The average American is expected to move a total of 11.4 times in their lifetime: that's a lot of U-Haul trips to be paying for. Here are a few essential things you'll need to know before (and after) you pack those boxes.

Sell the Junk

Or just junk it. Anyone who has read (or talked to somebody who's read) Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, knows that there's nothing healthy about hoarding. And most moving companies base their fees on cargo weight. So, all those souvenirs, books you haven't quite gotten to yet and swag from that job three jobs ago? If they're worth anything, someone else will buy 'em.

Plus: if you can't sell it, most charities will come on by and pick it up as a donation. They'll will even give you a value on your donations, allowing you to write it off your income taxes! Learn more about that here.

For an idea of how much your things are worth, here's a great donation valuation guide from Goodwill.

Never Pay For Boxes

Companies will try to sell you boxes: U-Haul sells them anywhere from $0.99 to $2.45 or in bundles that can go up to over $300. Forget about it. If you live in a city, or even any kind of small town, most businesses—particularly liquor stores and print shops— will be abundant with boxes they are desperate to get rid of. Just don't wait until the last week.

If you're feeling timid, check out freecycle to find out what people are dying to give away.

Another big secret: some boxes at the post office are free.

Move at the Right Time

According to an analysis from Unpakt, a comparative pricing company for moving services, the cost of actually moving from one-bedroom apartment can cost anywhere from $840 to $4,460, depending on what time of the year and the month you plan it. Try to get as much moving as possible done before the end of the month. And if you have any choice on what time of year, pick a time of that's not between the middle of May and the middle of September. It may be cold out, but your pocket will thank you.

Get Tech

The world is bigger than U-Haul and now. Don't stop yourself from getting an estimate from the big boys, but there are so many new app-based moving companies out there; check out bellhops, ghostuck and zootly, just name a few of the bigger ones. Zootly will put you in touch with the closest and most reliable movers in your immediate vicinity while bellhops employs college students to move your things on the cheap. And don't forget, you can always take your lower estimate to U-Haul and they just might match your price!

IRS Stuff

Finally, make sure you let the IRS know you've moved—even if you've set up a forwarding address. A lot of mail stops getting forwarded after 60 days: especially mail like tax returns. Another tip: if your move can be tied, in any way, to your job you might be able to write the whole thing off.

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