The Ultimate Guide to Moving Costs: Everything You Need to Consider

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Moving is a complex process; for most people, it’s something they don’t do often. Moving is a massive change in life, and this new chapter comes with many positive experiences. However, getting to the finish line is where things usually get tricky. Moving can be exhausting and complicated, but it can get very costly if you don’t approach it with an open mind and a detailed plan. Most people don’t know precisely what moving entails when it comes to the costs. What are all the aspects of moving that you need to budget for? How much money do you need to set aside for every process phase? Is hiring professional movers worth it? 

In truth, you can do many things to control the costs of your move and bring them to a minimum. You just need to know where to look and how to approach each process phase to do some damage control and plan it accordingly. 

In this blog, we will cover everything you need to think about before moving day arrives and how to move and not blow your budget out of the water. So, let’s begin! 

How to Create a Moving Budget

To create a realistic moving budget, you need to sit down and think about every task you need to complete before you welcome yourself to your new home. The best way to start is to write down each phase of your move and then break it down into smaller steps. 

For example, you can include “packing” as one of the main phases of your move. However, this will not help you estimate the cost because packing consists of many different things. 

You can break “packing” down into: 

  • Purchasing packing supplies. 
  • Hiring professional packers. 
  • Specialty item protection. 
  • Furniture protection. 
  • Tools and equipment. 

From here, you can go even further. Under packing supplies, you can describe each supply in detail, estimate the amount you would need, and so on. This will help you create an accurate, more in-depth budget. 

Professional Movers Expenses

If you’ve decided to go with professional movers for this relocation, you will need to do some thorough research before hiring anyone. 

Research and Compare

Did someone you know move recently? Friends, family, or coworkers?


Always start your research with some trusted recommendations, as this will be the easiest way to find a few companies to begin your search with. 

You can then move on to reviews and see which companies near you are the best-rated ones. 

Compile a list of companies to call and start gathering information. 

Gathering Quotes

Getting quotes from as many companies as possible is a great way to get an idea of what you’ll be paying for. You’ll also get a great idea of what services different moving companies are offering. You may be looking for specific services like piano handling or crating fragile items, so be sure to ask every company as many questions as possible. 

Getting at least three quotes is essential. Some companies may offer suspiciously low rates that are probably scams, but you won’t know unless you call around. The same goes for overly expensive movers. 

Most moving companies are offering competitive, similar rates for the same service. From there you can go into detail and see which one works best for your specific moving needs. 

Here are some questions to ask when calling around for a quote:

  1. What is the total cost estimate for my move?
  2. Is the quote binding or non-binding?
  3. What factors can affect the final cost of the move?
  4. Do you charge additional fees for stairs or elevators?
  5. Are there extra charges for heavy or oversized items?
  6. Do you provide packing materials, and if so, at what cost?
  7. Are there any discounts or promotions available?
  8. What insurance options do you offer for my belongings?
  9. What is the coverage amount?
  10. How do you handle claims for damaged or lost items?
  11. What are the accepted payment methods?
  12. What is your cancellation or rescheduling policy?

How to Budget for Packing Supplies and Materials

Packing supplies and materials is one of the more costly aspects of your move. This also depends on the size of your home and the items you need to move. If you don’t have much besides furniture, you probably won’t need to spend much on boxes and bubble wrap. However, three china cabinets and a professional-grade kitchen will probably require a packing arsenal that may significantly blow your moving budget. 

Calculating Packing Supply Costs

There is only one situation where you can go wrong here – underestimating the supplies you must pack up. If you cut corners initially, you will need to make a few extra runs to Home Depot, and unexpected costs will arise during the most stressful phases of moving. It is better to have additional supplies on hand than to waste time, money, and nerves going back and forth with purchasing supplies and packing. 

Get a list of all the supplies you will need for your move and estimate the number of each you will need to pack up. If you’ve already decluttered your home and have a general idea of how many items you must pack, you’re already halfway there with this list. 

Here is an estimate of how many supplies you will need for your move size, and remember – this depends on how many items you have in your home: 

Where to Find Affordable Packing Supplies

You don’t need to pack everything in a cardboard box or wrap it with bubble wrap. You can also use things you have around your home and need to pack anyway. 

  • Use suitcases, bins, and baskets to pack some non-breakable items. 
  • Use clothing and linens as padding materials. 
  • Use trash bags for toys, clothing, and other non-fragile items. 
  • Use egg cartons for small items like jewelry or furniture parts. 

You can also go to your local businesses and see if they have some boxes and other supplies they may not have use for any longer. Liquor stores, grocery stores, and bookstores can all be excellent choices for scoring free supplies. 


