Home > Moving > Top 10 Best Cheap Moving Companies (2023 Savings Guide)

Top 10 Best Cheap Moving Companies (2023 Savings Guide)

Updated Mar 8, 2023

Updated Mar 8, 2023

Home > Moving > Top 10 Best Cheap Moving Companies (2023 Savings Guide)

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If you’ve never hired movers, you might be shocked by the amount you’re quoted by each moving company you speak with. This can be especially true if you didn’t know that you’d be moving and you’re on the hunt for affordable last-minute movers. Thankfully, multiple moving services operating across the country offer rates that local moving services may not be able to match.

Our team understands that moving can be a massive hassle — and an expensive one at that. We’ve created a list of the cheapest moving companies for local and long-distance moving.

What Are the Best Cheap Moving Companies?

Our top recommended cheap moving companies for 2023: 

What Should You Look for in a Cheap Moving Company?

No one wants to pay more than they must for moving services. Unfortunately, moving scams are relatively common throughout the United States — and low pricing is often used to draw in new victims. Be sure that you’re working with a legitimate moving company by searching for the following key characteristics.

  • Valid licensing: Moving companies that provide services across state lines must be registered with the Federal Motor Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can tell that a company is properly regulated by asking for the company’s USDOT number. A USDOT number is a unique identifier that is assigned to each moving company and allows the FMCSA to track things like mover driving records. Ask for the company’s USDOT number and verify it using the FMCSA’s database here.
  • Company branding: Legitimate moving companies want as many people in the area to know about their company as possible. If you encounter a moving company that does not use branded trucks or that offers a website with very little useful information (like an address or phone number), move on in your search.
  • Prices that align with other companies in your area: Of course, the point of searching for a cheap moving company is to pay less for your move. However, if you receive a rate that seems too good to be true, you may be speaking with an illegitimate mover. Collect moving quotes from at least a few companies in your area — if you get a quote that’s thousands of dollars lower than competitors, proceed with caution.

Why Trust House Method

  • 24 key factors analyzed
  • 1,000+ relocation services parsed
  • 1,000+ customer reviews analyzed

House Method’s Experts collected and analyzed 25 critical data points across multiple companies to identify what makes a great moving company in the eye of the consumer. Our reviews team used this data to assess over 40 moving providers for services provided, relocation costs, and national availability to provide unbiased reviews so homeowners can confidently navigate key decisions about their next move.

If you’re the victim of moving fraud, contact the FMCSA as soon as possible.

Compare The Best Cheap Moving Companies

CompanyWebsiteOur TakeOur RatingBBB RatingLocal Cost
International Van LinesSiteBest Full-Service Mover9.8B$600 – $1,200
American Van LinesSiteMost Transparent Pricing 9.7N/A$500 – $1,000
Safeway Moving SystemsSiteBest Overall Moving Broker9.6N/ANo local services
Moving APTSiteMost Moving Partners9.6B
JK Moving ServicesSiteMost Customizable Moving Experience9.5A+Call for a quote
Allied Van LinesSiteMost Vehicle Shipping Options9.4A+$750 – $1,350
U-PackSiteMost Widely-Available Container Service9.3A+N/A
North American Van LinesSiteBest Pricing Options9.2A+$750 – $1,350
PODSSiteBest Container Service for Local Moves9.1B$700 – $1,900
uShipSiteBest Single Item Mover9.0A+N/A

International Van Lines: Best Full-Service Mover

Our Top Pick
International Van Lines
  • Serving 50 states and 180 countries
  • Excellent customer service
  • One month of free storage

Why We Recommend International Van Lines

International Van Lines (IVL) has consistently ranked highly on our list of cheap moving companies thanks to its commitment to great customer service and customization. IVL allows you to customize your moving plan completely, scheduling as few services or as many as you want. Not sure which types of optional assistance you should choose? IVL’s award-winning customer service team is standing by to help you save money when you head to your new home.

IVL can be a particularly great choice if you’re moving internationally and want to limit your expenses. Though IVL offers air freight on international moves, it also offers port-to-port sea freight, the most affordable option when moving abroad. If you have special circumstances, IVL can book any combination of the door- or port- to port. They can even pick up your shipment from your home and move it directly to your new property abroad.  

