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Key moving costs

Published: Feb 03, 2010

When you move, the costs come fast and heavy. Here's a list of the most common charges you'll face, and what each of them means.

  1. Packing Materials

    If you're packing yourself, you'll have to buy a heap of moving boxes, tape and bubble wrap. However, it's a pittance compared to what you'd pay the moving company to pack you.

  2. The "line-haul" charges

    The base charge that a moving company charges is called the 'line-haul' charge. However, it's usually not the only charge you'll face.

  3. "Long-carry" charges

    If the moving company faces a long walk from the van to your home or apartment, you might face a 'long-carry' charge. Make sure the moving company knows the layout of your current and new homes exactly so they're prepared for these sorts of challenges.

  4. "Stair carry" charges

    Ditto for stairs. If the movers have to lug items up a lot of stairs, you'll face charges for it.

  5. Third-party accessorial charges

    Movers aren't equipped to connect and disconnect items like washers, dryers and other appliances. This has to be a third party. Ditto for playground equipment, pool tables and other items.

  6. Moving day packing charges

    If you're not fully packed on moving day (and many people aren't), the moving company will pack you, but you'll pay extra for it.

Some easy and quick ways to cut your moving costs

  • Move less stuff. It seems obvious, but if you cut down on the number of things you'll have to move, you'll pay less - when moving long distance, you pay by weight, when moving locally, you pay by time. Either way, fewer things mean more savings.

  • Avoid the busy season of summer. Most people move in the summer. If you move in the off-periods, you can save a significant amount. Also, mid-week moves or mid-month moves can be a good way to save.

  • Some items, like glass tables, require special crating, which can be pricey. However, the items themselves are usually not all that valuable. So think about not moving these at all, and buying a replacement at your new place. In fact, you should apply this criterion to everything you move: is the cost (and hassle) of moving something outweighed by the cost to replace it at your new home?

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