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The Moving Cost Calculator You’ve Needed

There’s a lot to consider when estimating just how much your move might cost. To make life easier, we created the ultimate moving cost calculator to help you finetune your moving budget.


When it comes to moving — whether across the country or across town — there are always moving expenses you weren’t expecting. So, before you put together your moving budget, fill out our comprehensive moving cost calculator to ensure you calculate the most accurate budget possible.

Now that you’ve estimated the cost of your move, here are some helpful tips and tricks to help you save money (and time) during your move.

How to Prepare to Move Within Budget

When you’re moving, your budget can quickly spiral out of control. Thanks to our moving cost calculator, you have a good idea of how much you’ll end up spending when all is said and done. Stay on track by preparing to move within this budget. Want to cut costs? Here’s what you can do to save money on your move before you even reach for the packing boxes.

Pick the right moving company

Not all moving companies are created equal, and not all moves cost the same. Most moving companies determine their prices based on the size of your home, the average weight of your household goods, the number of hours it takes to load and unload them, and the distance of your move.

While finding a reliable and affordable moving company can be stressful, don’t settle for a company that can’t meet your moving needs and budget. Starting your search early will help simplify the process. We recommend starting your search as soon as you know your moving date and, if possible, book your moving company a month in advance. This will give you plenty of time to compare multiple quotes and ensure you get the best price for your requested move date.

Take on a DIY move

Renting a full-service moving company can be costly. To stretch your moving budget that much further, consider taking on a DIY move. From packing your belongings yourself to renting a moving truck, there are plenty of opportunities to save. If you are planning a DIY move, save yourself unnecessary stress and get organized early. Feel like you might forget something? Don’t worry, just print out your moving checklist and keep it on hand. You’ll be on your way and moving within budget in no time!

Rent a DIY moving truck

If taking on a total DIY move is too much, you can still save money by renting a DIY moving truck. Since this vehicle will hold most of your worldly possessions, you’ll want to do your research before booking a moving truck. Request a Penske truck rental quote to learn more.

Doing your due diligence to hire a trustworthy company that satisfies your moving needs will give you the peace of mind that you and your belongings will arrive at your new home safely – and without breaking the bank.

How to Save on Packing and Storage

You’ve decided how you’ll move your belongings, but how will you pack, and store, them if needed? Whether you’re renting a storage unit, purchasing used or new moving boxes – or even getting boxes for free – the cost of packing and storage supplies are important to consider when managing your moving expenses.

Don’t buy too many moving boxes

There’s no doubt you’ll need moving boxes for your move, but you may be stuck wondering how many boxes you need. While there’s no hard and fast rule, the number of moving boxes you need generally depends on the size of your home and your lifestyle. Before clearing out your local hardware store, pare down your belongings and grab your moving box guide. This way you’ll be less likely to overspend on extra boxes you don’t need.

Use free and used moving boxes

Depending on your moving needs and budget, you'll also want to explore more budget and eco-friendly options. Using recyclable moving bins, purchasing used boxes, and checking out Craigslist for free moving boxes can save you money as you move.

Know how to pack a storage unit

A storage unit could be just what you need to ensure your move is as easy and stress-free as possible. If you decide to rent storage space, be prepared with some tips and tricks to pack and organize the unit to optimize your space. That way, you can rent the smallest unit possible and avoid overspending on wasted space.

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Don’t Get Caught by Hidden Fees

There are a bunch of unexpected fees you could run into as you move. Depending on your circumstances, you may have to cover a home inspection, cleaning, and repair costs, just to name a few. Here’s the lowdown on how to manage these fees so you can avoid any expensive surprises.

Find the right contractor

Whether renting, buying or selling, you have to determine which repairs are necessary to tackle before your move in and move out. Usually, repair fees depend on the size of the job and who you hire. Be sure to do your research on how to hire a reliable contractor before booking one. This will ensure you get the best price and service. If you’re more of a DIY maven, you can also tackle those pesky picture holes with just a few tips and tricks from the pros.

Watch out for utility installation fees

Once you know your move-in date, you should check your calendar and schedule your utility set-up. If you’re simply transferring services to your new address, your utility company could waive the set-up fees. This varies by provider, though, so be sure to double-check with your utility company before your move.

As you settle into your new home, you can continue to save on your utilities. Taking shorter showers, opting for LED lightbulbs, and skipping the tumble dryer are just a few ways you can keep your bills low from day one.

Make sure you get your deposit back

Landlords collect security deposits to protect themselves if a tenant skips out on rent or leaves the property in shambles. But if you’ve paid your rent on time and the unit is in good shape, you should be able to get your deposit back in full. To be safe, take the time to thoroughly clean your apartment before you go and be sure to take all of your belongings with you. You don’t want to get charged for leaving your old sofa behind, so schedule a furniture donation pickup or donate it yourself. You can also request a move-out inspection where you and your landlord go through the apartment and discuss any damages that may (or may not) affect your deposit.

Remember to be diligent. If you don’t see your deposit within 30 days of moving out, send your previous landlord a follow-up letter requesting your deposit. Wait a few weeks and send another if need be. If you haven’t received your deposit or a valid explanation within 60 days, you may need to consider legal action.

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Bonus: Moving Tips!

With all the big moving costs and hidden fees out of the way, here are some additional tips and tricks to get you moving without a hitch.

Hire the pros to move your specialty items

The safe packing and moving of pianos, pool tables, safes, art, and other specialty items is worth paying extra. If you are moving any of these items, make sure your moving company offers the necessary equipment and services to safeguard them, such as crating, furniture disassembling, protective stretch wrap, felt pads, and mattress bags. This way your belongings –– and your back –– will be protected.

When moving with kids, get them involved

With all of the tasks you have to juggle, the thought of moving with little ones can be overwhelming. Getting them involved, however, is a great way to keep them amused on moving day. For example, kids can write their names on their boxes and decorate them with stickers. If your kids are very young, you may even find a moving company that offers childcare services. Whether they’re around on moving day or with the sitter, be sure to communicate with your kids as you move and keep them in the loop.

Prepare to move your pets

If you have a pet, consider hiring a pet care service to keep them safe on moving day. Moving with a dog? Remember to pack your moving day dog kit. It should have everything your pup needs on a daily basis, and then some. Including more than the essentials, such as a picture of your dog and wet wipes for your car, will ensure you have just what you need if your move goes to plan – and if it doesn’t.

Leverage technology

As we mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to stay organized as you move. Thankfully, there are plenty of moving apps and free moving tools you can use to get all of your moving ducks in order. From paring down your clothes to preparing for your in-home estimate, you can manage much of it from your smartphone.

Now that you know what to factor into the total cost of your move, and you have a few key moving tips under your belt, be sure to get the most out of your moving budget by exploring these 50 easy ways to save money on your move. Happy moving!


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