8 of the Smartest Ways to Save Money When You Move

Moving is expensive. Whether you’re moving to a new place down the street or crossing state lines, the costs add up quickly. In the United States, the average price of move within a state is $2,300. If you're heading to another state, the average is $4,300—and prices go up as the distance and the amount of stuff you're moving increase. There are, however, steps you can take during this notoriously stressful process that can help you save a few bucks and ensure that your move goes smoothly.

  1. Collect Free Boxes

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    Free Moving Boxes

    STOP! Don’t just head to the nearest office or moving supply store to purchase boxes. Finding free boxes is the easiest way to save cash during a move. Start by asking friends and family for any extra boxes they may have lying around. Check to see if neighbors would be willing to give you their leftover Amazon packaging before they toss it into the recycling bin. Finally, if your workplace has a shipping department, try to snag boxes there at no cost.

    Related: 18 Hidden Costs of Moving

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  2. Sell Your Stuff

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    Moving Sale

    In a perfect world, you would regularly purge your unused items, but if you haven't been keeping up with your clutter, deal with it before you move—you'll dramatically reduce your moving costs. Have a garage sale or list items on Craigslist, Facebook, or other social media platforms. Or, if you're not counting on getting money for your belongings, scope out donation boxes, bring unwanted clothing to a nearby shelter, or contact your local Salvation Army or Goodwill. 

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  3. Ask for Help

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    Get Help from Friends When Moving

    What are friends and family for, after all? Save money by renting a truck for the day and asking your relatives and pals to lend a hand. Better yet, find a buddy who drives a truck and enlist his help to move your boxes. At the end of the day, treat everyone to pizza and beverages and reminiscence about the good times in your soon-to-be-ex living space.

    Related: Just Moved In? 11 Things to Do Right Away

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  4. Pack Inventively

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    Inventive Packing Materials

    You’ve got a few clever tricks up your sleeve when it comes to packing a suitcase, so use a bit of that creativity when you're stuffing boxes to the brim. For instance, don’t buy expensive packing products to protect delicate items. Instead, wrap fragile pieces like dishes and glassware in clothing or towels.

    Related: 11 Packing Tips & Tricks for a Smooth Move

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  5. Label Boxes Clearly

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    Label Moving Boxes

    Avoid ruining expensive or breakable items—and make it easier to unpack and get organized at your new digs—by clearly labeling your moving boxes. Grab a Sharpie and write in large block letters. Label the top, bottom, and sides of each box so no matter how it's oriented, everyone involved in the move will know what's inside. 

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  6. Talk to Your Accountant

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    Tax Deductions for Moving Costs

    Did you know that in some instances moves are tax deductible? Talk to your accountant or tax professional to find out whether your move qualifies—but remember that tax laws are always changing. 

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  7. Compare Prices

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    Compare Prices on Professional Movers

    Don't wait until the last minute to hire a mover. Start early and contact a few different companies to get quotes for their services. Find out exactly what’s included (some moving companies may refuse to move certain items) and how you’ll be billed. Compare the quotes, but also estimate the cost of a DIY move before making your final decision.

    Related: 10 Things to Leave Behind the Next Time You Move

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  8. Head to Costco or the Dollar Store

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    Dollar Store Packing Supplies

    If you run out of packing materials and don’t have enough towels to protect all your delicate items, consider visiting your local dollar store to replenish your supplies, or head to Costco to buy packing tape and bubble wrap in bulk for less.

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  9. Don't Miss! Before & After

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    With its front-and-center position, a new garage door can all but revolutionize how your home looks from the curb. See the difference!