Whether you are moving from one home to another, to a new job, or for any other number of reasons, you are not alone. Millions of families move every year, with nearly 70% of all moves occurring between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Peak moving season runs from April through October, with the busiest months spanning from June through the end of August.

Summer is the busiest time of year to move for a number of reasons. Children are on summer break from school, the weather is warm, and many homeowners have recently sold or purchased a new home a month or so prior. If you are among the millions of people moving this peak moving season, you may be considering what it will cost.

The average cost of a local move for a two-to-three bedroom home is $1,250, while a long-distance move average closer to $4,890. The cost to move is determined by the types of belongings you’ll be moving, the distance of your move, the services you require, and whether or not you will hire professionals to assist in the move. While the cost of moving may seem high, there are ways to save and stick to your budget.

The Do’s

Get Organized

Moving is a bit of a process, and the more organized you are, the easier the process will be. Start your organization by gathering your supplies. You will need boxes, tape, markers, bubble wrap, tissue paper, plastic bags, and mattress bags. Once your supplies are ready, you should create a list of everything you will need to pack.  Then, create a calendar of when you will pack these items. Most experts suggest beginning to pack for a large move at least eight weeks before the moving date. Remember to label your moving containers so that they are easy to find when you arrive at your new home. Being organized will keep you from running into major catastrophes leading up to your moving day which will save you money in the long run.

Book In Advance

When peak moving season is in full swing it can be difficult to find a reliable moving company to assist you. Book your move reservation at least two weeks in advance, but if you can schedule it sooner it would be wise to do so. Booking early will not only guarantee that you find the best mover, but it also ensures that you have time to get the best moving quote and affordable price. When searching for movers you should get three non-binding estimates from different companies. This will allow you an opportunity to find the best price and negotiate. Aside from obtaining the prices of each moving company you should ask for references, whether they charge by the hour or the load, and what extra services they may offer. You should also check that the moving company has insurance should any accidents occur during the move.

Search for Moving Discounts

Moving can be expensive, especially when you are making a long-distance move.  To counter the high costs you should search for moving discounts. The first way to find lower-cost moving is to choose a weekday moving date. Weekend moves can cost 20% to 30% more than the rest of the week. You can also save money by moving during the middle of the month rather than the beginning or the end. If you want to avoid high moving costs you should also avoid moving on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day weekends and the days surrounding the holidays. During these times mover availability is limited and there are large amounts of traffic on the road which will cause delays and increase cost if you are paying an hourly rate.


Prior to selling your house, you probably already decluttered quite a bit. Now that you are moving you may find that you need to get rid of a few more items. If you are moving a long distance, you will be paying for the total weight of the items moved. This means, if you are moving extra furniture or additional housing items that you do not need, you will be paying for it.  If you are considering purchasing new furniture in the near future, now might be the time to get rid of your current pieces to avoid additional moving costs. You should also get rid of any extra clothes, bedding, toiletries, or small accent furniture pieces that you do not need. Basically, anything that you don’t want you should get rid of.

Look for Discount Packing Materials

A large expense when moving is the materials required to pack your home. Everything from boxes to storage bins, tape and bubble wrap is necessary if you want your items to make it to your new home in one piece. However, there are ways to find discounts on wholesale packaging supplies that could save you money. When searching for boxes, ask around at local hardware stores and grocery stores for their empty boxes. Many times they are looking to get rid of extras that are just taking up space in the storage room. Craigslist, Offerup or Letgo are also possible resources for finding old boxes for free. When it comes to buying tape or packaging paper you can look on Amazon or search discount stores for less expensive supplies. You should also use items that you already have around the house, like pillowcases, blankets, and sheets to package items.

The Don’ts

Rush Your Search for a Mover

Hiring a mover isn’t as simple as picking up the phone and scheduling a moving day and time. In fact hiring a reliable mover requires a bit of research and forward-thinking. The farther out you book a moving company the lower your cost to move will be. You will also have time to interview and get a few different moving quotes to compare. Take your time to check on reviews and testimonials from previous families who have used the moving company.  In addition, ask around with family and friends about different movers to get honest reliable reviews.

Leave Everything until the Last Minute

Moving is a long stressful process that requires planning and a lot of preparation. The more work that you leave until the day before or the day of your move the more stress and time will be consumed packing and fixing last-minute issues. Extra time means extra money, especially if you are working with a moving company that charges an hourly rate.  Get everything prepared long before moving day so that when the day arrives your items can be loaded and quickly moved.

Overload Boxes

Sure, you bought the extra-large moving boxes but does that mean you can fill each one to the brim with heavy items? Definitely not. Boxes that are overstuffed are a pain to move and can even cause injury to the person trying to lift them. Additionally, overloaded boxes can break open, spilling their contents. Not only can this damage whatever is in the boxes it will create extra clean-up work and slow down your move. Pack heavy items in small boxes making sure not to overload the box. Extra-large boxes should be used for lightweight items such as clothes, towels, or linens.

Overspend on Packing Materials

Yes, you want to be prepared and have enough supplies to fit all of your belongings.  However, moving supplies are not cheap and overspending can easily happen if you aren’t careful. Plastic bins and wood crates can be expensive so you should refrain from purchasing these. If you are working with a moving company you can ask them if they have moving boxes and wardrobes at a discounted rate.

Forget Extra Fees

If you are using a moving company or opting for a moving container, you should be aware of additional fees. Some movers may charge extra fees for fuel, stairs, use of packaging materials, etc. These fees can add up when they are combined with the hourly rate. If you are using a pull behind rental or a moving container there will probably be extra fees added to your bill if you keep the container past the contracted time.  Be careful to return the container on time to avoid these fees.

Moving can be stressful and time-consuming but it doesn’t need to break your budget.  Even if you are moving during the peak summer months you can find ways to cut your moving costs. Create a plan, search for reliable movers in advance, and find a date that works for you but will lower your overall cost. With a bit of preparation and organization, you can move without straining your budget.