Many people are surprised at the cost of moving their home. To avoid a nasty shock to your financial system, use these six ways to keep costs in check. You may find that this changes what goods you take with you, what services you purchase, and even the date you move.
Don’t underestimate the size of the load – consider all your possessions, including attic and basement contents and your car and boat.
Take into account all costs, including selling the house, redecorating the new home and changing services, moving services, insurance, storage, your travel, and most of all, your own time and energy.
Control takes time. Start early, or be prepared to pay for help to manage the move.
Reduce the load
The load size is the most significant factor in the cost of packing, loading, transportation, storage, insurance, and your efforts, even if you do it yourself.
The amount of junk people pay to move often surprises moving companies. Everyone has some. Use a critical eye to get rid of yours.
Why take stuff you don’t use? If you haven’t used it in the last two years, you probably don’t need it. Leave that clutter behind and make your life easier!
If your major appliances are old, new ones will save energy and money in use. Why pay to take them with you?
You will probably redecorate your new home. Don’t bring furniture that you will get rid of anyway if it doesn’t fit your unique style.
Don’t bring your surfboard if you are moving from California to Saskatchewan. Do not bring workshop equipment if you are moving to an apartment. Leave behind any equipment or clothing that doesn’t fit your new lifestyle.
A garage sale, or eBay, or charity donations are all good ways to make sure the items you no longer need are put to fair use.
Choose the best time.
Movers and moving trucks have peaks of demand: the end of the month, summer vacation, and winter break. At these peaks, costs are higher, movers and trucks are harder to come by, and the lack of time can affect the quality of the work provided.
Plan your closing dates to have flexibility in moving and minimize temporary storage. I once scheduled the closing of both the sale and the purchase on the same date; the final legal action uncovered a possible lien that took days to clear and denied access to my new home, nearly doubling my moving costs and efforts.
Find out what all needs to be done, and make sure you have plenty of time.
The best time for this move maybe never. When we were considering real estate and remodeling costs, my wife and I decided not to downsize before retirement because we expected to move anyway when we retired.
Consider doing it yourself.
You can save money on moving services by packing yourself with cheaper materials, loading and unloading the truck or container yourself, driving the load in a rented truck, or using self-storage.
BUT, be realistic. Doing it yourself takes a lot of time, effort, and knowledge. There may be complications due to your inexperience, as well as unexpected costs. It requires physical labor, and you may not be as fit and healthy as you think. Is the money savings that great, and is it worth the other costs?
When hiring moving services, screen companies by word of mouth and other information, ask for two or three written quotes in person, check that they include everything that needs to be moved, and observe to assess the company’s quality.
If you are renting equipment, look for competitive prices and make sure you know the contract’s terms and flexibility. Can you extend the time if needed?
If you buy or scavenge packaging materials, don’t skimp on protection. Buy double-walled boxes with lids in sizes to match the contents. Use enough padding for fragile items, and don’t cram fragile items too tightly together.
Track and claim expenses
Some moving expenses can probably be deducted from income for tax purposes if they are correctly validated.
Find out what is deductible and get receipts or other documentation for all these expenses.
With these six strategies, you are sure to get value for your time and money. You will also be happier, with a well-managed move and no unpleasant surprises.