Pros & Cons of International Van Lines


  • Customer service team recognized by major news outlets like Forbes
  • Offers moving in all 50 states as well as international service to more than 150 countries
  • More than a decade of moving experience under their belt


  • Storage containers must be canceled at least ten days before you want to leave; otherwise next month’s fee applies anyways

Services Offered

International Van Lines operates as a full-service moving company. This means that their long-distance movers offer an expanded range of services to fit each customer’s moving needs.

You can currently book the following services through IVL:

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Loading and unloading services
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Crating
  • Specialized packing services for fragile items
  • Storage solutions for both short-term and long-term periods
  • Packing supplies
  • Auto transportation services
  • Military moving services
  • Commercial moving services

Remember that every add-on you request from your moving service providers will increase the final cost you’ll pay. To find the most affordable moving possible, you may want to stick to scheduling services you cannot complete yourself.

How Much Does International Van Lines Cost?

Like most companies in the moving industry, IVL’s pricing is highly personalized to your move. Some important factors that the company will consider when calculating your moving costs are the size of your home, the distance you’re traveling, your move date, the types of household goods you need to move, and more.

To help you better understand how much you can usually expect to pay when you move with IVL, we’ve compiled a list of previous customer pricing. Use the chart below to learn more about homeowners’ average cost when moving with IVL.

 <250 miles500 miles1,000 miles2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home$1,400 to $4,400$1,900 to $4,900$2,100 to $5,100$2,400 to $5,400
Four-bedroom home$3,200 to $6,200$5,100 to $8,100$5,700 to $8,700$6,200 to $9,200

State Availability: All 50 states

Get a free quote from IVL by filling out this form.

Read more: International Van Lines Review.

American Van Lines: Most Transparent Pricing

Most Transparent Pricing
American Van Lines
  • Flat rate pricing
  • Competitor price matching
  • Moving shuttles between major cities

Why We Recommend American Van Lines

When you’re looking for a cheap moving company, the last thing you’ll want to deal with is a company that chooses its pricing randomly. American Van Lines (AVL) helps you avoid the hassle of hidden fees with its flat-rate pricing. Unlike most moving companies, AVL uses a flat-rate per-mile charge. Not only does this help your representative deliver a more accurate moving quote to you — but it also helps you better estimate what you’ll pay, so there are no surprises when you book your move.

Worried about booking your move and then finding cheaper relocation services elsewhere? AVL has you covered here, too — if you find a more affordable moving rate on your move with another reputable team of local movers, AVL will match it. When combined with collecting multiple quotes from competing interstate moving teams, these policies can help you find the most advantageous moving rates in your area. 

Pros & Cons of American Van Lines


  • Price-matching policy and flat-rate pricing help you save
  • Binding estimates available
  • In-house training and certifications for team members lower the possibility of damage


  • Pricing is higher than some competitors

Services Offered

American Van Lines operates as a full-service moving company. You can currently book the following services through their team:

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Storage unit arrangement
  • Specialty packing services for items like pianos and antiques
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Crating for large items (like pianos)
  • Moving supplies
  • Office moving services and corporate relocation
  • Military moves

How Much Does American Van Lines Cost?

In the chart below, you’ll find general pricing information from previous AVL customers. Use this data to estimate what you’ll pay to move based on the size of your home and the distance you’re moving. 

 <250 miles500 miles1,000 miles2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home$1,700 to $4,700$2,300 to $5,300$2,600 to $5,600$4,200 to $7,200
Four-bedroom home$4,800 to $7,800$5,600 to $8,600$7,400 to $10,400$10,800 to $13,800

State Availability: 48 States

Get a quote from American Van Lines by filling out this form.

Read more with our in-depth American Van Lines review.

Safeway Moving Systems: Best Overall Moving Broker

Best Flat Rate Pricing
  • Diverse service offerings
  • Flat rate for all moves
  • 30 days free storage

Why We Recommend Safeway

Safeway may not offer the cheapest moving services on the market, but it is among the most reliable. Transparent flat rates for all moving services booked make “sticker shock” during the billing process a non-issue. Safeway will provide a single bottom-line figure for you to pay no matter your service requirements. This can include piano moving, full shrink wrapping, and other furniture protection, packing, and more.

Pros & Cons of Safeway Moving Systems


  • Offers flat rates for all moves provided
  • Provides a range of specialized and basic moving services via a nationwide partner network
  • 30 days of free storage (at destination) offered with each move
  • Garners consistently high customer satisfaction ratings


  • Website is somewhat lacking in information
  • Doesn’t offer pricing info online

Services Offered

Safeway’s service offerings can vary between locations. Its partner network is all likely to provide similar lines of service, which include basic labor and packing. Specialty add-ons will probably vary depending on which carrier is assigned to your move.

