The average cost for movers is $25 to $50 per hour per mover. The cost of moving a 3-bedroom household move transporting 7,400 lbs is $1,500 for local moving, up to $4,300 for long distance moving. The price can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). Get free estimates from movers near you.
On average, according to numbers released in mid-2018, there are about 35.5 million people moving home in the US annually. Of the families and individuals making their way to a new address, the move will be accomplished using any number of methods: corporate movers, minivans, borrowed trucks, and personal vehicles.
Of the 3 million moves—where the final destination was another state—22% (650,000) used professional movers. Of all professional movers hired, 44% were paid for by homeowners, 39% were funded by companies, 16% by the military, and the remaining 1% was by other government entities.
The average cost for movers is $25 to $50 per hour per mover. The cost of moving an average 3-bedroom household move transporting 7,400 lbs is $1,500 for local moving, up to $4,300 for long distance moving.
|Moving Distance||Average Cost|
|Local Moving (Under 50 miles)||$1,500|
|Moving within the same state||$2,300|
|Long Distance Moving (Interstate)||$4,300|
|Home Size||Time to Move||Average Cost|
|1 Bedroom Apartment||3-5 hrs||$211 – $556|
|2 Bedroom Apartment||5-7 hrs||$375 – $721|
|3 Bedroom House||7-10 hrs||$491 – $1,516|
|4 Bedroom House||10+ hrs||$932 – $2,200+|
Bo Ballard Moving Services in Oklahoma City, OK, say, “For a 2-man crew on a local job we charge $100/hour plus a $100 setup fee, which covers our truck, fuel, equipment, mileage and such. We do not have a minimum, as most companies do.”
Eko Movers in Mason, OH, say, “Our rate is a flat rate quote. The price doesn't change. We do not go by weight. We charge by the size of the truck.”
At the very minimum level, you would pay for a truck to show up with anywhere from 2 to 4 movers who will take all the packed boxes, furniture, appliances, and other belongings out of your home and into the moving truck. After driving the truck to your final destination, they will then unload the contents into the rooms you have designated them for.
You can elect to have the movers also take care of the following portions of your move:
Unless you have been collecting boxes to prepare for your move, you will need to either buy moving boxes from a store or pay the moving company to add cardboard boxes, plastic bins, bubble wrap/packing paper, and any other supplies needed for the move.
The average prices you can expect to see for your moving materials are as follows (according to U-Haul):
|Moving Boxes and Packing Materials||Average Cost|
|Glass packing box and protective insets||$13|
|Kitchen china and glass kit||$100|
|Protective wrapping paper||$8|
|Furniture and appliance pads||$12|
|Hand cart/dolly rental||$30|
Both the time and date you set for your move are factors that could influence the final price. As you plan your move, keep the following in mind:
Most people try to either buy or sell their homes between school semesters to make the move easier on their kids. When possible, do everything you can to find a moving date other than the end of the school year or right before the new one starts. Moving services are at peak demand from May to early September. Also avoid the months when college students will be either moving away to college or returning for their next semester. It is not uncommon to see rates for moving companies higher than what you might see in the months before or after that time period.
Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest days for movers, and if you shop around, you could easily discover much lower/more affordable rates early in the week—when there is little to no demand for movers.
Renters usually move out at the end of a month, so try and set your move date to a few days after the first week and a few days before the last week of a month.
Schedule your move for some time in the morning so that your move is the movers first priority of the day. If you’re second on the list for that day, you run the risk of them arriving late from another move.
Campbell Moving in Sterling, VA, say, “Local moves are done on an hourly rate basis with typically a minimum of a half day job being four hours. That can occasionally be changed to something less if the job helps us fill in a day where we are light on, say, a morning job where the crew will not have a full day job.”
Local move costs will generally equate to an hour of labor costs. Long distance moves, like to another state, will include the cost per mile. Generally, this will be included in your quote, along with any fuel costs, but if you don’t see them, make sure to ask about both. Campbell Moving say, “Long-distance moves are done on a basis of a tariff. It is a formula of weight and distance, time of year, packing or not packing, etc.”
