4 Ways To Save Money On Your Local Move

It's nice to fantasize about performing your local move with nothing more than a pickup truck, some friends and a couple of thank-you pizzas -- but in reality, most people who own a houseful of belonging need to rely on local moving services for the bulk of the job. This doesn't mean, however, that you have to pay top dollar on moving day. Here are four tips for controlling the cost of your next move.

1. Use DIY Packing Materials

One of the easiest ways to save money on your upcoming move is to pack your own boxes rather than paying the mover to do it all for you. Most local moving services will be happy to sell you high-quality packing supplies as needed, but you can cut your expenses even further by using ordinary household materials you've been saving for just such a purpose. These materials may include old newspapers or magazines, holiday packing paper, scraps of cardboard, air-filled sandwich bags, and bubble wrap from previous shipments. (You may take particular joy in finally putting that annoying pile of junk mail to productive use!)

Another smart strategy involves letting your clothing serve double duty as packing material. While you wouldn't want to attempt this with your Sunday best, any casual clothes that can be ironed and cleaned easily make great padding and filler for your boxed items. Blankets and sheets work well for this application as well.

2. Move Smaller Items Yourself

Local moving services may advertise that no job is too big or too small, and it's certainly tempting to let them pack every single thing you own onto their massive truck while you sit back and watch. For many people, including those with health conditions or disabilities, this option certainly has its advantages. But if your primary worry is the final bill you'll receive from the movers, you can do your budget a favor by rolling up your sleeves, popping the trunk of your own vehicle, and transporting any reasonably light boxes and smaller possessions yourself. You might have to make several trips, but you won't have to pay the movers for the extra time it would take them to load and unload those items.

3. Prep Your Home for Moving Day

The more readily your home can facilitate your move, the faster it will go. This is a critical factor if you need to keep costs down, since many local moving companies bill by the hour. The last thing you want on moving day is to have your professional movers waste precious time struggling to get oversized items through the front door, or setting down protective materials to prevent floor damage. You can take care of these and other issues yourself before they even show up -- and you probably should.

Start by taking careful, accurate measurements of the door you'll be using to remove possessions from your home. If your findings are even a fraction of an inch off, you could find yourself facing an unanticipated obstacle on moving day. If your heavy furnishings won't fit through the doorway under normal circumstances, try taking the door off its hinges to create more clearance. If that overstuffed recliner or other heavy item can be partially disassembled with much effort, by all means take it apart. To protect your floor from scratches and scuff marks, lay down carpeting, flat lengths of cardboard, exercise mats or other materials before attempting to drag any heavy items across the room.

4. Think About Parking

Parking issues can add unforeseen extra costs to your move. If the moving van arrives and there's no reasonably close place to park, the your mover may burn extra (billable) time looking for a good spot or hand-carrying your stuff over longer distances. That's why it pays to consider your parking situation in advance.

The means you use to do this will depend on what kind of residence you're moving out of. If you're in a heavily-occupied apartment complex with no reserved parking, park your own car as close to your door as possible the night before the move, and leave it there until the moving van shows up to take its place. If you live in a private home, empty your driveway and park your own vehicle or vehicles wherever you must to keep the driveway clear for the movers. If you don't have a driveway, make sure the moving van can legally park close enough to facilitate the move, even if you have to secure a special permit or other permission in advance.

If you plan your move carefully, use your own resources, and are willing to do some of the work yourself, your next local move can be astonishingly affordable. Ask a local moving service like Walsh Moving & Storage for any additional advice they might have for ensuring a smoother move.