  • Long-distance relocations
  • Packing
  • Unpacking
  • Packing materials (as a retailer)
  • Short and long-term storage
  • Piano moving
  • Car shipping
  • Commercial relocations
  • Liability insurance
  • Full valuation coverage
  • And more

How Much Does Safeway Cost?

The figures below are average flat rates for a long-distance move with Safeway. All flat rates are assigned after visual estimates have been given and do not fluctuate unless you alter your service needs or move inventory before your scheduled move date.

250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$2,000 – $5,000$2,100 – $5,100$2,200 – $5,200$2,700 – $5,700
4 BR$3,200 – $6,200$4,700 – $6,700$5,500 – $7,500$7,800 – $10,800

State Availability: 50  States

Read our full Safeway review to learn more about Safeway Moving Systems.

Fill out this form to get a free quote from Safeway.

Family moving into a new home on budget

Moving APT: Most Moving Partners

Most Moving Partners
Moving APT
  • Profiles for most-used partners
  • Price matching and discounts
  • Large pool of moving providers

Why We Recommend Moving APT

Moving APT does not operate as a moving carrier, unlike the other companies on our list. This means that the company won’t provide the actual moving services that you receive when you hit the road. Instead, Moving APT is a moving broker that maintains a list of reasonably priced moving companies to help you find the perfect match for your family. 

After connecting with Moving APT, the broker will find a moving company for you that works with your budget and the dates you have available for moving. This is a win-win situation for both you and the company you move with; movers get to spend more time on the road when they would otherwise be vacant, and you enjoy discounted rates negotiated by Moving APT. Moving APT also maintains a list of its most popular carriers, so you can learn more about how the broker employs a strict set of criteria when choosing which cross-country movers they work with. 

Pros & Cons of Moving APT


  • Wide range of partnered companies provides more diverse set of services and enhanced availability
  • Information on largest partners available online
  • Price matching services available


  • Service quality can vary depending on location and the movers you work with

Services Offered

Some of the most popular services booked through Moving APT include: 

  • Commercial and residential moving
  • Piano moving
  • Auto shipping
  • Packing services
  • Packing supplies (included for some moves)
  • Appliance connection services
  • Limited furniture disassembly and reassembly

Keep in mind that specific services available will vary by team. Your movers may offer all of the services listed above, some of these services, or none at all. They may also have extras beyond Moving APT’s most popularly booked services. Be sure to ask your movers about any assistance you’ll need on moving day before you book your moving date. 

How Much Does Moving APT Cost?

Like American Van Lines, Moving APT offers price-matching services to help you save as much as possible on your move. Unfortunately, since so many customers take advantage of this benefit, it can be difficult to predict pricing with Moving APT before you get a quote. A recent 1,000-mile move for a four-bedroom home was quoted a price of $7,800 from Moving APT. This puts the company’s pricing in line with competitors’ average pricing. 

State Availability: All 50 States

Get a quote from Moving APT by filling out this form.

Read more with our full Moving APT review.

JK Moving Services: Most Customizable Moving Experience

Most Customizable Moving Experience
JK Moving Services
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Financing available
  • Excellent insurance options

Why We Recommend JK Moving Services

JK Moving Services can be a great option for your family if you have niche moving needs or want to customize your moving process as much as possible. JK’s team members provide one of the widest selections of moving add-ons we’ve seen, some of which are unavailable with other companies. For example, if you’re moving many client or customer files alongside your home, JK Moving Services can provide archival services to ensure that no data is lost or compromised. Customizing your move can save you money in the long run by limiting the possibility of damage and loss as much as possible.

JK Moving also offers financing options online — and if you qualify, you could pay 0% APR on your price. This policy breaks down your moving bill into easier-to-manage monthly payments. If you cannot afford your moving company upfront, requesting financing information from JK Moving Services could be a major help.  

Pros & Cons of JK Moving Services


  • Financing options available
  • Huge selection of highly customizable services
  • Team members are trained and drug-tested before they are allowed on any moving job


  • Very limited options for local moving

Services Offered

The following services are some of the most popular options booked through JK Moving Services:

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Loading and unloading services
  • Long-term and short-term storage unit arrangement
  • Transportation and delivery
  • Freighting
  • Crating
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly services
  • Specialty services for items like antiques and pianos
  • Specialized services for commercial moves for law firms, hospitals, and other specialized workplaces
  • Government moving services
  • Archive services
  • Auto relocation services

Don’t see what you need on the list? Often, a representative can offer or source the services on your behalf. 

