The decision to move might be a deliberate and timely one or it might also be born out of necessity or come impromptu. Whatever the case might be though, knowing the cost of moving is very important in the planning process. It also takes away some of the anxiety that one might feel when planning to move especially for such events that are unplanned. Everyone has a budget be it written down or not. This usually reflects what you can afford at that point in time. Moving estimates provide a glimpse as to where and how one can fit the expenses of moving into the budget. It is also important when trying to choose a mover.
The first thing to do to get an accurate estimate of moving is to take stock of the things that need to be moved. Get a pen and paper and make a list of your belongings. Do you really need to move that old couch to your new house? It is at this stage one might identify items that won’t be going on the journey and can be given to charity or given out to those that need them. If there is time, you can do a yard sale and make some money off old items. Other items might just have to be trashed.
This step helps to provide good housekeeping and prevents clutter from being taken on the trip. This also saves the cost of moving items that are not necessary. It also helps to assist in the arrangement of the household materials once the moving process is complete.
Now that the list of items that would be making the journey is complete, the next step would be to sort them out in categories. The initial grouping maybe based on ownership as different members of the household have their own baggage. Materials can then be sorted based on fragility as more fragile items need to be marked, packed and moved with care. Loss of valuable materials that are fragile or damage to our priced possession have an underlying cost and such waste most be guarded against. Some large household appliances might still have their packaging that helps for safe transportation.
Once the list of items that would make the journey is complete, this automatically dictates the means of transportation that would be most effective. Multiple round trips with a smaller car could cost as much or even more than using a larger truck to move once and for all. The destination also influences the decision as to the means of transportation. Overseas transportation could be safer and more reliable by ship or by air.
Moving down the road with a few furniture might be accomplished with the help of a few able-bodied women or men. For short distance and light luggage, the cost of moving might just boil down to gas need for the car however very few moves are of this nature.
The season you plan on moving should also be taken into consideration as extra precautions might be needed depending on the weather and moving at specific times of the year might be more cost friendly like other times of the year for example moving during the holiday season or during winter might incur unforeseen costs. Moving in the summer allows luggage to be placed on the top of cars of needed without the risk of water damage from the rains. It might also just make what can be a distressing trip a fun and interesting road trip.
Most of us would require moving companies and this is by far the most common way most people move their belongings from place to place. It is paramount that sets out a day to go company shopping. This keeps the conversation alive and it makes for easy comparison of prices.
Armed with a prepared list of the items to be moved it makes negotiations easier and more effective.
Various companies might offer discounts or promotions also however an important aspect remains their capability to move objects that are not common like boats or machinery and this needs to be factored in also. Properly marked out boxes also make it easier for the movers to identify objects and fragile materials.
Some companies offer moving boxes at a cost, however sourcing for free moving boxes is an interesting way to save some money. Other companies may also have seasonal variability in prices and depending on moving schedule one can plan ones move to take advantage of such opportunities.
There are online tools that can also help to give an estimate as to how much a move can cost and these applications use parameters such as distance, number of trucks needed, number of trips needed, labor cost, insurance and the nature of materials to be moved to give an idea of how much moving might cost. Also, be sure to confirm the quotes from the mover before committing. Quotes that you see online at times may just be an introductory offer with lots of extras hidden. A quick call to the company should provide the real cost of the movers.
Be sure to arrange items to be moved in an area where the movers would have easy access to. Items on a top floor could be brought to the ground floor. Objects like tables or furniture that need to be dismantled can be done prior to the arrival of the movers. These steps save time and because some movers also charge per man hours. These preparations can also save some money. Professional help might be needed to take apart some of the furniture and this should be factored into the overall cost of moving.
Overall, with good planning, a reasonable estimate of moving is possible and it might even open opportunities whereby money can be saved during the moving process. Find ways to save money during your move. Re-use supplies like moving boxes which you can get for free from most hardware stores or superstores. Always make sure to confirm quotes and conditions before signing a contract with a moving company.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.