How to Save on Moving Costs | I Love Moving

How to Save on Moving Costs and Make Every Penny Count

Posted How-to / March 7, 2023
Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

Relocation is exciting but expensive, especially if you’re not well prepared. From hiring movers to purchasing packing materials, the costs can quickly add up. In times like these, knowing how to save on moving costs can be a lifesaver, allowing you to focus on the excitement rather than the stress of financing relocation.

More people are taking the plunge and moving overseas in search of new opportunities and adventures. Learning how to move overseas without breaking the bank is crucial to ensure a stress-free experience. The benefits of relocating to a new country can be life-changing, but you should be well-informed and prepared for the journey ahead.

The Importance of Cost-Effective Strategies for a Successful Move

A well-planned relocation, especially when moving internationally, can make the difference between a smooth transition and a stressful, costly experience. Implementing cost-effective strategies is essential for a successful relocation, as it allows you to allocate resources wisely and avoid unnecessary expenses.

Creating a relocation checklist is a practical way to ensure you stay on top of all aspects of your relocation, from researching your new destination to organizing your belongings, ultimately leading to a more efficient and budget-friendly process.

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How to Save On Moving Costs – Plan and Create a Relocation Budget

Relocation tips come in handy when trying to save money, especially if you’re figuring out how to move to another country. The most crucial steps include planning and creating a detailed relocation budget.

This budget should account for all the anticipated expenses, from transportation to accommodation and beyond, ensuring that you’re fully prepared for your move financially.

Setting a Realistic Budget for Your Relocation

Understanding the reasons to move and the associated costs will help set a realistic budget for your relocation. To do this, start by listing potential expenses, such as packaging materials, relocation company fees, insurance, and travel costs.

Once you have a comprehensive list, prioritize the most important expenses and allocate the available funds accordingly. This will allow you to make informed decisions and keep your spending in check.

Identifying Areas Where You Can Save Money

When relocating across the world, you should identify areas where you can save money without compromising the quality of your relocation.

This could include researching various relocation companies to find the most affordable and reliable option, opting for used packaging materials, or even deciding to sell or donate items you no longer need.

By evaluating your options and making smart choices, you can significantly reduce your relocation expenses and focus on the exciting aspects of your new adventure.

How to Save Money on Moving Costs by Downsizing and Decluttering

Relocation hacks often involve finding creative ways to save money and simplify the process. The most effective methods include downsizing and decluttering before shipping.

By reducing the stuff you need to transport, you can cut down on packaging materials and labor costs, ultimately saving you time and money.

Additionally, a well-organized and clutter-free new home can improve your overall well-being and make settling into your new environment a more pleasant experience.

Sell, Donate, or Discard Unwanted Items

As you begin downsizing and decluttering, sort your belongings into categories: items to keep, items to sell, items to donate, and items to discard. This will help effectively manage your possessions and decide what you genuinely need in the new home.

Selling items you no longer need or use can generate extra funds to help cover relocation expenses, while donating to local charities can provide a sense of satisfaction, knowing that your items are going to a good cause.

Finally, discarding broken, damaged, or unusable items will free up space and reduce the overall cargo weight. By carefully evaluating your belongings and taking action to downsize, you can significantly reduce your moving costs and enjoy a more streamlined relocation process.

The cleaning professional in the video below gives suggestions on what to get rid of when decluttering and prioritizing your household belongings. It could be the first step to making better choices in terms of settling in.

Collecting Free or Low-Cost Packing Supplies Saves Money

A great way to move efficiently and save on relocation costs is by collecting free or low-cost packaging supplies.

Purchasing brand-new boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper can quickly add up, making it an expensive part of the process.

By seeking out alternative sources for materials, you can significantly reduce your overall moving expenses without compromising the safety and protection of your belongings.

Where to Find Free Boxes and Packing Materials

You can find free boxes and packaging materials in numerous places. Remember to start collecting these materials well in advance to ensure you have enough supplies for your relocation. Some options include:

  • Local grocery stores and supermarkets – these establishments often have an excess of sturdy cardboard boxes from stocking their shelves. Contact your local store and ask if they have any boxes they’re planning to discard,
  • Liquor stores – liquor stores typically have strong, durable boxes that are perfect for packaging fragile items,
  • Online communities – websites like Craigslist, Freecycle, and local Facebook groups often have listings for free boxes and supplies,
  • Friends and family – reach out to your social network and ask if anyone has recently moved or has spare boxes they no longer need,
  • Office supply stores – these stores may have surplus boxes from printer paper and other products they’re willing to give away.

