Before you move, ask for an in-home estimate of your belongings, evaluating your home room by room with a Certified Moving Consultant.  Ideally, get multiple estimates to compare. Here are 5 different categories of moving-related charges you can expect to see on a professional moving estimate.

Moving and Transportation Services

These are specifically for the “moving” portion and will likely be the largest portion of your final bill. Charges may be based on weight, volume, and/or the number of hours estimated to complete your move.  There may also be additional charges or minimum fees related to the moving and transportation costs. Make sure your estimate clearly details and defines all of these charges. Check the estimated weight, volume and labor hours.  Weight is the most common method used to price a move. While it is not an exact science, there is a formula involved, based on the industry standard “density factor” of 7 pounds per cubic foot.  Make sure you understand how you will be charged and how the charges may vary depending on the final actual weight, volume or hours.

Packing and Crating Services

You may opt to hire the professionals to pack your belongings, especially items that are fragile or sensitive, for safe transport to your new home. This service is usually charged by the carton or crate.  Your estimate should include an educated guess on the expected number of cartons/crates and the charges associated with them. Keep in mind this service is the most difficult to estimate precisely and packing is where you may see the most variance among estimates.

Extra Services

While they may or may not be outlined on your estimate, there are likely a wide variety of “accessorial” or “extra” services available. These miscellaneous fees may be required for your move, depending on the items being moved, where they are coming from, where they are going, and other variables.  Ask about any “extra” charges that could apply and make sure you understand what they all mean and whether they are necessary or optional.

Released Valuation

This service works like insurance but it is not insurance. It represents the “value” at which you intend to “release” your items to your moving company. Reputable movers will offer a range from Full Replacement, at an additional cost, to minimal coverage at no charge.  Make sure your mover understands your selection and that you get it in writing, along with a deductibles and other associated costs.


If you need to store your belongings before, during or after your move, expect additional charges. There is usually a fee involved with picking up your items for storage, and a separate one for delivery after storage.  These may be called “warehouse handling fees.” You will also be billed for the storage itself, either by the day, week or month.  If you wish to access your items while they are in storage, there may be a charge to retrieve and release them.


It may be best to ask for an estimate of ALL possible services, and another for services you are most likely to actually use.  Make sure you get a written estimate and take your time to make sure it is accurate and you understand it.  This will help ensure that your overall moving experience, and your final bill, meets your expectations. Contact the experts at Bisson if you have any questions about your moving estimate, even if its not one of ours.