Don't Get Shocked by Moving-Day Packing Charges


Psst, wanna hear a little secret about moving?

It’s not the moving charges that will kill you — it’s the packing charges.

That’s right: moving boxes, shrink wrap and tape. (Yes, tape.)

If you’re doing your own packing, you probably don’t think you need to worry about packing — you did it all yourself, right?

But you probably didn’t box some things that need to be boxed. You probably didn’t use shrink wrap on upholstered furniture. You might not have taped your boxes securely enough.

The movers will want you to do all this because they want to keep your belongings safe during the move, and make your move more efficient.

And if you haven’t done it, they’ll do it for you on moving day — and they’ll charge you for it.

Now, not all moving companies will insist on billing you for your packing materials. But some will. When you get estimates from movers, you need to ask them what’s considered extra, and what is not.

If packing materials are extra, and you’re packing yourself, you need to make sure we’ve done a thorough enough job to avoid extra charges come moving day.

If you’re packing yourself, here’s what the movers will insist on:

* Anything that can go in a box, should be in a box — it’s easier to carry, and it’s much more efficient for the moving company to load into a moving van. See more tips on what needs to go in a moving box.

* Shrink wrap is the clear film that movers use on items that are too big to go in boxes, but still need to be protected during the move. This includes upholstered furniture. See this article on what needs to be shrink-wrapped.

* Moving tape can be expensive — some readers have told me they’ve paid up to $10 a roll. The movers will use this to seal any boxes they packed, as well as any boxes you packed if you didn’t use enough of it. See this article for other reasons movers might use tape, and what kind of tape they use.

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