How much is my move going to cost me?

Written by Christina & reviewed by Shveta
How much is my move going to cost me

The time has come. You need to move. There are so many things to think about and prepare before moving house.

A thousand things running through your mind and on top of that list is the very real and understandable question. How much is this move going to cost me?

Budgeting for something when there are so many unknown factors can be a massive headache and can often leave people feeling stressed and uncertain about what decisions to make.

That uncertainty can often lead to your moving cost more than it needs to.

There are many things to consider when moving home or moving office that can affect the overall cost.

1. Distance and Traffic

Your location can play a big part in the overall cost of your move just simply based on the distance your movers will need to travel once they have loaded all your items.

It goes without saying that the smaller distance the less time it will take to the driver. Along with distance traffic should be considered.

Sometimes this is something that you cannot control but depending on your journey checking to see how much extra it would cost to have your removalist use a tollway might be worth checking.

Try to gauge how far away you are moving and what traffic might be like, whether paying a little bit extra for the use of the tollway might be worth it in the long run.

2. Your house type and How long you have lived there.

Another thing to consider is the type of house you are living in and moving to. The cost will be different for a ground-level house as opposed to a second or third level townhouse.

Navigating stairs or lifts creates the obstacle of awkward or difficult access. Sometimes fitting a piece of furniture downstairs or into a lift can take more thought and effort and therefore take a little longer.

Also, consider the number of bedroom and living areas your house has and whether those rooms are full or being used.

The more people living in a home will influence the overall duration of a move simply due to the number of items.

Take a moment to think about how long you have lived at the property. It is natural that we all collect more belongings as we go along in life.

The longer you stay in one place the more stuff you tend to collect. How does this affect a move?

It will either give you the perfect chance to declutter and cull some of your unneeded items or, you will have a lot to pack up and move, be it furniture or miscellaneous boxes.

3. Parking

Another aspect of a move that can have an impact on a move is parking. Naturally the closer you can park to the access point the quicker load you will have.

In suburbia, most people have access to driveways or easy access to street parking.

However, for people living in the city or in high-density areas you might want to consider contacting your council and finding out if you need to secure special parking for your removalist truck, how much it costs and organize that before the date of your move.

Depending on your removalist you may be stuck with the charge for the movers having to drive around looking for a legal spot to park and it might not be close by.

4. How prepared are you?

Then, of course, your location and situation is not the only thing you could consider when trying to budget for your move.

The move itself and your readiness can have a massive impact on the cost. It is a smart idea when contacting your removalist to find out what they are capable of.

Can they dismantle and reassemble your items for you? Do you want them to be doing that? There are pros and cons to both scenarios.

If you organize for your removalists to do all the assembly work, you know you have professionals with all the right tools making sure that your items are dismantled efficiently with less risk of damage.

However, the time it takes to dismantle and reassemble will all add up when calculating your hourly rate. So, while most removalists should be happy and capable to help you with this.

It might be beneficial time-wise to already have this done before the movers arrive at your property and to handle the reassembly yourself once the movers have left.

There is no shame in asking for help but if you are on a tight budget, every bit of time and money counts. The same can be said for boxes and miscellaneous items.

Some removalists will offer you a packing service so that you don’t have to lift a finger.

But for the budget-conscious, Having your boxes packed and ready to go when that moving truck arrives is a quick and smart way to ensure there is no time wasted in anything other than the physical relocation of your items.

It is worthwhile checking with your removalist if they allow you and your friends to help with loading and unloading. You don’t want to be doing all the work.

That’s why you’ve hired a removalist. But with the fact that moving home is generally based on time, you could potentially help speed up the process by helping with the smaller things.

5. Your choice in removalist.

Finally, your overall moving cost will also depend on the removalist you have chosen. There are many options out there and all come with their pros and cons.

The best removalist for you will depend on your situation and needs. Remember to do your research and choose a removalist that is upfront in their costs, experienced and carry all the right tools to provide a successful experience.

Do not be afraid to ask questions as it’s your bank account covering the cost.

What you can expect…

With over a decade of experience in this industry, we have come across many different situations.

To help you in your efforts to understand costing for a move here are some basic everyday scenarios that you may encounter on the day:

Scenario 1:

Customers: John and Mary
Day: Saturday
Moving From: Bundoora (Double Storey (4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 study)
Moving to: Bundoora (Single level, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom)
Occupants: 4 People (2 adults, 2 children)
Loading Time: 3 hours
Drive Time: 5 Minutes
Unloading Time: 2.5 hours
Vehicle Suggested: 10T Truck

Their Story:
Deciding to downsize to a smaller newer house with less to maintain, this family of four came ready for their big day.

John had dismantled all the beds ready for removal and both customers had made sure boxes were ready and their children minded by the grandparents for the day.

