Moving can be expensive and often comes when you can afford it least with multiple other costs to cover whether you are relocating locally, nationally, or abroad. However, your move doesn’t need to break the bank or mean that you cut corners to the detriment of your belongings’ safety and security.

Check out these 6 top tips on how to save money on the move, and you could make your relocation far more affordable:

1. Declutter

If you are planning to hire a moving company and have already started looking for quotes from them, you will probably have been asked about your move’s size before receiving an estimate. This is because moving companies charge according to the size of the load and the van or truck/s that will be required to complete the relocation as efficiently as possible.

Downsizing the size of the load can, therefore, save you a significant amount of money. Sell, donate, or dispose of any furniture or any items that are damaged, that haven’t been used in the last 6 months, or that don’t have any financial or sentimental value.

Selling the items in a yard sale to a second-hand store or pawn shop is ideal because the profits you make can contribute to your moving costs.

2. Packing

Using a professional packing service may save you time, but it will add to the cost of your move. Pack up your loose or smaller belongings yourself. Look for professional packing hints and tips to ensure that your goods are packed in a way that will reduce the risk of breakages. Pay special attention to fragile items and electronics.

Ask your local supermarket, grocery store, or liquor store to provide you with boxes – free of charge. Collect and use free newspaper as packing material instead of purchasing wrapping paper or bubble wrap. A newspaper is just as effective at protecting your belongings.

Start packing as early as possible before your moving day and pack a little each day so that you won’t run out of time. While this may not save you money, it will save you some of the stress that is often associated with moving.

3. Go Local

Local moving companies often offer competitive rates in order to compete with larger moving companies. Ask them for a comprehensive quote and compare the estimates with quotes from other large and small moving companies. Also, ask them if they are willing to give you a discount for any reason whatsoever.

4. Out Of Season And Week Days

Moving companies are far busier in the spring and summer months simply because the weather makes moving a little easier. During winter, they often offer discounted rates to attract business. Ask your moving company when their offseason is and what the rate be will if you postpone your move till then.

Weekends are also far more popular moving days – including Fridays. If possible, plan your move for the middle of the week and the moving company will more than likely offer you a discount.

5. Do-It-Yourself

DIY moves have become much more popular in the last decade simply because they are so much cheaper than using professional movers. It figures as all you really need to pay for is renting a moving van. However, downsizing is still important – the bigger the van’s size, the more you are going to pay to rent it.

If you are moving locally, it is recommended to hire a van for the entire day. A DIY move might take a little longer than expected, and this will also give you the opportunity for a second (or third) load if necessary. If you are moving further away or out of state, you may require a little more time. Check out the longer-term rental rates to see if they are lower than renting the van per day.

Also, you will need to beg and bribe family members and friends to help with the heavy lifting and loading and unloading the rental van. If you can’t get free labor, you may need to pay a couple of day laborers to help you move. Remember to factor in the cost of food and beverages for either your free or paid labor.

It is also important to note that while the DIY move does save you money, it isn’t going to save you time and is probably the most stressful form of moving. Ensure that you plan your move well in advance and are ready to go on moving day to minimize the stress.

6. Insurance

Find out whether your household insurance covers your goods while in transit or during the move. This will save you the cost of having to take out short-term insurance. Insurance may not provide cover for a DIY move but only for professional movers. Keep in mind that there will be nothing quite as costly as having to replace your belongings if they are lost, stolen, or damaged for any reason.