How to Get All Moving Costs Explained Upfront

When you’re moving, it’s best to face the fact early on – it isn’t a cheap undertaking! Not only do you have to purchase moving supplies like boxes, tape and bubble wrap, but you either need to rent a moving van or hire movers to assist you with your move. There are definitely ways to control the costs, such as borrowing supplies from friends or researching moving companies and comparing their prices. But is it possible to know all of your moving costs upfront? For the most part, yes, if you follow these three tips:

  • Get a written estimate. Most reputable moving companies will offer an in-home estimate, where a representative comes to your home and works up a quote based on how much you’ll be moving, moving distance and a number of other factors. They should then give you a written estimate. There are two types: binding and nonbinding. Both estimates detail all the moving costs, but a binding estimate won’t change unless items are added after first initial estimate, whereas a nonbinding estimate might. Typically, a nonbinding estimate can only be up to 10 percent more than quoted. Be sure you know what type of estimate you’re receiving.
  • Ask about hidden fees. Unfortunately, though a written quote should detail all of your estimated moving costs, some companies still hide certain fees and surcharges. Always ask for an explanation of charges and whether there is anything they’ll be charging for that isn’t on the estimate.
  • Use a packing supplies calculator. A good calculator will help you figure out how many boxes and other supplies you need, based on the number of rooms you’re moving and other factors. Then you can price out how much those supplies will cost you. Most moving companies will sell supplies, and may even offer you a discount if you’re using their other services.

Of course, all moving costs are not financial – you also have to take into account the cost of time and energy. Moving can take a toll on your schedule and body in addition to your pocketbook. Understanding the moving costs is the first step toward figuring out the best moving scenario for you.