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How To Move as Cheaply as Possible

It takes a very special soul to actually enjoy moving. From sorting to packing to moving to unpacking and all of the hassles and unexpected issues that inevitably pop up along the way, moving is a complicated, time consuming and (often) expensive endeavor. In this article we are going to talk about how to move as cheaply and efficiently as possible—even when part of your moving adventure includes moving a home office or home based business!

Start Early

Do you know when it’s time to start working on your move? As soon as you make the concrete decision to move. Yes, you need to start your move prep even before you have secured housing and/or office space. Yes, even if you know you won’t be able to start scouting housing in the new town or neighborhood for another six months. Start doing your research now. Start collecting moving materials now. Most importantly, start sorting now (more on that in a minute).

Research Mode

There are two stages to moving research. The “I don’t know when I’m moving” stage that helps you formulate the skeleton of your move and the “now I need to get my move all set up” stage when you know when and to where you’ll be moving.

I don’t know when I’m moving

This is the research you do when you make the decision to move on your own and you don’t have a pre-determined timeline or deadline to meet. During this phase you’ll be researching your new neighborhood or city. You’ll look at the average cost of living, check out housing prices/rates, etc. and figure out how much money you’ll need to have on hand before you can move.

Setting up the move itself

When you have a definite date for your move, you can do the more “concrete” research. You can start actually getting moving quotes from United Van Lines or whatever moving service you’re using, as well as local storage spaces (if you’ll be downsizing your floor plan), professional cleaners etc.

PRO TIP: The earlier you can book people like movers and cleaners, the cheaper the rate tends to be.

Sorting Everything

It is important, whether you’re moving house or office (or both, as the case may be) that you sort through everything. If part of your move includes a business space, make sure you heed any local (both current and your new locality) laws regarding the keeping of paperwork and records. Beyond that, be ruthless. The fewer things you have to pack, the cheaper and easier your move will be.

Here is what you should take with you: stuff you use every day, stuff you use at least once a year (like holiday decorations), stuff that has tremendous sentimental value, stuff that will get you written out of the will if you donate it to Goodwill. That’s it.

Everything else—clothes you haven’t worn in five years, stuff you forgot you had, things you’ve outgrown, etc.—can be sold (to help earn money to negate the cost of your move) or donated to local second hand shops (usually for a tax write off).

For businesses, you can donate any unused office supplies or equipment to local schools and get a great break on your taxes.


If you are hiring movers, it is okay to pack for space instead of weight. If you will be doing the heavy lifting, you’ll want to make the boxes as easy to carry as possible. This might mean that you need a larger van but you’ll be glad you shelled out the extra dough when you don’t have to pay through the nose for hernia surgery.

Pro Tip: Do not buy packing boxes! Go to your local shops and ask if they have any boxes they’d like to get rid of. Book stores and grocers often have the best quality and sturdiest boxes. You can also look on Craigslist for free moving boxes (and then repay that kindness when you’re done unpacking by putting the boxes up for someone else to claim).

These are just a few of the tips that can help you reduce costs when you want to move your home and/or office. What are some of the things you’ve done to save money on a move?


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