Moving can be expensive, and moving across country even more so.
There is no fixed charge as to what you can expect to pay as this mostly varies based on the scope of your move (amount of belongings you are moving) as well as your starting and end points.
On the whole, however, a typical interstate move of 1000 miles and items weighing 7,500 pounds can set you back about $4,800 on average when using a long-distance moving company. That’s not chump change.
Sure, smaller households can expect to pay less (even $2,000) but it’s no small money either.
If you have special items like antiques and art, or heavy possessions like pianos and freezers, that cost can go even higher.
Fortunately, there are things you can always do to bring down the moving bill you would otherwise be staring at.
Here are some practical ways that can help you save money while moving across country.
Purge your stuff
Weight is a big factor behind what you can expect to pay in moving costs – the more stuff you’re moving, the more expensive it will be. If you lighten the load, then it goes without saying that you’ll have lower costs to worry about.
Usually, when moving long-distance, it doesn’t make sense to pack the entire house as is. It is best practice to trim down your possessions and move lean. Not only does this allow you to purge items that no longer serve you, but also lowers the moving bill significantly.
That said, take this moment to declutter your home. Look at the stuff you can get rid of, from clothing to appliances and electronics, and even furniture.
Furniture can especially be heavy, and unless it’s very new, consider offloading it through a resale – you can always buy (even second-hand in good condition) when you get to the destination.
In addition to selling, you can also donate some of your possessions to charities. You might also want to stop accumulating items when you have a move on the cards.
Move during offseason
In case you didn’t know, the cost of moving varies depending on the time of year. The most expensive time to move is during the summer months. This is peak moving season when everyone is looking to move.
As well, most leases expire towards the end of the month, so moving companies tend to be in greater demand at this time, double so if it happens to fall on a weekend.
That said, if you can avoid these times – that is, plan to move during the offseason (colder months), in the middle of the month, or on a weekday – you can expect to pay considerably less. There are fewer people moving, so competition for movers is lower.
There is no shortage of long-distance movers, so take your time to shop around for the most ideal one for you.
But keep in mind that the cheapest is not usually the best, so don’t base your decision on rates alone. You don’t want to hire a shoddy outfit that promises the best rates – it could end up being the worst mistake you make when moving.
Rather, check the services that come with each company’s offerings, then compare this against their pricing to establish if you’re getting good value for the money. For instance, some budget movers might not offer you extras that a higher-priced mover provides at no additional cost.
Save money where you can
It’s not just in the actual moving bill that you stand to make savings.
You can also reduce the cost of moving by, for example, finding moving boxes for free (or at a fraction of the money) instead of buying them new from a retailer.
Department stores, grocery stores, and liquor stores can be good sources of boxes that they normally recycle. You can also look them up on Craigslist or your local Facebook community group.
When it comes to other moving supplies like packing tape, it’s cheaper to get them from a discount shop than buying from a high-end retailer.
When hiring a mover, consider doing some of the work yourself, especially with regard to packing. A partial service will cost you less than a full-service move which involves the mover handling all the aspects of the move for you, albeit at a higher cost.
Alternatively, you can explore other options like truck rental as opposed to hiring a mover. If it is cheaper (and worth the hassle).
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.
Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.