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Pre-Move Expenses To Plan

General Expertise
By on Mar 29, 2016
Pre-Move Expenses To Plan

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Planning ahead is essential to keeping your moving expenses low. Moving is expensive, so avoid running into financial surprises during your move by considering the following budget items.

Once you’ve created your pre-move budget, you’ll be ready to compare moving prices and book all of the moving services you need. To get a general idea of how much moving can cost, use this cost estimator to get your budgeting started.

Decide On A Date

Deciding on A Moving Date

Usually this is decided based on when your lease expires, when the home is sold or when you need to start a new job. But for those of us who are lucky enough to be flexible with the move date, consider avoiding the peak days. These include the last few days, the first or the 15 of the month, as well as the peak season from April to September. You might be surprised at how much you can save on your moving cost if you’re able to move on non-peak days.

DIY Move or Hire A Moving Company

At first, it may seem like doing the move yourself is the less expensive option. Although this may seem to be true most of the time, you’d be surprised at how low the entire moving cost can be if you plan it right, even with hiring a moving company.

If you choose to rent a truck and move yourself, consider the cost of gas, tolls, mileage costs and parking (not included in the base price). You may also need to buy a lock if you’re planning to leave your items in the truck unsupervised. Also, take into consideration that your move may take longer to complete and there’s always a risk of injury. The last thing you’d want is medical bills for injuries during a move.

If you choose to hire a moving company, compare moving prices from three or more moving companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Ask the movers for binding or guaranteed prices and a list and prices of all possible additional costs so that you can prepare yourself and avoid surprises.



If renting a truck, insurance may be required, in case of damage or theft of the truck. Moving valuables? Consider purchasing additional insurance from your movers or through third party moving insurance companies. When hiring a moving company, the default insurance that’s included is either $0.30 or $0.60/Ib per article. Which means if the movers break your $2,000 TV that weighs 15 lbs, you’ll only be reimbursed $4.50 or $9.00 for it.

Already have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance? Check out your coverage, it may already include moving insurance, saving you money and eliminating the need to purchase additional insurance.

Moving Supplies and Bubble Wrap

Moving Supplies

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Getting your belongings safely from point A to point B requires purchasing the proper packing materials. Use Unpakt’s box guide to determine how many boxes you’ll need to buy and in which sizes. In addition, budget for buying bubble wrap and packing paper to secure smaller items and fragile items; moving pads, shrink wrap and bungee cords to keep larger items like mattresses and fragile furniture protected. Don’t forget tape to close your boxes! You may also need to rent a hand truck or dolly to help with moving heavier objects.

If you plan on hiring movers to have them handle the packing, they’ll provide the packing supplies for additional cost. Make sure these prices are clearly explained in your moving quotes so that you can know what to expect if more supplies are needed than originally anticipated.


The cost of moving labor is determined by the weight or volume, the number of items that need to be moved, special handling instructions and the time it will take to pack and unpack your moving truck. In addition to your base labor budget, set aside some cash on moving day to tip your movers. Most tip 10% to 20% of their moving costs. If you recruit friends to help you with the manual labor, don’t forget to include pizza and beer for the crew in your budget!

Storage Units

Storage Costs

If you’re unable to unpack your moving truck immediately, you may need to temporarily place your belongings into storage. If this is part of your moving plan, here are a few things to keep in mind when building your storage budget.

  • Monthly costs
  • Deposits
  • Packing and unpacking costs
  • A lock for the storage locker
  • Additional labor and transportation for moving items

Some moving companies will temporarily store items for an additional fee, saving you the hassle of coordinating these extra costs.


Whether you decide to move yourself or hiring a moving company, make sure you weigh the pros and cons carefully before you make your decision. Plan ahead, usually one month in advance for a local move and two months in advance for a long distance move so that you’ll have plenty of time to cross your T’s and dot your I’s. Moving companies calculate costs differently, so always compare local moving companies to get the best price.

Getting ready to move? See Things You Should Know Before Renting A Moving Truck for more moving tips. 

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