Moving comes with a long, expensive to-do list.
The average cost for a local move from a two-bedroom apartment or three-bedroom house ranges from $400 to $1,000, according to HomeAdvisor's True Cost Guide. While you're choosing a place to live and deciding what to pack, having a plan for expenses can ensure your budget doesn't get lost in the shuffle.
"It's very easy to overlook minor details because when you're moving, you're looking at getting your stuff from point A to point B," says Jessica Nichols, a director at Avail Move Management, a relocation and transportation service in Evansville, Indiana.
Preparing for moving costs can help alleviate emotional and financial strain. Consider these less-obvious expenses.
Many moving and truck rental companies raise rates during busy times like summer and weekends. If you have the flexibility, relocate in an off-peak period to save money.
PACKING MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT
Buying items like boxes, bubble wrap and packing tape can add up. For example, U-Haul sells large moving boxes for $1.63 to $1.99 each, depending on how many you buy. Be realistic about the number you need. Or seek free materials from friends or online.
The more stuff you schlep, the more you'll pay. Movers usually factor the number and weight of items into the bill. Expect additional fees for valuable or large items like pianos that require extra time, space or labor.
Hauling everything yourself? A bigger load can require a larger vehicle or more gas-guzzling trips. To save money, donate or sell what you can before you move.
You'll likely need to tidy up your current place, especially if there's a security deposit at stake.
Housecleaning services typically charge $200 to $300 for a one-time cleaning, according to HomeAdvisor. You'll save money by doing some or all of the work yourself.
Watch for deposits, taxes, and connection and installation fees when setting up utilities at your new address. These could range from $10 to $200 or more. Ask power, internet and other service providers about charges in advance.
Movers appreciate tips after a long day of heavy lifting. Give tips based on your satisfaction level, but a good rule of thumb is 5 percent of the total bill.
If you can't immediately move your possessions into your new home, you might have to rent a self-storage unit. Costs vary by size and location. Public Storage units in Austin, Texas, for example, range from about $30 to $300 per month. The less time and space you need, the less expensive the unit.