Originally suggesting a 10T truck, John decided to order a 6T truck instead because not all the rooms in their home were fully furnished or being used.

On the day we found that once everything was loaded, there were quite a few boxes left over that could not fit in the truck.

Given the short distance, John agreed to fit what he could in his car and make a couple of trips while Mary headed over to the new house to oversee the move.

With the new house being only one level and having easy access the unloading process was completed faster than the load time.

Our movers offered to assemble the beds but were assured by the customer that they could handle that before the kids got home.

Aside from the excess boxes, the move was completed without a hitch and the customers were able to settle into their new home.

Total Move Duration: 5 Hours and 35 minutes
Total Cost: $810.00

Scenario 2:

Customers: Danny
Day: Friday
Moving From: Craigieburn (2-bedroom Ground Level Unit)
Moving to: Melton (3 bedroom Ground level House)
Occupants: 1 Adult (2 kids on weekends)
Loading Time: 1.5 hours
Drive Time: 1 hour
Unloading Time: 2 hours
Vehicle Suggested: 4T Truck

Their Story:
Single Father of 2 kids, Danny needed found that he needed more space for when his children visited.

In order to afford a bigger place without having to spend more money, he decided to move to Melton. He booked the suggested 4T Truck.

With his children only being with him on the weekends he had all their things already packed up and ready to go. With minimal fuss and access, we were able to load up fairly quickly and fit everything in the truck in one trip.

The drive to Melton took about 1 hour and then unloading was even easier as we had driveway parking available.

Danny did ask our movers to assemble is own bed for him so they could concentrate on setting up the kid’s new rooms.

Total Move Duration: 4.5 Hours (Including 30-minute travel time due to Melton being out of coverage)
Total Cost: $495.00

Scenario 3:

Customers: Christian and Melissa
Day: Thursday
Moving From: Dandenong (4 Bedroom Single Storey House. Fully Furnished)
Moving to: Toorak (4 Bedroom, Double Storey, Fully Furnished)
Occupants: 2 adults and 3 children
Loading Time: 3.5 hours
Drive Time: 40 minutes
Unloading Time: 4.5 Hours
Vehicle Suggested: 10T Truck

Their Story:
Moving the whole family to be closer to work at a new job in the city, Christian and Melissa arranged for us to come to their house in Dandenong.

We were able to park our 10T Truck in their driveway and had easy access to their front door.

We were required to dismantle all beds and the extra big display cabinets and a large dining table in order to get it out of the door.

The dismantling of items and our mover’s experience in packing a truck made it easy for all their items to fit into the one truck all in one load.

At drop off, parking was a little trickier. We had to park on the road near a corner. Access to the property was award and the main furniture was all going to the second level with the bedrooms on the bottom floor.

Our movers had to navigate some tricky stairs up to the front door access and down to the bedrooms and then assemble all the previously dismantled furniture.

The unloading due to the situation took longer than the loading time.

Total Move Duration: 9 Hours
Total Cost: $1,251.00

Scenario 4:

Customers: Dean and Sam
Day: Friday
Moving From: Essendon (2-bedroom house, small outdoor setting)
Pick up: Sunshine (to pick up a gym set)
Moving to: Caroline Springs (3-bedroom townhouse, 2 bathrooms)
Occupants: 2 adults
Loading Time: Essendon: 1 hour and Sunshine: 15 minutes
Drive Time: Essendon -Sunshine: 20 minutes and Sunshine to Caroline Springs: 20 minutes = 40 minutes
Unloading Time: 1.5 hours
Vehicle Suggested: 4T Truck

Their Story:
Brothers Dean and Sam called upon us to move them from Essendon to their townhouse in Caroline Springs.

Knowing that they also had to make a stop in Sunshine to collect a gym set Dean had organised the help of their Uncle Bobby and his wife Jodie.

Between the movers and the help from the customers and their family, the loading and unloading time was cut down considerably considering it was a fairly fully furnished house.

Total Move Duration: 3.5 hours
Total cost: $385.00

Scenario 5:

Customers: Steve
Day: Sunday
Moving From: South Yarra (1 bedroom apartment. Sparsely furnished – 3<sup>rd</sup> floor)
Moving to: Ballarat (3 bedrooms old homestead)
Occupants: 1 person
Loading Time: 1.5 hours
Drive Time: 2 hours
Unloading Time: 1 hour
Vehicle Suggested: 4T Truck

Their Story:
Deciding to help his parents out and save himself some rent money, Steve decided to move back home to country Australia.

He organised for us to collect his small amount of furniture from his 3rd-floor apartment in South Yarra. The lift in his apartment had broken down when we arrived.

We used the stairs to bring everything down causing the loading to take a little longer than expected.

The drive was just over 2 hours as there was some congestion getting out of the city but once we were on the open road, we managed to get to Ballarat in just under 2 hours.

