Moving house, particularly if you are moving interstate or long distance can be an expensive exercise.

There’s the cost of a professional removalist and/or the cost of hiring a moving truck, there are packing supplies, transit insurance – the list goes on!

The good news is that there are a few ways you can reduce your moving costs if you don’t mind doing a little DIY during the moving process. Here are some tips:

1) Declutter your house

This is a no-brainer. Before you even begin the packing process, a great way to reduce the amount of things you have to move is to declutter. What this means is getting rid of (or recycling) anything you no longer use that doesn’t hold any significant sentimental value to you.

You’re best to attack this task one room at a time and to start by getting rid of any obvious rubbish such as old magazines and newspapers, broken and unrepairable items and clothing that is no longer worn. While this can be a confronting thing to do for many people, ultimately you’ll feel better for it. The psychological benefits of decluttering are well documented – creating a more organised physical space will also contribute to a more organised a relaxed mental state, essential when you’re in the process of moving!

2) Sell your unwanted items

Once the decluttering task is done you may find yourself with a pile of things that you can potentially make money from. Gumtree and Ebay are great options for listing any items you want to sell and you can list as many items as you like free of charge. Alternatively you could consider hosting a garage sale. This way you can potentially get rid of everything at once and you’d be amazed how much you can make this way.

3) Source free packaging supplies

With a little bit of effort you can potentially source all of your packing supplies for free. Lots of shops are happy to pass on their empty cardboard boxes if you ask and local recycling centres often have items like bubble wrap, tea chest boxes and foam beans. Another great resource is the ‘freebies’ category on Gumtree. More often than not you will find that people that have just completed a move will list the supplies they now no longer need.

4) Do your own packing

The way you choose to move – particularly if it’s a long distance or interstate move, will dictate how much it’s going to cost you. Using a full service removalist is the most expensive option as they do all the packing for you. If you’re looking to save money, a great option is a self pack removalist. This has become an extremely popular way to move in recent years; a shipping container is delivered to your home and you do all the packing yourself. The self pack removals company arranges all the transport and you unpack at the other end. Moving this way can save up to 50% of the cost of a full service removalist. Huge savings to be had if you don’t mind getting stuck in and doing the packing yourself. Check out how the self move system works here.

5) Research your removalist

One way a lot of people get stung when moving, is all the add-ons to their original quote that their removalist hits them up with once the move is underway. It’s a simple case of doing your research and reading the fine print of what you can potentially be charged excess for when you choose your removals company.

Common items that will bump your moving price up are:

      • Cost of storage – if you’re not moving your belongings directly to your new home you may need to store them. Check out what the cost of this is before you confirm your booking even if you don’t think it applies to you. You never know what delays may crop up at moving time.

      • Weight allowances – many moving companies charge based on the weight of what is being moved. Self pack moving companies often have an included weight allowed with their containers. Cheaper quotes could potentially end up costing more if they only provide a low weight limit that is often exceeded by customers.

      • Insurance – check this is included in your moving quote as it is essential. Transit insurance and public liability insurance are standard.

As you can see, it’s not hard to save money here and there with a little bit of time and effort on your behalf. Every little bit adds up and being a bit more involved and hands on when you’re moving house puts you in a great position to save a bundle.

Do you have any cost saving tips to add to the list? Please share in the comments below.

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  • it is amazing how quickly you can accumulate stuff and having a good de-clutter is beneficial. Anything that you can sell means that you have a little extra cash for the move and it’s less stuff that you have to pack and deal with


  • We have done this a few times already, moving from NSW to WA then WA to NT then NT to NSW then NSW to QLD all in the space of a year :/


  • Great article, great tips and very timely. I am hoping to up stakes and move interstate very soon, I’m sure these hints will help


  • We will be in this situation soon, so a very timely article. May the decluttering begin!


  • We have moved interstate recently. Our overall cost for the move wasn’t very much at all. We drove both our cars interstate, packed our most important items in our cars. We did all the packing ourselves, sourced boxes from Coles and Reject Shop. We bubble wrapped all our canvases (they were charging something ridiculous like $120/m for bubble wrap!). We bought the bubble wrap from Reject shop. We even helped with the loading of the truck (this reduced the hourly rate). Overall a very affordable move.

    We have also kept all our boxes in case we need to do another move!


  • Why pay lots of $$ to move things that can be re-purchased cheaply at the other end – things like dinnersets, glassware, pots pans and kitchen items. (unless it is a hierloom) It is the opportunity to start your new house/life with new stuff. Your wallet will thank you.


  • Thanks for the handy and good ideas for my upcoming move.


  • Definitely get rid of items before you move, no point in moving unnecessary items.


  • People give away boxes on facebook bss pages and gumtree. Some shops are kind enough to give you some which their stock come in if you ask nicely.


  • Some removalists don’t like dismantling furniture. I was really sick just before I moved and didn’t dismantle my computer desk. I arranged with the Manager of the removalist for the men to dismantle it. I got them to dismantle part of it beofre they said they couldn’t do nay more. Fortunately a friend came and he dismantled it more. Took him 2 minutes if that. He walked in with a screwdriver, removed 3 screws which were already loose and handed them to me. I don’t think the guys were too impressed at being shown how to do it by a mechanic. I wanted to put the frozen food in eskys and leave the old freezer to be dumped, and just transport the new one. They decided to move both, then complained how full the truck was. The manager gave me a quote for the number of boxes I had alrady packed then gave me 12 more to pack. He forgot to change the manifest so they didn’t want to take all of them. I had to leave before they finished loading to be at the destination when they arrived. A friend stayed where I was moving from and was outside collecting stuff they had stored there. He locked the house up for me but didn’t walk right through. He discovered they had left some behind. Lucky our friends had brought their trailer.


  • Bunnings always have boxes you can have too.

    • Bunnings also have various sized boxes which is a bonus for different items that need to be packed.


  • We recently used a taxibox to move. We were able to save heaps packing the box ourselves. They dropped off the empty container and we had a couple of weeks to fill it before they picked up which meant we weren’t rushing to get it packed. It was a great experience.


  • Mmm, now need you to find me a removalist


  • I have a friend that is moving his mum from Sydney to Melbourne… I have already given him this imfo and I know this will help him greatly

    • Great, glad to hear you found the article useful. Best of luck to your friend moving from Sydney to Melbourne. I’m happy to provide a quote for their move if needed.


  • Moving house is so hard. I hate it.


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