It doesn’t take long for moving expenses to add up and put a significant dent into the most carefully crafted moving budget. When you factor in truck rental, movers and moving supplies, you could end up spending thousands of dollars to relocate to a new home.

With the busy summer moving season on the horizon, Hank Coleman writes on Money Q&A about smart ways of cutting moving costs.

Do Your Research


If you plan on using movers, look around for the best price. Ultimately, you want to find a moving company that will leave all of your items in one piece without charging an exorbitant fee. Coleman also suggests having a flexible moving date, if at all possible. Doing so may allow you to get a better rate.

Moving long-distance? You may want to think twice about shipping your car to your new home, according to a post on Apartment Therapy by Sarah Rainwater. Between a potentially hefty deposit and the need to reserve a spot far in advance, driving might be the smarter route.


Do It Yourself (And With Friends)


Coleman points out that during a recent move, one moving company gave him a quote of $1,500 for boxes and packing services alone. There’s a good chance that stores in your area throw out loads of cardboard boxes every week. A few weeks before your moving date, visit local grocery and liquor stores and ask them if they’ll set aside any extra boxes for you. Coleman also suggests visiting sites like FreeCycle where people give away their recently used moving boxes.

If you’re only moving down the block or are a single person with relatively fewer possessions, you may be able to forgo movers altogether and enlist the help of friends to help pack and move boxes. Of course, if you’re asking friends to pitch in, make it worth their while by giving them plenty of food and beverages — and maybe even a bit of cash — to get them through the day.


Take Inventory


Moving is the perfect time to take stock of all the things you own. Make a list of all the things you’re taking to your new home; it will come in handy if you ever have to file a claim with your insurance company. It may be wise to photograph some of the more expensive items for future reference — and in the event they are damaged during the move.

You may also want to make time in your schedule to sell or donate items you no longer use — the money you make here can offset some of your moving costs. And even if you’re simply donating items to charity, you can wind up saving through significant breaks during tax time.

Coleman also reminds readers not to let their renter or homeowner’s insurance lapse during their move. In fact, you may want to call your insurance company before your move and find out their guidelines for moving and updating your policy.

Will you be making a move sometime this summer, across town or across the country? Will you be selling or donating any goods during the process?