Moving without furniture is the cheapest way to move home

Removals are one area of your relocation costs that you have some control over, one area where you can make decisions that affect what your final bill will be.

It is obvious that the more items you want to move, the more difficult the items are to pack and move, that the higher your removal costs will be.

More and more people are looking for cheap ways to move home and moving home with no furniture is one option.

Then there are those who are moving to college or university, or who are moving out of furnished rentals and are only moving a few boxes to their new home.

Many people, therefore, want to know what is the cheapest way to move home. How do you move a small number of things cheaply?

In this week’s home moving blog, we look at small home moves and the shipping options for moving home with no furniture.

What is a Small Move?

Whatever your size move, decluttering is the one task that is guaranteed to make moving easier and cheaper

A small move is typically a studio, a small 1 bedroom flat, a move to college or university, moving out of your parent’s home, or moving just boxes.

Some small moves may include one or two pieces of furniture or an appliance or two like a fridge or cooker.

Historically small moves were local but more and more people are seeing the cost-saving benefits of moving only a few items both nationally and internationally.

Many overseas homes are sold with furniture and it makes no sense to take electrical items when the country you are moving to has different voltages and plug types, so small international moves are common.

Moving home without taking any furniture at all is a slightly alien concept to many in the UK but it can make a lot of sense.

You may like to read: How to Save Money Moving Home and Make a Profit. In this guide, we show you the cheapest ways to move home and how by selling the things you no longer need or want you may even make a profit.

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How Can I Move With No Furniture?

For a cheap, easy, and quick move just move boxes

Moving without taking the furniture you have worked hard to buy may seem like a strange idea at first, but there are many benefits to moving without furniture.

7 Reasons to Move With No Furniture, 7 Reasons Why Small Moves Make Sense

Your removal costs are one aspect of your home move that you have control over

#1 Cheap Removal Costs

The fewer pieces of furniture you move the quicker, easier, and cheaper your home move will be.

There will be less packing to do saving time and money, moving only boxes will be quicker and cheaper, and you will need a far cheaper way of transporting your things.

#2 Start Afresh

Moving to a new place allows you a fresh start, to furnish and decorate your new place in a new style.

It may be that your existing furniture does not match the style of the home you have chosen or they are old and need replacing anyway.

#3 Moving Flat-Pack Furniture

Self-assembly flat-pack furniture can be difficult to move successfully, they are not designed to be dismantled and reassembled, and moving them in one piece more often than not results in them being damaged.

It is for this reason that many removal companies will not insure such furniture when they move them.

#4 Moving Heavy and Large Furniture

Moving heavy and large pieces of furniture runs the risk of damage to your old or new home

Moving heavy and large furniture is difficult, costly, and dangerous.

The risk of damage being caused to large pieces of antique furniture is high unless you pay for specialist packing and moving services.

And if you live in a flat and need to move large pieces of furniture then often windows have to be removed and hoists used to lower them to ground level.

Moving large and heavy pieces of furniture nearly always means you will have to hire a removal company.

If you do choose to try and move heavy or large pieces of furniture yourself you will need lots of help and will probably need to hire some moving equipment.

You may also like to read: How to Move Heavy and Large Furniture. If you are moving just a few key items of furniture then this is an invaluable guide to packing and moving them safely.

#5 Long Distance Moves

If you are moving a long way then moving a lot of things usually ends up in a multi-day move.

And if you arrive in your new home before your things arrive you could spend a couple of days with nothing but the few bags you took with you.

In the case of international moves, this could mean waiting weeks with none of your household items, waiting for them to clear customs, and then waiting for them to be delivered.

You may also like to read: International Home Moves – The Ultimate Home Moving Challenge? If you are moving overseas then this is an invaluable guide packed with useful tips and essential moving advice.

#6 You are Renovating

If you have bought a fixer-up home or are doing major renovations then usually most people put their furniture into storage whilst the work is completed.

However, renovations are notorious for running over time and your storage costs can soon spiral out of control.

You may like to read: How to Move Out During Home Renovations in which we explore whether you should move out during work to your home and the best ways to move during renovations.