How Much Does JK Moving Services Cost?

JK Moving Services offers such a wide range of optional add-on services that it’s difficult to estimate pricing before you get a quote. As a general statement on pricing, you can usually expect to pay between $2,500 and $5,500 when you move a two-bedroom home a total distance of 500 miles. However, you should not assume that your move will be within this range until you consult with a JK representative and get your quote.   

State Availability: All lower 48 states.

Get a quote from JK Moving Services by entering your moving information into this form.

Learn more information with our in-depth JK Moving Services review.

Allied Van Lines: Most Vehicle Shipping Options

Most Vehicle Shipping Options
Allied Van Lines
  • No hidden fees
  • Vehicle shipping is NOT outsourced
  • GPS tracking

Why We Recommend Allied Van Lines

We rated Allied Van Lines 4.3/5 stars as the 6th cheapest moving company. Moving a vehicle isn’t a cheap process — especially if you need to move something other than a standard car. Allied Van Lines makes it easier to rest with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you aren’t breaking the bank for your vehicle shipping services. Allied Van Lines provides a solution for every type of vehicle shipping service, from boats to luxury vehicles and from open to enclosed transport.

If you’re moving your family’s primary vehicle, you might be concerned about making it to work or school on schedule when you make it to your new home. Allied is one of the only moving companies we’ve seen that is so confident in their vehicle shipping options that they offer to cover the cost of a rental car until your vehicle arrives. This can be an ideal solution if you’re looking for cheap movers to complete a move with a tight deadline, but you also need to move your primary vehicle. 

Pros & Cons of Allied Van Lines


  • Accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Wide range of transportation options available for all types of vehicles
  • Covers the cost of your rental car if your vehicle shipment is late


  • Short-term storage options are more expensive than they are with competitors

Services Offered

Like IVL, Allied Van Lines’ team of full-service movers offers optional services beyond loading and transportation. You can currently book the following services through Allied:

  • Packing services and unpacking services
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Storage for in-transit items
  • Arrangement of long-term storage units
  • Shipment tracking
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Auto and boat transport
  • Basic liability coverage
  • Full-value coverage

The company also offers a range of online resources that you can use to effectively plan your move like a pro. Be sure to browse Allied’s company website when you get your moving quote from their team. 

How Much Does Allied Van Lines Cost?

Also, like International Van Lines, Allied Van Lines’ pricing process is highly personalized. To get a better idea of what you might pay for your moving process with Allied’s professional moving company, check out the chart of previous pricing data below.  

 <250 miles500 miles1,000 miles2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home$1,800 to $4,500$2,400 to $5,400$2,700 to $5,700$4,400 to $7,400
Four-bedroom home$3,300 to $6,000$5,700 to $8,700$7,500 to $10,500$10,900 to $13,000

State Availability: All 50 states

Get a quote from Allied Van Lines with this form.

Read our Allied Van Lines Review to learn more.

U-Pack: Best Overall Container Service

Best Overall Container Service
  • 240 locations nationwide
  • “Pay for what you use” pricing
  • 3-day grace period for loading/unloading

Why We Recommend U-Pack

Moving container services like U-Pack can provide you with a unique alternative to save money on your transportation while also avoiding picking up a rental truck. This is why we rated U-pack 4.1/5 stars and #7 on our list of the cheapest moving companies.

After receiving your instant estimate online, you can book your container service entirely online. On moving day, U-Pack will deliver a weatherproof moving container (which they call a “Relocube”) to your current property. You’ll then load the container on your own time — when you’re finished, U-Pack will pick up the container and take it to your new home, where you’ll unpack. You can also book multiple containers if you’re moving to a larger home.

If you prefer to move using a moving truck, U-Pack can still help you with your move. The company also offers trailer drop-off and pick-up services alongside moving containers. These trailers are billed on a “pay-what-you-use” model, so you won’t need to worry about paying for trailer space that you didn’t actually need. 

Pros & Cons of U-Pack


  • Instant quotes available for most moves
  • More affordable than hiring a moving company
  • Offers moving services to and from Alaska and Hawaii


  • Only covers moves totaling more than 150 miles in distance
  • You need to do all of your own loading and unloading

Services Offered

U-Pack is not a full-service moving company, limiting its services to long-distance container moving and storage services. Remember that U-Pack only offers service on moves that total at least 150 miles in distance. If you’re moving locally, competing moving container services like PODS can help you get to your new space without overspending. 

