Moving on a budget can be challenging, yet with the right planning, it's entirely feasible. It's about finding the right balance between minimizing expenses and ensuring a smooth transition. Starting early gives you the flexibility to budget carefully and make decisions that can save money in the long run. Whether you're hiring movers or doing it yourself, understanding and managing moving costs is key to a smooth move. This guide was prepared by Wellknown Moving Company, so let's dive into how to move on a budget, focusing on essential steps and smart tips.

Planning Your Move

Decluttering is a strategic first step in reducing moving costs. Fewer belongings mean less to pack, lower expenses on packing supplies, and potentially cheaper moving services due to needing a smaller truck and fewer labor hours. Additionally, selling items you no longer need can add extra funds to your moving budget.

To dispose of unwanted items, consider online marketplaces like Decluttr, Wallapop, or OfferUp, organize a garage sale, or use community platforms such as Facebook groups or Nextdoor. These methods not only streamline your move but can also turn your clutter into cash, further easing the financial burden of moving.

Choose The Right Moving Day

Season Cost Implications Tips
๐ŸŒธ Spring Moderate prices due to increased demand. Book in advance to secure better rates.
โ˜€๏ธ Summer Highest prices due to peak moving season. Avoid if possible; if not, book as early as you can.
๐Ÿ‚ Fall Prices begin to drop; less demand. Ideal time for budget moving; more flexibility with dates.
โ„๏ธ Winter Lowest prices; demand is at its lowest. Best chance for discounts; beware of weather conditions.

The cost of moving can significantly vary based on the season. Generally, the cheapest way to move is during the off-peak seasons — from late fall to early spring — when demand for moving services is lower. During these times, moving companies are more likely to offer discounts or negotiate rates. To maximize budget moving strategies, consider planning your move for mid-week or mid-month dates, as these are less sought-after times, potentially leading to further savings. By carefully planning your moving date, you can benefit from lower prices and reduced competition, which makes it easier to secure a reputable moving service within your budget.

Packing Smart

Packing, and in particular the cost of packing materials is also an important part of the moving budget. For an efficient packing process that aligns with your budget, consider referring to our detailed packing guide available on the website. Key tips to economize on packing include: 

  1. Borrow Suitcases: Ask friends or family for extra suitcases or large bags to transport clothes and soft items, which can save on boxes.
  2. Source Free Boxes: Check with local stores, offices, or through online community groups for free boxes. Often, businesses are happy to give away boxes after receiving shipments.
    • Library for Boxes: We also suggest to check libraries. Some libraries receive book shipments in strong boxes perfect for moving; they may give them away for free.
  3. DIY Padding: Instead of buying bubble wrap, cut up cardboard boxes to create dividers for glasses and dishes.
  4. Consolidate Cleaning Supplies: Use up or donate cleaning supplies instead of moving them; many movers don’t transport liquids.
  5. Digital Manuals: Instead of keeping physical manuals for appliances, find digital versions online and save them to your computer to reduce paper clutter.

For finding free packing materials, local recycling centers often have an abundance of boxes. Websites like Nextdoor can also be a community resource for free moving supplies. Also websites like Freecycle or OfferUp can be valuable for finding packing materials at no cost. Finding packing supplies on sites like this would go great with dechlaming. You might be able to trade some of your stuff for moving boxes and else!

Hiring Movers Wisely

Deciding between DIY moving and hiring professionals is crucial for a cost-effective budget moving. While moving on your own might seem cheaper, it often involves hidden costs and consumes significant time. Professional movers, on the other hand, offer efficiency and expertise, ensuring a smoother process. For a detailed guide on comparing DIY moving VS hiring professionals, visit our comprehensive article.

To make an informed decision about whether DIY moving or hiring professionals is better for your circumstances, consider the following questions:

  1. How large is your move? Consider the volume and weight of your belongings.
  2. What distance are you moving? Cross-country moves might benefit more from professional services.
  3. Do you have valuable or fragile items that require professional packing and handling?
  4. What is your budget for the move? Remember, unexpected costs can arise in DIY moves.
  5. How much time can you dedicate to planning, packing, and executing the move?

Remember, knowing how to save money while moving doesn't always mean going the cheapest route, but rather making informed decisions that offer the best value for your circumstances.

Additional Cost-Saving Tips

For additional ways to save on your move, consider these lesser-known tips:

  • Tax Deductions: For those moving due to a new job, it's crucial to know that, as per the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, most taxpayers can't deduct moving expenses until 2025. However, active-duty military members moving for a permanent change of station still qualify for this deduction. This means most people won't be able to deduct moving costs on their taxes, but military personnel can include expenses like travel and moving household goods. For the most current information, it's recommended to consult a tax professional or check resources like the IRS website.
  • Negotiate with Movers: Don't accept the first quote. Get multiple estimates and use them as leverage to negotiate better rates.
  • Utility Transfers: Plan ahead to transfer utilities to avoid overlap charges or last-minute fees.

Implementing these strategies can lead to significant savings and make your move more budget-friendly.

Post-Move Budget Management

For managing your moving budget after a move, it's essential to focus on smart acquisitions for your new home to avoid overspending. Here are some:

  1. ๐Ÿ“ˆ Gradual Acquisition: Instead of rushing to fill every room, prioritize your purchases based on necessity and budget. Start with the essentials for each room and gradually add items as you settle in. This approach allows you to spread out expenses and avoid unnecessary debt.
  2. ๐Ÿณ Kitchen Essentials: Begin with basic cookware sets, utensils, and dinnerware, focusing on quality that lasts without overspending. Essentials include a good set of knives, a skillet, saucepan, and stockpot. Consider buying sets to save money over individual pieces.
  3. ๐Ÿ”Œ Smart Shopping for Appliances: While appliances like microwaves, toasters, and blenders are important, evaluate what you truly need versus what's nice to have. Items like an Instant Pot can offer multiple functions, saving space and money. Look for deals, consider energy efficiency for long-term savings, and don’t rush into buying all appliances at once.
  4. ๐Ÿ›‹๏ธ Furniture and Decor: When it comes to furniture and decor, start with the basics and add as you go. Use this opportunity to sell or donate items you no longer need, possibly putting any earnings towards new purchases. For the living room, a comfortable seating arrangement and a few key pieces can make the space livable while you find the perfect items to complete your vision.
  5. ๐Ÿ”„ Resources for Acquiring New Items: For finding furniture and household items, look into second-hand options or community groups for free or discounted items. Websites like Freecycle or local Facebook Marketplace groups can offer everything from furniture to kitchen gadgets at little to no cost.


Moving on a budget is achievable with the right strategies. Plan early, declutter to save on packing, and choose off-peak times for lower rates. Utilize free packing materials and consider DIY packing. Compare moving companies carefully to find the best deal and don't overlook potential tax deductions for moving expenses. After the move, manage expenses by slowly acquiring new items and selling or donating what you no longer need. These tips offer a practical approach for those wondering how to move with no money, turning a financial challenge into an opportunity for a fresh start.