Moving costs can come to anywhere between a few hundred and $2,000, depending on how far you're moving and how big the home you're moving to and from is, but, shockingly, an especially large, interstate house move can cost $5,000 upwards.
And, of course, moving expenses come on top of your downpayment and other associated moving costs.
To offset this expenditure, we asked consumer experts for their top tips for cutting moving costs. Here's what they had to say.
- See more: how to buy a house – a guide for first-time buyers
1. Choose the right time of year – and week – for moving
Booking your movers in advance pays, literally. 'Schedule your big move on one of the cheapest days to do it – this is when moving companies are typically less busy so you’re likely to get the best price', advises Tom Church, co-founder of money-saving community Latest Deals.
For short-distance, local moves it is best to book your movers for Monday to Thursday, when they tend to be less busy and charge less. October to March are the best months, which again may well get you a discount – or at least a guaranteed booking.
Interstate moves are more complex and you'll need to book at least eight weeks in advance.
2. Cut moving costs by packing cleverly
'Ask if you can cut the cost by reducing the work the removal firm will have to do,' advise the experts at the Home Owners' Alliance. 'For example, don’t pay them to pack if you can do it yourself. Also, consider asking if it would be cheaper if you moved everything onto the ground floor of your home.
'Also, pack strategically so that you don’t have to pay out for an extra big removal van. For example, use empty Tupperware to pack small items. Combine heavy items like books with cushions in boxes so the space is filled but the box isn’t impossible to lift.'
3. Hire regular cleaners instead of an end-of-tenancy clean
If you're in a rental, then hiring regular cleaning help, even if it's just once a month, will help you keep your home cleaner in the long run, potentially avoiding the need for a final deep clean altogether.
End of tenancy cleaning charges tend to be worked out per room and will run into hundreds and hundreds, whereas regular cleaners tend to charge a flat rate per property.
Want to save even more? Do it yourself, says Tom Church: 'It’s not much of a secret, but unless there are any specialist cleaning jobs you need to carry out, rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself is your best bet for saving some cash.' Just don't attempt to do it all in one day after moving.
4. Reduce your moving timeframe to save on storage costs
If you have a lot of possessions, chances are you'll need to use self-storage facilities. That's not great news for your wallet, with storage units costing between $50 and $400 per month for larger units.
The solution? Plan your move to a tighter timeframe to reduce the time your things will sit in storage, or – even better – 'do what I did and get rid of it,' says Tom. If it needs to go into storage, it may be time to question whether you need to bring it with you at all.
5. Rent your moving supplies
All those boxes and bubble wrap can cost you, especially if you're doing a large move. The solution is to rent reusable plastic moving boxes, which rent per week (prices start around $50 for enough boxes to cover a one-bed house). You can also ask your moving company, as they often have spare moving materials left over from previous moves.
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Anna K. Cottrell is now a freelance writer, having previously been a Content Editor for Future's homes titles. She writes about interior design, property, and gardening. On H&G, she specialized in writing about property – buying, selling, renting – sustainability and eco issues.
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