If you’ve ever planned a move before, you know that organization is key to keep your belongings in order and to keep costs from getting out of control. Some homeowners choose to move their own goods from home to home, while others hire a professional moving company. Regardless of how you move, there are factors that can escalate costs.

Planning your move

Packing up an entire household is daunting and it pays to pre-plan this task. Professionals recommend doing a thorough walk-through of the home, looking for the quantity of objects as well as the sizes. Special note should be made for expensive or delicate objects that may require special packing. If you are planning on organizing the move yourself, and pack up everything on your own, you’ll need to purchase sturdy boxes, packing materials and tape. You’ll also need to plan out a good amount of time to get the packing done. Renting a moving van or truck may make the task of transporting your goods faster; these vehicles are also recommended for large objects or pieces that wouldn’t normally fit inside a car.

If you are planning on hiring a moving company, you’ll want to see who your friends and neighbors have used on Porch and interview several companies. Be sure that your prospective movers visit your home in person and visually assess all the rooms in your home as well as any other property you plan on moving. Over the phone estimates may not be accurate. What will differ between companies is not just the price but the number of workers assigned to your move, the size of the truck and the level of service they provide. You may want to hire this company for packing, transporting and unpacking of goods; you many just need them for transportation only. Be clear about your expectations and needs when interviewing so you have a very accurate understanding of what you are paying for. For example, if they move your boxes inside the new home will they also take away all the packing material?

What contributes to moving costs

Unless you are moving next door, you will most likely need the following items to have a successful, and organized, move:

  • sturdy boxes
  • specialty moving boxes for large or odd-sized items
  • moving blankets to wrap furniture
  • packing material like tissue paper or bubble wrap
  • packing tape
  • rope or straps
  • markers for labeling boxes
  • box cutters
  • notepad for organizing contents of boxes or room locations
  • moving pads
  • dolly or hand truck
  • moving van or truck
  • transportation fees (mileage, gas)
  • total weight of goods moved
  • movers
  • temporary storage fees

How to manage creeping costs

The best way to keep your moving costs in check is to simply not move as many belongings. Giving your household contents a good and honest edit, recycling or donating what you don’t need, will mean having less stuff to move. There may not be a huge cost savings between moving 50 boxes or 60; understanding how your moving company prices their costs may help you understand how to decrease your costs. Moving your belongings yourself can help you save money but consider the length of time this will take, the physical cost of moving as well as the possibility of accidentally breaking or damaging your goods.

Another big factor in driving moving costs is the distance. In-city moves won’t cost as much as cross country moves and moving companies will most likely charge by the hour. If you need to move far away, be sure you have an accurate understanding of how the moving company structures their milage costs. Very often, professional moving companies will estimate the transportation charges by how many pounds they are moving. My Moving Reviews estimates the following for weight:

  • A studio weights about 1800 lbs.
  • Bedroom apartment weights about 2200 lbs to 3200 lbs.
  • Bedrooms may weight around 5000 lbs to 6000 lbs.
  • Bedroom houses will go up to 9000 lbs.
  • Bedroom or larger houses may have household items worth of 11000 lbs or more.

Lastly, be organized and ready for your move when the movers show up. If you hired them to move already packed boxes and they aren’t ready to go, you may end up paying additional hourly fees while they wait for you to finish. When interviewing a potential moving company, be sure you ask about any other cost factors that you should be aware of before they are hired.

Top image credit: Benco Construction