How to avoid last-minute moving costs

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piggy bank with money and coinsMoving isn't cheap. But, there are smart ways to move, and not-so-smart ways to move. Choosing Moveline is a smart start. And our crack team of moving experts has put together a few more tips for you that can help you avoid last-minute expenses.

Start early, save money

The best defense against last-minute expenses is avoiding last-minute decisions. If possible, start your moving process 60-120 days out. You'll have more time to compare movers (with our help), and more flexibility to take advantage of off-peak rates. For example, summer moves cost more. So do some weekend moves. Plan now, save later.

Let Uncle Sam help

If you're moving more than 50 miles from your previous home, you can likely deduct the cost of packing, moving, and storing your items from next year's taxes. But only if you keep ALL of your receipts. So check out the rules on the IRS website, and then grab a folder, label it, and keep track of all moving-related expenses. And no, that going-away party can't be included (sorry!)

Surprise! That's expensive!

Surprise birthday parties are fun. Surprise fees are not. So make sure you disclose everything about your pickup and dropoff locations and the items you're moving. If a location has a steep driveway that you failed to mention, movers have to carry your stuff up or down a longer haul, and that costs. Does either location require the use of an elevator? That costs. Knowing those costs ahead of time will avoid unexpected headaches and delays.

What a gas

Make sure you're clear on what you can move and what you can't. Most movers won't touch flammable or dangerous items like gas grill canisters, oil for oil lamps, etc. Similarly, perishable food and plants are typically a no-no. Those kinds of items will simply be left behind, and that could mean paying an additional fee to your old landlord for disposal.

Get covered

Even the best movers on the planet can't avoid the occasional accident. While the moving agreement includes standard coverage required by law, that might not be enough to reimburse you if something is broken. Typically, you'll get $0.60/lb., which means that if your brand new 20lb. 1.21 gigawatt video editing machine does a swan dive from the back of the truck, you can expect a full $12 reimbursement. We're guessing that won't cover a flux capacitor replacement. A standalone policy is going to offer you far more protection if anything does awry.

Keep the essentials with you

You might be all geeked about getting on the road as fast as you can, but make sure that you don't end up buying things you already own. Make an essentials kit with toiletries, first-aid supplies, books, power cables for your electronics, etc. Keep that kit with you during your move (for more tips, check out our recs for moving day essentials). You're already paying enough to move, and your current toothbrush works just fine. So use it.

Here's one more that won't necessarily save you money, but it'll save you time. But then again (wait for it...) time is money. Really. Einstein proved it. Anyway, for this one, all you need is a permanent marker, masking tape, and your brain. Label boxes you have as soon as you seal it up. Don't wait an hour, or a day, or a week. Just label what it is, and where it goes. When you get to your new place, you could save a lot of time if the movers drop off your boxes in the right rooms at the start.

We hope you find these tips helpful. And by the way, if you're planning a move, you don't have to go it alone. Moveline simplifies the inventory process, gets fair and accurate quotes from reputable movers, and oversees your move from beginning to end. All without costing you a dime. Let us make your move easier than you imagined, freeing you up to spend time on more important things.