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How Much Does It Really Cost To Move?

March 16, 2023

Knowing what to expect can help you avoid surprise costs. In this post and infographic, we broke down moving into a few core categories to help you manage your expenses at every step and understand how much it really costs to move.

5 Core Moving Categories + Their Costs

Packing Your Stuff Yourself: $0 to $200

When it comes to packing your home yourself, there are some key items you'll need: boxes, tape, packing paper, markers and labels. We gave this a range of $0-$200 because how much this will cost depends on how much you already have. Buying everything brand new will run you about $200, but comes with the convenience of a single trip to the store or online order. To save in this category, ask friends to save online shopping boxes for you or visit a local shop and ask what they do with empty inventory boxes. You may be able to pack all your stuff on your own for free!

Transporting Your Stuff: $130 to $5,380

Of all the moving costs, transporting your items has the biggest range. That's because hiring movers is significantly more expensive than renting your own U-Haul. To cut costs even more, borrow a truck from a friend, if it's an option. Be sure to consider that moving with a small pick up truck may require multiple trips, where as renting a large enough U-Haul would allow you to make the drive only once. With the cost of gas, that's worth factoring into your budget!

You'll also need a dolly for moving larger items and heavier boxes, which may or may not be included with a truck rental. Hiring movers takes the physical labor off your plate, and you may be able to include packing in the price. If you opt to hire movers, be sure to check their license and insurance.

Leaving Your Last Place: $91 to $1,018

Before you can move out, you have to settle up. This category includes items like cleaning the apartment and security deposit deductions. When it comes to cleaning, you could do the work yourself, which would include buying cleaning supplies. Or you could hire a cleaner to do the job, which averages $91-390 for a typical apartment. On average, the typical security deposit deduction falls between $150-$450, though it is definitely possible to get your full deposit returned by leaving the unit in great condition.

Your New Home: $779 to $3679

The excitement of a new home includes costs like the rental deposit and any possible pet deposit you may pay to secure your new home. You'll also need to factor in renter's insurance and cleaning supplies (which if you bought for yourself during the Leaving Your Last Place phase of moving doesn't add any more money to the cost of your move)! This is also where you need to consider any new items you might need to make the most of your new space. Does your current couch fit? Is there a nook you didn't have before that needs a side table? In this category we factored in anything you might purchase to get your new home up and running.

Transporting Yourself: $0 to $1,500

If you're making a move across town or across the country, you still have to get where you're going. If you're driving down the street in your U-Haul, there may be no added expense to transport yourself, but if you're flying from Boston to Los Angeles, that airfare should be factored in.

If you have pets, it can be a great idea to board them for a day or two to keep them safe during the chaos of moving, and that cost is a factor in your overall cost of moving as well.

cost of moving

Moving is What You Make It

At the end of the day, moving costs vary greatly. But knowing what types of expenses you might incur makes it easier to plan your budget and decide where to splurge and where to save.

Resources: Sofi, Home Advisor, Moving.com, Home Guide, Statista, Simple Showing, Zillow, NerdWallet
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