The real cost of moving

October 26, 2016

Moving house is one of the most stressful things a person can do in their lifetime. There is so much organising to do, as well as physical work and emotions running high as you embark on a big change to your life. And this is all before you even start to think about the money involved.

The cost of moving home isn’t just about how much your new purchase (or rent) will be, there are so many more things you need to factor in to the total amount. Some of these things you may not have even considered yet. Here are some of the extra costs of moving that you will need to add to your budget:


It is quite surprising how many boxes you actually need when you move house, and the cost of them can really start to add up fast. You can buy boxes from Bunnings or hire them from your removalist company, and in some instances get money back if you return them in pristine condition. Remember to label all of your boxes to make it easier once you have moved into your new home. Add the cost of some thick markers, stickers, printed labels and tape to your budget.

Bubble wrap / butchers paper

Packing materials are essential and they can also start to add up before you know it. You can buy large rolls of bubble wrap from stores like Bunnings, as well as big rolls of butcher’s paper. This is one part of packing you can’t skimp on if you want your things to stay intact until they reach the other end.

Getting your current place ready for the market (or to be re-rented)

If part of your move involves selling your current house, you’ll be surprised at the additional cost you can add on to the move. You will need to pay to have your current home fixed up and in great shape before selling. Some of the costs include skip rental in Melbourne (for hauling away rubbish and clutter – there’s no point shifting it from home to home), painting supplies to freshen the house up and tools and parts for fixing all of those niggly problems such as the broken lock on the bathroom door that you’ve been meaning to get to for years.


Once you arrive at your new home, it should be quite clean as the person who has just vacated it would have given it a good clean. But sometimes during their move out, dust can be disturbed and resettle throughout the home so it is a good idea to give it a good clean when you first move in. You’ll also need to clean your old home, whether you are selling it or renting it, and in a lot of cases this will actually require the cost of hiring a professional cleaner to get the job done right. Then there is the cleaning of all of your furniture and possessions once you arrive at the new home. No matter how clean they were to start with, the move will likely get things a bit dirty or dusty again so they’ll need a wipe over. Add the costs of professional cleaners, as well as cleaning sprays and wipes, to your budget.


Hiring removalists is not for everyone. The cost can be huge – by far the most expensive part of moving – but you need to weigh the financial cost up with the cost against your mental wellbeing. If you are in a busy job, or if you have young children, it will be really hard to find the time to box up and move the entire house. If you end up needing to take annual leave, or unpaid leave, it can end up costing you in different ways than just money. So for some people, removalists are definitely an option worth considering.

Depending on your budget, some removalists will even come in and do the packing and unpacking for you, taking a lot of stress off your shoulders.


If you don’t plan ahead to eat everything from your fridge, freezer or pantry in the weeks leading up to your move, you might find that you end up having to give away a lot of your perfectly good (but perishable) food – only to have to re-buy it again once you move back in to your new home. And once you have packed up your cooking utensils, plates and cutlery, you’ll be buying take out for every meal until you actually move. A week of take out for the family will really add up fast.

Temporary accommodation

Sometimes people find themselves in the position where they can’t move into their new home straight away. It could be that they need to sell their old home before buying a new one, or the settlement dates don’t match up. This means finding a place to stay in the interim, and so rent might have to be factored in. Not only that, but storage for all of your extra boxes and furniture that you don’t need in the meantime, as well as the extra removalist fees to get you from your temporary accommodation to the new house once it is ready.

On top of the points mentioned there can sometimes be fees for things, like re-connecting the internet or changing the power over to a new name, that crop up once you’ve finished moving in. Then there is the cost of all of the redecorating you’ll feel like doing once you are in your brand new home! Oh wait, that’s not technically a necessary cost … but it’s definitely a tempting one!