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How to Cut Your Moving Costs

The process of moving is rarely cheap, but if you do it right, it doesn’t have to break the bank.


  • Step 1: Make a budget Figure out what will be involved in your move and how much you can afford to spend. As you make plans and hire services, balance affordability with convenience to stay on budget.
  • Step 2: Trim your stuff Scale back your belongings by discarding, recycling, or donating items that you rarely or never use.
  • Step 3: Hold a yard sale Hold a yard sale or post your unnecessary possessions on an online classified site. This lessens the amount of stuff you have to pack and ship, and earns you extra cash to help with the move.
  • Step 4: Do it yourself Do as much as possible by yourself, including packing, loading, cleaning, and shipping. The more you do, the less you have to pay someone to do.
  • TIP: Most grocery stores will save boxes for you if you ask. Don’t pay for packing supplies if you don’t have to.
  • Step 5: Ask for help Ask friends for help with packing, loading, and cleaning. If you’re moving locally, you can load up friends' cars instead of renting a moving van.
  • TIP: Cook dinner for your helpers, or take them out. You can even or host a party in your new digs to thank them.
  • Step 6: Shop for discounts Shop for discounts if you use a packing or shipping service. Ask about off-season or mid-week rates, which are usually cheaper than summer or weekend rates.
  • Step 7: Consider the cost Consider the cost of shipping large or fragile items versus selling them and then replacing them when you arrive at your new home. It may be more cost effective to replace them after you've settled.
  • Step 8: Deduct it Check state and federal laws to learn how much of your moving costs may be deducted from your taxes at the end of the year. Take the cash you save and do something nice for yourself.
  • FACT: Nineteenth-century pioneers moving their families westward spent four to seven months traveling the Oregon Trail on foot, a journey of 2,000 miles.

You Will Need

  • A budget
  • A yard sale
  • A computer with internet access
  • Packing materials
  • Helpers
  • Discounts
  • Grocery stores (optional)
  • Food for helpers (optional)

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