Moving Tips&Tricks August 22, 2022

6 Tips for Moving on a Low Budget

Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

If you’re moving internationally soon but don’t have a lot of money to spend, don’t worry. You can do plenty of things to save money and make a move go more smoothly. We’ve gathered some tips on moving on a low budget and everything you need to do to reduce relocation costs. If you wish to make your move with limited funds as easy as possible, just keep reading.

#1 Moving on a Low Budget Starts With Decluttering

Most relocation companies base their prices on the size of the inventory they need to ship – the more things you decide to bring, the higher the relocation costs will be. That is why it’s important you pay a lot of attention to the question of what to keep when relocating and what to get rid of.

When you move to a new home, it can be tempting just to pack up everything you own and take it with you. After all, why get rid of stuff when you can just keep it and have it available in your new place? However, this is often not the best approach, as it can not only cost more but lead to your new place feeling cluttered and overwhelming.

So, what to pack when relocating abroad? You should only bring the things you truly need and use alongside items with significant monetary or sentimental value. All belongings you don’t consider essential have no place in your cargo.

Here are some relocation tips to help you decide what to pack and what to leave behind when you plan to move abroad:

  • Make a list of the things you can’t live (or move) without. This may include items like your documents needed to travel abroad, favorite clothing, electronics, and sentimental items.
  • Consider the climate of your new country. If you’re relocating to a warmer climate, you may not need as many heavy clothing items.
  • Think about the space you’ll have in your new home. You may need to downsize if you’re relocating to a smaller place.
  • Check the regulations for bringing items into your new country. Some countries have restrictions on what you can bring in, so you’ll need to research this ahead of time.
  • Decide what you can replace and what you can’t. For example, you may be able to buy new clothes in your new country, but you may not be able to replace sentimental items.

Additionally, you’ll need to plan what to do with the things you’re leaving behind. You may want to sell them, give them away, or use storage services until you decide what to do with them.

Sell Things You Don’t Need Before Moving Overseas

One of the best ways to save money when you want to move and live in another country is to sell off any unnecessary belongings. This includes furniture, clothing, appliances, and anything else you previously decided not to bring to your new home abroad. The goal is to lighten your load as much as possible, making the actual move easier and cheaper and earn extra money to help you fund the relocation.

There are a number of ways to sell your second-hand item, including online marketplaces such as Poshmark or eBay, garage sales, and consignment shops. Choose the method (or combination of methods) that will work best for you and your schedule.

However, keep in mind that even donating unwanted items can be profitable for your funds. If you decide to give away your belongings to recognized nonprofit organizations, your taxes may be deducted. To prove your donation, don’t forget to request a confirmation from the charity you’re giving to.

If you’re not certain whether you should sell or donate some of your items, take a look at the video below for further advice:

YouTube video

#2 Get Cheap Packing Materials When Moving on a Budget

Hiring movers is not the only expense you’ll be faced with when relocating across the world. Suppose you opt against additional packing services in order to save money. In that case, keep in mind that you’ll also need to find and pay for packing materials. Fortunately, there are several ways to find cheap (or even free) supplies necessary for the move.

Ensure you check with local businesses. Many of them have cardboard boxes that they’re willing to give away for free. Just give them a call and ask if they have any boxes that they’re looking to get rid of. You should also check relocation sales or Craigslist and find some people who are looking to get rid of the supplies they no longer need.

Of course, don’t forget to save your own boxes. If you have friends or family members relocating soon, ask if you can have their boxes, but also check your garage and basement for some used boxes you’ve kept and stored. However, note that all of these boxes may not be in the best condition and may not be able to prevent things from breaking. If you plan on packing fragile items, for example, it is always better to buy new cardboard that is usually much sturdier.

Additionally, don’t underestimate the stuff you already have at your home. Blankets, linens, or even clothes can be good wrapping and padding materials for your unbreakables. On the other hand, plastic containers, suitcases, and duffel bags can be excellent storage spaces while helping you save money on boxes.

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#3 Avoid Moving Abroad During the Peak Season

The peak season for any kind of move, including international ones, is typically between May and September. Many people decide to move in the summer, before the start of the school year and college classes. Relocation companies are often booked solid during this time, and rates can be higher than usual. If you can, try to schedule your move for a time outside of the peak season.

