The Cost of Moving: Adding Up the Numbers

The bed and the desk chair. The desk, the sofa, and the coffee table have yet to be delivered.

When I decided to move from Seattle to Cedar Rapids, I told you I’d keep track of every expense—and I have, from the security deposit to the pack of breath mints I bought at the airport.

I’ve shared many of these expenses with you, but not all of them (I bought a bedframe and a rug on Amazon, for example). So, in this column’s final installment, I’ll add up the entire cost of moving.

I’m counting my moving costs as done, even though there are still a few items I want to get for my new apartment, because at this point I could live comfortably on the items I already have in my apartment. I have everything I need, and going forward I’ll need to budget for what I want.

So. How much did I spend?

  • $2,084.25 on traveling between Seattle and Cedar Rapids, including the week I spent apartment hunting. This figure includes flights, Smarte Cartes and checked bags, onboard Wi-Fi, the Airbnb I used while I looked at apartments, Lyfts and taxis, bike rentals, and food.
  • $1,724.84 on furniture, household goods, and Wi-Fi setup.
  • $1,387.99 on shipping, including the 29 boxes I took to the Sip & Ship, the Lyfts and Dollys I used to take the boxes to the Sip & Ship (and the Goodwill), and the white chocolate pumpkin spice cookies I ate while at the Sip & Ship.
  • $690 for the apartment application fee and security deposit.
  • $42.02 to unfreeze and refreeze my credit.

TOTAL COST: $5,929.10

Yes, I got $450 when I sold my furniture to the tenant who is now in my former Seattle apartment, and I should be getting another $1,300 or so when my former landlord returns my last month rent and security deposit minus cleaning fees. (There are always cleaning fees, even when you clean before you leave.)

But moving is expensive, and the next time somebody says “why don’t you just move to some place with a lower cost of living,” you can link them to this page.

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