Moving Costs Exposed: See What The REAL Cost To Move Is (Including Hidden Costs)

moving-costs-exposed-by-tew.jpg Whether you are moving across town, across the state, or across the country, your moving costs can quickly add up.

The typical cost to move can range between $500 and $5,000.

When planning your next move, you need to consider the costs associated with the following things:

  • movers or a moving truck
  • packing supplies
  • temporary storage for your things
  • moving insurance
  • the unexpected

Here are the biggest line-items that greatly influence your overall cost to move…


Renting A Moving Truck vs Hiring A Moving Company

You can take a do-it-yourself approach and rent a moving truck, or you can hire professional movers to transport your things from your old house to your new one.

Each has its own costs, pros, and cons. (Read: Should You Go Pro Or No?)

While it might seem that renting a moving truck would be a good way to keep your costs low, hiring professional movers does have some monetary benefits as well.

Here’s a comparison of the moving costs associated with each…


The Cost To Move Yourself

When you rent a moving truck, you have to dole out money for the following:


The Cost To Use Professional Moving Companies

If hiring professional movers, you will likely pay for:

  • The movers and their services — a cost which is based on the amount of items to be moved and the distance you are moving. Professional moving fees usually include packing your fragile items, 2 to 4 experienced professionals to move your items, the moving truck and gas, vehicle insurance, pads, dollies, loading, unloading, and the time and fees associated with 2 people driving your items to your new place.

    As an example: you can expect to pay $80 per hour for 2 movers or $100 per hour for 4 movers, with a 3-hour minimum. Moving a long distance will increase the price exponentially. The the cost for a local mover typically runs between $300 to $600 and the cost for a long-distance mover is usually between $4,000 to $7,000. Prices vary greatly from company to company. You should go for a mid-range quote and be sure to check references!

  • Additional insurance coverage because a mover’s own insurance is limited. Insurance is typically based on the cost of 60-cents per pound, and there’s a maximum limit on how much they will cover.


Cost For Moving Boxes

Regardless of whether you’re moving yourself or hiring professional movers, you’ll have to pay for some moving boxes.

Unless a corporate fairy godmother is paying for your move, you’ll need to worry about the costs of packing supplies — boxes, tape, markers, paper, bubble wrap. Boxes alone can run $2 a pop and up, with the average eight-room house requiring more than 100 boxes.  Source

Moving boxes can cost $200 or more, especially if you want special boxes like wardrobers for your hanging clothes and mattress boxes.


Moving Costs That Many People Fail To Plan For

Then there are the costs associated with moving after-the-fact.

Some of those include:

By the way, it’s customary to tip professional movers about $25 each, according to Realty Times. Feeding them isn’t required, but pizza and sodas are usually appreciated (and all but required if you’ve dragooned friends into helping you).  Source


Here’s another look at what the real cost to move is.


Unexpected Costs

Finally, if something can go wrong in a move, it usually will.  A few things which typically end up on the unexpected costs list include:


A potential silver lining: if your move is job-related and your new work site is at least 50 miles from your previous one, your expenses could be deductibleSource


More about tax deductible moving expenses. (See what you can deduct here.)

Lynnette Walczak

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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Fun From Around the Web

  • San Diego Movers

    Another great article on the true costs of moving. What I found very useful is the real cost of doing it yourself. Thank you!

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  • Michael Golshon

    Its a wonderful and genuine read Lynnette. I am so impressed with your precious points regarding the costs of moving. People must read this before going with it. They should thing about these facts.