Moving On A Budget: Full Guide

8 minute read
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Your lease expires this year, you are changing jobs, starting college, or maybe deciding to start a family in another city, but one thing is common in all of these. You will be moving, soon. No one wants their finances to be drained by this whole process, so is there a way to cut the costs? Is finding the cheap movers in Orange County the only way to save up a few bucks while moving? Is the best way for those with a tight budget to pack and move everything themselves? Let’s find out.

Sometimes every penny is important.

Hiring movers VS Doing it yourself

First things first. You have to decide on how this move will be handled, or more specifically who will. Will hiring movers be your choice or will this be your new DIY project? If you are not really sure what is the best option, here are a few things you should know.

There is no such thing as the best choice, there is just an option that satisfies your needs the most. Both have cons and pros, but setting your priorities beforehand, will make this decision much easier. Are speed and efficiency factors that will guide you to your answer or will flexible time frames and full control over everything be crucial.

pros and cons of moving on your own vs professional movers
Who doesn’t like a fuller wallet or a weekend at a spa.)

Now, when the most important decision has been made, a few budget-friendly ideas are next. 

Best money-saving tips when you are…


Plan ahead

Planning everything ahead of time is an essential part of every moving process, especially if you want to save a few bucks. Coordinating all schedules and obligations is not an easy task, but it certainly is worth it. Writing down everything you have to do and buy will help you with setting up a realistic budget and following that exact plan will prevent you from overspending on unnecessary things. 

Decide on the moving date and start planning at least 5 to 6 weeks before. Go step by step and always double-check in case you forgot one of the tasks. Divide the whole process into parts. The first step is preparation, during which you will gather all necessary supplies and make all required reservations for household and moving services. The second is packing, then comes the moving part, and at the very end unpacking and wrapping up any leftover tasks. This checklist might be helpful. 

Planning, planning, planning, and some more planning, you can’t go around it.


This is the best time to get rid of all unnecessary, dust collecting things you own. Having fewer items means you’ll have less to pack and thus save money on moving supplies. Renting a smaller truck or storage unit is certainly cheaper than one or even two big ones.

Throwing away, selling, donating, or simply giving some of your stuff to friends is the best way to go. Gather all those belongings you own but didn’t use in months or even years. All unfixable and greatly damaged things belong in the trash can and other preserved items are ready for the new owner, who will probably appreciate them more than you do.

Decide on what will go to charity, what would your friends and family like and what can you sell. Organize a garage sale and post your stuff on any online marketplace. If you are not sure where to donate, just like you can google “cheap movers in Orange County” try googling “non-profitable organizations near me” or  “institutions that accept donations in Orange County”.

From foods to toys, clothes, and furniture, everything can be donated.

Collect boxes

There is no need for buying new boxes when you can find dozens for free. The only thing you need to make sure of is that they are not too shabby, because if your box falls apart the things inside will too. 

Start looking around your house and of course ask your friends and family members to do the same. From old shoe boxes to big TV boxes that are ideal for moving just that, your TV. Go to all grocery stores you can find and ask if they have carton boxes in the stockroom to give you. To get rid of leftover moving boxes as quickly as possible, many people sell them online for very low prices or even for free. 

  • Pro tip

Use as small a box as possible for heavy objects and larger boxes for light ones to make carrying and moving them easier and faster.

Even if you hired professional movers, collect boxes and offer them to your movers instead of being charged for theirs.

Use regular items as moving equipment

Acquiring the right moving equipment is necessary for a successful move. The best way to know what are all those tools you might need is to find out what professional movers use. Moving dollies, blankets, straps, ropes, bubble wraps, tape, furniture sliders, etc. Of course, having experienced and trained packers and movers with professional equipment is much safer, but you can still DIY most of it.

Some of the things like tape and ropes for fixation of the furniture you’ll have to buy, but others can be replaced with regular household items. Use regular blankets to protect your furniture but make sure they are not too thin. Wrap fragile items in towels or newspapers and don’t forget to fill out the rest of the space in boxes so nothing can move. 

Move heavy things in your suitcases and be as creative as you can. Possibilities are endless. Prepare a tool kit beforehand. Measuring tape, flashlight, scissors, box cutter, screwdrivers, hammer, and any other tool you think of that could make disassembly, packing, moving and assembly of furniture easier.

Make sure to explore the right techniques for safe lifting and moving of heavy furniture, so medical bills don’t eat up your entire budget.

