The thought of moving to your new home and embarking on a new journey may seem really exciting and fun. But when you have to plan and execute your move, it can get really stressful and overwhelming. Moving to a new place will need you to take care of so many things like hiring movers, transportation, moving all your belongings, etc. All of these things come with a price, especially if you’re hiring professional movers.

Are you confused about how to move on a budget? Moving does involve taking care of so many things altogether and spending a lot of time and money in planning and executing your move. But whether you’re on a tight budget or not, with careful planning, you can still save yourself a lot of money. So keep reading if you want to know how you can move on a budget.

Plan a Moving Budget

The first thing you need to do is plan a moving budget for yourself. Whether your move is local, interstate or international, this will help you to get an idea of how much money you can spend for your move. In order to have a moving budget, you will need to make an inventory of your house and include all the things you want to take along with you. You will have to think about the following moving expenses when you are making a moving budget:

  • Moving Company charges
  • Packing supplies expenses
  • Transportation expenses
  • Insurance for your belongings
  • Cost of your new home/Rent for your new home
  • Expenses for purchasing new things for your new home

Here’s what you can do to make a moving budget for yourself and save money on your moving expenses:

Get Free Moving Quotes

In order to get a better idea of how much it costs for a move, you can approach different moving companies and get free moving quotes. The reason for approaching different moving companies is that it will help you compare the prices of different companies and you can choose what best suits your needs. Also a moving quote will give you an approximate moving estimate which will help you in making a moving budget. You can call any moving company and ask for an in-person evaluation in which you can get an accurate moving estimate. Make sure that you explore different moving companies, compare their prices and then see which company offers the best deal.

Use Your Security Deposit

Always make sure that you check if your landlord or house owner has given you your security deposit before you move. If at all you’re lucky, you can get your entire security deposit back, provided your landlord checks your lease agreement. So before that happens, you can take a tour around your house and fix any damages or repairs if there are any in order to get your deposit. You can then use this money for your moving expenses.

Check Whether You Can Deduct Your Moving Expenses

There are various moving expenses that can be covered if you are eligible for claiming moving tax deductions. According to the recent law, you can get moving deductions only if you are a member of the military personnel. So if you’re eligible, make sure you check the IRS Form 3903 and keep a list of all your moving expenses and receipts. Your home inventory will come in very handy at such times.

Choose the Type of Your Move

There are several ways through which you can reduce your moving expenses. One way is taking care of all the things yourself. But one drawback is that you might waste a lot of time. There is another option of letting the experienced people take care of everything related to your move. But here too the catch is that you’ll end up spending a lot of bucks. In order to save yourself money as well as time, you will need to prioritize your needs and then you can decide your type of move. So depending on your moving budget and the kind of services you want, you can choose any of the following type of move:

DIY Moves

If at all you’re moving on a tight budget, this can be the best option for you. Right from gathering packing supplies, packing all your items and renting a truck to moving them, you will need to take care of everything. Since it’s a DIY move, you’ll be in charge of everything related to your move. Although planning your move and packing your items by yourself will take a lot of your time, it will save you a lot of money as you will not be taking any professional help. There are certain drawbacks here though. For example – you might find it difficult to move heavy items like your furniture and it gets really stressful since you’ll be managing everything. But if you’re a person who likes to take things in your own hands, this can be your best option.

Hire a Brokerage Moving Company

Don’t worry if your moving budget isn’t enough to afford professional movers. You can still get help from experienced people and save yourself a few bucks. All you need to do is get in touch with a brokerage company and tell them about the kind of services you need. For example, if you think you can pack and load your belongings on your own, you can only ask for transportation services. Brokers will help you connect with moving companies within your budget that will cater to your specific needs.

If you need to rent a truck, packing supplies as well as loading and unloading services, you can ask your broker to find you a moving company that offers packing materials along with a few movers to help you. The only thing you have to do is pack your items and they will load your stuff and transport them to your desired location. So depending on the kind of services you need, you can actually customize your move and save a lot of money.

Hire a Professional Moving Company

A professional moving company will be really expensive for you. Since they cover various services like packing your items, transporting them and unloading them, their charges are high. But if you hire professional movers, you don’t need to worry about the heavy furniture lifting or packing all your heavy and bulky items.

Although professional movers can be expensive, you can still get a good deal if you book them at the right time. For example, you can plan your move during off season when these companies are not busy. If you’re lucky enough, you can even get discounts. Also, whichever moving company you choose, always ask if you’re eligible for any kind of discounts, especially if you are a student, a member of any partner organization, or serve in the military.

