Moving house is an exciting adventure but it can be a costly one. From packing supplies to hiring a removal company, the expenses can quickly rack up.
With the average cost of moving home costing just under £10,000 according to Compare My Move, it’s worth finding as many ways to save as possible. With some planning and good decision-making, it’s possible to make savings along the way without compromising on the quality of your move. Planning in advance means you’re more likely to have a stress free move.
In this article, we’ll explore eight practical and cost-effective ways to make your house move more affordable.
1. Declutter before moving to your new home.
Preparing to move house is the ideal time to sort out your belongings and sell or give away things that you don’t want in your new property. It’s best to think about this as early as possible as having fewer items to move will reduce removal costs. It will also remove the prospect of having to put items into expensive self storage.
Online marketplaces such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace are good options for selling items and earning some extra cash, or you can opt to sell unwanted items yourself: although this takes time and effort, it means you get the best price for them.
However, if you need to offload a lot of items, for instance, if you are downsizing, you might consider using a house clearance company with experience in valuing items for sale. A house clearance company will look at how many items need to be cleared, identify any valuables that they can sell, buy these from you at trade price and deduct them from your house clearance costs. If the price of your valuables exceeds the house clearance costs, you will be given the excess as profit.
2. Compare moving companies and get quotes.
Research several removal companies and obtain quotes to make sure you find the best deal. Make your requirements clear to ensure you get an accurate quote. Consider the reputation of each removal company by reading customer reviews on their websites and examining their experience and insurance coverage. Read their reviews on independent sites like Trustpilot, and find out if they are members of the British Association of Removers (BAR), a trade association that imposes industry standards on the quality of work. Using comparison websites is a great way to easily find the best prices available to you and most will only work with licensed, trusted, and fully insured companies.
3. Select a mid-week or off-season moving date.
Due to high demand, weekend and peak season moves are more expensive. If you can, choose a midweek day or off-season time when removal firms will have greater flexibility and lower charges. This may also mean you can secure your preferred moving day more easily. Traditionally, summer is the busiest time to move house with August being the most sought-after month due to school holidays, so removals companies are going to be more competitive. Moving house on a Friday is the most popular option, so if that’s your plan, you need to book well in advance.
4. Do the packing yourself.
The cost of packing, from boxes to bubble wrap and tape, quickly adds up. Rather than buying packing materials, think about sourcing them yourself: for instance, get free boxes from supermarkets, shops or outlets such as Gumtree, Freecycle, and Facebook Marketplace that list items such as cardboard boxes for free. Use blankets and towels to wrap fragile items in as an alternative to buying tissue paper and bubble wrap. Bear in mind that a removal company will often add extra charges for helping you pack or provide packing materials for you. Remember to label boxes clearly.
It may be worth enlisting family or friends to help you pack. Starting early by packing items that you won’t need well before your moving day is a good strategy: it might help avoid a rush and having to pay for help as your big move approaches and things start to feel overwhelming.
5. Notify utility providers in advance.
Inform utility suppliers such as gas, electricity, water, and internet well in advance of the exact date of your move. Arrange service disconnection at your current home and set up connection dates at your new home to avoid last-minute fees or delays in service.
Compare utility suppliers
Moving is a good time to reassess your utility providers: while some people will stay with their current utility companies to make life easy, bear in mind that often utility companies will give deals or discounts to new customers. If you spot a better deal with another provider, you could tell your current provider about it; they may offer you a discount or a deal for staying with them.
6. Survival kit for the moving day.
Put essential items such as all your important documents in a safe place during the move. It’s useful to put key things such as your driving licence, phone chargers and details of insurance providers including home insurance and car insurance in one box as you get ready for the big move. Transporting it in your car on the moving day will give you easy access to it and prevent it from getting lost or falling into the wrong hands.
Prepare snacks and drinks in a cool box to keep everyone fuelled up during the hectic move day. If you can manage to get an evening meal prepared in advance it will save on the cost of eating out or ordering a takeaway on your first night in the new house.
7. DIY cleaning and repairs.
Clean your old home thoroughly to avoid any cleaning charges from your landlord or the incoming homeowner: hire specialist cleaning equipment if necessary. If minor repairs or touch-ups are needed, consider doing the work yourself instead of hiring professionals.
8. Redirect your mail.
You will have to pay a small fee when you move to another house if you want your post redirected to your new address. The costs vary depending on the length of time you’d like your mail redirected from your old address, and the number of people that will need their mail redirected. It’s important to do this as otherwise you will miss important letters such as final bills, information from government bodies and council tax reminders. Remember to inform all the relevant authorities about your new address as soon as possible, along with credit card companies, and financial institutions, and update any subscriptions you may have.
Here are the prices for mail redirection in the UK.
|Duration||Lead applicant fee||Extra person fee|
|Up to 3 months||£33.99||£8.00|
|Up to 6 months||£47.99||£9.00|
|Up to 12 months||£68.99||£10.00|
Be prepared and save money.
Planning and preparation are key to ensuring that you keep costs down when moving house, while not compromising on the standard of your move. It’s important to have a big clear out at an early stage, compare removals company quotes, and think about free or low-cost alternatives where possible. Being strategic and resourceful means that you will experience a smooth transition to your new home without it costing you a fortune.