Bluebell Relocation Services in Clifton, NJ, say to “create an accurate inventory of what they [you] would like to move” in order to get the most accurate quote.
Lyndhurst Movers in Kearny, NJ, with 126 years in business, say, “To help customers stay focused and on track with their move, we have developed a comprehensive and compassionate approach to organizing the entire process. We want to know every detail of your move and listen with an experienced ear. The result of this is a smooth transition into your new residence or place of business.”
Your homeowner’s insurance policy might cover your belongings in a move or while they are in storage. Some carriers will cover your belongings during a move in the quote, while others treat it as an upgrade. Consider purchasing some sort of liability coverage either through your homeowner’s insurance or through the moving company. Common policy types that most moving companies offer include options that provide different levels of protection, including:
In most cases, if you do the move yourself, neither your existing auto insurance policy nor your homeowner’s insurance will cover your possessions when using your personal vehicle or rental car. You are taking on the entire risk for loss or damage to your property. If, however, you rent a moving truck to do the move, most, if not all, offer insurance packages that cover the vehicle, the driver, any passengers, and possessions for the duration of the rental.
Numerous medical reports and studies frequently list moving as one of the top ten most stressful life events, often featuring in the top five, right after the passing of a family member or a divorce. Knowing this, evaluate if it would be worth handing off the mechanics of the move to movers to lessen the impact of the stress on you and your family. But if the cost is too prohibitive, below are a few different ways to make your move happen without hiring moving professionals.
Asking for help from your friends and family is the lowest cost option available to most people. If they are willing to help with the move, you may want to pick two or three different days and then see which day you can have the most people turn up. The nicest experience for your “free labor” is for them to turn up and everything is already in boxes, and the boxes are already labelled—which will make it easy to know which room each box goes into on the other end. Also consider labelling the rooms at the destination with a system that makes sense so those who haven’t seen the new house before can easily place your belongings where they need to be.
Oftentimes, it is customary to treat your helpers to pizza and beer or gift certificates. If you are providing refreshments, have a cooler of water bottles available at each location throughout the day, and think about only providing the beer and pizza when the work is finished. Depending on everyone’s schedule, and how well everything has been packed and labelled, it might be necessary to have one crew help work on packing and another set of friends at the destination for unpacking.
Another option, which allows a bit more flexibility in the pace of your move, is to rent portable moving containers. The cost for renting PODS is based on the size of pod(s) that you need and the number of days you need it for. Once the container is at your property, just fill it with your moving boxes and larger items and belongings; and when it is full, the company will come by and transport it to your new address. A quick search can give you a number of companies to compare prices with, but in many cases, you can expect to pay close to:
Depending on the size of your home, the rental company will be able to tell you what size(s) you will need to rent.
Moving day will go a lot faster for everyone if you can rent a moving truck rather than use personal vehicles. Depending on the distance of your move, you can select from a local company or a nationwide one.
Truck rental companies generally use the following scale to help you determine what size truck you will need depending on the size of your home:
|Truck Size||Average Moving Space|
|10’ Truck||1-bedroom studio apartment|
|15’ Truck||1-bedroom home or 2-bedroom apartment|
|17’ Truck||Up to 2 bedrooms|
|20’ Truck||2-bedroom home or 3-bedroom apartment|
|26’ Truck||3-bedroom home or 4-bedroom apartment|
Truck rental companies, just like moving companies, also offer optional insurance packages, as well as all the moving supplies you might need like boxes, tape, bubble wrap, protective mats, and hand carts.
To make sure your move is as smooth a process as possible, your responsibilities as the customer include:
Before your move, your moving company should give you some basic information including a copy of the “Ready to Move” brochure or a link to the website and fully detailed documentation regarding the mover’s arbitration process. Also expect:
Before you make a decision on your moving company, create a top list of three to five companies to get bids from, from which you can make your final selection. To get the best companies onto that shortlist, look for those who have as many of the following as possible:
Ultimately, you’ll know which movers fit your needs best. Dulles Logistics and Rentals in Sterling, VA, says, “Each client has their own set of needs. Our goal is to listen to what the client needs and provide a service tailored to their needs and budget. Once hired the client receives a written service agreement that clearly states their charges.”
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