Get Professional Moving Help Without Hiring Professional Movers

There are still many options for you to get professional help for moving without hiring professional movers. Yes, you read it correctly, you can explore other options and still not compromise on the quality of your move while saving a few bucks for yourself. You can approach TaskRabbit or Craigslist and seek for some extra helping hands to help you with packing and moving your stuff. Their rates are not as high as compared to professional movers, and you can still avail of their services even on a short notice.

Get Creative With Your Packing and Storage To Save Money

When it comes to packing your items, you can explore so many ways and strategies to save money. First of all, you need to be really smart and efficient in deciding what all you need to take along with you. If you take limited and important things with you, the cost of your packing supplies also reduces. Here’s how you can get creative with packing and still save yourself a lot of money:

Donate and Discard Unwanted Items

The best thing to do to reduce your items for moving is either donate or discard them. If you have any clothes that you don’t wear, cleaning supplies, old utensils, etc. you can donate them to an orphanage or a women’s shelter near you. We advise you to also donate your cleaning supplies as they are always at a risk of spilling during a move. Other than that, if you have any harmful or hazardous items like gasoline, you should use it and avoid carrying it with you. This way, you are reducing the number of your items and your entire moving cost will eventually get reduced.

Also Read: How to Donate Your Used Items

Pack Your Own Things

This is one of the best ways of saving money for moving. You can keep aside two or three days to pack your own things instead of hiring movers. If you think you will need help, inform your friends and family beforehand and ask them to help you with packing. You can also watch various packing videos online which will help you pack different kinds of items like your fragile dishes, huge furniture, glassware, paintings, etc. You can Check our Blog on How to Make Packing Easier for learning some packing hacks for your move.

Borrow Moving Boxes and Other Packing Supplies

When it comes to moving boxes, you can get them at cheap rates if you approach any local grocery stores, liquor stores or book stores. If you happen to know anyone who has moved recently, you can borrow moving boxes and other essential packing supplies from them. Even restaurants will give you free boxes which you can use for your move. Then there are other options like U-Haul and Craigslist where you can buy moving boxes at a discounted rate.

Read Also: How to get Best Cheap Moving Boxes

Use Your Old Containers For Packing and Storage

There are certain items like your medicines, toiletries, cleaning supplies, haircare and skincare products that cannot be accommodated in cardboard boxes. You will need plastic containers or bins to move them safely. The different containers in your house like cabinets, drawers, plastic tubs, etc., can be used for moving. This will save you a lot of money and you won’t have to spend on buying new containers.

Free and Smart Storage Options

There are several moving companies that will offer you a 30 days free storage for your items. For that you will need to consult those moving companies that will offer you free storage services. If not that, you can get smart with your move and check with your friends and relatives to see if they have a spare room or attic to store your items. That way your belongings will be with your trusted people and you won’t even have to pay for the storage.

Rent Essential Moving Supplies

Another smart way of saving money on essential packing supplies is renting them instead of buying them. There are several moving supplies like hand trucks and trolley, moving blankets, furniture pads, etc., which you won’t be needing in the future unless you travel very often. Such supplies are better rented than purchased. You can contact any local moving company and rent them or check U-Haul as they offer such essential supplies at cheap rents.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should you budget for a move?

Moving costs differ depending on the kind of services you ask for and the size and distance of your move. A local move on an average will cost you around $500 to $1,000. But if you are moving long distances or interstate, then the cost may rise between $5,000-$11,000 depending on the size of your move and the distance of your destination. You can use our Moving Cost Calculator to plan your budget.

How can I make moving easier?

Moving involves taking care of so many things right from packing to loading and unloading them. You can make it easier by taking care of the following things:

  1. Hire a moving company well in advance.
  2. Make a home inventory.
  3. Discard or donate unwanted items.
  4. Pack your things well in advance.
  5. Be in touch with your movers.
  6. Label all your moving boxes.

What should I pack first when moving?

The different valuables you possess like your jewelry, important documents should be packed first. Along with that you should pack your antique and expensive items like your paintings, china sets, glassware, etc., as these items have to be packed carefully because of their fragile nature. It’s good if you pack your valuables and antiques well in advance so that you don’t waste a lot of time packing them on your moving day.

Is it worth it to hire movers?

If you have a really busy schedule or you think you can’t execute your move alone, it’s always best to hire movers. Professional moving companies will not just help you plan your move, but also help you pack your items with an extra cost. So if you want a stress free move with help from experienced personnel, then it’s definitely worth hiring movers.


Regardless of how small or big your move is, it does require careful planning and execution. If you’re on a tight budget or want to save money, you need to be smart when it comes to choosing the type of your move, getting your moving equipment and above all, hiring the right moving company. But if you have read the above strategies on how to move on a budget, you’re all set to plan and organize your move in a budget friendly manner.

Also Read: 20 Moving Mistakes To Avoid | When is the Best Time to Move?