Planning a big move on a budget? While the cheapest way to move is to move yourself, sometimes you have to hire movers. Here are some great ideas for how to save money when hiring movers!
We have moved a few times in the past and have never previously hired movers.
However, four years ago when we bought this house, we swore we would never move ourselves again.
Add to the mix that I will be 38 weeks pregnant when we move this time (oh yes, 10 days before my due date!) and there is no way that we could move without help.
Asking friends for help is great, but we decided that the time has come to suck it up and hire professional help.
We have met with, chatted on the phone with, and heavily researched local moving companies and quickly realized that hiring movers is very expensive.
However, there are some big ways to save money when hiring movers, straight from the guys themselves.
How to save money when hiring movers
- Be prepared
- Rent your own truck
- Rent a bigger truck
- Don’t pay for boxes
- Ask about seasonal rates
- Move less junk
- Get quotes from multiple movers
- Help with the move
The best way to save money when hiring movers is to ask. Ask the person who writes up your estimate for an itemized bill and see if there is anything that you can cut.
The top tip that we have received is simple: be prepared. Have everything packed up and ready to go.
When you pay movers, it is usually an hourly rate. Therefore, the more time they have to spend on your stuff, the more you spend.
The more prep work you complete, the less time it will take the movers.
Disassemble any furniture, such as beds. They will do this for you, but it takes time.
Stack boxes near the front door if possible to cut down on trips up and down stairs.
In general, have everything totally ready to go.
Rent your own truck
This is a question for each specific moving company, but often providing your own truck will save you money compared to renting the truck through the moving company.
Clarify what this means for you having to drive the truck, and how long you will need it for.
Pricing for rental trucks can vary, but renting it separately allows you to call around and find the best rates.
This is an added inconvenience, but may be worth it for the right price.
Rent a bigger truck
This tip is counter-intuitive, but stick with me.
Movers charge by the hour. You will also pay an hourly rate for a rented moving truck, that goes up based on the size of the truck.
Many people who are trying to save money might try to rent the smallest possible truck.
Well, time to bust out your math skills.
Depending on the distance that you are moving, it might actually be cheaper to pay a bit more for a bigger truck and make your move in one trip versus paying movers their hourly rate just to drive back and forth between houses.
For example, our move is 30 minutes in each direction. We discovered that it is much cheaper to size up our truck or get a second truck than to pay for an extra hour and a half (there, back, and there again at 30 minutes each) for professional movers.
If you are making a long distance move, this will apply less, but you definitely need a truck or trucks big enough for all your stuff in one trip!
Don’t pay for boxes
Moving boxes are an essential part of moving – however, they can add up quickly. Moving companies offer to sell you boxes – but not at the cheapest price.
A great way to save money when moving is to get free boxes. Here are the best places to get free moving boxes!
The same goes for bubble wrap, newspaper, and packing materials. Ask around to see what you can find for free!
Remember not to use damaged, rotten, or flimsy boxes. If they fall apart, that’s just going to slow down your movers.
Ask about seasonal rates
Like any business, movers can charge more to do the same job when demand is higher.
If you are flexible as to when you move, ask your movers if there is a cheaper month to move in. Often, winter is the cheapest time to move.
We spoke to many movers that charged higher hourly rates for weekend move days compared to weekday moves.
It could be financially worth taking a day off work to move during the week and save big on your move.
Move less junk
This is the #1 tips that I can give you: move less stuff.
How do you manage that? By thoroughly purging.
In the end it comes down to the fact that professional moving companies charge by the hour – the more stuff that you have, the longer it will take them, the more room it will take in the truck, and the more it will cost you.
We have 7 weeks notice before our move. We plan to spend the last 2 weeks packing.
So, we have 5 weeks to purge as much stuff as possible.
We have divided our home into zones and are going through each very thoroughly.
If you don’t need it, use it, or love it – get rid of it!
We have been selling a ton of stuff on Facebook Marketplace, which is actually helping to fund hiring a moving company!
Here are my best tips for selling on Facebook Marketplace.
Be sure to check out my post on how to decide if you should sell, donate, or trash something!
Get quotes from multiple movers
This might be obvious, but is definitely worth mentioning.
We got vastly different quotes from different moving services companies.
Now, you might not want to just go with the cheapest possible option. However, by getting itemized quotes from each mover, you can see what rate you feel most comfortable with.
Plus, all it takes is a little time to make a few extra calls!
Help with the move
You know your body and life best, but if you are physically able and willing to help with the heavy lifting, you can save a lot of money when hiring movers.
Why? You usually pay per-mover per-hour, so if you are willing to work as a mover, you can hire one less helper.
Obviously, you might be hiring movers because you can’t move things yourself.
I feel you – I will be 38 weeks pregnant when we move and I am certainly not carrying boxes down the stairs. But, having Sean help with the move will save us almost $200.
I hope that this helped to answer some of your questions about how to save money on moving costs!
Do you have any tips for hiring movers?