Dr. Charlotte Gorman
1. Try to get your present employer to pay all or part of the cost of your move if you are moving to a new location with the same company or organization. However, you may have to pay income taxes on the amount your employer pays for your move.
2. If you are changing employers, try to get your new employer to pay all or a reasonable share of your moving expenses.
3. When you move, borrow a truck (if you don't own one) from a friend or your employer to transport your possessions. Also, get some of your friends to help load your things (and unload them too). The above should be your cheapest way to move. Be sure to call your homeowners insurance agent concerning coverage of your possessions during the move.
4. If you can't borrow a truck for your move, the next cheapest way should be to rent a truck, such as a U-Haul or Ryder truck. Do your own packing, loading, unloading, and driving. If you don't have one or two people to help with the loading and unloading, you usually can hire a moving company to load your vehicle at your present residence and unload it at your new residence. If you are moving a considerable distance away, you shouldn't have any problem hiring a different moving company at your destination to unload the truck.
This way of moving will be much less expensive than hiring a professional moving company to do the complete moving job. Before you actually go to rent the truck, talk with your homeowners insurance agent about coverage on your belongings during the move.
5. Get estimates from several different moving companies if you're going to utilize professional movers. Set up a time for them to come to your home to look at your belongings. Rates could vary considerably among moving companies.
6. When you are calling around to compare prices, ask the moving companies if their charges are cheaper during certain months of the year and certain days of the week or month (nonpeak times). Move when the rates are the lowest, if at all possible, and save yourself some money.
7. If you hire a moving company to do your moving, make sure you understand what the company is liable for if some of your possessions are stolen or damaged during the move. If this coverage is insufficient, consider purchasing additional coverage unless your homeowners insurance covers your goods in transit. Not having adequate coverage during your move could cost you money out of your pocket if damage or theft occurs.
8. Do your own packing (if permitted) even if you are going to use movers. Professional movers normally charge extra for packing. However, some professional moving companies might move only what they have packed themselves or assume liability for only the company-packed items.
9. If you hire professional movers to move you, make sure you make a detailed, itemized list for yourself of all of your items to be moved before the movers arrive. A list can more readily alert you to items lost or stolen during the move and help you to avoid forgetting to include such items in your insurance claim.
10. Before you move, sell everything you no longer need or want. Advertise the items in the newspaper, put a note on the bulletin board where you work, and/or have a garage sale. The less you have to move, the less your moving expenses should be.
11. Carry important papers and documents, jewelry, money, and other small valuable items with you, rather than trust them to the movers. Carrying them with you could save you the cost of replacing them or the hassle of collecting insurance on them (and, maybe, having to shoulder part of the loss yourself, such as the deductible amount).
12. Remember to arrange beforehand to have your telephone and utilities "disconnected" at your old residence as soon as you vacate it. It is a waste of your money to continue these services, even for one day, if you are not there to benefit from them (unless there is a valid reason for continuing them).
13. Be sure to fill out change-of-address cards and send them to all people and businesses from whom you receive mail in time so that your incoming mail will not go to your old address after you have moved. For example, if bills go to your old address first, have to be put back in the mail by the new resident at your old address, and then have to be rerouted to you by the post office, they may not reach you in time for you to pay them in order to avoid late charges. If you have been receiving your personal mail at a business address, the U.S. Postal Service will not honor your request for forwarding this mail from that address (They will not even respond to your request). I discovered this the "hard way."
*Dr. Charlotte Gorman is an Extension Agent, Family & Consumer Sciences, Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A & M University System. She is the author of The Frugal Mind and The Little Book of Living Frugal. www.digitex.net/nottingham . E-mail: email@example.com .