Last fall we bought a new home and moved -- three blocks away. We still needed a moving company for the heavy items. When I booked the movers and described the items the company estimated taking 7 to 8 hours to move everything. This also included wrapping furniture.
Like Nina, I was inspired to shave down the bill. Here are some steps I took to turn an 8 hour move into 4 hours!
- Purge items you have not used in the past year. You can donate items to a charity (some will come to you for a pick-up), post items for free or a low price in Craiglist, or simply put them at the curb;
- Opt not to have items "wrapped". We were going a short distance, and nothing we own is that valuable so we decided it didn't need to be packaged as though it were going cross-country;
- Move items yourself. Ideal for children's toys, clothing you can put in luggage, and fragile kitchen items;
- Use a coupon for the mover (mine was 1/2 off the first hour);
- Purchase new items and have them delivered to the new location. Instead of paying movers a fee to move our old furniture we sold some and donated the rest and then bought new for the new house (at a great and inexpensive local furniture store).
I'd love to hear about other people's techniques for frugal moves.