3 Hidden Costs to Account for When Moving

By: , Contributor

Published on: Mar 10, 2020 | Updated on: Mar 10, 2020

Moving could end up being a costlier prospect than anticipated.

There's no question about it: Moving from one home to another is an expensive prospect. The American Moving and Storage Association reports that the average cost of an interstate move is $4,300, while a move within the same state is $2,300. But these are just average estimates, and if you have a lot of furniture or oversized items, or are moving from one corner of the country to another, your costs could really add up.

Now the good news is that you'll generally have a solid sense of what your move will cost you before the big day arrives. That's because moving companies provide estimates that should, in theory, help you nail down your out-of-pocket costs. But while you may have a good idea of what your actual move will cost you, these peripheral expenses could throw your finances for a loop.

1. Storage

Not everyone who moves upgrades to extra square footage or retains the same amount of space. Whether you're downsizing or the layout of your new home just doesn't accommodate your furniture the way you expected it to, you may have no choice but to put some of your belongings in storage while you figure things out or try to get them sold. And that could get expensive.

The average monthly cost to rent a self-storage unit is $87.89, but if you need a unit large enough to handle furniture or larger items, you could be looking at more like $200. Prepare for that possibility, especially if you haven't taken exact measurements to see how your belongings will fit into your new space.

2. Prepared meals

You're no doubt aware that packing up a kitchen can be a time-consuming affair. Well, the same holds true for unpacking one. As such, you may find that it takes some time to have a functional kitchen, in which case you may need to order in meals and eat them on paper plates or go out to dinner until you're up and running. The result? You're out a solid hundred dollars or so, which may not seem like much if you're paying over $4,000 to move, but it's another sum you should gear up for.

3. Replacing items you don't take with you

There may come a point when it doesn't make sense to take every item you own with you to your new home. For example, fridge and pantry staples like condiments and spices will probably need to be tossed, and lower-cost yet bulky items like fans and lamps may not be worth the hassle of packing and securing. The result? You'll probably spend some money to replace the items you give away, donate, or toss in the course of your move, so prepare for that expense, too.

If you're on a tight budget, spending even a few hundred dollars extra in the course of a move could hurt you financially. Keep these hidden costs on your radar as you gear up to move. That way, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.

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