Tips and Tricks to Move Locally on a Budget

Move Locally - Stick to the Budget

Are you in the process of moving and trying to stick to a budget? Here are some considerations to make when moving.

1. Seek out free packing materials

2. Streamline your home by decluttering before packing

3. Take the assistance of friends for your move

4. Utilize your personal vehicle for the majority of the move

5. Steer clear of peak moving seasons

6. Establish a moving budget to stay on track

7. Consider hiring moving services by the hour

8. Take charge of packing by handling most of it yourself

9. Scout for discounts and special offers

1. Find Free Packing Supplies

One of the best places to find free packing supplies is at your local grocery or liquor store. These stores often have an abundance of sturdy cardboard boxes that they are happy to give away. It’s a good idea to call ahead and ask when the best time to pick up boxes would be, as they may have set aside boxes for customers or may be more willing to give them away at certain times of the day.

Another great source of free packing supplies is friends and family. Many people have a stash of packing materials in their homes that they’re happy to get rid of. Put the word out to your friends and family that you’re in need of packing supplies, and you may be surprised at how many people are willing to help.

You can use old newspapers, magazines, and clothing to wrap fragile items. You can also use towels, linens, and clothing to cushion and protect items in boxes. Many recycling centers have a section where they give away gently used items, including packing tape. It’s worth checking to see if your local recycling center offers this service. 

Find Free Packing Supplies

2. Declutter Your Home Before Packing

Start by going through each room in your home and sorting through your belongings. Ask yourself if you really need each item and if it’s worth the effort to pack and transport it to your new location.

If you haven’t used an item in over a year, it’s probably safe to say that you can live without it. Consider having a garage sale, donating items, or selling items that are still in good condition but are no longer needed in Facebook Marketplace. This can help you earn extra cash for your move. [1]

Not only will this reduce the number of items you have to pack, but it will also benefit others who can make use of your unwanted items.

3. Ask Friends to Help Move You

When asking friends to help you move, be considerate of their time and effort. Give them plenty of notice and try to choose a day and time that works best for everyone. Be sure to express your gratitude and show appreciation for their help, whether it’s with a small gift or a gesture of thanks.

It’s also a good idea to provide some form of compensation for your friends’ help. This could be as simple as providing food and drinks on moving day, or offering to return the favor in the future. Remember that your friends are doing you a favor, so be sure to show them that you appreciate it.

While it’s great to have friends help with the heavy lifting, be organized and prepared for moving day. Have all of your belongings packed and ready to go, and make sure to have a plan in place for how everything will be transported to your new home.

4. Use Your Own Vehicle for Most of the Move

Before you start packing, take a good look at the items you will be moving and determine if they can fit in your vehicle. For larger items such as furniture, consider disassembling them to make them easier to transport. You can also utilize the space in your vehicle by packing it strategically, using every nook and cranny to fit as much as possible.

If you have friends or family with vehicles, consider asking for their help as well. Carpooling and utilizing multiple vehicles can make the move much more efficient and cost-effective.

Utilize suitcases, duffel bags, and even laundry baskets to pack and transport your belongings. Renting a moving truck costs about $1,000 on average; truck size and mileage will contribute to that cost. [2]

Use Your Own Vehicle for Most of the Move

5. Avoid Peak Moving Season

Consider planning your move during the off-peak months, such as fall or winter. Moving companies and truck rental services are often less busy during this time, which can result in lower rates and greater availability. You may also have more flexibility in choosing your moving dates, which can help you take advantage of any discounts or special offers.

If moving during the off-peak months is not an option for you, try to schedule your move on a weekday instead of a weekend.

Weekends are generally more popular for moving, and as a result, moving companies and truck rental services may charge higher rates.

6. Create a Moving Budget

To create a moving budget, start by taking stock of your current financial situation. Determine how much you can comfortably spend on your move without putting a strain on your finances. This will help you set a realistic budget and avoid overspending.

Consider all the potential costs associated with your move. This includes expenses such as packing materials, moving truck rental, insurance, and any professional moving services you may need. Don’t forget to also factor in any unexpected costs that may arise during the moving process.

Once you have a clear understanding of your moving costs, prioritize your expenses based on their importance. If you have limited funds, you may need to prioritize spending on essential items such as packing materials and transportation.

You can also save money by packing and loading your belongings yourself, rather than hiring a professional moving company to do it for you. Sometimes, due to health or other limitations, that is not possible. If that is the situation, hiring an affordable moving company is your best bet.

Create a Moving Budget

7. Hire Hourly Moving Services

One cost-effective way to move locally is to hire hourly rate moving services. Many moving companies offer this option, allowing you to pay for only the time you need. This can be particularly beneficial if you have a small amount of items to move or if you can do some of the packing and moving yourself.

When hiring hourly moving services, do your research and find a reputable company that offers transparent pricing. Make sure to get quotes from multiple companies and compare their rates and services. Look for any hidden fees or extra charges that may arise during the move.

On the day of the move, be proactive in helping out and staying organized to make the most of the time you’re paying for. Once the move is complete, double-check the final bill to ensure that you were only charged for the hours worked and any agreed-upon fees.

8. Do Most of the Packing Yourself

When packing for a local move, it’s important to start early and stay organized. Begin by gathering all the necessary packing supplies such as boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and packing paper.

As you start packing, be sure to label each box with its contents and the room it belongs in. This will make it much easier when it comes time to unpack and can save you time and frustration. Make sure to pack your belongings carefully to avoid any damage during the moving process. Use plenty of padding and wrap fragile items securely to ensure they arrive at your new home in one piece.

9. Look for Discounts and Deals

Many moving companies and rental services offer coupons that can save you a significant amount of money on your move. Look for these coupons online or in local newspapers and magazines.

You can also save money on packing materials by looking for discounts and deals at stores and online retailers. Many home improvement stores and moving supply companies offer special promotions and discounts on moving boxes, packing tape, and other packing materials. 

Be sure to take advantage of any employee or military discounts that you may be eligible for. Many moving companies offer special discounts for employees of certain companies or members of the military. Be sure to ask about these discounts when contacting moving companies for quotes.

Call Matt’s Moving today for assistance moving locally on a budget in Minnesota or Western Wisconsin

Look for Discounts and Deals


How can I ensure a smooth and efficient local move without overspending?

Plan and organize the moving process carefully. Start by decluttering and getting rid of unnecessary items to reduce the amount of belongings to be moved. Create a detailed budget to keep track of expenses and look for cost-effective alternatives, such as renting a moving truck or seeking out affordable moving services. Packing and labeling items efficiently can also save time and reduce the risk of damage or loss during the move.

What are some tips for finding affordable moving services?

Start by researching and comparing quotes from multiple moving companies. Look for companies that offer special deals, discounts, or packages for off-peak moving times or booking in advance. Consider using local or regional moving companies, as they may offer competitive pricing compared to larger national chains. Ask friends and family for recommendations, as word-of-mouth referrals can often lead to finding affordable and reliable movers.

What are some cost-effective alternatives to hiring professional movers?

Some cost-effective alternatives to hiring professional movers include renting a moving truck and doing the labor yourself or with the help of friends and family. Another option is to use a portable storage container, where you can pack and load your belongings at your own pace. You can also consider hiring hourly laborers to assist with heavy lifting and loading. Using a freight trailer, where you load and unload your belongings, can be a more affordable option than hiring traditional movers.


[1] Lutz, A. (2024, January 5). The Most Affordable Ways to Move Locally in 2024. Architectural Digest.

[2] Sentelle, S. (2024, January 14). Cheapest Ways To Move Locally (2024 Guide). This Old House.


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