How to save money on your long distance move?

Moving Tips - February 10, 2019

When planning a move, there are a lot of things that you have to think about. Hiring a good moving company, packing your things, changing your public records data etc. Also, it is one of the most stressful things you will ever do in your life. According to psychologists, it is in the top 5 most stressful events for an average human. One of the key elements in any such undertaking is, of course, the money. A move, whether it is over a long or a short distance usually presents a significant strain for an average family’s budget. That is why you have to plan it very carefully if you are to save money on your long distance move. 

There are a couple of ways that you can save money on your long distance move. The key is in doing the proper planning of the whole process. So, what you need to do is to start with this as soon as you decide that you are going to have to move. If you enter this process fully concentrated and willing to commit, you are more likely to succeed. That is why preparing yourself mentally for such a task is crucial as having the right mindset is extremely important. Once you get over this, you are ready to start with the moving process.

A notebook to make a plan on how to save money on your long distance move.
Making an inventory list is always a great idea!

The inventory list is the key if you are to save money on your long distance move

On first glance, making an inventory list does not look like a very important thing when it comes to saving money. Bear with us. There are three particular benefits for making an inventory list:

  • It makes packing a lot easier – We recommend making an as detailed inventory list as possible. Every at least a remotely important or expensive item should be put on the list. Divide the list according to rooms. Then, you can pack each room one by one. This way, you can plan more easily what goes in which box. Mark all of them with a specific symbol like K1, K2, K3 etc, with K standing for “kitchen”. Also, you can make an essentials box(es) for each room more easily this way.
  • It makes unpacking a lot – Do not throw away the inventory list after you are done the packing. With it, if you follow through the first step, you can easily prioritize which boxes are you going to unpack first. Also, you can instruct movers where which boxes go, saving time on having to open each box and then having to move it.
  • You need it for making an insurance claim – Some companies will require this if you decide to make an insurance claim, while some won’t. When calling a company to get a free moving quote, you can check this out. One more thing that you should do when making an inventory list is preparing estimated prices for your things. Once you do this, have your moving company agree to this before the move. This way you are sure that these costs will be honored in case of an insurance claim. This way you can save money if the push comes to shove and your items get damaged or misplaced.


Once you are done with the inventory list, you should go through it carefully. Mark all of the items that you don’t need anymore. This is your chance to reset your life, so seize it. Get rid of the useless things that have pilled up over the years. Perhaps some of them are not for throwing away, but you personally just don’t need any of it. You can donate them or give them to your friends or family who may need them.

Get free packing supplies

A man carrying moving boxes.
It’s not just about the number of boxes you get – you need to get the right sizes, too.

One of the easiest ways to save money on your long distance move is getting as much of the free packing supplies as you possibly can. What this means is that you should start visiting supermarkets, drugstores etc in your vicinity as soon as you decide on moving. Why? Well, they will surely have a lot of boxes for you to take. This way, they won’t be throwing them away after just one usage, and you won’t be buying new ones. That is not just a way to save money, but also an ecologically aware move. The same story goes for bubble-wrap and even newspapers. Asking friends and family for assistance is also a great idea, as they will probably have something to contribute with.

Are you moving for a job?

If you are moving because you got a new job, those are great news. Congratulations! A smart way to try and save money on your long distance move is to check with your company for assistance. They may be willing to help out with your move by paying for at least a part of it. A lot of them will willing to pay for the entirety of the move. Just make sure that you have saved all the receipts.

A man working on his computer.
If you are moving for a job, your new employers might actually be willing to help out with the costs of the move.

Friends and family

If they are able to, enlisting their help is always a really good and practical idea. They help out by donating moving supplies. Some of them have also probably moved already so they can give you some practical advice. Also, obviously, they can help out with practical things like packing and carrying boxes into a moving truck. Some of them may even have a truck, so they can even help you do the move entirely. Paying for their gas and buying them a bottle of wine, for instance, should be a lot cheaper than hiring a moving company.

Hiring a moving company may not be such a bad idea

Yes, the goal of this text is to help you save money on your long distance move, and hiring a moving company is usually the most expensive part of a move. However, it is not that hard to find affordable movers in Chicago, for instance. You just have to dig carefully. Why we are proposing this idea is because you don’t throw away money by hiring movers. You are paying for their services. And the point of these services is to make easier for you. So, try to balance out how much money you can spend, compared to how much stress you are willing to endure.

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