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Moving is expensive – especially when you take into consideration all of the factors leading up to and surrounding the actual move–apartment deposits, travel, new furniture, change of job, time off work…By the time many people get around to actually booking movers, their budget is already spent.

As peak moving season is here, the experts at FlatRate Moving have created insider suggestions below for making the most of your moving budget:

1.       Secure a guaranteed price: 

Some movers charge by the hour and some offer a binding estimate or flat rate based on inventory. Stay away from a company that only gives you non-binding estimates. There is a chance the quoted price will increase significantly when your move is over. Insist on one guaranteed price, in advance and in writing.

2.       Move on an “off” day: 

Movers are always busiest at the beginning and end of the month. Weekends are also busier than weekdays. If you have flexibility, a mid-week, mid-month move can save you hundreds of dollars.

3.       Don’t take “iffy” items: 

Moving is a good opportunity to clean house. Really scrutinize your goods to make sure you want to bring them along. Reducing your cubic footage reduces your price. You’d be surprised how much it costs to take your broken desk or old office chair to your new apartment. You might be better of leaving it behind.

4.       Book in advance: 

If possible, book your movers early. Moving companies price their moves based on availability. If you lock in your reservation early you have more leverage for negotiation.

5.       Don’t underestimate the cost of packing materials: 

Boxes and other packing materials can be expensive. Ask your moving company to suggest the appropriate number and style of boxes for your move. Also, be sure to start packing well in advance – that way, you know whether or not you have all the materials you need to get the job done.

6.       Pack yourself:

While it is wonderful to have professionals pack your household for you, you can also do it yourself. Most movers offer a number of packing tips and sell all the materials you need. They can also help you estimate the number and types of boxes you need and deliver them a few days before the move.

7.       Keep your moving receipts for income tax deductions: 

In many cases, moving expenses are deductible from federal income taxes. If you are moving because of a change in employment, you may be able to claim this deduction even if you do not itemize. Consult your tax preparer.

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