Let’s be honest, moving is a pain in the neck. Though you might be excited about relocating to a new area, all the responsibilities you have to handle in order to get there can start to pile up. As stressful as moving can be, it doesn’t have to be costly. With a little preparation and research, you can move long distance with a little extra money in your pocket to start your new life. Here are seven ways to slash the cost of moving long distance:

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Timing is Essential: Did you know that when you move can make a huge difference on how much you’re going to pay? The summer months tend to be the most popular times to move. Therefore, full-service long distance moving companies are high in demand. This can cause prices to be a bit higher, as well as less availability. Another thing to consider is the time of month that you move. As many renters try to relocate around the beginning or end of the month, it may be best to try and relocate in the middle of the month when moving services are not as high in demand.

Purge: Long distance moving companies tend to charge based on the weight of the load you’ll be transporting. Therefore, you want to get rid of anything that you don’t need to cut down on the cost of the move. Once you’ve scheduled your moving date, you’ll want to start surveying your home to see what things you really want and which things you can leave behind. If you want to earn a few bucks, you can always have a yard sale to make money on things that are in good condition.

Pack on Your Own: Another way to save on your long-distance move is to pack your belongings on your own. Having movers pack for you will increase your moving bill. Gather some friends and family and ask them to help you pack your things. If you want to allow the movers to pack appliances and breakable items to protect them, this would still cost less than having them pack your entire house.

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Use What You Have to Pack: Instead of spending money on moving supplies, try to use some of the things you may have lying around the house. For instance, luggage and duffel bags are ideal for packing clothes and linens. Plastic bins can also be great for storage and can easily stack in the moving truck. Electronics and other fragile items in the home can be protected with sheets or newspaper instead of investing in bubble wrap.

Search for Free Boxes: If you don’t have enough luggage, duffel bags, or plastic bins then you’ll need to start collecting boxes. Grabbing empty copier paper boxes from your place of employment or searching for boxes near restaurants and shopping centers is a great way to save money on moving supplies.

Label and Color Code: Time is money and when it comes to placing your belongings in your new home, you want things to go smoothly. Color coding and/or labeling boxes helps the movers to get the truck unpacked a lot faster. It also makes it easier for you to find and unpack things once you’re ready.

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Save Your Receipts: If you’re relocating for business reasons you might be able to write your move off on your income tax return. Be sure to keep all the receipts to your move.

Saving money on a move won’t take away ALL the stress of the move, but it can make a difference. When moving long distance, the sooner you begin planning your move, the easier it is to spot problems so you can save even more money. If you’re still having a hard time with the moving budget, talk with your chosen long-distance moving company to find out if there are deals they can offer you to slash the costs even more.