#7 You are Breaking the Chain

Many home sellers prefer to sell to someone who is not in a chain.

Equally many people are selling their homes and moving into rented accommodation whilst they search for their forever home.

Some people, therefore, choose to put their furniture into storage but you have no idea how long your search may take and your storage costs may exceed the cost of replacing your furniture with new over a long period.

These are just a few of the reasons why moving with furniture will only add to the stress and costs of moving home and also some of the advantages of moving without furniture.

How to Decide to Move With No Furniture

Creating a floor plan will allow you to see if your furniture fits in the available space in your new home

So the idea sounds good, but how can I move with no furniture?

You could just make the decision that you are moving with no furniture, which you will only replace with some key, beautiful pieces, or you will scour the free-ad and recycling websites to up-cycle some furniture.

Or you may want to take a more cautious approach and see if the numbers add up in your particular circumstances.

#1 Assess Your Furniture

Take a good long look at the furniture in your home.

  • Is it in keeping with the style or ambiance you want to create in your new home? 
  • Is it in good condition or does it need replacing anyway?
  • Is it too old or fragile to be moved?
  • Is the item cheaper to replace than pay to pack and ship?
  • Does the item have sentimental value?
  • Do you really love and need it?

#2 Create a Floor Plan

There is no point in paying to pack and move furniture that will not fit in your new home.

Create a floor plan of your new home and play with the layout of the furniture to see if it is too large or just does not work in the space you have available.

You may also like to read: How to Create a Floor Plan in which we show you how to create a simple floor plan and how to measure key pieces of furniture to ensure that you can fit them in your new home.

#4 Declutter

Decluttering is a great way to not only save on moving costs but you may find that you do not need so much storage space and therefore need less furniture.

You may also like to read: The Epic Guide to Decluttering for a Home Move in which we go step-by-step through the process of decluttering your home ready for moving.

#5 Get Home Removal Quotes

You will need to determine if replacing your furniture is cheaper than packing and moving it.

Now that you know which pieces of furniture, if any, you want to take with you to your new home, it is time to find out how much your removal costs will be.

You can get up to 4 quotes from good removal companies for free by filling out this quick quote form.

We will discover other ways of moving home with no furniture later in this guide, but for now, we need a benchmark to work from.

#6 Sell Your Furniture

Having determined that moving with furniture is too costly and that you would be better off not moving with furniture, you have a few options:

  • Sell your unwanted furniture online
  • Donate your unwanted furniture to a worthy cause
  • Offer your furniture in free-cycle or a similar website
  • Ask your buyers if they want to purchase any of the furniture
  • Ask your landlord if they would like to buy the pieces from you

You may also like to read: The Ultimate Guide of Where to Donate Things When Moving Home. From CDs to spectacles, we list the best places to donate your unwanted items after you have decluttered your home.

How Do I Ship My Belongings?

A good man and van service can save you lots of money on your relocation, just choose them carefully

If you decide that you want to move with your furniture then you have the option of using a removal company, a man and van service, or moving yourself.

There are pros and cons to moving these ways, and you should carefully consider each option before making a final decision.

It may help you to read The Pros and Cons of Moving Yourself vs Hiring a Removal Company in which we go through both moving options in detail with the associated costs and advantages and disadvantages.

If you have a small house or small flat move or just want to ship boxes to your new home then you have a few more options.

8 Cheap Ways to Move Boxes in the UK

Moving by car is an option if you are only moving a few items

There are many cheap and easy ways to move boxes and in this section, we look at each of those options.

#1 Removal Company

Moving boxes is tiring work and many people are not physically able to move home by themselves nor do they have anyone around who can help them.

In such cases, you will probably seek the help of a professional removal company.

Not only will a full-service removal company move your boxes but they will also pack them for you, ensuring your precious items get the maximum protection during the home move.

Many removal companies specialise in small home moves whilst others may have some options to help you save money moving just a few items.

You may be able to get your boxes put into a removal van that is not full, known as a shared load. Another option is that you may find a removal company returning home that is empty.

Must Read: The step-by-step guide to finding a good removal company is essential reading for anyone looking to hire a removal company. With lots of useful tips on how to find the best removal company for any type of home move.

