Moving Costs – 6 Ways to Control Home Moving Expenses

Many people are astonished at the costs of moving their home. To avoid a nasty shock to your financial system, use these six ways to


Many people are astonished at the costs of moving their home. To avoid a nasty shock to your financial system, use these six ways to take control of the costs involved. They may lead you to change what goods you take, the services you buy, and even the date you move.

  1. Be realistic

  • Don’t under-estimate the load size – consider all your possessions, including attic and basement contents and your car and boat.
  • Consider all the costs including house sale, new home redecoration and change of services, moving services, insurance, storage, your travel, and especially your own time and energy.
  • Control requires time. Start early, or be prepared to pay for help to manage the move.

  • Reduce the load
    • Load size is the biggest factor in the costs of packing, loading, transport, storage, insurance, and your own efforts, even if you do it yourself.
    • The amount of junk that people pay move often astonishes 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 such clutter behind, and simplify your life!
    • If your major appliances are old, new ones would save energy and money in operation. Why pay to take them with you?
    • You’ll probably redecorate your new home. Don’t take furniture that will be discarded anyway when it doesn’t fit your new style.
    • Don’t take your surfboard when you move from California to Saskatchewan. Don’t take home workshop equipment when you move to an apartment. Leave behind any activity equipment or clothing that won’t fit your new lifestyle.
    • A garage sale, or eBay, or donations to charity are all good ways to ensure that the goods you no longer need will find good uses.

  • Choose the best time
    • Movers and moving trucks have peak demand times: month-ends, summer school break, and winter holidays. At these peaks, the costs are higher, movers and trucks are harder to get, and the shortage of time can degrade the quality of work done.
    • Schedule your closing dates for moving flexibility and to minimize temporary storage. I once scheduled the closing of both sale and purchase on the same date; final legalities turned up a possible lien that took days to clear up and denied access to my new house, practically doubling my moving cost and effort.
    • Find out everything that needs to be done, and allow ample time.
    • The best time for this move may be never. When we considered real estate and redecoration costs, my wife and I decided not to downsize before retirement, because we expected to move at retirement anyway.

  • Consider doing it yourself
    • You can save real money on moving services by packing yourself with less expensive 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 can be complications due to your inexperience, as well as unexpected costs. It takes physical labor, and you may not be as fit and strong as you think. Is the money saving really that great, and is it worth the other costs?

  • Shop wisely
    • If you hire moving services, screen companies using word of mouth and other information, get two or three written estimates in person, ensure they cover everything to be moved, and observe carefully to judge the quality of the company.
    • If you rent equipment, shop around for competitive prices and make sure you know the terms and flexibility of the contract. Can you extend the time if necessary?
    • If you buy or scrounge packing materials, don’t skimp on protection. Get double-walled boxes with lids, in sizes appropriate for the contents. Use plenty of padding for fragile items and don’t cram breakables too closely together.

  • Track and claim expenses
    • Some out-of-pocket moving expenses can probably be claimed against income for tax, if properly validated.
    • Find out what is deductible, and get receipts or other documentation for all such costs.

    Using these six strategies, you are sure to get good value for your time and money. You will also be happier, with a well-managed move and no nasty surprises.


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