6 Ways to Avoid Hidden Costs of Moving

by / Thursday, 05 January 2017 / Published in Moving Company

There’s nothing like  starting a new chapter. But, let’s face it – moving costs are a pain. By the time you unpack, you may already be $500 or even $5,000 in the hole, and that’s not including gas.

So, where do all these extra charges come from?

They’re the hidden costs that slip through the cracks. The extra services, supplies, and fees that pile up in the hustle and bustle of a move.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a stress-free move and save money. On the contrary, avoiding hidden moving costs that you don’t need frees up more funds for what you do need. Plus, you may be eligible for special discounts and not even know it!

It pays to know where to cut corners, so let’s break down six proven methods for avoiding surprise costs.

Don’t Buy Brand New Moving Supplies

Moving gets hectic when you’re down to the wire, and it’s just easier to run to the store for those last-minute moving supplies than rummage through the garage. While it seems like a good idea at the time, admit it, you’d rather save the cash.

To illustrate, let’s review some common moving supplies and their average costs:

  • 8x4x4 cardboard box: Can$9.00
  • Large 12x12x12 heavy duty cardboard box: Can$35.00
  • Extra large 24x24x24 cardboard box: Can$42.00
  • Packaging tape with dispenser: Can$9.00 + Can$16.00 for additional rolls
  • Black permanent markers: Can$16.00 for pack of 12
  • Bubble Wrap: Can$10 starting to Can$130 for economy size
  • Furniture moving blankets: Can$90 and up for assorted packs

When you add it all up, these common moving supplies can cost you upwards of Can$300 or more! So, let’s see where you can cut corners.

Reuse Household Items

  • Instead of buying new moving boxes, try to obtain free discarded ones from businesses, schools, neighbors, friends, and garage sales. Every time you move, make sure to keep a stockpile of cardboard boxes just in case.
  • Reuse large plastic storage boxes, as these are multi-purpose and built to last.
  • Use discarded newspapers, magazines, old bubble wrap, rags, or wrapping paper to pack your items instead.
  • Use old blankets instead of special moving blankets
  • Go to a thrift store to buy any extra moving supplies you may need.

Already, you’ve saved hundreds of dollars on just moving supplies alone. Plus, if you plan ahead, you’ll be less likely to place those last-minute purchases.

Make The Most Out Of Your Storage Unit

One of the biggest concerns while moving is where to store your stuff. The other huge concern is keeping your valuables safe.

Of course, the first thing you do is  purchase a secure storage unit. Storage unit prices vary according to size, but there are several tricks and tips for saving on moving costs by getting the most out of your space.

In fact, you could even drop down to a smaller, less expensive unit!

Let’s see how you can save on storage:

  • Organize all your belongs and separate the valuable from the not-as-valuable. Use your unit to store large, important items (like furniture, TVs, and large power tools for example).
  • Once you separate your items,  hold a garage sale for the items you’re willing to part with. The extra money can go toward subsequent moving costs.
  • Look out for any and all deals on storage. Storage facilities run discount specials, so take advantage!
  • If a trusted friend or family member is also moving, consider splitting the cost of a storage unit if you don’t have too many valuables to store.
  • Learn packing techniques to save space in your car and storage unit.

Pack Smart To Save Space and Money

Knowing  the right way to pack can spare you unnecessary moving costs like extra boxes, additional storage units, extra packing wrap, and larger moving trucks.

Think of packing as a Tetris puzzle. Your goal is to save space and make room. Take note of these packing tips for your move:

  • Instead of using bubble wrap or extra paper, use your own clothes as packing material. For example, place dishes inside shirts or sweaters. Plus, use your own towels, bed sheets, and other household fabrics to wrap up breakable items.
  • Gather up extra boxes, containers, and any large Tupperware hiding in your house and garage. These make great cardboard box substitutions.
  • Roll up and pack your clothes in bags, and save boxes for breakables. Bags are easier to squeeze into those extra spaces in your car.
  • Pack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top.
  • Use vacuum sealed bags to save space.

Prepare Meals in Advance to Cut Down On Moving Costs

Stop and think about all the times you stopped for fast food while moving. When you think about, you can spend anywhere from $20 to $200 a day depending on how many people are with you.

The easy solution to this is to  bring your own food, but you need a few tricks up your sleeve to compete with burgers and milkshakes.

  • First, pack snacks that don’t spoil easily. Homemade trail mix, loose granola and granola bars, dried fruit, and popcorn.
  • For lunch, pack a cooler with cold cuts, veggies, and condiments to make sandwiches.
  • Opt for fun family picnics instead of expensive restaurants.
  • Bring fresh fruit and cookies for dessert.
  • Pack reusable water bottles, apple juice boxes, and other easy-to-pack beverages.

Extra Discounts and Ways To Trim Moving Costs

You know what they say: It never hurts to ask!

Moving costs mount up, so if you can get a discount, any discount, you should absolutely take advantage.

So where can you find these hidden discounts?

  • Travel packages: If you plan to fly and pay for lodging while using a moving company, chances are you can land a great package deal on plane + lodging combos.
  • Kids eat free: While researching family lodging, look for places where kids can eat free. The same goes for motels where pets can stay for free.
  • Look into any other senior or family travel discounts you may qualify for.
  • Moving truck discounts: Look out for any  moving truck specials before taking off.

Once you’ve exhausted all your discount options, assess any other ways you can save money. For example, if you’re using a mover, cut down on the costs of idle or extra time by having your items organized and ready to go.

The better you plan, the easier your move will be!