#2 Moving Home By Car

If you have a car and are moving yourself with no furniture or appliances, then your move will effectively cost you nothing.

When moving home by car only use small boxes to pack the most fragile of items, the rest of your things can be packed in strong refuge sacks.

Packing a car for a home move is a game of Tetris, but by packing your things in strong bags they will mold themselves into the oddly shaped spaces in your car so you can make the most of every available bit of space.

You may like to read: How to Move Home By Car in which we look into every aspect of moving home using your car, from how to prepare your car to lifting techniques to safely lift things in and out.

#3 Hire a Van

The next option is to hire a van that you drive yourself. Once again though, the more things you plan on moving, the more expensive the van hire will be.

There is a lot to consider when thinking of hiring a van, from having the right driving licence, having the confidence and skills to drive a van, and hiring the right size van, to considering fuel and insurance costs.

You may also like to read: All You Need to Know About Hiring a Van for a Home Move in which we look at every aspect of hiring a self-drive van, from hire costs to driving and loading. It is essential reading if you are planning to move home using a hire van.

#4 Hire a Man and a Van

If you don’t have the correct driving licence or the physical ability to move your boxes then you could hire a man and a van.

There are some very good man and van services, but equally, there are some that are best avoided.

Research any company that you intend to use thoroughly and get recommendations from friends and family as well as reading verified reviews.

You may like to read: Do I Need a Man and a Van or a Removal Company in which we help you select the best option for your home move.

#5 Courier

Often couriers are an easy way to move boxes to your new home.

Most will charge you for the size and weight of the boxes as well as the distance to travel. If you have a lot of boxes then some do a pallet rate which may work out cheaper.

This is a good option for a small move with no furniture and usually the shipment is tracked and has a guaranteed delivery date or a same-day delivery.

You can use a courier comparison website such as to find out how much it costs to ship boxes.

#6 Freight Company

Freight companies will allow you to ship boxes if they are on a pallet

Many freight companies have spare capacity on their vehicles so you can get a good deal on the cost of moving your boxes.

This is a great option, especially if you have enough boxes to fill a pallet. is one such site that you could visit to get an estimate for shipping your moving boxes.  

#7 Train

The UK has an excellent rail network and you can take up to 3 items of personal luggage for free.

There is also the option of paying to ship additional luggage.

So if you are going to university or college and have no car, so are going by train anyway, this may be a great option.

For people moving home with the absolute bare minimum moving by train could also make good sense. There is also the added benefit that most train operators will transport domestic pets free of charge.

Find out more about moving by train and the luggage allowances at

#8 Student Removals

Many removal companies offer a removal service specifically for students. There are usually reduced rates for students and are a door-to-door service so are very convenient.

You can get an instant quote for shipping your boxes from a reputable removal company in just a couple of minutes by filling out this quick free quote form.

Final Thoughts on Moving Home With No Furniture

Rarely is it cost-effective to ship furniture overseas

Unless you have some expensive furniture, family heirlooms, or antiques, it is often not worth the cost or effort to move furniture to your new home.

There are many places to get free furniture if you are just setting up a home.

Equally, many people like to upcycle furniture to create a unique look for their homes.

You may also like to read: Where to Get Free Stuff When Moving Home. From furniture to household goods to discount vouchers, in this guide, we share some of the websites and stores that offer free things to home movers.

There is also the option that you may be able to buy some key pieces of furniture from the people you are buying your home from.

Ultimately, if you want to make your home move as easy and cheap as possible, moving without taking furniture is the easiest way to do this.

Of course, this is not going to work for everyone, but if your furniture is predominately cheap self-assembly type furniture then it is often just not worth taking it with you.

A new home is a fresh start, a place on which you can stamp your personality.

Having just a few items of beautiful furniture, pieces that you really love and that bring you pleasure when you see them, is better than having a house crammed with furniture that you took with you just because you already had them.

Moving home gives you the motivation to make changes in your life, to make improvements, and to create a home you will love and cherish.

Have fun furnishing your new home and good luck with your home move.

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