All posts by Lisa Danca

wallet with a tape measure

7 Ways to Cut Moving Expenses

There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle when it comes to making a move from one location to another. Hiring movers, decluttering the house, finding a new job, enrolling the children in a new school, and packing all the items you have accumulated over time in your current location. The list can be endless and the expenses can add up rather quickly. 

As professional movers for over a decade, we understand the eagerness to try to save or cut costs on moving expenses. Our list for your today comes from our experiences with many families who wanted to keep to their budget while still having professional movers take care of their valuable possessions. 

#1 Purge Your Home of Clutter 

The less your movers have to move from one location to another, the lower your overall costs will be. For this reason, as well as for your own sanity, it is a good idea to declutter your home of items that are no longer useful to you. 

From books to toys and clothes to seasonal items that are no longer used, box it all up and donate for a tax deduction or find a family that could use your items. Not only will there be less to move, but your home will be more organized and neat once you have fewer items to unpack at your new place. 

clothes for sale

#2 Sell Gently Used Items 

As you declutter your home, you may find clothing items, furnishings, and seasonal decor that you can consign or sell on places like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist

Not only will you be making a little cash, but again, it will mean less for your movers to pack and move. 

#3 Get Multiple Quotes for Moving 

Part of your budget crunching should include finding the best movers for your job. Don’t just go by price alone. Talk to them and find out about any hidden fees, insurance, and long distance moves.

Getting multiple quotes can help you understand what the overall cost of moving will be and allow you to meet the leadership at the company. 

#4 Get Creative with Moving Supplies 

If you are moving an entire home or apartment, you will need moving boxes of varying sizes as well as packing materials to keep your items safe for the move. 

Use social media sites to ask family and friends, who may have recently moved for their boxes.  Look online for department stores that are giving away wardrobe boxes or storage boxes that they use for their company. Many stores allow customers to take boxes such as Costco and BJ’s. Just be sure to call and ask for them to be put aside. 

In terms of tape, labelling supplies, and markers, comparison shop or shop in bulk because most people do not have extras after their move. In this case, more is better. 

declutter sign

#5 Pack Yourself

At Mastodon Moving, we do offer packing and unpacking services. However, we have many clients who want to organize their items and pack themselves. Doing this can save money and help you have a better sense of what will need to be unpacked in your new home. 

#6 Look for Tax Deductions & Business Reimbursement

If your move is due to work, examine whether the move itself can be used as a tax deduction or if perhaps your company will reimburse for the move. 

According to TurboTax, “if you move to a new location because of work, you could qualify to use “the IRS Form 3903 to claim the cost of your moving expenses as a deduction on your federal income tax return. The IRS allows taxpayers to deduct eligible moving costs from the taxable income they report on Form 1040.”

#7 Research Utility Shut Down Dates 

As you get closer to your actual moving day, start calling your utility companies, including cable, water, electric, and heating to find out if it is better to shut off utilities at the end of the month or if they can prorate your cut off date. 

truck parked on a street

Moving Soon? Here’s Your Last Minute Prep

Even the most organized people can have their moving day sneak up on them. Face it, moving can be hectic, overwhelming, and takes quite a bit of organizing to make it go smoothly. If moving day is fast approaching, we have the “Last Minute Prep” list for you! 

Whether you are a procrastinator or the date for the movers to arrive has genuinely taken you by surprise, you will want to follow a strict schedule when it comes to crunch time. Panicking is probably the first thing on your list of things to do, but honestly, the last thing you have time for. 

Keep your head level and try these tips to keep that last week on track to make your move successful. 

creating a master checklist

Create a Master List

If you are down to the last few weeks (or even days) before your move, the best idea is to get yourself organized. That means a master list of what’s left to do. 

Take a few minutes to go around your apartment or house and create a punch list of sorts including things left to be done in each room. This could include tasks like wrapping the dishes and cleaning out the cabinets in the kitchen, down to cleaning out under the sink in the bathroom. 

The list should be specific to each room and have details that are broken down into small tasks. For example, box books, wrap china, label toys, take down curtains, and empty shed. This list will come in very handy with our next suggestion. 

Enlist Help 

You have heard the phrase, “Many hands make light work.” Well, this is never more true than during a move. 

