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How to lower moving costs

How to lower moving costs

Melissa Richter

February 19, 2024
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4 min read
How to lower moving costs

This is written by a human. Yes, we still do that in 2024! And since stressed out humans will be reading it, I'll break it down into 4 sections and you can jump to the one that applies to you.

tl:dr, the biggest ways to save money are:

  • Reduce the amount of stuff you're moving
  • Get multiple quotes
  • Avoid getting scammed
  • Get moving supplies secondhand off facebook marketplace

DIY Moves

If you're able to move yourself or have friends and family helping, good for you! This is the cheapest way to move. Alternatively, you could be selling all your belongings and moving nothing, then starting fresh. (I know a wealthy person who hates movers so much that every time he moves, he sell everything and has his new house refurnished with brand new furniture - not exactly cheap!).

A great hack for DIY moves: you can buy a trailer, use it, and sell it at break even.

UHaul/Pod Moves

This is the second cheapest way to move. A UHaul will be more expensive than a pod, especially if you're going with traffic instead of against it, and you'll have to drive it, BUT you will be able to keep control over your belongings and your trip. Check reviews online - there are horror stories for pod-type services where it gets stored in a yard somewhere for months waiting for a truck to come and deliver it the rest of the way.

Protip: you can rent your own UHaul/Penske/pod and still hire some local movers to come help pack it up. Fair price is usually $45-80/hour per person, depending on the cost of living in your area.

Hiring Local Movers

Hiring movers for a local move is a whole different animal than long distance moves. An average local move costs $1,500-2,000. If you're a full house hiring full service movers it's probably more, if you're a 2 bedroom apartment just hiring a few hands to pack your UHaul it will be less. You'll definitely get a better quote if you spend time with multiple movers:

  • Have them do a in-home survey
  • Use's photo inventory to document your belongings
  • Ensure their quote includes the entire inventory
  • Then compare 3 different quotes. Play them off each other

Many movers charge hourly, in which case having your belongings packed and ready in the garage will save you money.

Try to avoid giving a deposit. Push back on this, because they know you're trapped once you do. My sister put down a deposit, then the mover called 2 weeks before the move to say the price had doubled!

We'll cover flat rate vs hourly vs binding quotes in another article!

We did in-depth research on saving money on long-distance moves here

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