Shipping Your Belongings Doesn’t Need to Break the Bank

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There’s no getting around it: moving can quickly become expensive, especially when you’re using a shipping service. In some cases, a shipping service may be the only option for transporting your belongings to your new address.

Thankfully, there are some cost-effective small load shipping solutions to take advantage of. After adding up all of your long-distance moving expenses, you’re probably looking for any solution that can help you reduce the overall costs.

Pay Attention to Weight and Size

Most shipping services use several factors to determine rates. Two are the size and weight of the package. 

Now’s a good time to start going through your belongings and getting rid of anything you don’t need or use, which can include furniture and other moments. A large portion of your shipping costs are going to come from large items like furniture. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to replace your furniture instead of paying to ship it to your new location.

What should you do with your unwanted items? You can always hold a yard sale. The profits can go towards shipping costs, and what doesn’t sell, you can donate to charity. Who knows, you may even be able to claim the eventual donation as a tax write-off under the right circumstances.

Even reducing your shipping load by a single large package can result in significant savings. Don’t forget, you can always pick up replacement furniture at your new location.

Reduce the Number of Boxes

Along with weight and size, the number of boxes you’re shipping also figures into the overall cost. Since you’re getting rid of clutter, you’re already off to a good start. While you don’t want to overstuff a box, you also don’t want to place only one item inside. Before you know it, you’re staring at 20 or so boxes that all need to be shipped.

You may want to consider renting a temporary storage unit, and most places out there offer specials for first-time customers. You may even get free rent for a month or two, and this way, you can spread out your shipping costs. Another option is to have friends and family shove a box or two in their vehicles. When they come for a visit, they can bring some of your smaller items.

Don’t forget about your vehicle if you’re driving; go ahead and load up your car. The more you can take yourself, the less you have to pay for shipping.

Take Care of the Packing Yourself

Yes, you can hire some shipping companies to handle the packing. There’s no denying this is easy and convenient, but it can also be expensive. The shipping company is going to take care of the packing for free. You can easily eliminate this cost by spending a day or so packing up all of your stuff. You can even save a little on packing supplies.

You can usually get free boxes from local grocery stores. Just ask when their deliveries come in and be there ready to take the empty boxes. You’re going to need packing paper and possibly some blankets. If you don’t mind a bit of ink on your hands, old newspapers work great. Chances are, you have some old sheets and blankets lying around. These also work great for packing fragile items.

Pick an Off-Peak Day

Shipping services have busy times, and this is when prices are usually at their highest—these are the days you want to avoid. You may need to do some planning to ensure your stuff arrives when needed, but the potential savings are worth the little extra effort.

So, when are shipping rates at their highest? Holidays and weekends tend to be busier than the beginning of the week. Aiming for shipping on a Monday or Tuesday is an easy way to save a few dollars.

Another advantage of shipping during slow times is it reduces your chances of encountering an error during shipping. For example, your small load is more likely to arrive on time instead of being routed to the wrong address. 

Did you know if your small load doesn’t arrive within 30 days, you may have grounds to sue the shipping company? It’s something to know if you do run into trouble receiving your shipment.

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Consider the Mode of Transportation

Most shipping companies give you a few options on how you want to ship your small load. Do you want it to go by air or land? Air is faster, but it’s also more expensive to utilize.

If you’re looking to reduce shipping costs, choose land as your preferred transportation mode. Sometimes, waiting an extra day or so for your stuff to arrive is worth the savings. Shipping small loads doesn’t have to break the bank, but it will take some time and effort on your part. 

Researching the different carriers that are available and comparing their rates can also help you find the best deal that’s out there for shipping items to your new home.