Calculating Moving Costs
Moving your home costs more than just money. You make a physical and mental investment as well as a monetary one. When working on your moving budget, consider the cost of your time, health, and emotions as well. Underestimating these could end up costing you more than expected.
Estimate the Financial Costs of a Move
1) Packing Supplies
An investment in the correct supplies will pay off when your belongings arrive at your new home undamaged. Sturdy boxes, packing paper, dollies, wraps, and straps will ensure that items are secure when being loaded and delivered.
2) Professional Help
The help you choose for moving day can impact the ease of the move. Friends and family may be attractive options if you want to accept the inherent risks. But if you are looking for a little more peace of mind, professional movers can help the process go as smoothly as possible.
3) Professional Packing
It is fairly easy to underestimate the time, materials, and effort required to pack and move your home, especially when all of your belongings are stored neatly away in your closets and cabinets.
Do you have special items with a higher value? You may not want to risk packing and loading all of your belongings on your own. You may want to seek the advice of a specialist before moving antiques, electronics, and large furniture. You need to consider potential damage and breakage as you calculate the cost of packing and moving.
Can you drive a large moving van? If you live in a moderately-sized home, you may need up to 1,600 cubic feet of moving space. This is more than many drivers can handle – especially if you will be navigating narrow suburban streets and alleyways.
Your Time is Money. Don’t forget to calculate the cost of your time, especially if you are taking off work to pack, load, and deliver your own belongings. If you opt to handle the entire move yourself, consider setting aside 2 or more days for both loading and delivery.
When planning a move, your choice of transportation is potentially the most cost contingent. When it comes to containers, trailers, and trucks, your expense will likely scale with the level of your need. You’ll want to consider the timing, distance, volume, and complexity of your move before contracting services or renting equipment.
5) Travel & Living
Regardless of distance, the moving process tends to inflate travel and living expenses. In addition to lodging and airfare, incremental purchases like food, fuel, and convenience items can add up unexpectedly, especially when you are doing most of the packing and moving.
6) Distance Costs More
As a rule of thumb, the longer the distance, the more cost-effective professional movers tend to be. This is due to a number of factors.
The one-way rental price may include additional fees. The price you pay may include fees to cover the cost of inventory maintenance and truck relocation when you return your moving truck to a location in a different city.
Mileage, fuel, and insurance costs add up. Truck rentals may require that you pay these fees on top of the base price. This can end up being rather significant considering that some moving trucks only get between 6 -15 mpg.
Longer trips are a greater risk. You may be able to pack well, but can you drive like a professional mover? The longer you are on the road, the more you’ll face opportunities for damage and accidents.
Every major move comes with incidentals. Even the most careful shippers are susceptible to mishaps. No matter how well you plan, or how careful you are, it is inevitable, supplies will run low, pictures will break, bulbs will burn out and paint will be spilled. It’s best to budget a couple of extra dollars for human error.
Evaluate Your Opportunity Costs
8) Missed Work
Even when everything goes according to plan, a move can be a timely endeavor. The effort required to research, coordinate, pack, and move is significant. Consider hiring extra hands or a full-service solution so that these tasks don’t translate into missed work. If you use vacation days to move, count that cost as well.
9) Recovery Time
You should carefully consider your ability to handle the physical demands of your move long before you start packing and loading. With a couple of days of intense lifting, cleaning, and traveling ahead of you, personal limits and recovery time should be at the forefront of your thought process.
10) Personal Time
As moving day approaches and critical tasks intensify, time can seem to escape you. Without professional help, you’ll likely be consumed by paperwork, appointments, and last-minute packing; unable to negotiate a single moment for family time or rest. Consider the cost of your free time when weighing a do-it-yourself solution.