The Cost of Our Move from Brooklyn to Jersey City

When my husband and I signed the lease on a new apartment earlier this year, I was really excited, but hated the idea that it would have to involve spending a bunch of money just to relocate our belongings across a couple of bridges.

We both knew we couldn’t deal with the entire move on our own, though (not to mention the drive through Manhattan!). So we hired movers, but together the two of us tried to go about every other step strategically to avoid excess costs.

Here’s roughly how much it cost us to relocate two peoples’ stuff from a one-bedroom walk-up in Brooklyn, NY, around ten miles to a new elevator building in Jersey City, NJ.


  • Scissors: $3

  • Eight-pack of Sharpies: $5

  • Six rolls of Scotch Sure Start shipping tape: $23

  • Five rolls of bubble wrap: $74

  • One cardboard poster tube: $8

  • One vinyl records storage box: $14

  • 20 small bankers boxes: $40

  • Eight medium bankers boxes: $32

  • Three wardrobe boxes: $40

Total: $246

Our box costs were pretty low because we reused boxes shipped to us in the mail. If you use Amazon as much as we do, we recommend this.

It’s eBay Time

There is no point in moving things you don’t want. If you pack it up, you’re both adding to your costs and only delaying the inevitable need to figure out what to do with it. After moving day is over, it should be the end of all of that stuff and time for prettying up and enjoying your new place. A lot of our things got thrown out along the way during our packing process. Anything we didn’t want that also happened to be manufactured by a recognizable brand got cleaned up, photographed and listed on eBay.

A lot of the smaller items fit in envelopes. A big pack of padded envelopes was $6.50. Between the two of us, we made almost $900 on eBay after fees.

We also listed some other bits that were too bulky to ship in a local Facebook group and had people pick them up. That brought in around $100.


We unearthed five pairs of old eyeglasses while we were packing. Nobody needs that many backup frames. We decided to donate them and, after a little bit of searching, I found New Eyes. It happened to be based out of New Jersey, which sounded serendipitously nice. So, off some of our old frames went to New Eyes (in one of those padded envelopes, of course). Shipping our frames was less than $10, I believe, and it’s tax deductible.

Moving Day

We found a well-rated moving company that gave us a fair and logical estimate. They also responded quickly to emails, which is important to me. [Side note: One mainstream moving company had sent me a cheery email with a quote of more than $2,300 for an “interstate (long-distance) move.”] Our new building in Jersey City required a Certificate of Insurance, for which the movers charged $50. The move itself, plus tip, was about $500.

Cleaning Day

It turned out that our landlady wasn’t too picky about the cleanliness of the place after we left, but since I knew about things going bad with landlords around this topic for other people (and because I wanted my deposit back), I booked a move-out clean with a cleaning service. Cost: $150, tip included.

Other Stuff

We took our most valuable personal belongings with us in a car service over to the new place on moving day, while the movers were headed there in their truck. Cost: $50.

I’m going to assume I also missed a few items in my supplies list. Cost: $20.

The Total

I had hoped that our successful experience with eBay and getting rid of other stuff through Facebook would have meant we broke even, but I guess we did wind up paying. Total costs, if you factor in eBay profits? $32.50!!!

Packing and moving from BK to JC: $1,032.50

Profits from temporarily turning ourselves into eBay/FB machines: $1,000

I hope this post helps someone avoid paying ridiculous moving costs. ❤

I’m pretty happy with how this process turned out for the both us. I might even call it… A++, Good experience. Very appreciated; Would do again!