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Ways to cut the cost of moving home

15/07/19

When many of us begin looking into moving house and calculating the budget for this, one cost which is sometimes overlooked and very often underestimated, is that of actually moving your belongings between homes.  A recent study has shown that the average home mover pays £1,192 to removal firms in order to move house.

Although moving costs are unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to keep these costs to a minimum:

Cut the cost of moving

Not all move days are equal…

Most people tend to move on a Friday, in fact, almost half of all ‘move days’ are Fridays.  Monday is the second most popular day.

If it’s possible for you to arrange your move on a midweek day, then you will most likely be able to have your pick of removal firms or van hire.  You can pick your firm according to preference and cost and will also be in a better position to negotiate on price.

Less is more

Packing up to move can seem like such a dauting task that it can be tempting to think that it’s best just to get it all packed up and declutter once you’re in your new pad.  This can however end up being more costly. 

The more things you can get rid of, the less packing materials you will need.  If you end up getting rid of enough items, then cumulatively this could potentially mean that the size of the moving vehicle you need is smaller, and it will take less time for the removal firm to transport your belongings.  All this can all have a big impact on price.

You may also be able to sell some of your old belongings, allowing you to claw back some of the moving costs.

Ditch the professionals

You do not have to hire a removal firm in order to move house.  If you don’t have a huge amount of belongings you may be able to do the move yourself with the help of family and friends.  Even if no one in your crew has a vehicle large enough for your biggest piece of furniture, you could always hire a van and drive it yourself which is much cheaper than employing a removal firm.  Beware of breakages however.  If you end up breaking something, then the money you saved on the removal firm could end up being used to replace your broken items.  Check that your home contents insurance covers your items during the home moving process and that it is in place on the day of your move.

If you do decide on professional help…

Shop around for a removal firm.  Get recommendations from friends, family, social media groups.  You want a reputable firm who has adequate insurance to cover your belongings.  Don’t just go with the cheapest purely for that reason, but if you have a few firms in mind that have come recommended then call around and see what price they can offer you.  Don’t be afraid to negotiate, especially if you have managed to secure a moving day on a less popular midweek slot.

Book as early as you can as this will mean you will have your choice of firms.  Also check out for any discounts.  Some firms give discounts to OAPs, students, key workers and armed forces.

Find out exactly what the firm is offering for the price they’re charging.  Maybe you can shave a bit off by moving your belongings to the ground floor yourself or maybe by sourcing your own boxes?  Some firms charge for dismantling your furniture and this of course will eat into their time.  You may be able to negotiate a discount if you are happy to dismantle everything yourself.

Packing

Packing yourself rather than having the removal firm do it will of course save you money.  But the price of packing materials can mount up.  Even for the most avid of online shoppers, it would be hard to save enough bubble wrap to wrap up a house full of crockery.  Shop around and see where you can buy it in bulk which is much cheaper than buying it in small rolls from supermarkets or stationery shops.

Also, rather than having to buy boxes, plan ahead and get family and friends to save their boxes for you.  Depending on where you work and/or shop, maybe you could get in with the supplies guy and get them to save you some boxes whenever they get a delivery?

If you do end up needing to purchase boxes, then look online as you can often get second hand removal boxes quite cheap on sites such as Ebay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.

Make sure everything is packed carefully to avoid breakages.  Replacing broken items due to poor packing is an infuriating way to increase your moving costs!

Time is money

Removal firms usually estimate a given amount of time in order to complete your move.  If you end up going over this then you will end up being charged more.  Try to ensure that this doesn’t happen by planning ahead and making sure everything is prepped before they arrive. 

Make sure all the packing is complete.  Label all your boxes not just with what they contain but also with which room/area of your new home that they will need to be in.  This will save the removal people having to keep stopping and questioning you when they are unloading.

Try and ensure that there is somewhere for them to park as close to your door as possible both at your old and new address.  If everything you own ends up having to be carried half way up your road before it even gets in the lorry, then this will clearly add a lot more extra time on the clock.