Try to Be Flexible on the Moving Date

Attempt to be flexible with your relocation date unless your relocation is time-sensitive. You may be able to come to an understanding on a time and day that suits both you and your relocation team. By letting international movers accommodate you into their calendar, you may also succeed in securing a lower price of a move.

#4 Hire a Reliable International Moving Company

Relocating abroad without a professional can be very challenging, with all the logistics and planning involved, which is why many decide to get international moving services. Although there are many relocation businesses out there, not all of them adhere to the same professional standards. Therefore, understanding how to select a company and avoid relocation scams is essential. After all, your relocation stress will be much reduced, knowing that your possessions will be in good hands throughout such a lengthy journey.

How to Choose the Right International Movers?

When it comes to choosing the right international company when relocating to a new city abroad, there are many things to keep in mind. So you can be sure to find a team y that is reputable, has a good track record, and offers competitive rates, here is what you should do:

Do your research

There are many international relocation companies out there, so it’s important to do your research before choosing. You can talk to friends or family members who have used a particular company. Don’t forget to check online reviews, such as those on BBB or some other third-party website.

Get quotes.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential companies, get quotes from each one. Request several in-home or virtual estimates. Be sure to ask about the services they offer, whether it’s overseas vehicle shipping, packing service, or moving insurance – choose a company that offers all additional services you require at competitive rates. Additionally, make sure you know all about the fees that may be associated with the move.

Compare rates and services.

Once you’ve received quotes from several companies, compare their rates and services to see which one is the best fit for your needs. Be sure to ask about any additional fees so you know exactly what you’re paying for. Be careful of suspiciously low prices because it often means you’ll have to pay a lot more money down the road. Additionally, try to assess the level of professionalism and customer care you’ve experienced with different companies so far.

Make a decision.

Once you’ve compared rates and services, it’s time to make a decision. Be sure to choose a company that you feel comfortable with and that you’re confident will provide a smooth move and help you move efficiently and safely.

#5 Get Help from Friends and Family

There are some relocation tasks for which you’ll need the assistance of experienced and skilled movers. However, some tasks you can do on your own – or with the help of family and friends. Suppose you decide to get partial packing services, for example. In that case, you’ll be able to pack undemanding items with the help of your loved ones while leaving movers to handle packing dishes and other easily breakable belongings.

To prevent upsetting their future plans, get in contact with friends and family members as soon as you can and ask for help with packing. Prepare food and beverages, play your favorite songs, agree on how to keep in touch while you live abroad, and go through old experiences to make usually daunting relocation tasks enjoyable. That way, you’ll be able to save money on relocation costs while spending a little more time with your loved ones before you move overseas.

couple of friends packing
Friends can be of great help

#6 When Moving on a Very Low Budget Avoiding Costly Mistakes Is a Must

The best thing you can do to ensure you don’t pay for the move much more than what you’ve planned is to reduce the extent and frequency of your relocation mistakes. It doesn’t mean you won’t make any kind of error when planning a move – after all, there are so many things to consider and organize during this period. However, these mistakes should be reduced to a minimum, and you should avoid making any errors that will end up costing you money.

That is why you should request a visual survey for accurate cost estimates, carefully compare the quotes, and never sign a contract that is blank or incomplete. You should also get to know your insurance alternatives if you own highly valuable stuff and keep your most valuable possessions close to you at all times. Additionally, remember to use the relocation equipment and lift safely. Your already tight budget will become even tighter due to home repair costs and medical expenses.

A man and a woman high-fiving behind a box
A successful move on a tight budget is possible, but you must learn to avoid the most common mistakes and scams

With the Right Plan, You Can Move Without Breaking the Bank

Relocating overseas can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful for those organizing it – especially with limited funds. However, by having a plan in place and knowing what to expect, you can minimize the stress and make your move as smooth as possible. Additionally, ensure you have by your side a professional team that understands the challenges of international relocation and has vast experience helping people relocate internationally. Good organization, alongside personal and professional assistance, is bound to make your move easier and help you avoid any potentially costly relocation mistakes.

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