When you’re starting a new chapter in a new place, there’s a lot involved. You may find yourself daydreaming about all of the new cafes you’ll explore and researching the best bars and eateries nearby. One thing that can kill your New Place Buzz is unexpected expenses.
You may assume that once you’ve paid your deposit and sorted your mover, you’ve got it all covered. While that’s a good start, you’ll find other expenses pop up along the way. This list of the most surprising moving costs will help you brace yourself and avoid sticker shock.
1. Packing Materials
Collecting packing materials is often one of the most overlooked aspects of moving. While it may seem simple to collect packing materials, it can be a costly and time-consuming process. If you choose to get free boxes, you’ll need to spend some time hunting around for them at local shops. If you opt for purchasing boxes, you’ll still need to make at least one trip to your local shop to stock up.
Either way, this process takes time and money. You can save by going for free boxes, but you’ll still need things like tape and moving labels. Decide on your strategy and do your best to estimate just how much you’ll need so you don’t over-or under-spend.
One way to ensure you’re covered on this step without surprises is to hire a full-service moving company. They’ll bring all of the materials to your home and pack your things for you. On the other side, they’ll save you the time and disposal costs by taking all of the materials out with them.
The rules of supply and demand apply in the moving process. Depending on when you’re moving, the cost of a moving company will fluctuate. Times that are more sought-after such as weekends, holidays, and the summer months tend to be more expensive. To save, try to move mid-week.
3. Oversized or Awkwardly-Shaped Items
When hiring your moving company, you’ll discuss specialty items with them beforehand. That means when you confirm your quote these pieces – and any associated costs – will be included. But you should still prepare for them before pricing out your mover.
Large or awkward items require special equipment. The same goes for antiques or bulky artwork that should be handled with extra care. Not only will you need a mover with experience in shifting these items, but they’ll need the right equipment and perhaps even an extra set of hands. All of these things will come at a cost, so be prepared.
As a side note: you may also encounter extra fees for moving into or out of a place with stairs, or a complicated entry. Cover all of this with your mover beforehand.
4. Moving Insurance
The benefit of hiring a moving company is that your items are insured. Moving companies often carry basic insurance and provide options for extra coverage. While you will hire a reliable, trusted mover to handle your precious possessions, things occasionally happen. It’s best to be protected and prepared for the unexpected.
5. Storage Space
Depending on your move, you may need to store some or all of your items. If you’re moving out of your home but can’t move into your new place right away, you may want short-term storage. If you’re moving into a smaller space but just can’t part with some of your items, you may be looking for a longer-term solution.
Whatever your need for storage, it won’t be free to rent a space. It’s important to pare down your items as best you can before moving. Then you can get a picture of what you’re bringing to your new home, and what may need extra space.
6. Care for Pets or Kids
Moving day can be stressful for all involved, and it gets even more cumbersome when you need to juggle movers, keys, and kids or pets. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who can keep your little ones for the day. If not, you’ll need to hire someone and that costs money.
We recommend factoring this cost in rather than assuming you can manage all of the tasks of the move along with kids and pets who need care and attention. It will be smoother – and safer – for everyone.
You won’t purge all of your items before moving, of course, but that doesn’t mean you’ll take everything with you. Those items like nearly empty bottles of cleaning products or food in the cupboard may not be cut. That means you’ll need to repurchase these items on the other side.
8. Unsold Items
Inevitably, we collect things we don’t want, need, or use in our homes over time. Preparing for a move is a great moment to purge these items. After all, you don’t want to move things you won’t touch again.
When you create piles of things that aren’t coming to your new home, you’ll likely have a pile of things you’ll endeavor to sell. If you’ve started early – and have the patience – you’ll be able to list these things on sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist or take them to a consignment shop.
Inevitably, selling things often takes longer than imagined. Depending on how much time you’ve allowed for this process, there may be items that go unsold. While this isn’t a direct cost, it does mean there’s less money going into your pocket.
9. Cleaning and Preparing
Whether it’s to get your deposit back for a rental or to prepare your home for the new owners, you’ll want to clean your space as you leave. It’s great to save yourself the hassle of scrubbing your old home yourself and instead hire someone to do the work for you.
The same goes for your new home. Hopefully, it’s been cleaned and prepped before you arrive, but it can be nice to give it a good cleaning anyway to start your time in your new space. The same can be said for repairs in your old place, or improvements in the new one.
Time is money and hiring a moving company will save you a lot of time and effort. These professionals will keep your items safe and ensure they make it to your new home in the same condition they left the old one. You’re trusting your movers with all of the items in your life, so it’s great to offer a thank you at the end. Make sure you tip your movers for their hard work.