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A long distance move can get expensive very quickly. Fortunately, there are several strategies for minimizing the cost of your move, so hiring moving professionals can still fit in your moving budget. Here are some of the best ways you can save money on an out-of-state move:

Time it Right

We understand that sometimes the timing is out of your control, but if you can help it, try to avoid moving during the peak of moving season. Because of school schedules and the weather, most people opt to move during the summer months, from May to August. During this four-month window, many movers are slammed and charge their maximum rates. If you can move during the moving off-season, you might be able to negotiate a discounted rate on your move.

Stay Flexible

Long distance moving is a little more complicated than a local move. Because of the distance and manpower involved, most long distance transporters of household goods will coordinate the pick-up and drop-off of several loads at one time to reduce costs. This means that your belongings will get placed on a moving truck along with the items from 2-3 other households that are relocating along the same trajectory. Due to the extra loads and deliveries, your goods will take longer, usually 3-4 weeks, to arrive at your home than they would if they were shipped directly to you. If you can be flexible about the dates of your move and rough it for a few weeks without your belongings, you’ll get a better rate on your move than you would with a direct shipment.

Only Pay for the Services You Need

Many moving companies offer comprehensive moving services, meaning they will handle everything from packing, to the move itself, to the unpacking and furniture reassembly. Of course, this luxury level of service comes with a hefty price tag. For those moving on budget, try to do as much as you can yourself. Have everything packed and ready to go when the movers arrive and opt out of any help getting your belongings unpacked. Additionally, make sure you understand add-on services like purchasing additional moving insurance. Your homeowner or renter’s policy might cover your belongings during transport, so you may not need to buy the additional insurance. Be sure to consult your insurance agent or check your policy for details.

Get Your Deposit Back

The ratio of renters who move versus homeowners who move is 5 to 1. So, chances are, if you are moving, you’re a renter! One of the easiest ways to save some money is by getting your deposit back on your apartment. When moving, many people are so busy trying to get everything boxed up and ready for the movers, that they forget about the final walkthrough with their landlord. Plan to stay behind for a day or two after the moving company collects your shipment and take the time to thoroughly clean your unit. Passing your apartment move-out inspection with flying colors is one of the best ways to earn back that chunk of change you put down to secure the place.

Move Less

Unlike local moves, which are usually based on an hourly rate, long distance moving rates are billed based upon the weight of the shipment. This means that the less physical items you move, the less you’ll end up paying for your move. Before you start packing, invest the time to sort through your belongings, trashing or donating things you no longer use. You’ll probably be surprised at the number of things you’ve accumulated over the years that you forgot you even owned. In addition to saving money on your move, cleaning things out now means it will take you less time to unpack at your new place.

Use Recycled Boxes and Packing Materials

At $2+ a pop, purchasing all new boxes for your upcoming move can get pretty expensive. Instead, try to use recycled boxes and packing materials. Grocery stores, big chain stores, and liquor stores usually get their shipments in cardboard boxes, which are later discarded. Talk to the management at a store near you to see if there’s any way you can snag some of these boxes for free. Most stores will gladly let you take these trash-bound boxes. You can also get creative with packing materials by filling up luggage with books and clothes, and using tshirts, towels, and newspapers to wrap up your breakables.


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