How to Repurpose Household Items for Packing

Repurposing household items for packaging is possible in several ways, which can also save money and reduce waste. Some ideas include:

  • Towels, blankets, and linens – use these items to wrap and cushion fragile items such as glassware, dishes, and electronics,
  • Clothing – stuff socks into shoes or use them to fill gaps between items in boxes. You can also use t-shirts and sweaters as additional padding,
  • Plastic containers and storage bins – use these containers for packing smaller items, eliminating the need for additional boxes,
  • Newspapers and magazines – while not as effective as bubble wrap or paper, crumpled newspapers and magazines can provide a layer of protection for less fragile items,
  • Reusable shopping bags – use these bags to pack and transport items that don’t require a box, such as shoes, clothes, or toys.

By repurposing household items for packaging, you can save money on supplies and reduce waste during relocation.

Compare International Moving Company Quotes

When moving overseas, it’s essential to find a reliable and cost-effective international moving company to secure your belongings and save you money and time. Knowing how to relocate efficiently involves researching various companies and comparing their services and prices. This can help you decide what suits your needs and budget.

Research and Obtain Quotes From Multiple Companies Shipping Overseas

To find the best international moving company for your needs, follow these steps:

  • Begin by researching reputable international relocation companies online. Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients to gauge the quality of their services. You can also ask friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations,
  • Reach out to at least three companies and request quotes for their services. Provide them with the necessary information, such as your relocation dates, destination, and the volume of items for shipping,
  • In addition to comparing prices, consider the range of services each company offers. Some may provide packing and unpacking services, customs clearance assistance, or storage options, which could be valuable depending on your individual needs,
  • When reviewing quotes, be mindful of additional fees that may not be included in the initial estimate. These could include charges for oversized items, packaging materials, or accessorial services,
  • Ensure the relocation companies you’re considering are licensed and insured for international moves. You can verify their credentials by checking their membership with international moving associations such as the Federation of International Movers (FIDI) or International Association of Movers (IAM),
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate to obtain a better price or additional services. Some companies may be willing to offer discounts or value-added services to secure your business.

By thoroughly researching and comparing quotes from multiple companies, you can have a smooth, efficient, and cost-effective relocation.

How to Time Your Move Strategically and Save Up

Whether you’re moving abroad alone or with family, timing your relocation strategically can make a significant difference in your overall relocation costs. Creating a relocation list that includes the best times to move can help you save money and ensure a smoother transition to your new home. Here are some things to consider when planning your relocation.

Choose Off-Peak Seasons or Weekdays to Move

When it comes to deciding the time to move, selecting off-peak seasons or weekdays can result in substantial savings. Relocating during the summer months or on weekends is generally more expensive due to increased demand. To save money, consider the following tips:

  • Move during the fall or winter – Movers often have lower rates during these seasons, as fewer people are relocating,
  • Schedule your move on a weekday – Since most people prefer to relocate on weekends, movers tend to charge higher rates during this time. By choosing a weekday, you can benefit from more competitive prices,
  • Avoid holidays – Relocating during the holidays can be more expensive due to the limited availability of services and increased demand,
  • Research the best times – When looking for how to choose a relocation company, ask them about their off-peak rates and any discounts or promotions they may offer during these periods.

Book an Overseas Moving Company Well in Advance

Booking international moving services well in advance can save you money and provide you with a greater selection of options. As you start planning a relocation, consider researching early, securing your relocation date, and getting packing services and discounts.

Begin your search for movers for at least two to three months before you intend to relocate. This will give you ample time to compare quotes, services, and availability. Once you have chosen a company, book it as soon as possible to lock in the best rates and ensure availability.

Some international relocation companies offer early bird discounts for clients who book their services well in advance. Be sure to ask about any potential savings when obtaining quotes.

Claim Tax Deductions and Employer Reimbursements

When preparing to live abroad, it’s essential to explore all possible avenues for saving money and making your move more financially manageable.

One often-overlooked aspect of relocation is claiming tax deductions and employer reimbursements related to your relocation expenses.

