Even without having to throw down first/last/security, moving was one of the most stressful and expensive things I've done this year. Let's break it down.
I didn't have to give anything to get into my place, other than my word that I'd stay here until the end of August 2009. Done!
Administrative costs: $150
I had to pay $150 administrative fee to my former landlord in order to get out of my lease. She said this was to cover the legal cost of having to draw up a lease for the new tenant. Kind of annoying, but keep in mind that I was able to get someone to rent my apartment for September 1 within less than a week of breaking my lease, so I wasn't liable for any rent costs while the apartment was vacant.
Cleaning costs: $80 + $20 tip = $100
My landlord requires each apartment to be professionally cleaned between tenants. She couldn't get her usual cleaning crew in there since August is the busiest month for people moving in/out of the building, so it became my responsibility. I asked one of the housekeepers at the inn to clean it, and she agreed to do it for $80.
Broker costs $470
By involving a broker in the renting of my old place, I had to agree to pay half the fee. I could've tried posting the apartment on craigslist and renting it myself, but my landlord was incredibly picky about who lived in the building and wanted to approve whoever I found. Since I didn't have the resources to do a background check and credit check on someone (which she, of course, does), I'd be at her mercy with this, and she was pissed that I was breaking my lease and not inclined to be helpful. I didn't want to hold things up and wind up having to pay rent for September (and possibly beyond) just because I hate to spend money. It hurt to shell out nearly $500 bucks for this, but the peace of mind was definitely worth.
Moving vehicle: $0
I didn't have to rent a moving van -- I was lucky enough to be able to use the inn's "company car" (an old Passat with a huge trunk from the owner's former business that now resides behind one of our inns), and my parents and boyfriend came to help. Between my parents' car and the inn's car, we were able to get everything here (just down the street, remember) in a handful of trips. The only thing that didn't fit in the cars was the klick-klack sofa frame, which my dad and boyfriend carried the three blocks down the street. In order to conserve space in the small apartments I've been living in, I've been sleeping on a klick-klack sofa for the past two and a half years. My back is super excited to finally have a real bed.
Painting costs: $90
Before I moved in, I decided to do something I'd never been able to do do in any apartment I'd ever lived in: paint. The living room was a steely shade of blue and the bathroom was a creamy baby blue; though I didn't love either of these colors, neither particularly offended me. The bedroom, however, was a mustard color that I simply couldn't live with. I decided to paint it taupe and get green apple bedding and accents for the room. The primer, paint, and painting supplies were pretty expensive, which definitely put the kibosh on any further painting endeavors, but I'm glad I did the bedroom, at least.
Decorating costs: $160
I lucked out and inherited an amazing bed, an antique dresser, love seat, and kitchen table and chairs from the girl who previously lived here. I really didn't have to buy any furniture, which was great, because I'd been planning to buy a bed and dresser when I moved in. This left a lot of money on the table, which I wound up using to buy a big ticket item I'd wanted for a long time (more on that in another post).
I did have to buy new bedding, bathmats, and some other little things. I was able to get a good break on the duvet cover from Crate & Barrel by purchasing it during tax-free weekend and using a $25 gift card I got for my birthday last year, bringing the cost from $110 down to $75. I purchased the bath mats at Kohls for $17, and the sheet set from Marshall's for $40. Along with some other little things, it wound up being less than $200. I plan to make a trip to Ikea sometime in the near future to buy some much needed curtains, throw pillows, and another set of sheets. I'm budgeting about $100 for that trip.
Total costs of moving: $970
This is a little more than what one month's rent would have cost at my old place, about the equivalent of having to pay a security deposit. At the end of this month, I'll get my security deposit back from my old landlord, almost breaking even.