Kayla Coco-Stotts
October 4, 2023
Article type:
Applies to:
Local Moving

3 Tips On the Cheapest Way to Move Locally

Once you reach adulthood and move out on your own, you’re quickly confronted with the ugly truth of moving: It’s hard and it can be expensive. Moving all your household goods, regardless of whether you’re a renter or a homebuyer, can be a drain on both your morale and your wallet.

As such, we’ve compiled an article detailing tricks you can use to unlock the cheapest way to move locally. Keep in mind that this article assumes you aren’t looking to pay for movers, and much of the labor will be done by you and a few friends you bribed with a hot meal and cool beverages. However, if you’re looking for ways to make full-service movers cheaper for your upcoming move, you can check out this blog for more information.

Save on Moving Boxes

The first trick we have to making your upcoming local move cheaper is to save money on moving boxes. High-quality moving boxes can get pricey, and though they’re built to protect your household goods better than most other boxes, you can still find ways to save on your local move with boxes.

Facebook Marketplace has emerged as a popular platform for buying, selling, and even giving away a variety of items, including moving boxes. Many people will give away their moving boxes to locals in need after they've completed their move. You'll likely find moving boxes that neighbors are happy to pass on for free or at a nominal price. You just need to search for 'moving boxes' in the marketplace and filter the results by your local area.

Additionally, you can secure cheap or free moving boxes by reaching out to your local network. Friends, family, and work colleagues may have recently moved and might have boxes they're willing to donate. Also, local businesses often dispose of large quantities of boxes. Retailers, bookstores, or liquor stores usually have strong, sturdy boxes that they are more than happy to give away rather than recycle.

By tapping into these resources, you can save money on moving boxes, making your move cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Just remember to pass on the favor and donate or sell your boxes once you're done with them!

Avoid Boxes Not Made for Moving

While seeking secondhand boxes if one key to having a cheap local move, it's crucial to remember that not all boxes are created equal. Cheaply assembled boxes not designed for moving might seem like a cost-effective solution at the time, but they are not designed for moving. Using suboptimal boxes for packing household goods can result in damage to your household items. These boxes may not withstand the weight of your belongings and give way under pressure, leading to potential loss, damage, and a lot of unnecessary frustration.

While procuring boxes from local businesses or online platforms, ensure they are sturdy and up to the task. Instead of solely focusing on the cheapest solution, strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and the quality of the boxes to prevent unexpected mishaps during your move. Eliminate any boxes from the stack that have obvious signs of wear, feel flimsy, or don't fully close.

Arrange Transport for Your Furniture

Securing transportation to get your furniture to your new location is another key cost to be mindful of during a local move. If you own a sizable vehicle or know someone who does, you could use it to transport your furniture. However, for larger items or bulkier furniture pieces, renting a moving truck might be a more feasible option.

Companies like U-Haul, Budget Truck Rental, and Penske offer affordable moving truck rentals that you can book for the day or even for a few hours, depending on your needs. Most truck rental companies allow you to select the size of the truck that best suits your requirements to avoid paying for unused space. You can also consider making multiple trips with a smaller truck instead of one trip with a large one, which can be a cheaper alternative.

As always, plan your move in advance to secure the best deals and avoid last-minute price surges. You should also look at online reviews and go with a truck rental company with a higher customer satisfaction rate. As with selecting your boxes, sacrificing quality for a cheaper price can often result in more frustration and damages down the line.

Prioritize Safety When Moving Household Goods

When looking for cheap ways to move locally, it's essential to prioritize the safe transportation of your household items above all. While being budget-conscious is important, it should not lead to unsafe moving practices. Certain items, such as large furniture pieces, delicate antiques, or heavy appliances, require special handling and should not be moved without the proper equipment or experience.

Think of it this way: If you cannot safely transport these items yourself, consider hiring professional help for these specific tasks. Services like TaskRabbit can connect you with experienced movers who can handle these items for a reasonable cost. Thus, striking a balance between cost and safety can help prevent injuries to your volunteers and damage to your belongings. Again, an inexpensive move does not have to compromise on safety.

Extend Your Moving Timeline

One trick to reducing moving costs is to extend your moving timeline. By making your move happen over a longer period, you can transport items at your own pace, which may eliminate the need for a large moving truck or professional movers. Start by moving smaller items and boxes in your own vehicle or a friend's car, making multiple trips over several days. This staggered approach not only makes the moving process more manageable, but it also allows you to sort, pack, and move items more efficiently.

For a cheap local move, this method can save you a substantial amount of money. Just ensure you've planned for any potential weather changes or unexpected events, and remember to secure your belongings properly during each trip to prevent damage. By the time you've reached your large furniture items, you can tackle all the heavy lifting in one day.

Considering Hiring Movers? Get an Idea for How Much Full-Service Movers Cost for Local Moves

If you're not wanting or able to move your belongings yourself, hiring professional full-service movers is a popular and often budget-friendly option for local moves. If you're early into the planning process, you can get an idea on the cost of full-service movers and how it will impact your budget once your move arrives. The cost of hiring full-service movers for a local move can vary greatly depending on factors such as distance, number of items, and additional services required. We've broken down the average cost to move a house both locally and long-distance in this blog here.

To get a better idea of how much your specific move may cost, it's best to request quotes from multiple moving companies and compare their prices and services. We've got a guide to picking movers here so you can select the option that works best for you and your situation. Keep in mind that most moving companies alter pricing for moves based on the time of year, so be sure to do your research so you can snag a good deal.