January 11, 2014

Hidden Moving Costs

One of the biggest worries people have when facing a cross country move is the cost. How much will a full-service company cost? How much to move myself? Many companies offer moving quotes online, completely free if you submit your contact information. But while these quotes provide a good starting point, they are rarely the final number. Why the inaccuracy? Here are some factors that can radically affect price.
  • You Only Think You Know Your Stuff
    You're probably quite good at your job, whatever it is. But unless your full-time career is moving boxes and furniture into a truck, you're not likely to have an accurate idea of the truck space your belongings actually require. Most moving quotes online ask for the number of rooms you will be packing, but this will yield only the most general of estimates. If you want a far more accurate quote, invite a moving professional to your home to assess your space requirements. They really know their stuff when it comes to your stuff.

  • Hidden Costs While Packing
    Along with not knowing how much room your stuff might take up, you usually have no way of knowing the right amount of packing material. Few things can be more frustrating than packing up your worldly possessions and running out of boxes, tape, packing peanuts, or plastic wrap. A cost that many people fail to budget into their move is food during the whole moving process -- the fridge is empty, the dishes are packed, but you've spent the whole day working up a fearsome appetite. So out comes the pizza, paper towels, paper plates, and the extra garbage bag to throw it all into when you're done.

  • Hidden Costs on the Road
    Always read the moving quotes online carefully for mileage costs. If those are not included in the estimate, you may be in for a shock when the odometer is read and the final bill is sent. Likewise, you'll need fuel money, toll money, washer fluid replacement (or a good ice scraper, depending on the conditions), and probably road snacks. If your drive will take more than one day, you'll also need to budget in money for at least one night in a hotel.
Traditionally, moving container companies provide more accurate quotes; since they do all the driving themselves, they're able to fold the travel costs into the estimate much more easily and with fewer variables. But even moving quotes online from moving container services won't include the cost it takes to get you to the new location, whether by car, bus, train, or plane. A good rule of thumb is to drastically overbudget your move, so you have the reserves to absorb any surprise fees or costs, and the emotional wherewithal to roll with whatever punches might come your way.