Moving Tips & Resources

The Numbers Behind Your Moving Estimate

Hiring a professional mover to pack, load and deliver your belongings to a new home is an expense you can’t overlook. However, there are ways to save money throughout the process. These are the factors our Moving Consultants use to calculate your moving estimate and the actions you can take to save money:

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1.) Transportation Costs

Transportation costs include the loading, unloading and hauling of your belongings from origin to destination. The best way to save on transportation costs is to get rid of the items you won’t need in your new home before the moving estimate is made.

Donate your unwanted items to Goodwill, The Salvation Army or other 501C3 organization. If you make a gift or cash donation of $250 or more, it is tax deductible. The IRS requires that all charitable donations be itemized and valued, so you must keep records of your donations to claim deductions on your tax return. Records may include an acknowledgement letter from the charity or appraisal of donated property.

2.) Valuation Costs 

Valuation is the value you would like to have placed on your goods in case of damage or loss while in the mover’s possession. Most companies offer Full Value and Basic Liability Coverage:

Basic Liability Coverage covers up to $.60 per pound, per item, regardless of item’s value. So, if you have a 100 pound item, you will be paid $60. It is the less expensive of the two options, but covers less of the cost of your goods.

Full Value Coverage is the total weight of your household goods times 6.  So, if you have 10,000 pounds of household goods, the minimum full value coverage is $60,000. This option will cost you about $500 with no deductible.

You should always take inventory of your high-value belongings (items that have a value greater than $100 per pound) so your driver is aware of the items that need special handling and protection. These items include currency, jewelry, precious stones and metals, china sets, furs, antiques and heirlooms. This exercise will save you money in the long-run, should you have to claim damage on these items after the move has been completed.

3) Packing Costs

Moving estimates are based on the weight of goods to be shipped. At the time of the estimate, you can choose between Full Packing and Partial Packing Service:

With Full Packing Service, the moving company employs its trained drivers and packers with proper equipment and supplies to pack your belongings.

With Partial Packing Self-Service, you pack most of your belongings getting assistance from trained staff as needed. This option is a tedious, time consuming task but on a standard 10,000 pound move, it can save you nearly to $2000.

Note: If you don’t think that you will get packing done in time for Moving Day, let your Move Consultant know at least a week in advance, so that they can resurvey your goods and account for the additional items that will need to be packed by moving company.

If you choose to pack items yourself: Use bed linens, towels and non-printed newspaper to wrap fragile items. Wrap with caution as regular newsprint can stain clothing, dishes, light-colored materials. You can get cardboard boxes for cheap, anywhere. Free Box Kits (includes 15 boxes in different shapes and sizes) are offered to our customers when they book a move. Additional boxes can be found in your neighborhood. Check local grocery stores, liquor stores, book stores and other small retailers for discarded boxes. You can also find posts on the web, soliciting free boxes on and

4) 3rd Party Service Costs

Expert packers are hired by a professional moving company to disassemble trampolines, pool tables, large paintings, marble table tops, glass fixtures, etc. They also handle the disconnecting and connecting of large appliances (refrigerators, washers, dryers, icemakers, etc). Adding additional services on to your move can get costly, you may choose to disassemble the items yourself if you are looking to cut costs.

During your in-home survey, the Moving Consultant will discuss the options available to you. Make sure you state your moving budget and preferences so that they can calculate a fair moving estimate.