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Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page

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Moving isn't a cheap process. Unfortunately, though, many who have never before moved don't understand just how costly it can be. Below are just a handful of the costs that you'll need to plan for as you are preparing to move to a new home or to a new apartment.


Pre-Move Costs

The costs of moving will start to add up long before you put your boxes on a moving truck. Preparing for these costs is a good way to ensure that you have enough money left over for the important costs that are going to come later in the process.


Before you move, you have to clean. Whether it's your own home or a rental, you're going to need to get your home into good shape before someone else moves in. If you're moving out of a rental unit, your failure to clean can cost you quite a bit of money. If you don't clean up before you put your house on the market, on the other hand, you might find yourself losing out on a sale.

You will want to think about how much work it takes to clean your home and how likely you are to do a good job. If you are in a small apartment, for example, you might break down this cost to that of a few cleaning supplies. If you are in a bigger place, on the other hand, you might be better served by having a cleaning service come in to help you. Remember, your time is a valuable asset so you might be better of letting professionals handle the cleaning of your home.

Moving Supplies

Moving supplies always cost more than you might expect. You'll need more than just a few boxes - prepare to buy everything from packing tape to markets and even bubble wrap in order to make sure that your home is properly packed and ready to go. It's almost always a better idea to buy too many boxes than too few, especially if you have never moved before. The better prepared you are for the move, the easier it's going to be.

There are, of course, always ways to save on this part of your move. Visiting grocery stores or liquor stores is a great way to get free boxes, while you might be able to get some kind of filler material from a local shipping store. Don't be afraid to ask others in your neighborhood who have recently moved for their spare boxes, either - this not only helps you to save money, but it can help save your neighbors a trip to the dump.

Fees and Other Costs

Finally, make sure that you're ready to deal with all of the little things that come from moving out of your current place. This is mostly something that impacts renters, as landlords tend to have a fairly long list of potential charges awaiting their tenants when they move out. Be prepared to pay for any repair costs as well as any fees that are associated with move-outs - some rental companies now charge a deep-cleaning fee regardless of how well you might have cleaned up your dwelling before the end of your rental contract.

There might be some other smaller associated costs that come with moving out even if you own your own home. Be prepared to pay to get your lawn mowed one list time before move out, or to settle any remaining fees that you have with your HOA. Settle up any accounts you have left before you the day of your move so that you don't get hounded by creditors after you settle into your new home.


Move Costs

When most people think of moving costs, they're thinking of the cost that they need to make on their moving day. While these are definitely some of the biggest costs, they're also costs that many people ignore until they're hit with some fairly serious sticker shock. If you can plan ahead, you'll be able to incorporate these expenditures into your budget.

Moving Transportation

Regardless of how you choose to move, you're going to incur some costs when it comes to transportation. If you plan on throwing everything you own into the back of your own van, you're not just looking at the cost of gas - you're looking at the time you have to take off of work to make the move as well as the time you'll need to recover. If you can enlist a handful of friends to help you move, you'll likely want to factor in at least the cost of paying for gas as well as feeding your friends.

If you choose a more traditional moving arrangement, you're looking at the cost of a truck as well as the cost of any movers. Most reliable companies charge a flat fee for the service as well as an hourly charge. Some also charge a specific rate based on the mileage of the truck. If you don't hire a moving service, be aware that you're probably going to have to pay a fee for the truck for a certain amount of time plus the cost of filling the gas tank back up to full.

See also: How Do Moving Companies Charge

Utility Hook-Ups

Once you get to the new place, you'll have to make sure that all of your utilities are up and running. Depending on where you move, you might be able to simply transfer over your existing utilities and you won't have to worry about any other costs. In some cases, though, you'll need to pay some basic installation and/or hookup fees just to get basic services.

It's important to know that your credit score can have a huge impact on this expenditure. In some states, you'll have to pay a deposit in order to get electrical or water services turned on if your score falls below a certain threshold. While this amount will eventually be applied to a future bill, it's still something that you will have to pay upfront. If you're not sure whether you can afford the deposit, it's best to call about your service long before you arrange your move so you can figure out if the deposit can be paid in multiple installments over time.


Post-Move Costs

Your costs are not going to end when you finally move all of your things into your new home or apartment. It is vital that you remember to keep these post-move costs in mind not only to keep your budget sound but so that you don't get surprised by how much you're spending when you get into your new place. Depending on the nature of your move, you could end up spending substantially more or less after you finally make your big move.


The biggest cost for which you need to prepare when moving is your next rent or mortgage payment. Depending on the contract you signed and whether you are moving into a rental unit or your own home, you might have anywhere from a few days to over a month to make your next payment. It's vital that you are ready to make this payment when it is due, though, as you want to ensure that you get into the habit of paying either your mortgage or your rent on time as soon as possible.

If you're paying a mortgage, you may want to go ahead and set up and auto-pay payment with your mortgage company. This will ensure that you never miss a payment and that you won't be hit with late fees. While doing this is a little less common with a rental, you should definitely talk to your landlord about when your rent is due and how it should be paid. Knowing the most efficient way to pay either of these bills will help you to keep your credit score healthy and allow you to move forward without worrying about this major bill.


It's always very wise to consider the cost of utility fees when you move. While you might have paid your deposits back when you started getting ready to move, it's usually a good idea to put away a bit of extra money in order to make sure that you are shocked by the amount the utility company charges when you first move into your new place. While you'll definitely get a feel for how much utilities should be soon, that first month will likely be a bit shocking.

The first month spent in a new place probably won't produce a bill that's representative of what you'll see moving forward. You might not be used to how the house should be heated or cooled, you might not be using certain rooms quite yet, or you might not even be spending as much time at home right after moving as you will in the future. You can, however, use this first bill as a good clue towards how much more or less you can reasonably expect your new utility bills to be compared to what you were paying before.

Repairs and Fees

This one can differ a bit depending on your living situation, but it still falls under the category of post-move expenses. If you are buying a new home, you'll need to put away money in order to ensure that you have enough for any repairs that need to be done. Whether this means patching up holes in the wall made when you were moving your couch or it means having to replace part of the roof after a storm, you'll want to have this money set aside.

If you're still renting, you won't have to worry about repair costs but you might have to worry about the assorted fees that come with living in a new rental unit. These might include a premium for pets, payments for a parking spot, or even monthly fees that are nebulously owed for the 'convenience' of paying your rent online. Regardless of the reason, you'll need to have some money put aside for these fees whether they're part of your monthly expenses or something that only has to be paid from time to time.

It's always a good idea to assume that your moving costs are going to be higher rather than lower. Budget a bit of extra money for emergencies like running out of gas or discovering a defect in your new home so that you aren't overwhelmed by the new financial information. If you can plan for the costs and keep a bit of extra money hidden away, you'll be able to make it through your move with enough mental energy left over to really enjoy your new home.