Choose the right truck and storage unit

You might think the size of the truck is not important, but when you have to make multiple trips back and forth, the gas bill will say otherwise. As you can see, using a too-small truck will prolong the moving time and fuel cost will skyrocket, but renting a too big one is also a bad deal. When you finish loading everything, a big part of the truck will still be empty. This leaves a lot of space for your furniture to move around and crash the boxes full of fragile things. 

Spending money on a large storage unit is also a waste when you don’t need it and if it turns out it’s too small, renting another one will, unfortunately, be inevitable. Avoid piling up unnecessary costs by consulting with professionals. Call OC Moving Services and ask our relocation specialists whatever you need help with. 

Acquire a parking permit

Are there any available parking spots near your new place? You’ll need time to unload everything and parking closer to the door makes it much easier. A huge truck parked on the roadway for a long amount of time is illegal in several cities. If you live in an apartment complex, you may also require permission to park your vehicle near the entrance. You don’t want parking tickets and drama with the new neighbors or landlord before you even move in.

Most cities’ websites have the main contact number for non-emergency information or you could visit your city’s government page and search for parking permits. 

Label your boxes, so you can have an efficient and organized moving process.


Choose the right time

If you want to hire professional movers for your upcoming move, before finding your cheap movers in Orange County, find the cheapest time. Yes, even the day of the week can determine the hourly rate you will be paying. So when is the best time for moving, if your budget is limited?

  • Cheapest month

If you never heard of the peak of the moving season, now is the time. Most people move during summer and like in every line of business when the demand is higher, so are the prices. If you want to find cheap movers in Orange County, or anywhere else, avoid these busy times from March to the beginning of September.

The slowest months for professional movers are January and December. Many moving companies will significantly lower their fees and because fewer people book, finding the most comfortable date for you will be a piece of cake. 

  • Cheapest week 

The same mentality goes for the cheapest week and day of the week. Low demand equals lower prices. Because most leases expire at the beginning or end of the month, people tend to move more frequently during the first and last weeks of the month. Chances of finding the most affordable movers are much higher mid-month, during the second or third week. Try aiming for Mondays or Tuesdays, because people usually move during weekends, finding the most suitable booking time is easier and cheaper too.

Don’t forget to change your address.

Choose the right movers

Yes, it is important to find cheap movers in Orange County, but finding reliable ones should be your priority. At the very beginning, the low costs of certain moving services may be alluring, but if you don’t double-check, at the end you could end up with tons of hidden fees charged or even robbed. 

Before hiring professional movers, make sure their moving company is licensed, insured, with good customer reviews, and with professionally trained movers. Ask the relocation specialist about all of these and if they are reluctant with the answers, you know who not to hire


You already know how to get rid of all unused things from your place, but if you hired apartment movers while on a tight budget, pay special attention to this. Most moving companies charge by the hour, so time is literally money when it comes to relocation. Having fewer items means your movers will have much less to pack, move and unpack, and thus the time from start to the end of the process will be much shorter.

Check out these garage sale tips.

DIY as much as you can

The best of both worlds. Getting professional movers to help you and still do some of the things yourself, is the winning combination. You know you will be charged for the time your movers needed to completely finish your move, so why not shorten it? 

Disassemble every piece of furniture you can and even pack some of the things. Make sure you ask your relocation specialist for a list of items movers won’t move, so you can take care of them on time. Take care of all important documents and if there are other things you will take with you, label them clearly. 

Remove roadblocks

You already figured it out by now.  If you want to lower the costs, it all comes down to shortening the moving time. Your furniture movers will do all the heavy lifting but you can still help them. Few days before your motivated movers come, make measurements of all large and weirdly shaped furniture and compare them to the door width. 

If it looks like a tight fit, remove all doors, or any other obstacle you think might be problematic. If you live in an apartment, inform your neighbors about your move. Moving heavy furniture is not easy and hallways full of people won’t be helpful. If necessary, reserve the elevator for the day. Ask your landlord if any other reservations should be made or any documents provided.

Acquire parking permit

It’s the same as if you were moving by yourself. Find out if there is an available parking space near your new entrance and if parking permits are required, at the new, as well as the old place. Just like with everything else, ask your relocation specialist about this too. Should you take care of it or maybe they will. 

  • Pro tip

If you are an active military member you can deduct some moving expenses when you file your taxes and some moving companies offer military discounts, so make sure to ask about it. 

OC Moving Services

If you have any more questions, our relocation specialists are at your service. We are professional, reliable, and yet cheap movers in Orange County. Give us a chance to show you what a stress-free moving and efficient service looks like. Email, call or visit our website to get a free quote. Whatever you need, labor-only movers, commercial movers, apartment movers, in and out of storage movers, and more, we are here for you.

Get a Free Quote!

Share this post