Why Moving Always Costs More Than You Think

Whether you’re a plan-out-every-expense mover or go the swipe-the-card-ask-questions-later route, the toll that moving takes on your finances always seems to be bigger than you were expecting.

Unfortunately, there’s no one culprit to watch out for. Moving comes with a lot of expenses, and many of them seem to end up costing more than you bargained for. But if you know what to look for throughout the process, you can at least budget accordingly — and hopefully even make your move a little cheaper.

Hidden fees from moving companies

You might be tempted to go with the cheapest hourly rate or estimate when picking a moving company, but that’s not always the price you’ll end up paying. There are typically a number of extra fees that are included in the final bill:

  • Stair fees: If you live in a building without an elevator, you may be charged extra for stairs. Some moving companies charge by the flight, while others will actually count each step. (One recent quote we saw added on $2 per stair after the first 15.)
  • Moving insurance: By federal law, moving companies are required to cover a percentage of your items if they’re damaged or lost. However, many companies offer additional moving insurance for your items.
  • Fees for bulky items: Most movers charge extra for bulky items like pool tables or pianos, but you may also get hit with an unexpected fee if they have to disassemble any large furniture.
  • Packing supplies: The cost of packing supplies isn’t included in every moving quote, and some companies will tack on an extra charge for things like shrink wrap and tape.
  • Fuel fee: Some companies charge a flat fuel fee for the entire day, while others charge by the mile. However, many companies don’t include fuel as a part of the price for local moves.

When looking at moving estimates from different companies, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. If a company just tells you their hourly rate, it’s probably not the full story. You’ll want to give them a detailed inventory of everything you’ll be moving — an in-person or video consultation is even better — and ask for a final estimate with all of the fees itemized.

Paying for packing

Most movers include an option to pack up your belongings for you, but it will add a lot to your final bill. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand for this add-on. Typically, the cost of packing supplies is included in the price.

Getting out of your utilities contract

You may have a contract with your electricity, gas, water, or internet provider, and getting out of it early could cost you some money. In most cases, you’ll have to pay a certain amount for every month you have remaining on your contract. If you have AT&T internet, for example, you’ll be charged $15 for every month remaining on your contract, with a maximum fee of $180. On the bright side, some internet providers, like Spectrum, offer contract buyouts to help offset this.

Food, lodging, and gas

If you’re doing a cross-country move — or even if there’s a small gap between your move-in and move-out dates — you’ll want to budget for meals, hotels, and transportation costs. Gas for a U-Haul from coast to coast can add up to nearly $1,000, and hotels along the way will be around $100 per night, too. Whether you’re packing your meals beforehand or eating out on the road, food costs can add up on a moving trip as well.

Packing supplies

Depending on the size of your home, packing supplies can put a major dent in your moving budget. U-Haul, for example, sells a supply kit meant for a 1-2 bedroom apartment for $213.66. You may not need to spend quite that much, but it’s best to factor in some extra money for boxes, tape, and wrap.

Tips for your movers

A good rule of thumb is to tip movers $4-5 per person for each hour of work. For an all-day move with several movers, this could easily add up to more than $100. Some people also like to provide water, coffee, snacks, or meals for their movers as well.

Restocking household items

Chances are, you won’t want to bring your old plunger and mop along to your new place. No matter how much you bring over, you’ll inevitably have to do a run to Target to stock up on some essentials. We recommend budgeting about $200 for this “miscellaneous” category. You might not think you’ll need it, but moving day is usually more expensive than you think.

How to save on moving costs

Moving can be a serious drain on your savings, but there are a few things you can do to help trim down some of the bigger expenses. Follow these tips to make sure you stay within your moving budget.

Pay movers in cash

A lot of moving companies offer a discount around 5% when you pay for everything in cash. That might not be feasible for a cross country move that’s running in the thousands, but for less expensive moves, you can shave off some money by planning a trip to the bank before moving day.

Check for discounts and deals

No matter how much you’re bringing over from your old place, there’s probably plenty of new stuff you’ll need to buy along the way. Fortunately, coupons are readily available for new movers. Before you make that trip to Target or Home Depot, check out MyMove’s coupon page to see what discounts you can get.

Move in the off-season

If you can be flexible with your move date, you’ll usually save money by avoiding peak moving season, which occurs between April and October. This flood happens for a variety of reasons — school’s out, warmer weather makes moves easier, and there aren’t many major holidays to avoid. In the summer, moving companies are in much higher demand, which means you’ll likely get a higher quote than you would if you moved in the off-season.

Look for free boxes and supplies

You’re probably not the only one in your area who’s moving. You can usually find someone near you who’s recently moved in and has some boxes and moving supplies they’re looking to pass on. Before you spend money on fresh moving supplies, do a search on your local Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, BuyNothing, or NextDoor group.

Source: Why Moving Always Costs More Than You Think | MYMOVE

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This Marie Kondo E-Course Might Finally Help You Get Organized

Marie Kondo super-fans have already devoured her wildly popular books, such as The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And they’ve likely binged her Emmy-nominated Netflix series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. But even those who haven’t consumed her content likely know who she  is thanks to her status as a bona fide cultural lifestyle and business icon

Whether you’re already an adherent of the KonMari Method and eager for more instruction or just considering seeing what all the hype is about, Kondo has you covered. Today, she launches a 10-part digital tidying course, KonMari Method: Fundamentals of Tidying. The video series, which costs $39.99, uses lessons taught by Kondo and visual guides to help anyone who signs up get — and stay — organized.