How Much Does U-Pack Cost?

Most U-Pack customers can claim an instant quote online through U-Pack’s pricing tool. You can view information about what previous customers paid to use U-Pack’s containers using the chart below. 

 <250 miles500 miles1,000 miles2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home$600 to $1,600$1,200 to $2,200$1,600 to $2,600$2,100 to $3,100
Four-bedroom home$800 to $1,800$1,800 to $2,800$2,800 to $3,800$4,100 – $5,100

State Availability: All 50 States

Get a free quote from U-Pack by filling out this form.

Learn more with our full U-Pack review.

two guys packing a truck to save money on moving

North American Van Lines: Best Pricing Options

Best Pricing Options
North American Van Lines
  • GPS tracking
  • Dedicated move coordinator provided relocations
  • “Not to exceed” pricing option

Why We Recommend North American Van Lines

North American Van Lines’ most unique feature is its pricing options. The company offers specific types of pricing, and you can use the pricing type that best fits your moving needs. For example, North American Van Lines offers “not to exceed” pricing, which can be a lifesaver for families moving on a very strict budget. For this reason, NAVL received 4/5 stars as our 8th cheapest moving company available.

In addition, North American Van Lines also offers excellent insurance options that you can add to your move. Buying insurance might seem like another cost that you don’t really need, but it can help you save money in the long run because breakage during moves is common. This is especially true if you have a long-distance move ahead of you. 

Pros & Cons of North American Van Lines


  • GPS tracking available on all moves
  • 80 years of experience operating in the moving industry
  • Pricing specifications allow you to limit the amount that you spend on your move


  • Reviews indicate that a few customers have had negative experiences

Services Offered

You can currently schedule the following add-on services through North American Van Lines:

  • Full-service packing
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Boxes and moving supplies
  • Appliance disconnection and reconnection
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Custom crates
  • Loading and unloading
  • Crane vans for large items
  • Storage
  • Auto Transport
  • Basic liability coverage
  • Full-valuation coverage

How Much Does North American Van Lines Cost?

Learn more about pricing information using the cost data below collected from previous North American Van Lines customers to estimate what you’ll pay for your move. 

 <250 miles500 miles1,000 miles2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home$1,800 to $4,500$2,400 to $5,400$2,700 to $5,700$4,400 to $7,400
Four-bedroom home$3,300 to $6,000$5,700 to $8,700$7,500 to $10,500$10,900 to $13,000

State Availability: All 50 States

Get a quote from North American Van Lines with this form.

Read more with our NAVL review.

PODS: Best Container Service for Local Moves

  • Instant pricing for most moves
  • Local and long-distance, affordable container moves
  • Generous cancellation policies

Why We Recommend PODS

PODS is another moving container service offering affordable, long-distance moving services. However, unlike other containers on our list, PODS offers bookings for both local and long-distance moves. This can make them your first choice for container moves that don’t cross state lines or that don’t meet the 150-mile minimum found with some competitors.

PODS offers multiple moving container sizes and includes a free month of storage services with each move. This can be convenient if you’re looking for a more leisurely unpacking process or undertaking a long-distance move requiring longer storage. You can also claim a refund on your book up until 4 p.m. the day before your move. This can make PODS a strong choice for homeowners with flexible moving dates or who need to be able to cancel or change their bookings without incurring excess charges.

Pros & Cons of PODS


  • Locations across the country and abroad
  • Secure offsite storage included with every move
  • Instant online quotes


  • Pricing on long-distance moves can be expensive

Services Offered

PODS is a full-service and local container moving company providing the following services:

  • Local moving container moves
  • Long-distance container moves
  • Short-term storage
  • Long-term storage

How Much Does PODS Cost?

After researching moves with PODS, we’ve created a table summarizing pricing based on the location and size of your home. Use the table below to better understand what you might pay for your move should you work with PODS.

 <250 miles500 miles  1,000 miles  2,000 miles  
Two-bedroom home$700 – $1,700$1,300 – $2,300$1,700 – $2,700           $2,200 – $3,200
Four-bedroom home$900 – $1,900$1,900 – $2,900$2,900 – $3,900$4,200 – $5,200

State Availability: All 50 states

uShip: Best Single Item Mover

  • Allows customers to name their own price or request estimates
  • Ships everything from small items to animals
  • Can view mover profiles before hiring

Why We Recommend uShip

If you’re moving only a small space but have one large item, you can save the expense of a full moving team by working through a service like uShip. uShip is an online marketplace committed to helping movers find affordable shipping services by connecting them with local movers who happen to have space on their routes.

