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New year, new house: Expert tips for moving on a budget
By MyBudget Editor

Moving expert Kirsty Morbidelliis from U-Store-It says that moving on a tight budget is possible, as long as you start planning early and are happy to do some legwork.

So you’ve found a new place to live—exciting! But now you face the daunting task of packing your life into boxes. The thought of moving—let along the expense of it—is enough to make some people stay put.

According to removal comparison website Moving24, the average cost of moving a three-bedroom home is $1,680. For a one or two-bedroom home, the cost is not a lot cheaper at $1,295.

But those prices assume that you’ll use a moving company. If you’re happy to do some legwork yourself and plan in advance, you may be able to save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

1. Don’t pay for boxes

What’s the first thing you think about when it comes to moving house? Boxes, right? Lots of boxes! You could just pile your stuff into a car or truck, but that’s actually an inefficient use of time and space, and potentially expensive if things get broken.

Ideas for finding free moving boxes:

  • Do you have boxes at work? Ask your boss if you can take some home.
  • Visit your local hardware store or supermarket—they usually have loads of boxes and are happy to get rid of them.
  • Search Gumtree or Facebook for people giving away boxes after they’ve moved.
  • Collect newspaper, old towels and blankets from friends and family for wrapping and protecting your things during the move.

2. Hire a self-drive moving van

Moving companies charge up to $120 an hour (calculated in 15-minute increments) for standard moving, including a three or four-tonne truck and two movers. Expect to pay more for specialty items (eg. a piano) or for a bigger truck or when extra movers are involved. For removalist expenses alone, a half-day move will cost around $400 and a full-day move, $800 or more.

On the other hand, you could drive the truck yourself. A vehicle with up to a three-tonne limit can be driven on a normal car licence and will cost from around $100 a day, depending on your location. You will, however, have to supply your own muscle! Start ringing around early to compare prices and to snag the cheapest deal.

Putting your stuff into storage? You could save even more money with a free self-drive moving van from U-Store-It.

3. Move on a weekday

Whether you’re booking a removalist or hiring a self-drive truck, you’ll find that moving on a weekday is generally cheaper than moving on a weekend when demand is at its highest. It’s also usually cheaper to move in the middle of the month. The first and final few days of the month are in-demand moving days because that’s when rental agreements typically begin and end. The same is true for summer, the peak season for moving after a surge in spring home sales.

4. Sell what you don’t want before you move

If you have unwanted clothes, electronics, furniture, or belongings that won’t fit in your new home, it will save space in the truck and handling time—and therefore money—to get rid of them before you move. Plan a few visits to Vinnies or the Salvos to drop off unwanted items in the weeks leading up to your move. Or turn your unwanted items into cash by having a garage sale or listing them on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.

5. Decorate after you move, not before

Another expensive mistake I often see is that people start shopping for things for their new home before they’ve left their old one. (You’d be surprised by how much flat-pack furniture goes into storage without ever getting assembled!)

That’s why it’s best to move your existing possessions first, without adding more to the load. Think of it this way: every item that gets handled in the move adds to space, time and, inevitably, cost. The less you move, the more you save!

6. Get reimbursed

Did you know that some companies compensate their employees for moving interstate? Check with your employer for details. For military personnel, moving expenses are often tax-deductible. Talk to an accountant or tax advisor to see if you’re eligible.

For more money-saving tips like this, visit the MyBudget Blog or call MyBudget for financial help and support.

About our guest blogger

Kirsty Morbidelliis is the U-Store-It Facility Development Manager whose years of experience in the moving and storage industry allow her to develop and design customised solutions to suit residential, business and corporate customers’ self-storage needs.

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