Moving can be a stressful and time consuming process. Yet, most people encounter some unexpected last minute surprises in the shape of unexpectedly high moving costs. Those unexpected, last minute moving costs can significantly disrupt your already tight financial situation particularly if you’re moving on a tight schedule. Here’s what you need to do in order to avoid the surprise of unexpectedly high moving costs.

Don’t pack your household items too heavily. Heavy loads typically mean more expensive moving. In addition to the additional cost of carrying household items over long distances, people find themselves carrying huge bags that include a number of other household items. This adds to the stress of moving. So, take care not to pack things excessively or to load your bags too heavy. Instead, pack things in a way that will enable you to move easily.

Be aware that many places charge an extra fee if you bring bulky items into the building. This extra fee could actually apply to both your residential move and your commercial move. So, make sure you don’t bring bulky items to your new home when you’re preparing for your next home move. You will be charged an extra fee anyway so there’s no need to double up on your packing just because you’re bringing bulky items. Ask the movers if there is a limit on the additional fee.

Contact your local Better Business Bureau or BBB for information about scams. A growing number of businesses are posing as professional movers to charge customers up to thousands of dollars in moving fees. Also, there are unscrupulous companies that pose as moving companies but which in fact only obtain non refundable deposits from customers. These companies then keep these deposits and do not pay the required fees. If you’re moving somewhere, it’s very important that you do some research about the company that’s packing your belongings.

It’s also important to learn how to properly load and unload a truck during your move. For example, if you’re planning to drive your truck up an elevator, you can’t simply wheel it up the elevator and leave it there. The elevator will need to be emptied again before the truck can be rolled away with your belongings. Always notify the company if you’ll need to have the truck unloaded at any point. That way, they’ll be able to arrange for this to occur without warning you.

When the movers arrive at your residence, don’t leave large items such as furniture inside the home. Often times the movers have a special pad that they place large items on so that they won’t bump into things or knock them over. However, most people don’t know this. So, when the moving company arrives to unload the truck, you must empty the pad in order to put large items in there. This will probably increase your total moving fee.

Finally, the bill comes. You can get a refund from your moving company if the estimate given to you is more than what the mover estimated. But, what if you receive an estimate that is less than what the mover estimates? Don’t worry, because this isn’t a federal motor carrier law, so you don’t have to be concerned about getting a refund. Just be sure that you’re getting your estimate from a legitimate business, though.

Don’t pay for less than what your moving company charges for the packing and loading of your belongings. Learn how to get a better estimate for your moving day expenses, as well as learn how to avoid having any unexpected charges at the end. You don’t want to pay too much for the moving services, but you also don’t want to be surprised by any fees or charges. Learn all you can about the packing industry and pack everything yourself this year so you won’t have to be moved into your new home before you’re packed and ready to move!