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In a recent email interview, Kondo gave us the scoop on how Fundamentals of Tidying differs from her books and Netflix series, and why she thought now was the perfect time to release it. Read on for our interview. 

What was your motivation for putting together this course?

People are spending more time than ever at home, so this course is an opportunity to help people tidy up and rediscover their joy. Rather than a dreaded task, I see tidying as a celebration. It’s an act of gratitude for the items that support you every day – and the first step to living the life you’ve always wanted. It is my hope that the magic of tidying will help people to create a bright and joyful future, especially during these uncertain times.

How is it different from what your books and Netflix series offer?

I’ve discovered over the years that people master the KonMari Method in different ways. For many, my books were all the tidying instruction they needed. For others, my Netflix show – featuring real life stories of people tidying with me – helped them through the process. This course is a great fit for people who enjoy learning through visual demonstration. I break the KonMari Method into lessons and am with you every step of the way.

What does a typical lesson entail? 

The course breaks down the method into 10 lessons and takes you through a tidying festival from start to finish. The first three lessons lay the foundation for tidying successfully – in one shot – and expand on the philosophy behind my method. In the KonMari Method, you tidy by category, not by location – the five categories are clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items) and sentimental items, and there is an episode dedicated to each one.

I teach you how to tidy one category at a time and how to organize and store the belongings you choose to keep. The course is designed so you can tidy at your own pace and review my folding techniques and storage guides as you go.

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Are there any ways to personalize the course?

The pacing is up to you. It’s also compatible with multiple devices, so you can watch it easily from wherever you are. The course comes with a downloadable workbook with exercises and checklists to hold you accountable and keep you on track.

How long does the course take to complete?

The course itself is about 75 minutes long, but it will take you longer than that to tidy up. Some people may decide to watch the whole course straight through and then turn to tidying; others might watch one episode at a time and tidy along with me.

As long as you tidy by category and follow the right order – and the other “rules” that I outline in the course – you’ll be on the road to success.

Who will benefit most?

This course is perfect for people who want to defeat clutter once and for all. It’s also helpful for anyone seeking to reevaluate their relationship with their possessions and rediscover their joy.

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7 Things You Should Never Clean With Vinegar

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While it might seem like the answer to any and every cleaning conundrum is vinegar (it’s found in several of our favorite homemade cleaning solutions)—it’s not always the best choice. It’s a fantastic multi-purpose cleaner, but it’s not a miracle solvent and it won’t work on every type of stain or messy situation. Even though cleaning with vinegar is an affordable, eco-friendly, and relatively safe way to clean, there are still some surfaces and materials that can be damaged by vinegar. Save yourself from cleaning regrets—never clean these 7 things with vinegar.

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Over time, the acid in vinegar can wear away at the finishes on your countertop. While these surfaces are known for their durability, they’re also expensive, so you definitely want to keep them looking new for as long as possible. Using a vinegar-based, all-purpose cleaner can slowly fade that smooth shine with repeated use. The easiest way to keep stone clean is to wipe it down with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Easy, right?

While it might be really temptingto grab a microfiberclothand some vinegar to scrub away all of those smudges on your touchscreen devices, it’s a bad idea. It can ruin the coating on the screen. Tech screens can be really fickle and experts recommend using the cleaning formula specifically formulated for your laptop, phone, or tablet. Wiping down the device with a clean, dry microfiber will often do the trick.

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Mixing chemicals is serious business, and in general, is best to avoid for safety reasons. And while most of us know that bleach and ammonia can create a toxic gas, vinegar is another liquid you shouldn’t mix with bleach. Since vinegar is an acid, it releases toxic chlorine vapors when mixed with bleach. Separating your cleaning products will keep your home clean and safe.

Just like on stone countertops, using vinegar repeatedly on waxed wooden surfaces can cause the finish to wear over time. While some pros recommend using vinegar to clean floors and remove grime from furniture, just exercise caution based on your specific items and avoid leaving water or moisture on wooden surfaces. Be cautious when cleaning any finished wood surface and start with the least harmful method first.

Vinegar is known for its cleaning and deodorizing properties, and adding a cup of white vinegar to the top rack of the dishwasher is a popular cleaning tip. However, the acid in vinegar can break down the rubber seal of a dishwasher and other appliances over time. Check your appliance’s manual to see if it’s made with natural rubber, which can handle vinegar. If not, try a more diluted vinegar solution and run a normal cycle so the vinegar never sits on the rubber parts. For a full how-to, check out the complete directions here.

While vinegar is a great deodorizerand can help with odors of all kinds, you don’t want to use vinegar to clean up pet accidents. While it might remove the odors you smell, pets will still be able to sniff out past accidents and will go back to mark these spots again and again. Instead of vinegar, you’ll want to use an enzymatic cleaner. It will kill both the odors you smell and the ones only detectable by your pet.

While you can probably get away with using vinegar to clean your grout every now and then, it’s best to avoid using caustic cleaners like vinegar and bleach on grout. Over time, they can wear away the seal on grout and tile, causing them to age and deteriorate more quickly. For the safest way to clean grout, check out our full tutorial, starting with the mildest cleaning method and working your way up from there.

By: Caylin Harris

Source: https://www.realsimple.com

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