7 Tips to Estimate Your Moving Costs



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7 Tips to Estimate Your Moving Costs - Pricing Van Lines

The moving process is no easy feat – it is an emotional, financial, and physical commitment. There is not much you can do to control how you feel when you move out of your home, but there is something you can control – your physical and financial discomfort.

Professional moving companies take care of alleviating physical discomfort, but what about your piggy bank? In that case, calculating your move as best as possible is one of the most fiscal things you can do. A moving calculator can do a good job of giving you a rough estimate of your costs, but you should also take the time to try calculating your moving costs on your own.

There are several factors that go into the cost of your move, so let’s get into these and discuss 7 tips to help you estimate the price you can expect to pay to get your move completed successfully.

Relocation Distance

Relocation distance is one of the greatest factors in your moving expenses, as longer distances mean higher transportation costs. The distance you travel also determines what moving company you choose. Some movers may only be licensed to perform local moves while others perform long distance moves – some offer both options.

You’ll need local movers if you are moving within your state and 50 miles of your home. Long distance movers are required if you are moving over 50 miles or if you cross state lines, no matter how long or short the distance is.

Move Size

The amount of items you will be moving is another factor in the costs of your move, as your expenses will increase as the number of goods does. Loading times are affected, which means movers may take more time loading and unloading your items and additional crew members may need to be called in. Additional packing materials will also be needed, further adding to your moving costs.

Heavier loads also use more gas, which can result in higher transportation fees. Items that take up more space can also lead to higher prices, as bigger trucks will be required to accommodate your household goods.


Complexity is yet another consideration of moving costs. Every aspect of your move will need to be taken into consideration to fully determine just how complex the moving services you need will be. Extra requirements, special handling, additional services, obstacles in or near the home, and anything else that makes movers work harder or take longer add to the complexity of a moving job.

The more complex your move is to complete the more you can expect your total expenses to be at the completion of relocation.

Tips to Calculate Your Move

Along with being exhausting emotionally, physically, and mentally, moving can hit your pockets hard. Bring prepared for the costs is one of the ways you can decrease stress on the day of your move and make sure that all of your items are taken care of.

If you want to get ahead of your financial planning, look at these tips to help you accurately come up with an estimate of your final moving costs.

  • Make a moving inventory
  • List special items
  • Time your move
  • Consider insurance coverage
  • Think of your specific requirements
  • Get quotes from movers
  • Budget for other expenses
  1. Make a Moving Inventory

Knowing exactly what needs to be moved will help you figure out what your final costs will be. Take inventory of your items, making a detailed list that allows you to see all of your items on paper and estimate their weight.

You’ll also be able to determine the amount and type of packing supplies needed to make sure your items reach their final destination safely. Before taking inventory, consider purging some of your belongings to lighten the load and decrease clutter during and after your move.

  1. List Special Items

If you have belongings that are overly large or heavy, such as hot tubs, pianos, or pool tables, list them out so that movers know what to expect. You should also list delicate items, like sensitive electronic devices and appliances, antiques, family heirlooms, art pieces, and more.

By keeping a list on-hand, you’ll be able to plan for your move and ensure that all of your delicate, valuable, heavy, or large items are present, safe, and accounted for. They’ll also require extra care, which adds onto your moving expenses.

  1. Time Your Move

Many people are unaware that the price of moving changes throughout the year and is dependent on the season. During the busy season, you can see prices skyrocket as moving companies are more in-demand; during the slow season prices are lower as movers get less business.


Busy months tend to be from May to September, so you can expect to pay more if you’re moving during these months. Weekends and holidays may also be more expensive along with the first and last of each month. What time of the year or month do you plan on moving? This information can aid in estimating your move.

  1. Consider Insurance Coverage

Your items will be in the hands of movers when they’re being loaded and transported, so if anything goes wrong you want to make sure your belongings are insured. Many people opt to purchase additional insurance coverage when relocating, helping put their mind at ease if an accident occurs or an item is lost, damaged, or broken.

Movers are required to provide basic limited liability insurance, known as moving valuation. However, they often offer additional insurance options that provide you with more protection while your items are in their possession.

  1. Think of Your Specific Requirements

If you require any extra services, you will need to calculate them if you want to produce an accurate estimate. Some services may be required, such as furniture disassembly and hoisting services, while others may be voluntary, such as packing and unpacking or debris clean-up.

You’ll also need to consider what obstacles in or around your residence may inadvertently cause movers to work harder and add fees, such as a narrow streets and stairways. If movers have to park a significant distance from the home you may also be charged a long carry fee, so you’ll want to consider all of this in your estimate.

  1. Get Quotes from Movers

If you want a better idea of your moving expenses, get quotes from reputable moving companies. You can also go online and use moving calculators, though these may not be as accurate as an in-person estimate.

When getting quotes, speak with multiple movers about your belongings. Each moving company has their own rate, so you don’t need to settle for the first quote you get. Once you’ve gathered anywhere from 3 to 5 moving quotes, you’ll be able to more readily determine your costs.

  1. Budget for Other Expenses

Moving labor will account for the majority of your moving expenses, but you will also need to prepare for additional costs. Some of the expenses that are often left out of moving budgets include packing supplies, fuel, food, temporary housing, babysitters, and more.

Although it is not required, you may also consider budgeting in tips for movers when calculating your estimate. Another good idea is to budget for making repairs to items if anything goes wrong while you are moving into your new home.

When you’ve decided to move, your finances will likely be heavily on your mind. Using the tips listed above, you can get a clear picture of your costs by calculating a rough estimate and preparing beforehand for your move. By doing so, you can feel more at ease as your big day arrives and movers are on their way.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long do I have to file a claim if my goods are lost or damaged?

If you notice that there is something missing, broken, or damaged after your move has been completed, it is recommended that you report it as soon as possible. Though this is recommended, you have up to 9 months from the date your items were delivered to file a claim.

The claim will need to be in the hands of your movers before then, otherwise you will not receive compensation for your goods. If your mover has not sent you a claim for, contact the moving company to find out the steps you need to take.

  1. Do I need to be present when movers are picking up my furniture?

When movers arrive to your home and begin moving furniture, it is necessary that you be present. Your movers will describe the condition of your furniture on their inventory sheet, which you must verify to ensure that all documented information is correct.

You will also need to make sure that all of your items are listed on the moving company’s inventory sheet, so you have records in case anything happens. Keep your bill of lading, order for service, and any other documentation on hand at all times as well.

Last Words

Use our 7 tips and stay in control of the part of the move you can control – what you can expect to pay.

Mark Emond
Mark Emond
Mark Emond is a professional writer with an extensive background in the moving industry and its copywriting. He is known for his informative and technologically abreast writing and creating user-engaging content to help both companies and individuals sort their moving-related queries. He maintains a good knowledge base and is always excited to share his knowledge with readers.
Mark Emond
Mark Emond
Mark Emond is a professional writer with an extensive background in the moving industry and its copywriting. He is known for his informative and technologically abreast writing and creating user-engaging content to help both companies and individuals sort their moving-related queries. He maintains a good knowledge base and is always excited to share his knowledge with readers.

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