Estimating Moving Costs

by April Reinhardt
(last updated November 2, 2012)

Whether you're moving three blocks down the road or several states away, moving costs money. The last time we moved, we hired a moving company and, even though we only moved four miles to a new home, it cost us over $1,000, not including the $20 we tipped each of the five workers. We were required to sign a contract based on an estimate I had given them prior to the move, indicating how many rooms of furniture we had to move. Their money estimate did not include packing services. We packed all of our own boxes. The moving costs we incurred were only for the actual moving of our items from one place to another – and we had to move our own computer and television equipment (a substantial quantity) in our own cars. Two trucks, five men, and fours hours later, we forked over the money and settled in.

When estimating moving costs, decide if you are going to do it yourself, or hire a moving company. Sometimes hiring a moving company is worth a bit more money than doing it yourself, since moving furniture and making many trips in a small truck can be exhausting. Consider these factors in determining whether to do it yourself or hire a moving company:

  • How far are you moving? If you're moving across several states, it makes more sense to hire a moving company, unless you decide to leave behind a considerable amount of household goods.
  • Make a complete inventory of the things you need to move, and then decide if you have the manpower to load the items on the truck.
  • Think about your health and budget. Are you physically able to move a home full of furniture and packed boxes? If not, are you financially able to pay for a moving service?
  • A moving company will ask for an inventory of your home, including volume in cubic feet, so be prepared to give them that figure.
  • If you're moving because you've retained a new job, ask your new employer if they offer relocation expenses to help defray your moving costs.
  • Call several truck rental companies and acquire rates for different sizes of moving vans, and don't forget to figure in the cost of gas. If you are moving a great distance, the cost of gas will be expensive.

When you've considered all of the factors, weigh the pros and cons and decide whether it is best for you to do it all yourself, have the moving company do it all, or a combination of both. When you get an estimate from a moving company, ask also if they offer packing services for a fee. Get two estimates from a moving company; one for packing, and one for moving. Most moving companies will give you a discounted rate for moving your household goods, if you also contract them to pack your goods.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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