By Brian Wilson
The cost of moving is often easily underestimated—the process involves many moving parts (no pun intended), and the rundown of expenses required to transition fully from Point A to Point B quickly adds up.
Going as cheap as possible with your moving expenses can certainly be a bad idea, but there are a multitude of smart ways for you to save on everything from packing to installation without cutting corners.
Don’t Buy Boxes
While this bit of advice is the simplest (and arguably the most common tip you’ll hear when moving), the impact of grabbing your boxes and other moving materials for free can’t be overstated. Local retailers, online personal ads and many more avenues will often offer a virtually infinite amount of free cardboard boxes and other leftover shipping materials completely free of charge—the only prerequisite generally being that you come and get them yourself.
Opt for the Off Season
If you have any control over the time of year that you and your family move, it can be a surprisingly wise choice to move during the months that the moving industry refers to as “off season.” May 15 to September 15 mark the busiest time of year for movers, and this bustling season comes with larger moving quotes to accommodate the high demands and higher temperatures.
Scheduling your move during the off season outside this summer rush can prove financially advantageous (and not having to lug your boxes underneath a hot summer sun is certainly a nice bonus.)
Plan for Distance
Rates and billing methods across movers have the propensity to vary largely, and the potential expenses quoted for many can be a source of confusion. It’s important to factor details such as distance and proximity into your choice of mover—long distances can give rise to the greatest spikes in the cost of your moving quote if not accounted for properly.
If you’re set to move to a new city, state, or beyond, you may find it advantageous to consider movers that place an emphasis on long-distance travel. International movers can often offer better rates for cross-country moves, due to the fact that their infrastructure and business model are better equipped to handle large demands when it comes to gas, lodging and more.
Reach Out to Friends
It may surprise you how much it can ease the stress and financial strain of moving by simply reaching out to a handful of friends—even just one or two extra hands helping you pack can be the difference between a disaster and a great memory.
Having a few close friends help you through the DIY aspects like packing and setting up your new place will save you valuable time and resources, leaving you with more flexibility to move with. Just be sure to thank them with refreshments, impromptu housewarming parties, or other informal tips.
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Brian Wilson is a content writer representing North American Van Lines. North American Van Lines is a moving service that specializes in corporate relocation, long distance and residential moving.