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What Families Need to Know: Reduce Your Moving Expenses

 July 2015
What Families Need to Know: Reduce Your Moving Expenses

Written by Nan Hayes

Moving to a new home is often an exciting time, but it can also be an expensive venture. According to the Worldwide ERC, a full-service move averages over $12,000. The good news is that there are ways to cut costs. Below are several cost-cutting tips to help you save on your next move.

1. Establish a budget

Budgeting in advance can help families save time, money and energy. Decide what you will spend on your move in advance for more successful money management. When you take time to budget, you are more likely to keep an eye on actual spending and avoid those last minute “add-on” expenses. Your budget will help you allocate funds to movers, packers, boxes and other packing materials. If you are moving cross country, a portion of the budget will also be used for lodging, food and transportation. If you are selling your home, it may include items such as repairs and home staging. 

How can we help? Caring Transitions® will provide a professional Pre-Moving Assessment using our CT Accelerator, an electronic estimating tool that gives a solid estimate of the hours and expenses required to declutter, pack, move and unpack your home. With the estimate in hand, we can help determine which services are most necessary to meet your objectives and fit your budget. 

2. Understand the cost of materials
Boxes, paper, bubble wrap and container rentals, such as wardrobes and TV containers can add up quickly. Work with your mover to negotiate the cost of materials. Used boxes can help reduce your overall cost, but be careful to use only clean, sturdy boxes to best protect your possessions. Also remember, if you pack your own items, the mover is not responsible for damages unless the exterior of the box shows damage. If you are not sure how to pack your fragile items, it may be better to rely on professionals who do. Moving special possessions such as grandfather clocks, pianos or high value items may cause you to incur additional fees for crating or insurance.

How can we help? Caring Transitions® offers professional packing and unpacking services provided by trusted, trained and insured employees. For local moves we may also offer re-usable tubs for packing, which may help reduce your overall materials expense and we also have national agreements with moving and container companies. We can help families decide which option best suits their objectives. 

3. Understand the “other” costs

Keep in mind that moving expense includes more than the process of moving. If you are employed and moving yourself or your aging parents you may have to take time off of work or employ sitters for small children or pets. You may also incur additional costs for utilities transfer, new furnishings, home repairs and rental deposits. If you are moving due to a job change, you may be able to save money on some moving expenses. Check with the IRS or your tax professional to see if you qualify for job-related moving deductions. 

How can we help? As the nation’s largest provider of move management, personal relocation and household goods liquidation services, Caring Transitions has a number of qualified partners in the real estate, finance and legal professions who may be able to offer advice as well as discounted services. Our partners in van lines, storage and junk removal may also offer additional savings. 

4. “Rightsize” by downsizing before you move

A large portion of moving expense is determined by the volume or weight of the load being moved. When families take time to declutter a home prior to a move, you may find additional savings. Unused items that still have market value can be sold through professional estate sale or online auction and may help offset your total moving expense. More importantly, removing all the household items that you no longer need, use or want before you move helps reduce your total cost since the items no longer need to be packed or hauled to your new home. 

How can we help? Caring Transitions® offers a positive and proactive approach to downsizing, by helping you develop a “rightsized” plan for your new home. In other words, we save money by helping you move only the things you need and love. We then provide expert Estate Sale and CT Online Auction services to help liquidate your unwanted possessions. 

5. Organize, organize, organize

Time, money and stress can be minimized when you prepare properly for a move. In addition to all the items above, it is important to plan your move well in advance, when possible. Take the time to research movers and make sure they are safe and qualified. Obtain 2-3 moving estimates so you can best understand expenses. Ask movers to include estimates with and without packing services if you are unsure who will perform the work. You may have a specific time table for your move, but if possible try and plan your move for mid-month. Most movers are busy at the first and last of month when rental property leases begin or expire. Once you choose a mover, be sure to communicate with them often and notify them of any special circumstances such as parking restrictions, limited elevator hours or narrow stairways which could lead to an increase in labor costs.

How can we help? Caring Transitions® is more than a move management service, we are total solution providers who act as your personal agent throughout the planning, moving and move-in process. We manage all relocation logistics and communications with all parties involved in a move to create the best possible, stress-free outcome for everyone involved.

©Caring Transitions 2015. No reprint in part or entirety without permission. All rights reserved.