So you’ve found a great new apartment, and finally, it’s time to move in! You’ll just grab some boxes, fill them up, and then ride off into the sunset as you move into your new apartment … right? Not quite.
The entire moving process is actually more expensive than you might think, with all sorts of little moving costs that will eventually add up and take a big bite out of your wallet – unless you plan ahead. Paramount Properties would like to take the surprise out of some of these moving expenses and help you figure out how much it will cost you to move – so that you can arrive at your new apartment and not go broke in the process.
Part 1 – Before the Move
Cleaning your old house or apartment should be your first priority. The question is, what’s more important to you – your time or your money? Will you hire a professional cleaning company or a plumber to clean up your old place? Or will you simply buy a bunch of Comet, pull up your sleeves, and go at it yourself? Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to build these initial cleaning costs into your moving budget.
Somehow, all of your stuff has to get from Point A to Point B. This means utilizing everything from boxes, tape, markers, paper, bubble wrap, styrofoam … you name it, you’ll probably need it. While you might be able to score a bunch of free boxes from the nearby grocery store, all of the other items mentioned above certainly aren’t free.
Part 2 – During the Move
If you have a lot of stuff to move, it might be a good idea to pay for a professional moving company to handle your stuff. Rates will vary depending on what level of moving service you need, but in most cases, you get what you pay for.
Don’t forget about the insurance when using the services of a moving company. While professional movers are legally liable for your items, their level of liability can vary. In most cases, the cheapest, “no-additional-fee” insurance option typically only pays you a few pennies per pound if your things are lost or damaged, so you may want to budget for extra insurance coverage if you have extremely valuable items.
Oh, and don’t forget to tip the movers.
Not Hiring Movers
Of course, you don’t have to hire professional movers. You can always call on a group of friends to help you make the move, but this option contains some costs as well – traditionally in the form of pizza and drinks once the job is done.
Whether you use your own vehicle or rent a van/truck (which is an additional cost you’ll have to consider, if you decide to go down that route), you’ll have to be aware of a variety of in-transit moving costs. The biggest expense will undoubtedly be gas – always budget more than you would expect, especially with the cost of fuel rising all the time. If you’re involved in a long-distance move, you’ll also have to take into account lodging and meals while on the road.
Your landline won’t be hooked up when you first move in, so you’ll be forced to use your cell phone more often, especially when you’re coordinating efforts between the old and new apartments. Depending on the plan you’re using, expect to see a much larger dollar amount on your next cell phone bill.
When estimating your moving costs, always plan to encounter “Murphy’s Law” – that is, anything that can happen, will happen. Unexpected delays can occur at any time during a move, and could require you to cough up more money than expected on lodging, supplies, or even a storage facility to hold your stuff.
Part 3 – After the Move
Meals To Go
So, you’ve moved everything into your new apartment … only to realize that your microwave isn’t plugged in and all of your pots, pans, and plates are still in a bunch of random boxes. Remember, the longer it takes you to unpack, the more times you’ll have order in – and that means more tips for the delivery guy.
Unless you’re set up on an automatic withdrawal system for your bills, be sure to make some room in your moving expenses budget for the possibility that some of bills won’t get delivered to your new apartment on time – which means that late fees and interest charges could start piling up until you can retrieve all of your mail. You can avoid this problem by giving sufficient notice to utilities, phone providers, cable companies, and other vendors. You can also register your change of address with Canada Post, and for a small fee they will redirect any mail sent to your old address to your new one.
Utility, phone, Internet, and cable companies typically charge more than $50 to hook up your new home. While these costs probably won’t come out of your pocket right away, be prepared to pay these extra charges on your first bill at your new apartment.
Racks and Shelves
When you first move in, your apartment is a blank canvas … but chances are, you’ll find that you don’t have quite enough things to fill up that canvas. This means buying new curtains and blinds to fit your apartment’s windows, new lamps to add additional light to certain rooms, more furniture to fit your new space, and a variety of hooks, racks, shelves, and organizers to keep everything tidy.
Most people don’t want to pack up all of their half-empty ketchup bottles, instead opting to toss out most of their spices and condiments. You’re going to have to restock your fridge and cupboards, so expect your first grocery bill in your new apartment to be significantly higher than what you’re normally used to. Same thing goes for other household supplies such as soap, light bulbs, etc.
If you’re moving to a new province (or out of the country), you’ll have to register your vehicle shortly after you move. You’ll also need to update your driver’s license and health card, as well. Both of these processes should be figured into your moving costs.
Time Is Money
We’ve gone over the money you’ll spend while moving … but what about the money you won’t earn? Be sure to think about the financial implications if you have to take some time off of work to coordinate and conduct your move.
Nobody ever said that moving was cheap. But in the end, if you plan carefully for the cost of moving, the entire process can be a very rewarding experience – especially when moving into the perfect new apartment to call home.