You’ll begin by creating a listing for the item that you want to move. If you have a moving budget in mind, include it in your listing — only companies that can accommodate you will be able to apply. If you have a unique item and aren’t sure how to price your move, you can also request that potential movers bid on your job. Each local mover has its own profile, which you can review before booking. This can help you save hundreds of dollars on small moves by taking advantage of partial shipment space already in transit.

Pros & Cons of uShip


  • Simple interface requires no prior knowledge; can get started in just a few minutes
  • Allows you to save on single item shipments
  • Many partners offer free shipping tracking


  • Services may not be available in all areas

Services Offered

uShip is a universal shipping marketplace that offers all kinds of moving and transportation services. Some of the most popular services brokered through uShip include:

  • Business shipping
  • Auto shipping
  • Small shipment moving
  • Livestock moving

Because uShip is a collection of local shippers and not a single, unified company, the services available in your area might vary.

How Much Does uShip Cost?

uShip pricing will vary depending on your area and the specific item that you’re shipping. Check out Home Media’s uShip review to learn more about how you can use uShip to set your own shipping rates or collect estimates before booking.

State Availability: 50 States

Find the Cheapest Moving Company in Your State

Looking for the best place to move? Read our article on States that actually pay you to move there.

Click on your state to see the best cheap moving companies in your area.

Cheap Moving Tips: How to Reduce the Cost of Moving

As you can see, moving can be an exceptionally expensive process. However, with a little prior planning and these helpful tips, you won’t need to overspend on your upcoming move. Before you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a moving company.

  • Downsize as much as possible
  • Change your moving date
  • Don’t over pay for packing supplies
  • Consider a moving container service
  • Be resourceful when packing
  • Price single item shipping for important pieces
  • Pack before moving day
  • Get quotes in writing

If you have the time and are up for the challenge you can make your move even cheaper by getting an affordable moving truck rental and moving everything yourself.

Downsize as Much as Possible

Legitimate moving companies know that there are strict laws in place that control the type and weight of items that can be loaded onto each moving truck. If you’re moving an especially large home, you might even need more than one moving truck, drastically increasing the price you’ll pay. The easiest way to save money on your move is to reduce the total weight of your shipment by downsizing as much as possible before you book.

Going through each room of your home, sort your things into three separate piles. Organize items that you know you want to move to your new home in one area, items that you no longer need but still have life in them in another, and trash into the proper receptacle. Before putting items into your sale or donation pile, take stock of their condition and make sure they’re fit for another home. For example, clothing with holes or stains is better off in the trash than in the donation pile.

After organizing as many items into the three piles as possible, invite family and friends over to raid your home before donation day. A donation party is a great way to get together with loved ones one last time before moving — and help you keep more money during the moving process by lightening your load. Research local charities for the rest of your donatable items to give back and save even more money.

Change Your Moving Date

The most popular time to move is during the summer — when the school year is over and the temperature is warm, moving companies see a spike in service requests. This means that the summer is also the most expensive season to move, as increased demand forces local moving companies to raise their rates. If the quotes you’re getting from moving companies are too high, consider waiting until the winter begins to find the most affordable prices.

Can’t afford to wait weeks to move? Book your moving date on a weekday if possible. Like the summer, moving companies receive the highest volume of requests to move on Fridays and Saturdays. If you can afford to take time off work or school to move during the week, you’ll likely be able to secure a more affordable rate.

Don’t Over Pay for Packing Supplies

Another easy place to save money is when searching for moving supplies. While the cost of packing peanuts and boxes might not seem like major expenses in the grand scheme of things, cutting costs on multiple everyday expenses might help you save hundreds of dollars to put toward on-the-road costs you may not have considered.

Start by searching your home for moving containers. Any storage containers you own can be put towards the moving process. To label containers without permanently staining them, attach a piece of duct tape to the top of each box. This allows you to label the contents without putting permanent markers on your containers.

You don’t need to pay for additional containers beyond what you find around the house. Before paying for boxes, visit your local grocery store or liquor outlet and ask a manager if they have any boxes to spare. These companies receive daily shipments of thick, high-quality cardboard boxes of all sizes — and most managers will be more than happy to provide you with as many free boxes as you can find.

