Moving is a complicated and expensive process. While there are many factors that contribute to the overall cost, the most impactful factors are the size of your home, the weight of your goods, the distance of your move and the services that you require.
The average in-state move costs $1,170 while an interstate move costs $5,630. While moving costs can significantly vary from one situation to another, this guide will help you get a good idea of what costs are associated with moving.
How much does a moving company cost?
If you don't have the time or ability to move yourself, hiring a professional moving company might be something you want to consider. Hiring professionals will definitely cost you more than it would to move on your own, but don't forget that the price will vary depending on the size of your move, how far you are moving and the services you require.
Local moves are anything under 100 miles. The total price is determined by cost per hour based on a rate of $80 to $100 per hour for two movers and a truck. If you need a third man, pricing can go up by $15 to $20 per hour. On top of the labor and truck, you could also end up paying a number of extra fees including the following:
- Stairs fee
- Disconnecting and reconnecting appliances
- Elevator carries
- Long carries
- Shuttle service
- Specialty moves
- Packing services and supplies
Long-distance moves refer to any move over 100 miles. Costs are calculated based on the weight of your goods and the distance the movers will be traveling. While prices will vary from one moving company to the next, the following table will help give you an idea of a standard range:
|Size of move
|Two bedroom home
||$2,800 - $3,500
||$3,500 - $4,200
||$5,800 - $6,200
|Three bedroom home
||$3,900 - $4,600
||$5,000 - $5,700
||$8,000 - $8,700
|Four bedroom home
||$4,900 - $5,600
||$6,000 - $6,700
||$10,400 - $11,100
Keep in mind these amounts are only estimates, and the actual cost will differ. You may also need extra services that are not included in these numbers. Acquiring several in-home estimates from long-distance movers will provide you with a more accurate price for your move.
How much does a do-it-yourself move cost?
DIY moves are the cheapest way to move if you don't mind moving everything yourself, but remember that it is time consuming and requires a lot of heavy lifting. If you have a relatively small and manageable move, doing it yourself could save you a considerable amount of money.
Truck rentals usually cost:
- $19.95 for a 10 foot truck and $1.99 for every mile traveled
- The 17 foot truck (recommended for a two bedroom house) will cost you a flat fee of $29.95
- The 20 foot (recommended for a three to four bedroom home) will cost you about $39.95 plus mileage
In addition, when renting a truck, you are also responsible for the fuel costs; the company you are renting from usually requires you to fill them at least half way.
Packing supplies will have to be purchased by you, if you opt to move on your own. You'll need a supply of:
- Packing tape
- Bubble wrap
- Packing paper
- Packing peanuts
- Furniture blankets
Depending on the amount of items you have, these costs can add up relatively quickly. For instance, medium packing boxes can cost you approximately $1.33 each for 20 boxes or more and can be even more expensive if you purchase specialty boxes such as wardrobe boxes.
In addition to packing supplies, you may also have to invest in dollies and other tools to help move your heavy furniture and appliances. To rent a dolly costs anywhere from $7 to $10 dollars a day, but to purchase one could run you upwards of $100 dollars plus the cost of moving blankets, tape and other protective wrapping, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars on supplies for a small or medium-sized move.
TIP: Save money on boxes, by going to your local supermarket or liquor store and ask if they're getting rid of any cardboard boxes that you can take.
How much does storage cost?
Depending on your situation, you may need to keep some of your belongings in storage during and after your move. Many moving companies offer storage services, or you can purchase a self-storage unit on your own. Prices for storage vary on the size of the unit you will need, if it is climate-controlled, portable, etc. PODs are portable storage containers that are delivered to your home, loaded by you, then picked up and driven either to your new home or their own facility for storage. The following are some common costs for the different types of self-storage:
- Storage unit. A standard unit of 5'x5' ranges from $40 to $50 a month, a 10'x15' ranges from $75 to $140, a 10'x20' can cost between $95 and $155 and a 20'x20' unit can cost about $225 a month.
- Climate-controlled unit: If you are storing items that need to be protected from extreme temperatures and humidity such as clothing or electronics, you may opt to use a climate-controlled unit, which will be more expensive than the standard unit. A 10' x 15' unit can cost up to $150 per month, and a 10' x 20' storage unit can cost between $170 to $180 per month.
- PODS unit. If you are looking to rent a mobile storage unit, PODS is a convenient, albeit costlier option. To rent an 8'x8'x12' POD, you may be looking at a price of about $230 a month.
What other charges will you need to remember?
There are many other potential expenses you can acquire during a move:
- Packing services. Paying the movers to wrap and box your possessions can be a time-saver, but the cost can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. If you need help with packing but don't want to spend a fortune, consider enlisting the aid of movers only for certain things: fragile breakables, valuables, and cumbersome items like furniture and appliances. You should also determine if it would be more cost-effective to acquire your own.
- Seasonal charges. Depending on the time of year you move, you may be charged a higher amount. Movers' busy season is the summer, so planning to move in the fall or winter months can save you some money. Additionally, scheduling your move on a weekday will be more economical than the weekend.
- Insurance. Most moving companies only include limited coverage on your goods should they become lost or damaged. This is known as Released Value Protection, and it only compensates you $0.60 per pound per article. If you want increased protection, you may want to consider purchasing additional insurance, either from the moving company or a third-party carrier.
- Fuel/food/lodgings. If you're moving long-distance, you will need a considerable amount of funds for gas, food and hotel stays during your trip. Plan ahead to map out the most cost-efficient route to your destination and to determine the locations of reasonable inns and eateries on the way.