Moving is undeniably expensive. According to Forbes Home data, 42% of first-time movers reported spending over $1,000 on their move, with the average move costing $1,035.

The research indicates that people typically face unexpected moving costs averaging $723. However, this amount can vary. Forbes Home data shows men spent about $870 on unforeseen expenses, while women spent around $663.

Moving costs can vary widely based on several factors, such as the distance of the move, whether you hire a local or interstate transporter such as Fillme, the time of year, and even the day of the week. Location also plays a significant role.

Moving to a new house can be an exciting but stressful experience. Many people plan for the obvious expenses like hiring movers or renting a truck. However, there are several hidden costs that can catch you by surprise. Here are 15 hidden costs to watch out for when moving house.

1. Packing Supplies

When planning a move, you might overlook the cost of packing supplies. Boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and packing paper can add up quickly. Even if you think you have enough materials at home, chances are you’ll need more than you expect. Speciality boxes, like those for TVs, artwork, jewellery, and watches, can be especially pricey.

Additionally, you might need markers and labels to keep everything organized. To save money, look for free boxes at local stores or use items you already have, like suitcases and laundry baskets.

Group of people at outdoor auction opening boxes in storage container

2. Temporary Storage

Sometimes, the timing of your move doesn’t line up perfectly. You might need to move out of your current home before your new one is ready. In such cases, you’ll need temporary storage or self-storage service for your belongings. Renting a storage unit can be expensive, especially if you need it for an extended period.

Additionally, you might have to pay for a storage unit that’s larger than you initially thought if you underestimate the amount of space you need. To avoid this cost, try to synchronize your move-in and move-out dates as closely as possible.

3. Cleaning Costs

When you move out of a rental property, you often need to leave it in pristine condition to get your security deposit back. This can mean hiring professional cleaners, which is an extra expense. Even if you’re moving from a home you own, you’ll likely want to clean it thoroughly for the new owners.

On the flip side, your new home might not be as clean as you’d like it to be, requiring another round of cleaning. Consider the cost of cleaning supplies or professional cleaning services in your moving budget.

4. Utility Setup and Transfer Fees

Setting up utilities in your new home can come with unexpected costs. Many utility companies charge setup or transfer fees when you move. These fees can include electricity, gas, water, internet, and cable. Sometimes, there might be deposits required if you’re a new customer or if you’re moving to a different state.

It’s important to call your utility providers ahead of time to understand what fees you’ll be facing. Budget for these expenses so they don’t catch you off guard.

Speeding Semi Truck with Trailer Loaded with Wooden Material Beams and Planks. Heavy Duty Transportation.

5. Hidden Transportation Costs

While you might budget for the cost of a moving truck or professional movers, there are other transportation costs to consider. For example, if you’re driving a long distance, you need to account for gas, tolls, and possibly overnight accommodations.

If you have more than one vehicle, you might want to get a free car transport quote with Fillme to transport it. Additionally, if you’re flying to your new home, factor in the cost of airfare and any additional baggage fees. Make sure to account for these costs in your overall moving budget.

6. Insurance Costs

When you move, you may need to update or purchase new insurance policies. Your existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance might not cover your belongings during the move. You may need to buy moving insurance to protect your items from damage or loss.

Additionally, if you’re moving to a new area, your auto insurance rates might change based on the location. Contact your insurance providers to understand what coverage you have during the move and if you need any additional policies. These costs can add up, so it’s important to budget for them.

7. Pet Care and Transportation

If you have pets, moving can be particularly challenging. Pets need special care and attention during a move to ensure their safety and comfort. You might need to hire pet transport services, especially if you are moving long-distance. These services can be costly.

Alternatively, you might need to pay for pet boarding if you can’t take your pets with you immediately. Don’t forget to budget for any veterinary visits or health certificates required for travel. Ensuring your pets are well taken care of can add an unexpected expense to your moving budget.

partial view of woman working with jigsaw while her boyfriend standing behind during renovation at

8. Home Repairs and Improvements

When moving out of a home, especially if you’re selling, you might need to make some repairs or improvements to get it ready for the market. Even small repairs like fixing leaky faucets, painting walls, or repainting the swimming pool can add up.

Similarly, when you move into a new home, there might be repairs or improvements you want to make right away. This could include anything from installing new locks to more significant renovations. These costs can be substantial, so it’s wise to set aside a budget for them.

9. New Furniture and Appliances

Even if you’re bringing all your furniture and appliances with you, it’s common to find that some items don’t fit or match your new home. You might need to purchase new furniture or appliances to suit your new space. This can include anything from a new couch to a new refrigerator.

Additionally, if you’re moving to a larger home, you might need more furniture to fill the space. These purchases can be costly, so it’s important to factor them into your moving budget.

10. Childcare and School Costs

If you have children, moving can involve additional costs related to their care and education. You might need to pay for childcare during the move to keep them safe and out of the way. If you’re moving to a new school district, there might be enrollment fees, costs for new school uniforms, or additional supplies required by the new school.

You may also want to invest in after-school programs or activities to help your children adjust to the new environment. These expenses can add up quickly, so it’s important to plan for them.

11. Meals and Takeout

During a move, especially on the days immediately before and after the move, cooking at home can be challenging. You might find yourself relying on takeout, delivery, or dining out more than usual. This can quickly become expensive, particularly if the move spans several days or if you have a large family.

To mitigate this cost, consider preparing and freezing meals ahead of time, or budget for the additional expense of eating out.

In the office, an Asian woman carefully signs her resignation letter, feeling stressed. She packs

12. Time Off Work

Moving can be time-consuming, and you might need to take time off work to manage it. If you’re an hourly worker or don’t have paid leave, this can result in lost wages. Even for salaried employees, taking time off can sometimes mean falling behind on work or using up valuable vacation days.

13. Travel for House Hunting

Before you move, you’ll likely need to spend time house hunting, which can involve significant travel costs. This might include airfare, car rentals, gas, and accommodation expenses if you’re moving to a distant location.

Multiple trips may be necessary to find the right home, especially if you have specific needs or preferences. These trips can add up, so it’s important to budget for them in your moving expenses.

14. New Address Update Fees

When you move, you need to update your address with numerous institutions and services. Some of these updates may come with fees. For example, changing your address on your driver’s license or vehicle registration might incur a cost.

Additionally, if you use mail forwarding services, there may be fees associated with setting them up. It’s easy to overlook these small but cumulative expenses, so make sure to include them in your budget.

15. Unexpected Repairs and Maintenance

Upon moving into your new home, you might discover unexpected repairs or maintenance issues that weren’t apparent during the initial inspection. This could include plumbing problems, electrical issues, or appliances that don’t work as expected. Even minor fixes can be costly, and more significant problems can quickly escalate the expenses.

It’s a good idea to have a contingency fund set aside to cover any unexpected repairs or maintenance needs that arise once you move in.


Relocating isn’t just about the movers or truck rental; it’s the sneaky costs that can catch you off guard. Think packing materials, storage units, and those deep-cleaning fees. And let’s not forget the takeout meals, lost wages from missed work, and those last-minute fixes that all nibble away at your wallet.

But hey, if you’re savvy and plan for these hidden expenses, you’ll dodge the stress and those nasty financial shocks. It’s all about being one step ahead—setting aside cash for babysitting, forwarding your mail, or patching up the place.

Get your budget down pat, and you’ll waltz through the moving maze and into your new pad without breaking a sweat.