Borrowing a child’s art supply set and making your own DIY packing labels helps you save money on stickers and additional packing supplies. Avoid brand-name office supply stores when looking for last-minute supplies, as these resources usually have higher markups. Check your local discount supercenter or dollar store for any final supplies you might need to start the packing process.

Consider a Moving Container Service

If you’re moving to a smaller home or you manage to complete a major downsize before booking your moving date, you might be able to use a moving container to save money. A moving container can be an affordable alternative solution if you can’t rent a moving truck or you’re not comfortable driving such a cumbersome vehicle.

When you book with a moving container company like U-Pack or PODS, you’ll begin by choosing your moving date online. Major moving container companies allow you to book entirely online, and you can check the pricing on multiple dates through each company’s instant quote system. This allows you to easily balance container space and price when choosing which day you want to move.

Your mover will deliver your requested containers directly to your home on your moving date. These containers are similar to portable storage units and easily allow you to load your things at ground level. You’ll save money because moving container services do not provide loading — you’ll load your own things on your preferred schedule. Your moving container service will transport your container and contents to your new home, where you’ll unload your things.

Moving containers can be ideal for single-room apartment moves and other moves when you don’t need to do tons of heavy lifting. Moving containers are also a fraction of the price of a full-service moving company, meaning that a little extra work might end up saving you thousands of dollars.

Be Resourceful When Packing

You likely have several items in your move that can double as makeshift shipping materials. Some creative ways to pack and reduce your shipping material costs include the following.

  • Cooking pots: Large pots and containers can double as protective cases for wrapped, smaller kitchen appliances and utensils. If you’re moving fragile appliances, you can even wrap them in tea towels and bar rags to keep kitchen-related items together.
  • Luggage: If you’re bringing suitcases, pack them with clothing, shoes, and accessories instead of leaving them empty. If you have multiple handbags or small cosmetic containers, you can use these to organize jewelry, scarves, or other small accessories that can easily get lost in the shuffle during a move.
  • Towels and soft clothing: If you have glassware or other breakable items to pack, wrap them in t-shirts, beach towels, or other soft clothing to reduce the possibility of breakage.

Some types of furniture can also be disassembled before moving. Taking your furniture apart before a move helps you save money by maximizing space in your car, moving truck, or container. While most full-service moving companies will allow you to add-on furniture disassembly for an extra charge, you can handle most jobs independently with some DIY skills.

Price Single Item Shipping for Important Pieces

In some situations, you might have a single heavy or awkwardly shaped item that you need to move. Booking a move with a full-service moving company will come with the expense of a full truck — even if you don’t need that much space. This is true whether you’re looking to move just a single bed frame or a loveseat.

If you don’t want to hire a moving truck or moving container to move your item, we recommend listing it on a service marketplace like uShip. uShip allows you to set a specific price for your move and only accept bids from movers who price your job within your budget. This helps you better estimate moving prices and avoid overspending.

You can also choose to accept a range of bids from local movers through platforms like uShip. Companies or carriers with space in their movement infrastructure along your route will bid on your job to maximize their profit while on the road. The end result is a significantly more affordable single-item move for you, allowing you to focus on transporting more manageable items on your own.

Pack Before Moving Day

While it might seem obvious, many movers put off packing until the night before they move. This then causes their packing to bleed into the next day. Waiting until the last minute to pack can cost you money by delaying the moving process, causing movers to add hourly surcharges or additional fees.

Start your packing process as early as possible — if you can begin collecting packing supplies a few months before you begin packing, you can save even more time. You might want to set aside a few essential wardrobe staples if you have a large collection of clothes to move. Books can be shipped via media mail at a more affordable rate when compared to standard postage. 

As you approach the final days before your move, set aside some essentials you’ll need while in transit. Moving these aside before you’re on the road will help save you from the temptation of overspending during the stressful moving process. Some items that you might want to include in your moving day bag include:

  • A change of clothing
  • Toothbrush, washcloth, and other daily toiletries
  • Electronics and chargers
  • Supplies for children and infants
  • Entertainment for small children who get easily bored on long car rides
  • Medications

You should also avoid packing especially valuable items or personal documents (like your passport or birth certificate). Be sure to keep these items with you while traveling.

Get Quotes in Writing

As you explore your moving options, it can be difficult to keep all of your quotes organized. Request that every company you’re considering working with provide you with a written estimate either in person or over email. Only consider companies willing to provide you with written estimates in your final selection — some less-than-legitimate movers may attempt to raise the price on moving day if you don’t have a contract in writing.

