4 Tips For Moving House On A Budget

With the overall moving rate in the United States at 8.4%, many cities are seeing local and out-of-state tenants moving into new homes. But while the prospect of a more affordable cost of living is a huge factor for many of these moves, the act of moving itself can ironically be a financial strain. Nationwide, the average cost of moving is around $1,400. In Maryland, moving costs are between $1,140 and $3,256. Fortunately, these figures don’t have to impact your long-term finances so long as you practice clever tips while you move house.

Plan your move early

Planning your move as early as possible isn’t just to help you organize. As explained in our listicle of “10 Tips on How to Be Safe” during a move, having the time to arrange your things and your logistics means that there is less room for error and accidents. In terms of your budget, this means that no expenses will be missed. For instance, by planning early you can rent a pet crate for your dog instead of rushing to buy one. Aside from this, planning early also allows you to settle any bills ahead of time. These can include any last-minute utility fees that can incur a hefty penalty if overlooked. Should your move be too sudden, your landlord may also contest this under Maryland law. Under this law, your landlord can force you to pay the remainder of your lease if you’re moving out too early. Alternatively, you could avoid paying the rest of your rent if you can provide a replacement tenant. Obviously, this can only be done if you’re preparing early on.

DIY your transportation

Although professional movers can make the moving process easier, their services can be quite pricey. On average, movers can charge up to $1,600 for a short-distance move that’s just under 100 miles. Thus, try a DIY moving option instead. Depending on your location, you can either rent a larger car or a larger-scale U-Haul moving truck instead. Since U-Haul trucks are specially outfitted, you can rent them by the hour or by the day to safely transport your things at your own pace. Just be careful of hidden fees. In AskMoney’s review of U-Haul price estimates, the company’s $19.95 price point is shown to be not all-inclusive. Aside from this basic fee, U-Haul also charges you for every mile driven, upgrades to larger trucks, gas top-ups, and insurance. It’s important to keep in mind that gas in Maryland alone is almost a dollar higher than the national average of $5. In total, these can bloat your bill by almost 10x. To better utilize DIY moving trucks, opt for a larger truck instead. Though this costs more initially, the extra room eliminates the need for multiple trips which can rack up your total expense.

Declutter and donate

Instead of having to trouble yourself with paying for lots of moving supplies and transport fees, just declutter and donate instead. Before you even start packing, realistically assess your things and sort out anything you don’t use or need. As per RealMeNot’s post on shopping and trends, downsizing before a move can save you hundreds of dollars. Additionally, you can even make money by selling some of your things in consignment shops, on eBay, or in a garage sale. Alternatively, you can also donate. Maryland has outlets of The Salvation Army and various transitional housing shelters that will be able to find a new home for your things. Some shelters in Maryland you can consider are Angel’s Watch, Family Crisis Center Inc., and Montgomery Avenue Women’s Center. Whether you declutter to donate or sell, this creates a win-win situation that won’t stress your finances.

Use free packing materials


Generally speaking, a studio apartment will require up to $5 worth of moving supplies. A 2-bedroom apartment, on the other hand, can have tenants spending up to $100. Luckily, there are ways in which you can find moving boxes for free. According to The Spruce’s rundown of places to get free moving boxes, many online communities offer well-maintained moving boxes for free. For example, Facebook Marketplace and Freecycle make it easy to connect with other locals willing to give away or swap their boxes. Another option is to approach local businesses or apartment complexes that usually have a steady supply of deliveries. Typically, these places will just toss their boxes so they’ll be happy to just let you have them instead. Just remember to also check the boxes for any mildew before taking them home. Afterward, keep them intact so that you can reuse them later or give them to someone else.

While not every moving-related expense is avoidable, there are ways to dramatically reduce your expenses. In this way, you can greet your new home with a happy outlook and an equally happy wallet.

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