Relocating in Chicago: Moving Expenses Checklist

Having your relocation funds down to a T is crucial for every successful move. Unforeseen costs can creep up, leaving you to wonder how on Earth you spent all your savings to relocate. To avoid any mistakes and prevent yourself from spending cash you don’t have, a moving expenses checklist is in order. We have all the tips, tricks, hacks, and info on how to plan a budget to have your house move under control from start to finish.

A Moving Expenses Checklist – Where to Begin?

Are you wondering: is there a checklist for moving? Of course, there is. Actually, there are multiple kinds when it comes to a home move. First, you have your relocation to-do list, which includes all the obligations and tasks one should cover for a successful and efficient move. Then, there is a packing list that should encompass everything you plan to take to your new place – from large items you are relocating to the small and fragile items you should pack. And then, there is the list of moving expenses.

A relocation budget should cover each and every cost you can anticipate when it comes to your move. So how should you approach writing up your budget? Well, by researching how much do required materials and services cost, and then by leaving some extra cash on the side for unforeseen costs. And trust us, there is always something you can’t predict.

Why Is It Crucial to Create a Relocation Expenses List?

You might want to just wing it when it comes to your budget. But, before you give up on creating one, let’s solve a short math problem. It goes something like this: if an average American moves approximately 12 times during their lifetime and spends around $1,170 per each move, how much money will they spend on average on relocating during their lifespan? We’ve calculated it for you – the correct answer is $14,040, but it can be much higher.

Nobody said relocation is cheap. Truth be told, it is pretty expensive. If you try hard to be mindful of your spendings, you may be able to save a buck here and there. However, there is no way you can really move for free. And if you wish to retain money while relocating, the best way to do so is by securing a tight grip over your relocation spendings. And trust us, there’s no better method to do so than to create a detailed moving expenses list.

During a lifetime Americans spend around 14k on relocation expenses

What Are Common Moving Expenses?

You might find yourself asking: where did all my money go? One would think that once you’ve placed the deposit for your new home in the best neighborhood in Chicago, that you are more-less done with spending big chunks of your savings at once. Sadly that isn’t the case. When it comes to spending cash on a move, the length of your receipt will ultimately depend on how you approach the process altogether.

To start with, it will be determined by your decision to hire a moving company in Chicago or not. Next, you should be asking yourself which moving services in Chicago do you wish to employ? And are you going to leave some of your items in a storage unit, or are you taking everything to the new place? Maybe you still don’t have answers to all these questions. If that is the case, let us help you by sketching out each scenario in more detail.

A man in front of his boxes
The decision to employ movers (or not) will dictate how much you will spend in the long run on relocating your house

Relocation Costs to Expect When Relocating by Yourself to a New Home

If you choose not to hire local movers in Chicago and relocate by yourself, you actually might end up spending a bit more money. On the one hand, you will have to go around Chicago shops, searching for boxing up supplies, buying bits and pieces at retail prices. On the other, you might not know how to pack electronics properly, leading you to make a mess while boxing up your TV or even breaking the fragile PC screen while trying to figure out how to pack your computer. Be as it may, you will have to figure out every part of the move yourself and, of course, pay for each one individually.

Higher Costs You Should Anticipate When Relocating on Your Own

As long as you plan on relocating yourself, there are some parts of the move which are going to be costly and which you won’t be able to circumvent. Here is the list of the more expensive things you will surely have to think about:

  • Packing materials – As mentioned above, when boxing up yourself, you need to get all the supplies you need for all the items you plan on relocating. If you are in the Windy City, we recommend you visit the Citation Box & Paper Store on Kilpatrick Ave. It’s open 24/7 and should have everything you might require
  • Truck rental services – If you don’t own a truck, you will need to rent one. There’s no way you’ll be able to relocate by your car only. Even if you know how to pack furniture by yourself, placing the grand sofa in your Chevrolet Impala is practically impossible, no matter how spacious it is or how long its trunk is.
  • Fuel – And then, once you’ve rented a truck, you will need to get fuel for it. Depending on how far apart the best Chicago suburbs you are relocating to and from are, you will spend more or less money on truck fuel. Check out retail Gasoline and Diesel prices in Chicago to predict how much fuel for the rented truck might ultimately cost.
  • Insurance – With third-party insurance, you will be able to cover items of value, that is, items that cost more than $100.
A woman with a credit card in front of her computer
If you decide to move house on your own, you will have to take care of each part of the move yourself

Relocation Costs You Can Expect When You Employ Movers and Packers in Chicago

If you opt out for one of the moving companies in Chicago, IL, most of the previously mentioned costs will be covered by the relocation fee. If you wish to know a price for a move done by professionals, you will have to contact the company you are interested in and obtain your free quote. Since every move is different, so is its pricing. However, most often, the fee for the move will depend on a few crucial factors:

  • The time of the year – Relocating in summer costs more since this is the peak season for relocating. There is a reason why more people move in summer, though. While it might be a bit pricier, relocating during colder months might be more difficult for you because of snow and rain.
  • The number of hours it will take a mover in Chicago, IL to work to relocate you entirely – If you own more things, professional movers in Chicago will have to spend more hours boxing up and relocating your items, so keep that in mind. That being said, it’s always a good idea to declutter before a move, whether you’re relocating on your own or not. Consider selling some items or placing them in a storage unit.

