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Hidden moving costs that can add up to hundreds of dollars

If you are preparing for a move this year, make sure you know some of the simple mistakes and oversights many people make that can add up.
Movers roll boxes containing baseball bats belonging to members of the St. Louis Cardinals onto a moving truck.
Posted at 6:44 AM, May 15, 2023

As we head into peak moving season, the inevitable happened: inflation is hitting moving too, costing you more to relocate your belongings to a new home or apartment.

And we're not just talking about the truck.

Many people underestimate the extra costs, and mistakes, that could add hundreds of dollars to that move.

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Mistakes people make when preparing for a move

Donny Talbot owns an independent moving service, Elite Moversof Ohio. He says many people overpay because they make simple mistakes, like not being ready when the movers arrive.

"Our guys like to come in and do their job efficiently," he said, "and time is money."

That means full closets on the morning of your move will add to your cost.

Another costly mistake, he says, is not having your clothing in wardrobe boxes and books and dishes packed.

"We're going to charge you for material, and it's going to cost you time and money," he said,

But he says don't just toss dishes into a box: Movers are not liable if things break when you pack them yourself.

"During the commute, loose items are going to shake, rattle and roll," Talbot said.

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Hidden expenses that add up

The site Lifehacker, meantime, points out other expenses that can sneak up on you when moving. They include:

- Boarding your pet during the move.

- Hiring a cleaning crew once you are out of your home.

- Takeout food, since you're probably not cooking for at least several days.

- A new driver's license.

- Replacing all the old stuff you throw out, like toilet brushes and shower curtains.

Ways to keep costs down

Realtor.com's Clare Trapasso recommends a purge. She says not to pack clothing and other items you don't need.

"Those books you haven't touched since college, get rid of them because you're going to be charged by how much you're going to be moving," she said.

And boxes are expensive. She suggests you track down free packing materials from stores and neighbors.

"I've seen people give away boxes and packing materials for free on various 'buy nothing' Facebook groups," she said.

Trapasso says you may also get a better rate by moving during the week rather than a busy weekend. Finally, Talbot suggests you put stickers on everything stating "kitchen," "bedroom," etc, so the crew knows where everything goes.