It’s never too early to start planning your move. In fact, the earlier you start and the more organized you are, the less the move will cost you. With a moving checklist to keep you organized and these eight tips, you’ll save money on your move and you’ll feel less stressed out about it. Besides, it’s more fun to use that extra cash on something other than cardboard boxes.
Avoid Prime Moving Days
Prime moving season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day with weekends being particularly busy. If you’re able to push your move to a different time of year, you should be able to save money on hiring movers or a moving truck. This is where the early planning comes in, too. To get the availability you want for a particular weekend, book early.
Get Free Boxes and Packing Materials Online
I’m not sure if it’s altruism or a desire to never see another moving box again, but you’ll find a lot of free moving boxes online. Check out Craigslist or NextDoor or Freecycle and search “free moving boxes” or “packing”. Many people post an address and leave the materials outside their home. When we posted our moving boxes, several people showed up and everything was gone within ten minutes. Check the sites regularly and pick up immediately.
Book Hotels with Flexible Cancellation Policies
Plans change when you’re moving. The movers may be behind schedule or your work start date may change. Avoid hotels or AirBNB reservations with strict cancellation policies.
To Save Money, Declutter, Declutter, and Declutter Some More
Get rid of everything you don’t need and do this before you get a moving estimate. Yes, decluttering is a lot of work. However, you will spend so much more time and money packing up things you don’t want, moving them, and unpacking them in your new home. Why clutter up your clean space with things that don’t make you happy?
One couple who recently downsized moved all of their books to their new home. Books are heavy. It costs a lot of money to move books. Now that the move is over, though, they want to get rid of the hundreds of books in their basement. The couple needs to lug those books back up a flight of stairs to donate them. It’s worth your time to declutter before you move. You’ll save money and the hassle.
Save All Receipts for Items Donated
If you choose to donate your items when you declutter, keep an itemized receipt for tax purposes. Instead of writing “one bag of clothing”, you should write: “two women’s blouses, one child’s snowsuit, and four men’s slacks”. According to the Salvation Army Donation Value Guide, those items would be worth: $2.50-$12 for the women’s blouse, $4-$19 for the snowsuit, and $5-$12 for the slacks. For just seven items, you could deduct between $29 and $91. It adds up.
Save All Receipts For Moving-Related Expenses
Consult a tax professional to see if you qualify, but you may be able to deduct your moving expenses. This means you can deduct moving-related travel expenses (not including meals) and the costs of packing and shipping your items.
To qualify to deduct moving expenses, you need to move within a year of starting your new job and you must pass a time and distance test. The time test means you need to work full-time at your new job for at least 39 weeks in the first year. For the distance test, your new job must be fifty miles farther from your old home than your old job was. Since we’re talking taxes, you can presume it’s complicated, so you’ll want to look at the details. If you can deduct your moving-related expenses, use Form 3903.
Schedule In-Home Moving Estimates on the Same Day
Your home looks fabulously decluttered. Congrats! Now it’s time to schedule all of your in-home moving estimates on the same day. Get at least three estimates and see which company you like best based on who you believe will provide the best customer service. Check out reviews and ratings on Yelp or the Better Business Bureau. With three estimates in hand, you can negotiate to get the best price. Please remember to get the estimate in writing. If it’s a binding estimate, you’ll want a copy of the “Table of Measurements” or the “Cube Sheet” that outlines every item the mover is required to move.
Contact USPS about Your Change of Address
This is the quickest and easiest way to save money on your move. Log onto the USPS website and fill out the official Change of Address form. According to the USPS website, you’ll get immediate access to over $750 in coupons. You can register your change of address three months in advance of your move.
Do you have any money-saving tips on moving? I’d love to hear them!