Calculating Your DIY Moving Costs

Moving house can be a stressful and sometimes overwhelming task. Moving means more than just packing and unpacking – your entire life changes. Moving brings with it more than simply a change of home – changes in gym memberships, libraries, schools, churches and other groups or clubs along with changes in the little things from a new grocery store to a new route to work. All of these changes and demands make moving house a significantly stressful event.

The first step in budgeting and planning a move is to sit down and spell out each step you'll need to take – essentially a massive Moving To Do list. List everything you need to do – every single thing. As you list getting boxes, packing, rooms, buying markers, bubble wrap and newspapers, and don't forget to include the smaller steps you'll need to take which can sometimes result in a fee such as transferring services like

  • cable
  • internet
  • home phone
  • security system
  • water
  • electricity
  • gas
  • heating
  • sewage or sanitation

Be sure to ask if there is a fee for transferring services or charges for disconnection or beginning services in a new home. One great way to be sure you've included everything is to scan through the last three months of your bank and credit card statements. Anything with a monthly fee should be flagged as potentially needing to be transferred.

Be a Tourist in your New Town

Check out Craigslist or other local community websites. These places can be a great way to look for day help with your move, especially if you live in a college town. Students are usually looking for cash in hand work and will be willing to do the heavy lifting for you as you begin your move. Find out how much it costs to hire a few day workers.

Compare Vehicle Rentals

Chances are you'll need to rent a van or truck to move all of your things. Check out prices with a few different companies – both online and off. Be sure to consider things like the gas mileage the vans or trucks you're considering offer. Also check to see if you can drop the rental off at a branch in your new city or if you'll have to come back to drop it off once you're done.

Don't Forget Labor!

When calculating the cost of a move, don't forget to pay yourself. Moving is hard work and you should factor in an hourly rate for your own work as well. Even though it's your stuff, you still need to factor the time you'll spend packing, driving, unloading and returning the rental vehicle into your overall budget. Don't try to estimate the time it will take you to unpack, though.

Decide If a Moving Company is Worthwhile

Once you have a rough idea as to how much it will cost to move yourself, get in touch with some local moving companies. One Winston Salem mover was surprised to learn that hiring a moving company can actually be more cost effective than doing it yourself.

Budgeting for a move can be difficult for some and too often people don't bother sitting down and crunching the numbers until it's too late. But planning ahead can save you both money and time. It can also go a long way in helping to make the entire process easier.

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