Moving house

The Complete Guide to House Moving Costs

4th November 2021

Although moving house can be one of the most exciting adventures in your life, it usually comes with a garage full of stress and a hefty price tag, too. Whether you’re finally moving away from your parents, moving across the country or upgrading your space, there are always ways to cut the costs and save those extra pennies. In this guide, we’ve covered a few tips to make moving easier on the budget.

The cost of moving in the UK

It’s estimated that the average cost of moving house in the UK, according to Barclays, is a staggering £11,777, and whilst that figure is exactly that – an average, it’s clear that moving house will need you to be particularly savvy with your spending.

In terms of removals costs, cites that, for a removal covering no more than 15 miles, for a 3-bedroom property, the average removal cost sits at a figure of £1,700. Thankfully, you have the option to do this yourself.

Looking away from the removals process, itself, and to the preparation of your property for the move, the average cost in the UK for an entire property deep clean is £14.50 per hour. Whilst this isn’t a necessity, it’s something many homeowners consider when moving, and goes to show just how quickly costs can rack up towards your move.

Time is money, plan ahead

Good organisation is always the answer. Write a master list of everything that needs to be done as leaving things to the last minute usually brings with it unexpected costs. For example, do you need to check out the parking arrangements beforehand to prevent getting an unwanted ticket? What’s more, if you’re booking a rental van, then the later you leave it, the more it will cost you.

You may not know the exact cost of moving house, but with some research you can get a rough idea. Write a list of what needs to be paid for and when. This way, you can budget per week or month, and your bank account will encounter fewer surprises along the way.

Even changing your address for your bank and redirecting your post may cost you, so don’t miss anything out on your master checklist! Having a contingency fund might come in handy, too, for extra preparation. If you don’t use it, then you can always put that money towards redecorating instead.

Declutter your home

Moving house is the perfect opportunity to get rid of all the things you don’t use anymore. This helps reduce moving costs and packaging costs while saving your precious time and space. Plus, if you pop the items on eBay, Gumtree, your community Facebook page or a car boot sale, then you could make yourself some extra cash.

Find free packaging

Cardboard boxes and bubble wrap can be more expensive than you think. Before you purchase any, ask your friends, your office or local supermarket to keep spare cardboard boxes for you. Check your local Facebook group, too, as someone is likely to have moved recently and will have spare boxes. For padding, you can use newspaper, pillows, duvets, blankets, towels and even socks to protect your breakables – it’s free and you’re packing two things at once!

Shop around for the best deals

You probably saw multiple homes before finding that perfect one, so don’t settle on the first deal you come across either when it comes to bills and utilities. You’ll probably have to purchase new WiFi so make sure you find multiple quotes to choose the best one for you – and that goes for all of your bills.

Similarly, if you’re using a moving company, then research the cheapest and most practical one for your needs. Given the current cost of living crisis, finding the best deals is more important than ever.

Consider when you’re moving out

Although it’s not a leading factor, it’s more expensive to move house in the summer, especially in August. If you want to be particularly budget-friendly then you may want to consider moving out during off-peak times of the year instead.

Do it yourself or hire someone else?

There are many different factors to think about when making this decision. You have to consider how much renting a van would cost, how many trips you would have to do, the fuel costs, sourcing packing materials and insuring any precious items in case of breakages.

Conversely, however, hiring someone else to do it can come with a significant price tag, too. It’s worth working out as accurate a price comparison between the two options as you can in order to be able to go for the most budget-friendly option.

Top tip: if you decide to hire someone, then have your things packed and ready as soon as the van arrives so that you’re not charged extra time for being unorganised.

Pack carefully to avoid any breakages

It might sound obvious, but taking a few extra minutes to protect your possessions with extra padding will prevent having to buy any new items later on if they get damaged. To avoid both damages to your goods and hassle when unpacking, label all of your boxes, particularly the ‘delicate’ items to ensure that they’re placed down carefully. This will also make your life ten times easier when you’re looking for a particular box.

Top tip: pack room-by-room so that you can easily group everything together when you need to unpack. It may also be worth having a box dedicated to ‘moving house’ with any cleaning supplies, a first aid kit and tools you may need so that you don’t have to rummage through everything as soon as you get there.

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Get creative and thrift

Second-hand furniture is far cheaper (and sometimes even free) when compared with new items, and the best part is that, a lot of the time, it’s barely even been used. Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, eBay and Preloved are just a few of the places to browse to save you money, and save the planet.

Some items may need a lick of paint but that’s part of the experience so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. If you’re looking for upcycling ideas, then Pinterest is a good website to check out.

Resist overbuying

It’s natural to feel excited, but adding everything to your cart will quickly add up. Try to resist temptation and focus on what you really need first. By waiting to buy home accessories once you’re in and unpacked, you’ll know exactly what you want rather than buying something you might not actually have the room for.

Lastly, eat everything up

You don’t want to end up wasting a whole freezer full of food because you didn’t get a chance to eat it. Plus, tins of food can take up precious room in your cardboard boxes.

Kill two birds with one stone and hold one last dinner with friends or family to say goodbye to your home whilst eating everything up.

With good organisation and some research, you’ll be able to move house on a budget and save those extra pennies for what’s really important – making your house a home.


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