Hidden costs of moving (and how to avoid them)

From bestreviews.com
Jennifer Manfrin

Moving isn’ t just about getting your belongings to your new home. It’ s also an investment in your future. When you plan for the unexpected, any surprise expenses won’ t break your budget.

Moving sparks a lot of emotions, from the anticipation of relocating to a new area to the anxiety over the thought of packing. Anyone who has ever moved has stories about the stacks of boxes, the truck, and the process of getting organized, but the memories of getting settled in are the most gratifying.

It's wise to plan ahead to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible, and cost should be part of the planning process. If you're preparing to move, you may have a budget in mind for the necessities, but there are also some hidden costs. Knowing what to plan for before you start putting your life into boxes will help prevent some surprises.

Cleaning and fixing up your current home

Although it will cost you a bit in terms of supplies, fixing up your current place could save you money in the long run. If you're renting, making sure the place is clean and ready for the next tenant will likely result in the return of your security deposit. If you own your home and plan to put it on the market, taking care of some needed repairs and cleaning tasks will help it look its best, which will in turn help you get the best bid from buyers.

A mop, bucket, sponges, and liquid cleaners won't cost you much, and they'll be all you need for most of your cleaning jobs. For dingy, stained carpeting, investing in a cleaner like the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe may be well worth it. Not only will it help spruce up your carpet but it will also come in handy at your new place.

For minor repairs, don't waste time trying to figure out which tools you need. Consider a tool kit instead. For example, the WORKPRO Home Repair Hand Tool Set includes 322 pieces plus a storage bag, so you can fix leaky plumbing, loose screws, damaged walls, and more before packing your tools neatly for the move.

Hiring a professional mover

Hiring a professional moving company is a great way to save a lot of time, frustration, and back pain, but it could also cost more than you expect. While some services come standard for the price, movers might charge extra for packing and moving very heavy pieces, disconnecting electronics and appliances, hauling items up flights of stairs, and long-distance travel, to name a few. Be sure to check with the moving company you select so you're aware of additional costs and can possibly avoid some of them.

Of course, the alternative is moving your possessions yourself. You'll most likely have to rent a truck, but you can save on moving fees by doing the packing, loading, and unloading yourself. Just be sure to have the right tools to make the move as easy as possible for you and your helpers, such as moving straps and a hand truck for lifting and maneuvering heavy objects.

Assembling your moving supplies

In your haste to get your things packed and ready to go, don't forget about the supplies that make your move easier. You'll need moving boxes in a variety of sizes, but you may want to consider packing cubes to neatly stash and stack some of your more personal or important possessions. Bubble wrap is ideal for protecting breakables before you pack them. Packing tape will keep your boxes closed. Labels and marking pens will come in handy for labeling the boxes so you know exactly which room each one goes in when you arrive.

Your furniture will also need special consideration to prevent damage when loading it on the truck. Covering the truck bed with tarps or covering furniture with tarps or blankets can protect delicate finishes from scratches. Furniture edge guards can save the corners of cabinets, tables, and dressers from getting chipped. Several sets of furniture movers will also help you to conveniently slide large objects around and come in handy in your new home, too.

Thinking about pets

Pets get just as anxious, if not more, about moving than their owners. Keeping them safe and secure during the move is just as important as helping them adjust to their new home. Be sure to pack collars, leashes, pet food, and bowls where you can easily access them if it's a long-distance move. That way, you can take care of your pets as soon as you get to your new home. Consider crates or carriers for cats and dogs to keep them secure in the vehicle.

For smaller animals, keep their cages close by so you can keep an eye on them. As for fish or other aquarium dwellers, these will need to be transported in appropriate temporary housing and their homes securely wrapped in blankets or tarps to protect from breakage.

Fueling your vehicle

Whether you're renting a moving truck or driving your car as professional movers transport your belongings, don't forget to add the cost of fuel to your moving budget. This is especially important if you're moving a long distance because the cost of repeatedly filling your tank can add up. Adding either a fuel injector cleaner or an octane booster by a trusted manufacturer may provide a little extra mileage per tank while you're on the road.


Sometimes moving requires renting extra space, even when this added expense isn't in the plans. Delays incurred by the moving company or with the closing of a new house are two common reasons this may occur. Although careful planning should help to avoid such charges, some issues are unavoidable. If you have to rent a storage unit, a heavy-duty padlock or two will help keep your items safe and secure inside until you're ready to move them to your new home.

Items you'll need at the new place

Just as you need to purchase items to prepare your old place for your departure, you might need to do the same at the new one. While cleaning supplies and tools may be necessary, you might also need to replace belongings that got damaged or lost during transport, such as dishes, cups, or glassware. You might also decide that your new place would feel more like home with new living room furniture or new kitchen appliances like a modern side-by-side refrigerator or range. Updated items like rugs, sheets, blankets, and picture frames will provide that cozy feeling that helps your new place feel like your own but will add a bit to your moving budget.

Whether you're relocating across town or across the country, moving can be expensive. However, when you remember some of the hidden costs, you can better manage your budget and your move.


Jennifer Manfrin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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