Moving is often a hectic, occasionally emotional, and overall costly time of life. Whether you attempt the move yourself or bring in the pros, the entire process can take up a lot of time, money, and energy.

But have no fear. Moving doesn’t have to break the bank. There are simple ways to cut your moving expenses and stay within a budget so you can arrive smoothly into your new home.

Declutter and Downsize

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The more you have, the more it costs to move. It’s simple logic, really. More stuff takes up more space in your moving truck and requires more movers to get it from home to truck and into your new place. You’ll also spend more time moving it.

Professional movers take your belongings into account when they provide a quote for the job. For a local move, your moving company will estimate the number of movers and the number of hours required and will price the move accordingly. Long-distance movers will base their rates on the size of the truck and often the weight of your belongings.

A crucial first step in any move is to spend some time going through your things. Inevitably, we all end up collecting more than we need as time goes on. What better time for a bit of spring cleaning than during move preparations?

Not only will you save on your moving costs, but you may also even earn some money in the process. By downsizing with enough time to spare, you can try selling some of your things for a cash boost. Separate your sell, donate, and discard piles. Remember that selling takes a little time, so get those things listed on places like Facebook Marketplace or in local consignment shops as early as you can.

Schedule Your Move Strategically

Moving costs are based on supply and demand. As demand rises, so do the costs. If you can help it, plan your move strategically and lower your costs.

Moving is more costly in the period between late spring and early fall. The days are longer, the weather is nicer, and people like to take advantage of favorable conditions. All year round, rates are higher on weekends and holidays.

If you can, try moving between mid-fall and early spring on a weekday. Your moving budget will stretch farther.

Reuse and Recycle

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Moving boxes can be costly if you buy them new. Save money (and have less impact on the earth) by reusing materials when you can. Grocery stores, bookshops, and liquor stores often have empty boxes you can use. You can also check local sites like Craigslist, Freecycle, or local Facebook groups to see if anyone has moved recently.

Make sure the boxes you use are still in good and strong condition and reinforce the seams and corners with tape when it’s time to move.

Do Your Own Prep Work – And Pull-in Favors

Full-service movers can do a lot of the busy work for you. They can pack and unpack your boxes, disassemble and reassemble your furniture, and more. Of course, all of that will cost you.

The more you do yourself, the lower your moving costs will be. Take care of your own packing, disassemble your furniture, and disconnect your appliances and electronics before the moving team arrives. Now is a great time to pull in some favors with friends and family to help you get the job done.

Save What You Can

You may be tempted to save some space and assume you’ll just get some new stuff on the other side. Save as much as you can of your necessities, as buying new adds up.

Keep your cleaners and condiments. You’ll need them in your new home, after all. Of course, you’ll want to get rid of anything past its expiry date or nearly-empty bottles. But don’t fall for the “it’s not so expensive to get a new one” trap – those small amounts add up!

Pack Snacks

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Eating at restaurants also gets costly. Rather than making a mad dash to a new restaurant when you get a bit hungry on moving day, have some snacks and drinks ready for you (and your movers). You’ll save time and money on dining out, and you’ll have plenty of time to explore new places in your neighborhood later.

Check Tax Deductions

Tax deductions may be available for your move, and it pays (literally) to look into it. This is especially relevant if you’re moving for work as you’re entitled to claim the costs of your move on your income tax return. Check out form 3903 when it’s time to file.