Enlist the help of professional movers who know how to wrap, box, and crate each item in your home in order to transport it safely to its next destination. Our moving team is efficient and skilled in packing and unpacking services, whether you are headed down the street or across the country.

If you plan to ask friends to help, that punch list that we mentioned above will come in very handy. Assign each friend to a room and give them the list for each respective room. This will allow them to work and not interrupt you as you pack or get organized in another room. 

Don’t just ask friends and family to help you with the packing aspect of moving. They can help by keeping your children and pets happy and busy somewhere else while you take care of the packing. Grandparents are a good choice for this assignment because they usually know the likes and dislikes of the children. You would be amazed at how fast you can check things off your list when you are doing it undisturbed. 

Keep Supplies Handy & Organized 

If you are trying to work quickly and get each item on your list completed, it’s a good idea to have all the supplies you will need including boxes, crates, wrap, and cleaning supplies. There is nothing that can slow down the process more than having to send a person to the store for more supplies. 

Transfer Utilities 

One chore that usually falls near the end of your time at one house is transferring the utilities. Be sure to prepare a list in advance to have the names and numbers handy when the time comes to get through this sometimes cumbersome list. 

Pack an Essentials Bag 

One task that friends and family probably cannot help with is packing an essentials bag that you will need on the day of the move or the day you arrive at your new location. 

In this bag should be a change of clothes, phone chargers, small devices like an ipad or tablet, prescription medication, eyeglasses or contact supplies/solution, bedding and air mattresses, personal hygiene items, toilet paper (you will thank us later), soap, and snacks. 

If you are moving in the next week, try not to panic. Follow these tips and you will find your move will go much smoother. Talk to our team and we can help you with your move. 

the key to your home

Summer Moving Tips

The weeks between Memorial Day in May and Labor Day weekend in September are the peak moving weeks of the year. According to experts at MovingLabor, between 60-80% of people in America move during those four months. Nearly 40 million people will move during the months of June, July, August, and September. If you are one of the millions who are boxing up your belongings to relocate, we have a few summer moving tips that could save you some time, money, and reduce your stress level dramatically. 

A photograph of hands holding up paper cut outs of the sun, a house, and a tree amidst a spring backdrop.

Why Move In the Summer? 

There are a number of reasons why a summer move is necessary and convenient for many Americans. One of the main factors why this time is such a popular window is the fact that most school children are off during the summer months. It makes for a good time to switch schools and get readjusted to a new town and home before the next school year begins. 

Along with school children being free, work schedules for the adult members of the family tend to get a little more relaxed during the summer months. Due to this, homeowners find it a great time to take a vacation in order to get settled in their new homes.

Add to these reasons the fact that the summer days are longer in terms of daylight and usually have better weather, summer becomes the obvious choice for many families. 

A photograph of boxes sitting in the living room of an apartment on move-in day.

A Few Tips for Peak Moving Months 

The ultimate goal for any family when it comes time to plan a move is to make it go as smoothly as possible. This is in terms of getting furniture and other possessions into the new home on the date desired, as well as helping your family adjust to the changes that inevitably come with the upheaval. 

There are some logistical things you and your family can do to make moving during the often hot and humid summer months a breeze. 

  • Plan ahead and schedule your movers as soon as you can. Since it is the peak season, there is often competition for dates especially at the beginning and end of the month. 
  • Schedule your move for the first thing in the morning when the heat of the day has not yet set in. 
  • Set the stage for efficiency by having all boxes packed (if you’re doing it yourself) and labelled. Don’t be still packing when your movers arrive.
  • Allow for air flow by opening windows, setting up fans, or turn on your AC to a comfortable level to keep everyone cool. 
  • Keep cold waters on hand for your family and movers if you can. 
  • Inform your movers if there are items that need to remain in a cool dry place so they can plan accordingly. 
  • Dress in light clothing and have an extra set ready for when you arrive at the new location. 
  • Plan for your children to go to a friend’s house during the peak moving hours to keep them from getting in the way. 
  • Apply sunscreen as you would be surprised at how much outdoor time is spent when loading a truck or taking care of last minute items. 
  • Put your perishables in a cooler and move them in first when possible. 
  • Pick a day of the week that is the least busy. Avoid holiday weekends if at all possible.

Are you planning a summer move? Talk to our team for an efficient and professional move that will start your summer off right.