Unloading into the family home was quick and simple.

Total Move Duration: 4.5 hours
Total Cost: $495.00

Scenario 6:

Customers: Jess and Jack
Day: Wednesday
Moving From: Ringwood (3-bedroom house, 2 Living areas and 2 bathrooms, fully furnished)
Moving to: Malvern East (3 Bedroom townhouse, 1 living area, 2 bathrooms)
Occupants: 2 Adults and 3 children part-time
Loading Time: 3.5 Hours
Drive Time: 30 minutes
Unloading Time: 4hours
Vehicle Suggested: 4T Truck based on furniture for 2 people

Their Story:
Friends Jess and Jack were moving from Ringwood to Malvern East.

At the time of their quote request and booking explained that they were the only two people living in the house, only basic household furniture.

Items from the garage also needed to be moved. We discovered quickly that there was no way all their stuff was going to fit into the 4T Truck we had suggested to them.

We offered as a gesture of goodwill that we would send the 4T Truck away and not charge them for the wasted time.

We organized a 6T Truck at the 6T Truck rate as soon as it became available. Loading took longer than expected as the children’s shared room was not organized, and neither was the stuff in the garage.

Upon arriving at the drop off location we discovered that Jack’s massive King size latex mattress could not be taken upstairs due to the angle of the stairway turn.

Our movers spent extra time as per the customer’s request to try and get the mattress upstairs.

We offered to bring in some extra labour-hire, but the customer offered to lend a hand themselves and with perseverance and a few different attempts we managed to get the mattress to the second level.

The unpreparedness and lack of true information did cause the move to take a little longer.

Total Move Duration: 8 hours
Total Cost: $1,000.00

Scenario 7:

Customers: Michael
Day: Friday
Moving From: South Yarra (5th floor Office containing Office desks, a kitchen and storage room)
Moving to: Melbourne CBD (10th-floor offices)
Occupants: 8 staff members
Loading Time: 5 Hours
Drive Time: 40 minutes
Unloading Time: 6.5 hours
Vehicle Suggested: 2 x 4T Truck’s due to parking restrictions in the city

Their Story:
Michael was moving his Company’s office and staff from South Yarra to Melbourne CBD. We suggested 2 x 4T Trucks which would come with a pair of movers each.

More manpower for big office movers while costing more on the hourly rate can often shorten the time it takes which saves money.

Also, moving within these locations could be difficult to find parking. Michael decided he wanted to use one truck and one team so ordered a 6T Truck instead.

Upon arrival, we learnt that our movers had to dismantle all desks, partitions, empty filing cabinets and dismantle shelving which took up a bulk of the time.

Using a lift to bring all the items to the ground floor, our movers then had to walk a little down the street to reach the large truck.

At drop off in the middle of the city, we drove around for a while trying to find legitimate parking as Michael had not organised parking.

With such a large truck it can be hard to find parking that will not be an obstruction or invoke a parking fine. The unloading again took some time due to the need for assembly and set up.

Total Move Duration: 12.5 Hours.
Total Cost: $1,562.50

Scenario 8:

Customers: Lionel and Amelia
Day: Saturday
Moving From: Greensborough (Ground level 4 bedroom, 2 living areas, 2 bathrooms, outdoor furniture, fully furnished)
Moving to: Kilmore (Ground Level 3 Bedroom, 1 Living Area, 2 bathrooms, outdoor furniture, fully furnished)
Occupants: 2 adults
Loading Time: 3 hours
Drive Time: 1 Hour
Unloading Time: 2 Hours 15 minutes
Vehicle Suggested: 10T Truck

Their Story:
Downsizing now that all their children have moved out of home, Lionel and Amelia decided to move a little further out.

Beds were needed to be dismantled and a few shelves and the outdoor furniture. The unload was much simpler.

Only 2 beds were being reassembled and a lot of furniture was simply going from the truck to the garage.

Total Move Duration: 7.5 (Includes 1 hour return fee)
Total cost: $1,087.5

Need a quote?

The scenarios above are just some of the things that can happen that can affect your move.

Being prepared and asking questions is the best way to get ahead of the game and we are always happy and ready to be there for you.

If you would like to get a quote for your next move? Fill in your details and then you’re just one click away from a great stress-free service.

Suggested Reading:

Change of Address Checklist You Must Have
Can moving companies disassemble and reassemble furniture?

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writer's bio

Picture of Christina

Christina, a highly productive writer with a half-decade of experience in the realms of moving, transportation, and logistics, stands out for her ability to create content that goes beyond mere information—it genuinely helps! Her writing not only delves into the complexities of the industry but also serves as a valuable resource for readers seeking accurate and insightful perspectives. With a commitment to staying current on industry trends, her versatile portfolio includes blog posts, articles, and technical guides, showcasing a passion for bringing the dynamic world of logistics to life through words.

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