Minimizing the Cost of Your Long-Distance Move
Moving to a new home can be an expensive and stressful time for many homeowners today. In fact, according to HomeAdvisor.com, the current national average cost for a long-distance (cross-country or out-of-state) move is $3,476. While there are many factors that will influence the overall individual cost, these expenses can easily run upwards of $9,000 by the time you’re all settled in to your new home.
It goes without saying then, that most households could use a few tips on how to keep those costs to a minimum. Rest assured, there are a number of things you can do to help control the costs you incur along the way. From sales and donations to moving service consultations, here are the top 5 tips for minimizing the cost of your long-distance move:
1. Consult the Professionals for Advice
For starters, the best thing you can do is to sit down with moving professionals to discuss your particular needs. Generally, most professional moving companies are happy to meet with clients to discuss their needs and create a personalized plan and estimate free of charge. Since services can range from full-on moving management (where they handle all of the packing, hauling, driving, and unloading), to rental trucks and everything in between, it’s important to figure out the best option for you. Your moving company specialists should be able to help you choose the option that will meet your needs and your budget.
2. Make Lists, Checklists, and More Lists
The next step is to begin making lists of all things you want to keep, what needs done, and what you want to weed out. By doing this, you’ll help yourself stay prepared for what is to come and minimize unexpected costs (such as having to purchase boxes or packing materials you didn’t plan for). Staying organized will help you keep your focus (and your budget) in check. Here are some pointers for making the most of your checklists!
3. Plan Ahead for Your Long-Distance Move
After you’ve created your lists, begin your process of preparing for the move. Even if you have opted to have the full-service move, there are still things you can do to minimize your costs. You can begin saving boxes or checking area businesses for moving supplies as they go on sale. Research area resources in your new neighborhood to familiarize yourself with things in advance. Take photos of your belongings in each room to help movers know where to put items while unloading (this one saves a lot of time, and saved time is saved money). Anything you can do to plan ahead will help moving day go that much smoother.
4. Minimize Costs by Reducing Your Stock
It may seem like common sense, but the easiest way to minimize costs (and even make a few bucks in the process) before a move is to thin out what you’re planning to take with you. Go through your belongings and take stock of items you could stand to part with. The less you bring with you, the lower your moving costs will be. It also saves you time getting things settled once the move is complete, too! Easy ways to thin out your belongings include yard sales, online outlets like LetGo.com, or even donation centers such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or local homeless shelters or charities.
5. Research Tax Breaks
One of the perks for long-distance movers is that the federal government allows certain tax breaks (see here for IRS guidelines) for those who move out-of-state for work.
“If you’re moving because of a job change, you may be able to deduct certain moving expenses, such as transportation and storage costs for household goods, as well as travel and lodging expenses incurred while moving from your old home to your new home,” reports USNews.com.
Overall, there are a multitude of ways you can help cut costs during a long-distance move. The key is to be prepared and do your research ahead of time in order to make the best decisions for your individual situation.