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How to Reduce the Cost of Your Next Move

boy in a moving box

Moving is expensive. There's no getting around the fact that you will spend more money than you wish on things like movers, packing supplies and travel when you move. By planning and budgeting, however, saving money on your move isn't as hard as you might think.

According to Worldwide ERC, moving and storing household goods costs more than $12,000 on average.1 Packing your home and renting a U-Haul or Budget Truck will dramatically cut down on this expense. However, these options still aren't cheap.

Earn Some Money Back

One major factor that determines the cost of your move is how heavy all of your possessions are. It's a good idea to go through all of your belongings and cut down where possible.

Finding things that you can recycle, donate, give to a friend, or throw away, you can reduce the amount of items you have to transport by 40 to 50 percent," Julie Reynolds, a spokesperson, said, according to U.S. & World News Report.2

If you want to make some of the money you will lose in the move back, suggested selling items. Your old couch will take up a lot of room in the moving truck, not to mention the many pounds it will add.3 Selling it may give you as much as 75 percent of its original value, though.

Books also add an unexpected amount of weight to your move. Sell these to local used bookstores or on eBay to earn a few quick bucks. Kitchen items and power tools could also bring in some money. If you have items from high-quality brands or rare items, they may even earn you close to $100.

Don't Spend More Than You Need To

Once you get rid of all the things you don't need anymore, you'll have to begin packing up your remaining items. You'll need lots of boxes and packaging material. While boxes are relatively inexpensive, that packaging material can add up. To cut down on both of these costs, try to find as much as you can for free. Most grocery stores and restaurants unload large boxes every day, then throw them away. Check out your local grocery store when business slows down and ask the employees stocking shelves if you can take the boxes off their hands. Chances are, they'll say yes.

Office supply and shipping stores such as Staples sell paper packaging paper for about $5 to $10. While this isn't very expensive, it's just as easy to use old newspaper, magazines or coupon pages to pack up your fragile items.4 Another great source of protective packaging supplies is right in your closet. If you're moving in the summer, use some of your winter gear, like scarves and sweaters, to provide some protection to your items.

Bankrate explained a major factor in the cost of your move is linked to your timing.5 Summer is moving season, so rates for moving trucks will be high. Moving in the winter can be tricky, especially if you live in a colder region plagued by icy roads and slush. Get the best of both worlds by moving in September or May. These months border peak moving season, though they don't have the same pitfalls as moving when there is still snow on the ground.

Additionally, most people move on the weekends, making costs spike come Friday and Saturday. Try to schedule your move for mid-week to get the best price.

Tax Deductions

You may be able to see some of your moving expenses come back to you around tax season, according to Bankrate. Some of what you pay for during your relocation is tax deductible, so be sure to save all your receipts throughout the process.

Another tax deduction can come from donating items. While selling your unwanted items will bring in more money, donating them has its perks. For one, you will be giving back to your community and helping out another person or family. Another benefit is the time factor. It's much faster to drop off your items at a local charity than it is to wait for someone to respond to a Craigslist ad.

"Many charitable organizations will come to your house and take away your unwanted belongings for free," Martha Poage, the author of "The Moving Survival Guide," explained, according to Bankrate. "Then you will get a tax deduction for these items if you itemize them on your income tax returns."

The process of relocating can be a stressful and costly one. Taking the time to plan out your move well in advance can give you the ability to save some money. The best thing to do is to begin planning your move as soon as you find out about it. With some effort, it doesn't have to be as expensive as you think.


1 Worldwide ERC
2 U.S. News & World Report
4 Staples
5 Bankrate

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