An estimated 32 million people moved in 2018 based on mobility data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. If you think you will be one of the estimated millions expected to move in the coming year, it is advisable to be thorough when constructing your budget. By being thorough, you can account for all (or at least most) potential moving costs. As a result, you can build a comprehensive budget that would help you avoid any surprise moving costs.

Here is an extensive list of moving costs to consider:

Moving Costs Associated with Hiring Professional Movers

1. Additional Coverage for Your Belongings

By federal law, professional moving companies are required to offer two types of valuation. One of these types, Release Value Protection is offered by most moving companies as part of their base rate. However, if you are looking for more coverage, you should plan for the additional expense of Full Value Protection. Request cost and details for this additional coverage when receiving your overall moving quote. For even more comprehensive coverage, you may want to consider liability insurance offered through the moving company or insurance from a third-party company. In addition, be sure to check your current homeowners insurance policy. You may be covered in select circumstances.For more information on coverage options, visit our blog post, Why You Should Consider Hiring Professional Movers for Your Next Move.

2. Additional Services

Many professional moving companies offer additional services that provide convenience, but will add to your total moving costs. These additional services may include packing all or some of your belongings. Upon request, moving companies can also provide packing supplies such as boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and tape. This is regardless of whether or not they provide packing services. Some professional moving companies also provide reusable moving crates or totes which provide added protection to your belongings. 

3. Tip for the Moving Crew

Although not required or expected, providing a tip for each moving crew member is a great way to show appreciation for a job well done. You may be inclined to reward them with a tip for the extra care or caution they exhibited with your belongings or if they ended up working in unexpected inclement weather.

4. Storage

Temporary storage may be a moving cost you will need to include in your budget. There are many situations that may require temporary storage, sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances. If your personal schedule, the availability of the moving company, and/or the date your new location is ready do not align, you may find yourself in need of temporary storage for your belongings. Some professional moving companies offer temporary storage services, whether in a climate-controlled warehouse or in storage containers.

5. Additional Labor Due to Location or Size of Belongings

You may incur additional moving costs if your belongings have to be moved up and down flights of stairs. Stairs will add additional time and labor and therefore increase your total moving costs. In addition, if the moving truck has to be parked at a distance from the entryway of the home, additional fees will likely be charged. This charge is due to the added time and distance required to load your belongings into the truck. 

Awkwardly shaped or large items needing to be transported through narrow hallways or stairways may call for unconventional moving methods. For example, items that can only be moved out of or into the home through a window would require extra care and time. This would result in additional moving costs. 

If you have particularly large or heavy items, special machinery may be required to hoist the items out of your home into the moving truck. The use of this type of machinery would be another added moving cost to consider when preparing your moving budget.

6. Additional Stops During Transport

If for some reason your belongings are not in one location, it would be wise to request a quote for making additional between your original location and your destination. A final stop at a storage facility to drop off items that do not fit in your new home is an additional moving cost you may need to consider.

7. Express Fees

For longer distance moves, some professional moving companies have the ability to get your belongings to their destination more quickly for a fee. This may be worth the added moving cost if you’re trying to work within a tight timeframe.

8. Cancellation/Change Fees

If you have uncertainty around the timing of your move, then make sure to inquire about cancellation or change fees. Working these into your budget will put your mind at ease and prepare you for this additional moving cost. 

After selecting your professional moving company, it is important to request a detailed walkthrough of your current home as well as your future one, if possible. Doing so is the best way to get an accurate estimate of the moving costs you the company will charge you.

If you decide to move from your home on your own without the services of a professional moving company, there are similar moving costs to consider including insurance, moving truck rental, cancellation fees related to the rental, fuel, and storage, if needed. 

9. Specialized Moving Services

Items of high value, including art pieces, musical instruments or technology, may require specialized moving services. Hiring movers specialized in moving these types of items will protect your investments from damage or loss that could occur with inexperienced movers. These services should include the packing, transporting, unpacking, and installation or assembly of the items.

10. Cleaning Services

Cleaning your previous and new home on your own is a great way to minimize moving costs. However, it may be more convenient to hire a professional residential cleaning company. Not only will it save you time during the busyness of your move, but cleaning specialists have the deep cleaning expertise that may be well worth the added moving cost.

11. Repair Costs

Budget for repairs to be made to prepare your home for the next occupants. Or there may be repairs to be made to your new home in preparation for your move-in day. Take a look around and make a rough estimate of any necessary repairs and include it in your moving costs.

The valuation coverage the moving company offers may cover repairs for damage occurring during the chaos of moving day. However, depending on the coverage level, you may still have to pay a portion of the repair costs. Damage may include dented or broken drywall, scratched flooring, stained carpet, dinged door frames, or broken fixtures. For rental homes, payment for repairs may come in the form of a forgone security deposit or a portion of it. Although it will be difficult to predict how much damage will occur, be prepared to include an estimated amount for these types of repairs in your total moving costs.

12. Child Care

On moving day, devote your attention to the safe packing and moving of your belongings. To do so, consider allocating funds to reliable child care for the day. You will be more attentive without the added stress of keeping your child safe on an already busy move day.

13. Pet Care

For families with pets, consider seeking someone to care for your animals on move day. This will keep your furry friends safe during the expected chaos of moving day. Whether its a neighbor or a pet boarding business, be sure to include this moving cost in your budget.

15. Travel Costs to Your New Home

If your vehicle(s) is being transported, your budget should factor in travel costs to your new home. This may be in the form of train, bus, or airline tickets, car rentals, or taxi rides. Moving costs related to travel should include extra fees for luggage, gas, or tips.

16. Overnight Accommodations

Longer distance moves may require overnight accommodations. The length of stay at hotels is dependent on the size of the move as well as the distance to the new location. Book your stay(s) along your route ahead of time so you can include an accurate cost in your budget.

17. Meals

With your kitchen cabinets packed and cleared out, cooking meals will be impossible during the moving process. Therefore, your moving costs should include meals before, on, and after moving day. Keep in mind that your kitchen may not be operational until you are settled into your new home. Also, consider if you anticipate offering meals to helpful friends or family or the moving crew on moving day.

18. Lost Wages From Your Job

Most people find themselves taking time away from work to prepare for and execute a move. If this results in lost wages for you or your partner, consider this a cost of moving.


Being prepared with a realistic moving budget can help prevent residential moves from becoming financially overwhelming. Plan well so you can do your best to avoid unexpected moving costs. 

Our team at Reynolds Transfer & Storage can help you estimate some of your moving costs. Contact us for a free consultation and moving estimate. We want to help you be prepared for your upcoming move.