How to save money when moving to a new home.

moving on a budget

Moving can be a stressful, lengthy and arduous event in a person’s life. Even worse, moving to a new home can be very expensive, especially if it’s a long-distance move.


Fortunately, there are some clever ways you can reduce the overall cost, especially if you are aware of all the costs involved and can plan ahead.


Costs of moving in South Africa

To keep control of the expenses associated with moving, it’s a good idea to draw up a budget. These are some of the factors to consider when planning your moving budget.


Factors that affect moving costs

These are some of the factors that will affect the costs involved with moving:

  • How much stuff you have to move (especially weighty or awkward items)
  • The distance to your new home
  • The choice of moving company (if applicable)
  • If your new home is hard to access (no elevator, lots of stairs)
  • The time of the week and month (weekend, month-end and year-end moves are pricier)

Estimates of how much movers costs

There’s no way to know the exact cost of moving until you get your final quote but these 2021 estimates from Sirelo for a local man and van move will give you an idea of how much to budget.

  • A 2-hour move averages R1500 – R2500
  • A 4-hour move averages R2200 – R3500
  • A 6-hour move averages R2750 – R4750
  • An 8-hour move averages R3250 – R6750
  • A full day move averages R3950 – R7950 

Again, it’s important to know that distance, volume and time will all affect the cost of the move. For example, a local move that takes the whole day could cost the same as a long-distance move that contains very few items.


Moving costs other than a moving company

Apart from the moving company costs, there are a few other costs that you will need to factor into your budget. Before the move, this includes packing supplies and potentially a cleaning service both for the house you’re leaving and the one you’re moving into.


You might also need to make changes to your new home such as renovations, maintenance and even new blinds or curtains.


On the moving day, there will be costs such as petrol (for your own car going back and forth), takeout food because you might not have time to cook and possibly calming medications for pets. If you’re driving a long distance, a night or two of accommodation might also be necessary.


Finding reliable movers in SA

Choosing a moving company is a very important step in the moving process. You need a company you can trust and that won’t cost a huge amount of money. If you go too cheap, you run the risk of damaged or lost belongings.


Personal testimonials are a big help, so ask friends and family if they have any recommendations. You can also look at reviews on Google and Facebook, especially the most recent ones to get an idea of the most trustworthy movers in your area. Sirelo and HelloPeter can also be helpful.


Here are some extra resources for finding movers in South Africa:

12 tips for moving on a budget in South Africa

Here are some simple tips for cutting the costs of moving to a new home.


Declutter your home

Getting rid of excess belongings means there is less stuff to pack and move which will cut the costs of packing materials, removals and petrol. You can also sell some items to make some extra cash.


Do your own packing

Many moving companies offer this service but you can save a lot of money by doing your own packing.


Pack with items you already have

Instead of forking out for extra packing supplies, see if you can use stuff around the house first. For example, using dishtowels or clothes to wrap and suitcases or cooler boxes to transport.


Move as much as you can yourself

Try to move the majority of the smaller and more personal items yourself and only leave the big stuff for the moving company.


Or just rent a truck and move yourself

You will probably have to enlist the help of friends and family to help but renting a truck for a day a doing your own move can be a lot less expensive than hiring a company.


Move outside of peak rates

Try to schedule your move in the quitter times when moving companies charge less. These times are mid-year (avoid school holidays), mid-month and mid-week.


Get comparison quotes

Don’t accept the first quote you get even if the moving company comes highly recommended. Get some comparison quotes to make sure it’s a fair price.


Measure before you buy

Make sure any new furniture or curtains you buy will fit in your new home. It can be a costly mistake to buy without measuring the space.


Avoid pet and babysitters

If you need to leave your pets or children somewhere safe during the move, try to get a friend or family member to help. Sitters can be pricey.


Make sure your old services are cancelled

Check well in advance which services you need to cancel when you leave your old home and how much notice you need to give otherwise you will end up paying for services you no longer use.


Don’t skimp on protective packaging

Trying to move fragile items without the proper protective wrapping or a sturdy box will just lead to broken items and the cost of having to replace them.


Hire moving boxes

Ecoboxes are sturdy plastic moving boxes that are available for rent, for only a few rand a day. They save you from having to buy boxes, are a better choice for the environment than using cardboard boxes once and then throwing them out and are sturdy enough to protect fragile or sensitive items.


Affordable storage in South Africa

Self-storage can be invaluable for storing household contents during renovations or if there’s a gap between leaving your old home and moving into a new one. It’s also ideal for temporary storage of items you plan to sell or donate after a move.


At XtraSpace, we offer clean, secure self-storage units that are ideal when you’re moving on a budget in South Africa. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.


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