There’s no doubt about it: moving is expensive. The average cost of moving within your state is about $1,170. And moving between states costs even more, at $5,630, according to the American Moving & Storage Association. That’s a lot of money, especially for young people just starting out. But moving doesn’t have to cost you more than your first month’s rent and deposit. Kevin Flaherty, marketing manager of Dolly — an app in Chicago and Seattle that connects users with those who have large trucks or moving equipment like dollies — shared just how movers can save money when they’re leaving town or just moving down the street.

Plan

“The farther out you plan your move, the more likely you are to save money moving. When you do it at the last moment, your options are limited and you’re more likely to have the move go wrong,” says Flaherty. “With a little bit of planning, you can save a significant amount of money, which you can invest in your new home.”

Move During the Off-Season

Winter is the slowest season for moving. If you’re searching for a great deal on moving costs, consider relocating during the cold-weather months. Most moves occur from March to September. If you move outside of these months, you have the best shot at saving the most cash, as movers will be in need of business. Likewise, you’ll want to avoid moving at the end of the month too. Moving during off-peak days is another great way to save money. Call the moving company ahead of time to discuss when its peak days are so you can avoid those too.

Scour the Internet for Free Boxes

You shouldn’t have to pay for boxes. The best ways to nab free boxes, packing materials or other containers is by checking out online sites like Craigslist and Next door to locate what you’re looking for.

Do It Yourself

The more you can do yourself, the more money you’ll save. Pack up as much as you can on your own. If you’ll be moving to a different apartment in the same or a neighboring town, consider taking multiple car trips to make it happen. Ask friends who own trucks to help out. Maybe buy them burgers and beers as a way to say thank you. Before you haul, go through all of your stuff and determine what you don’t need. Trash the items that are beyond repair. Take items that someone else could use secondhand to a thrift store.

Dismantle Your Furniture

One of the things most people overlook is taking apart their own furniture. If you had to assemble your own desk, bed frame or shelf, take them apart. It will make everything easier to transport. Even though you’ll have to reassemble it once you’ve arrived at your new place, it will save the movers time and cost you less too.

Check With Your Tax Advisor

This depends on why you’re moving, but you’ll want to check with your tax advisor to see if you qualify for deductions for moving expenses. Be sure to save all the receipts you need to file your income taxes in April. 

Price Out Moving Services

You’ll want to shop around to get the best deal for your needs, suggests Flaherty. “Reputable moving services should be able to give you a general idea of moving costs based on your descriptions of the items to be moved and the distance you’re moving. Don’t always go for the cheapest option — more than likely there’s a reason for the low price. Check the Better Business Bureau for any consumer complaints to make sure you’re working with a reputable service,” he says. Websites like Pro.com, Angie’s List and Porch.com make it easy for you to reach out to several movers at once and get quotes.

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