Another reason to keep all of your moving quotes is to take advantage of price-matching policies. Some companies, like American Van Lines, offer price matching, which means that they will match the price any competing moving company provides you in a written estimate. These policies can help you take advantage of companies with specialty services at exceptionally affordable rates.

What Additional Factors Affect Moving Costs?

Working with a cheap moving company may come with expenses you haven’t considered. Some expenses you’ll need to consider include the following.

  • Self-transport: While your moving company will deliver your household goods, you must find a way to your new home alongside your family. Be sure to account for gas and toll charges if you’re driving and tickets and luggage costs if you’re flying.
  • Cleaning supplies: No matter if you rent or own your home, you’re responsible for making sure the space is clean and in great condition before you move out. Cheap moving companies don’t usually offer cleaning services, so you’ll need cleaning supplies on hand to clean up your space.
  • Moving supplies: You can typically buy moving supplies through cheap moving companies. However, this will add money to your final bill. Searching for cheap or free moving supplies around you is a great way to limit the cost of your move. 

Final Thoughts on Cost-Savvy Moving

International Van Lines, American Van Lines, and Safeway Moving Systems are the cheapest moving companies. With these companies, you can have a seamless moving process that won’t break the bank or your belongings.

As you can see, even affordable moving companies can charge more than you might have expected. Downsizing as much as possible before your move helps you save, as the fewer things you have to move, the less you’ll pay for services. You should also be sure to get multiple free quotes before you book your moving date. A few hours of speaking with representatives can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your upcoming move.

FAQs: Cheap Moving Companies

What is the cheapest way to move my stuff?

The cheapest way to move your stuff is by renting a moving truck and providing your own loading, transportation, and unloading services. If you prefer not to rent a moving truck, a moving container service like U-Pack is your next best option.

How much does a local moving company charge?

The average cost of a local move is $1,250. However, if you’re traveling outside of your zip code, you may pay higher rates for long-distance services. Your home size, new home location, move date, and many other factors influence the cost of your move.

How can I get money to move?

You can get money to move by working a side hustle outside of your main employment. Freelance services like driving for Uber Eats or sprucing up homes through TaskRabbit allow you to work on your own time while also saving money.

Why is moving so expensive?

Moving can be expensive because there are many costs that moving professionals need to cover within the price you see. For example, movers need to pay for things like fuel, employee wages, insurance, and valuation coverage. All of these services and more add costs to your move.

What is relocation assistance?

Relocation assistance occurs when an employer helps move a new hire to a different city, state, or country to fulfill a role within the company. Relocation assistance might include reimbursement of moving costs, so be sure to ask your employer if they offer relocation assistance packages if you’re moving for work.

Methodology: How We Evaluated the Cheapest Moving Companies

At House Method, our primary goals are to be a reliable source of information and to be totally transparent to our readers. With that in mind, we’ve developed the following formula to render objective ratings – on a scale of 10 points – for the moving companies we review.

  • Transparency (3.0): Communication and being fully straightforward regarding company policies and licensing are incredibly important. A given mover’s willingness to display these, to supply quick quotes, and to provide clearly-worded moving contracts all factor into the three points within this single rating criteria.
  • Cost (2.5): A mover’s cost relative to industry averages, as well as accessibility to cost data play a role in the customer experience as much as anything else. We know that being sure of what you’re paying – and being confident that you’re not overpaying – will ultimately make for a positive move. We’ve weighted cost factors accordingly in our ratings.
  • Customer Service (2.0): Establishing an easy line of contact with your movers during the booking process or during the move itself is a huge asset for any moving client. The stress of moving, in general, can be greatly eased by knowing you can talk to a licensed professional whenever you need to, which is why we’ve listed this as a key rating category. This is where customer reviews come into play; since the majority of complaints stem from poor customer service, feedback from BBB, Yelp, Google, and other review platforms factor into this criteria.
  • Services Offered (1.5): This rates lower on our priority list than many would think, simply due to the fact that many movers provide a similar line of services. However, breadth of service offerings does still vary to a degree.
  • Customization Options (1.0): Having the autonomy to fully customize your move should rate highly on any moving checklist. Here, we’ve taken moving package customization ability, as well as pricing for more involved add-ons. Steep pricing for such services can provide something of a soft barrier for clients looking to add to their move, and we’ve taken this into consideration.

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