paso, Texas while getting your new home ready ultimately saves you money. Any renovations the house needs can be done more easily, you’ll spend less money on hotels, and you’ll avoid the risk of getting your furniture and appliances damaged.

Planning your move strategically around the factors we detailed above (date, distance, type of services you can use) will help you not only to save money, but also to reduce all that stress that usually goes hand in hand with switching homes.


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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