Being aware of the documents needed to travel abroad and the potential for financial assistance can significantly reduce the overall cost of shipping and relocation.

Explore Employer-Sponsored Relocation Assistance

If you are relocating for a job, it’s worth checking if your employer offers relocation assistance, which can help offset relocation costs. This could be particularly helpful if you’re trying to figure out how to get a job in Europe as an American, as international moves can be expensive.

Here are some steps to follow when exploring employer-sponsored relocation assistance:

  • Check your contract or speak with your HR department to determine if your employer offers relocation assistance or reimbursement for relocation expenses,
  • Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your employer’s relocation policy, including any limitations, exclusions, or maximum reimbursement amounts,
  • Keep all receipts and documentation related to your relocation, as your employer may require proof of expenses for reimbursement,
  • Follow your employer’s procedures for requesting reimbursement, ensuring you submit all necessary documentation within the specified time frame,
  • In some countries, employer-sponsored relocation assistance may be considered taxable income. Consult with a tax professional to understand the implications and potential deductions you may be eligible to claim.

A Budget-Friendly Relocation Can Be Done With the Help of International Movers

Saving money for an international relocation is achievable by planning carefully, implementing cost-effective strategies, and selecting the right overseas shipping company. Breaking the language barrier and settling into one of the friendliest countries in the world can be enjoyable when you have the support of a reliable and experienced relocation company.

To ensure a successful and budget-friendly relocation, contact I Love International Moving. Our team of professionals will guide you through the process, provide expert advice, and offer cost-effective solutions tailored to your specific needs. Make your dream of living abroad a reality without breaking the bank – contact us today.


What Are Some Effective Ways to Create a Realistic Relocation Budget?

To create a realistic relocation budget, start by listing all anticipated expenses, such as mover fees, supplies, travel costs, temporary accommodation, and insurance. Gather quotes from multiple companies, research the cost of living in your destination, and track your expenses. Prioritize your needs and allocate funds accordingly, ensuring you have a contingency fund for unexpected costs.

How Can I Find Free or Low-Cost Packing Supplies for My Relocation?

Search for free or low-cost supplies at local grocery stores, liquor stores, online communities like Craigslist or Freecycle, and from friends or family. Repurpose household items such as towels, linens, and newspapers for packaging fragile items.

What Are Some Strategies for Downsizing and Decluttering to Reduce Costs?

Start by sorting your belongings into categories: keep, sell, donate, and discard. Hold a garage sale or sell items online, donate to local charities, and discard broken or unusable items. The fewer items you move, the lower your relocation costs will be.

How Can I Compare Moving Company Quotes and Negotiate Better Rates?

Request quotes from at least three relocation companies, providing them with the necessary information for accurate estimates. Compare their services, prices, and credentials. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for better rates or additional services to secure the best deal.

What Are the Benefits of a DIY Move Versus Hiring Professional Movers?

A DIY relocation can be more cost-effective, offering greater flexibility and control over the relocation process. However, it requires more planning, labor, and time. Hiring professional movers provides expertise, efficiency, and potentially less stress but can be more expensive.

How Can I Time My Move Strategically to Save On Relocation Costs?

Relocate during off-peak seasons or weekdays, avoid holidays, and book your relocation company well in advance. Research the best times for discounts or promotions to secure lower rates.

What Are Some Space-Saving Packing Techniques to Reduce Moving Expenses?

Use vacuum-sealed bags for clothes and linens, disassemble furniture, nest smaller items inside larger ones, and utilize containers you already own, like suitcases and storage bins. Efficient packing reduces the overall volume and weight of your cargo, lowering costs.

Are There Tax Deductions or Employer Reimbursements Available for Relocation Expenses?

Check your employment contract or consult with your HR department regarding employer-sponsored relocation assistance. Consult a tax professional to understand any tax deductions you may be eligible to claim for relocation expenses.

Can Consolidating or Sharing a Truck Help Save On Moving Costs?

Yes, consolidating your move with others or sharing a truck can reduce costs by splitting transportation fees. This can be especially beneficial for long-distance or international moves but may require more flexibility with your schedule.

What Are Some Common Hidden Relocation Costs and How Can I Avoid Them?

Hidden costs can include packing materials, insurance, customs fees, storage, and accessorial charges. To avoid surprises, thoroughly review your relocation company’s contract, ask questions about any additional fees, and factor these costs into your relocation budget.

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