Types of Services You Can Get With a Relocation Company

If you choose to hire professionals, there are different types of assistance you may get. They will vary in price, depending on how all-encompassing they are or how much work they entail:

  • Residential relocation service – When you want to relocate from an apartment or a home, this is the essential service for you.
  • Commercial relocation – If you are relocating your Chicago office, professional assistance will make sure your business’ downtime is the lowest possible.
  • Packers and movers – A relocation service that entails both boxing up assistance and the supplies and equipment one needs to move will ensure all your pots and pans are properly packed up and arrive at your kitchen safely.
  • Labor-only service – When you know how to pack on your own, have a vehicle to transport your entire load to your apartment or a storage unit but lack the manpower to carry it, you can always employ experts to carry your load for you.
The best movers in Chicago from one of Chicago moving companies
Professionals will assist you in the best way possible, and you might end up saving cash

Ensure There’s a Special Part of Your Budget Allocated for Unexpected Costs

No matter how hard you try to figure out everything on time, there are always things you forget to do when you move. And even if you remember to do everything, there is a chance an unforeseen expense comes up, especially if you are relocating in a hurry. After all, you are not a professional, and to err is only human. To avoid the chance of spending more than you planned for, and avoid relocation stress, consider these common additional spendings.

If You Wrongly Estimate How Much Stuff You Own, You Might Need to Rent a Storage Unit and Pay Some Extra Fees

A common unforeseen expense is that of a storage unit. If you are relocating to a smaller home and are relocating a piano or other bulkier items, you might bite off more than you can chew. Make sure you have enough room in your place for all of the items you wish to move with you, so you don’t have to place them in a storage unit. A great relocation hack is to measure all your bigger items to make sure everything fits.

You’ll Need to Pay for Cleaning of Both Places

In order to get your deposit back, you will have to leave your former home spotless. Once you start to pack books and other dusty items that reside on your shelves, you will see how much dust will be flying around. Likewise, relocating to your new place will require some cleaning – as people assisting you in carrying things will be walking in and out in their shoes, leaving marks and spreading dust.

Your new landlord also might not dust off the place properly before you move in. So prepare to spend some cash on cleaning, since there will be a lot of it. If you don’t hire a cleaning company, you will still have to cash out for the cleaning supplies, so just have that in mind.

If You Have a Pet, You’ll Have to Organize Transportation and Sitting for Them

If you are to move with pets, you’ll have to plan their time while you relocate accordingly. First off, keep in mind that movers won’t move pets via their trucks, which means you’ll have to think of ways to transport them to your home if you don’t drive a car. Simultaneously, it would be best that they are not running around your home while you are packing clothes and doing all the things one should do before relocating. So consider placing your pet in a pet hotel for a few days or hiring a sitter to take care of them.

Organizing a Moving Away Party Will Surely Require Some Cash

What’s a move without a going-away party to celebrate it? Still, a party will require some spending on things like food and drinks, no matter how many guests you invite. While you won’t have to spend much, still make sure you save up enough. Create a section on your moving out expenses checklist dedicated to your farewell party. It will be worth it.

Professional movers in Chicago taking out boxes from their truck
An imprecise assessment of the quantity of stuff you own will have you spending on a storage unit 

Tips to Save Money on a House Move

If you want to save some cash, there are a few things you can do to reduce your receipts. Here are some tricks you can employ to prevent using up every last coin from your piggy bank:

  • While your friends and family are no professionals, they too probably moved once or twice in their lives. Ask your loved ones to help pack up, carry and unpack your containers.
  • Try to move during an off-season period, so you spend less on professional services.
  • Use alternatives to boxing up materials. Bubble wrap and packing paper are pretty costly, but alternatives to them might be completely free. Use towels, crumpled newspapers, and cloths to wrap up and pack up free of spendings.
  • You can reuse old boxes and containers for carrying your items. Shoe boxes, ice cream containers, and cartons your wine glasses came in can be a great start.

For more tips and tricks on saving cash when relocating a house, check out the following video:

We Are the Best Movers in Chicago You Can Find

Now that you know everything that goes into creating a detailed checklist and allocating funds for a successful move, it’s time to decide whether this is a process you want to go through alone or not. Statistically, most people who relocated on their own said that after going through this stressful experience, they would never again try to move without professional Chicago movers. However, it’s up to you to decide the cost-benefit ratio.

We can tell you that hiring a relocation company will ultimately save you funds, time, and much peace of mind. If you are still unsure whether you can afford professional assistance, we urge you to call us up to discuss all the details and give you a free quote. Contact us today via phone or email, and start this novel chapter of your life in the easiest way possible. Our friendly staff is waiting for your call!

Posted in: Living in Chicago

Written by: Amelia Mead