However, remember that they must be in decent condition. You don’t want them to fall apart during the move and damage your items. 

Packing Services vs DIY Packing: Cost Breakdown

If you are wondering whether you should hire professional packers and movers or pack up by yourself, the choice depends on your needs. Here is a table that breaks down the pros and cons of both options:

Ultimately, you will save money by packing on your own, as you can almost dictate the entire cost and decide where to cut corners. However, this does come with its drawbacks, too. So, it depends on how much you value the other aspects of professional packing, and it all comes down to what you think is worth it – or not worth it. 

How to Calculate Transportation Costs

Renting a Truck

If you are looking for a cost-effective option for your move, renting a truck is an excellent way to save. However, you will be in charge of all the logistics, heavy lifting, and factoring in all the costs that come with said truck rental. 

Renting a truck provides flexibility, as you will have control over the timing and route of your move. 

You will also have some independence, as you won’t have to rely on the schedule of your moving company but only your own. 

Remember that you will have to drive the truck, load and unload it, and factor in all the costs and labor that come into this process. There are also potential risks if you’ve not driven a truck before. Also, you will need some help from friends and family, as this is something that you most likely won’t be able to tackle alone due to how physically demanding it is.

Using a Moving Company

Convenience and peace of mind are the main perks of hiring movers. These trained professionals handle everything: packing, loading, transportation, and unloading. 

In addition to being convenient, these trained professionals have experience in tackling every phase of your move, minimizing the risk of damage.

Downtime is also a rare occurrence with professional movers, as they will save you tons of time by handling the logistics and heavy lifting with proper equipment. 

If you are considering this option, you must know that it comes with a higher cost, less control, and dependence on the moving company. You must follow their schedule and way of doing things on the big day. 

Fuel and Mileage Expenses

If you’re going the DIY route, fuel, and milage expenses come into play. Most moving companies already factor these expenses into their rates, so it won’t be an additional fee to think about. However, when doing it on your own, you need to factor in the distance of your move, the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, and current gas prices. Some truck rental companies may add some fees based on the distance you travel, so keep that in mind when accounting for these expenses in your moving budget.

How to Budget for Insurance and Liability

First, you need to understand the type of insurance you can expect from moving companies in your area. 

  • Basic Coverage: Most moving companies offer basic coverage as part of their services. This coverage typically provides limited protection based on the weight of your belongings.
  • Full-Value Protection: This insurance coverage option provides the highest level of protection for your belongings. If any item is lost, damaged, or destroyed during the move, the moving company must repair, replace, or compensate you for the item’s current market value.

Most moving companies offer basic coverage insurance with the option of purchasing additional insurance from a third party. So, keep these in mind when calling around for moving quotes. 

How to Calculate Storage Costs

Here are some storage costs to keep in mind when budgeting for the temporary home of your belongings: 

  • Rental Fees: The cost varies depending on the size of the storage unit, location, and amenities offered.
  • Deposit: Some storage facilities may require a security deposit upfront.
  • Insurance: Consider purchasing insurance for your stored belongings to protect against loss or damage.
  • Administrative Fees: Some storage facilities charge administrative fees for setting up your account or processing paperwork. 
  • Additional Services: If you require additional services such as temperature control or 24/7 access, these may be extra costs.

How to Calculate Cleaning and Repair Costs

If you are looking to DIY your cleaning projects, consider tasks like deep cleaning carpets and floors, and sanitizing surfaces. You will need cleaning supplies, so make sure to consider every possible area of both your new and old home that may need cleaning. 

If you are looking to have it handled by a professional, get multiple quotes before settling on a specific service. The price will vary based on the size of your home. 

If you need any repairs done to your old or new home, make sure to inspect walls, broken fixtures, or chipped paint if you can handle these on your own – great! If not, make sure to get some quotes from handymen in your area so you can get this done within your budget. 

Contact A#1 Movers For a Budget Move 

Every move with A#1 Movers is a budget move. 

With our all-inclusive fees and no hidden charges, you can rest assured that everything will be completed within your budget, and there will be no unexpected expenses. We provide free, non-obligation quotes that will help you decide on the exact volume of service to reserve.

Our experienced relocation specialists are waiting for your call and will be more than happy to provide you with a detailed moving quote that will help you budget for your entire move. 

Whether you may be looking for our standard moving service, partial packing of your kitchen and clothing, or a full pack service during which our packers and movers will take care of every single aspect of your move, we will happily guide you throughout the decision-making process. 

Let’s start planning your move! 

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