It’s not cheap to move. In fact, the average cost of a three-bedroom move in Portland is $1,323, and that’s with just the basics. When you add in the cost of packing supplies, extra services, and other details, the cost can quickly escalate. One of the biggest costs is hiring a local moving company. But there are ways to keep your costs low if you play your cards right.
Here are 11 tips for moving to Portland, home to 650,000, on a budget.
1. Come Up With a Plan and Start Early
The more time you allocate for planning your move, the less stressful and less costly it will be. There are several expenses that are last-minute decisions, such as scrambling to pick up extra packing supplies when you run out, or eating fast food for the whole week before moving day.
Usually when these last-minute things crop up, you’re so stressed and on edge that you just shell out the money for them without thinking about it too much. That’s where things get expensive. When you start earlier, you have more time for meal prep or for gathering cheap or free packing supplies.
Before moving, this is a vital step. No need to pay movers to move what you don’t really need. It could save you up to a whole truckload if you just pare down a lot of stuff. Here are some tips for lightening your load, saving money, and making money in the process.
- Sell items online, such as Craigslist, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace.
- Hold a garage or yard sale.
- Donate unwanted things to local charities, schools or churches.
- Throw away items you don’t need and that are broken or in bad shape.
- Use up all the food in the pantry and freezer or donate non-perishables to Portland food banks.
3. Pick up the Right Packing Supplies
Sure you can pick up packing supplies at your local big box or office store, but you will pay top-dollar. When moving on a budget, look online for local deals or put out a plea on Facebook for free boxes.
Hit local liquor stores and grocery stores and ask if you can have their empty boxes.
4. Use What You Have
Before purchasing loads of packing paper, use what you have in your house already. These items include towels, linens, duffle bags, suitcases, and trash bags.
5. Pack Boxes Yourself
Packing yourself is one of the best ways to save money on a move. Start early so you can be ready for when the movers arrive. Sure, most movers also offer packing services but they will add to your overall cost. Take great care if you DIY the packing process so your valuables don’t break in transit.
6. Hire a Reputable Moving Company
Hiring the cheapest moving company seems like a no-brainer to save money, but this isn’t always the case. You may get a low-ball offer at first, but they could spring surprise fees on you later. Also, unprofessional or less-than-reputable moving companies could take a lot longer to move your items than a professional mover that’s more established. And finally, if you pay a rock bottom price, how careful do you think the movers will be with your stuff?
7. Move in the Off Season or During the Week
May through August is considered the busy season since this is when most people choose to move and it’s the best weather. It’s also the time where movers charge premium rates. To save money, move outside these dates to get a lower rate and more availability.
Also, avoid weekends if you can, as they are the busiest times that bring the highest rates. Move during the week to save money, preferably Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
8. Be Prepared For Your Movers
The best way to save on the cost of a mover is to be ready for their arrival. Local movers usually charge by the hour, so if you’re scrambling at the last minute and haven’t packed up everything, you’re going to slow everything down and add to the billable time.
On moving day, your movers should call ahead with an estimate time of arrival, so be ready for them. Have boxes labeled and ready to go in a central area if you can. This way, they just have to grab the boxes and put them on the truck. Label any fragile boxes as such so they can place them in an optimal area on the truck.
9. Rent a Moving Truck
Another way to save money on a move is to do it yourself. But before you consider hauling all your heavy furniture out yourself, think about hiring a moving company for moving labor only. This means the movers will just take your furniture out of the home and place it onto your rental truck for you.
Just remember, when doing a DIY move, there’s more of a chance that things can get damaged. Hiring a professional means they pack and protect your items with much more care.
10. Ask For Help
If you need “free” moving labor, call your friends. This isn’t ideal, though, because even though you’re saving money aside from buying them pizza and beer later, they may not be as careful with your belongings as a professional would. You may end up paying for broken items, which would negate your savings.
If you do want to take advantage of help offered by friends, opt to have them watch your kids or pets on moving day instead while the professionals move your stuff. This keeps kids and pets away from the movers and ensures no one gets caught underfoot or causes a delay.
11. Find Used Furniture Online
Once in the new house, don’t go all-out and buy new furniture. This will suck up your money reserves very quickly. Instead, scour online marketplaces and thrift shops for used furniture.
Call Portland Move
We are a budget-friendly moving company based in Beaverton OR. For your free quote, call us at (971) 265-6117. We specialize in all kinds of moves throughout the Portland area and beyond.