Moving. It just might be a universal word that can almost invoke a headache when it’s spoken. As thrilling and adventurous as it might be to relocate to a new house or new city, the hassle of packing up, transporting, and unpacking your belongings can make almost anyone dread the overall process. But once begun, it must be done, and there are plenty of ways to make the move easier.
Utilizing the resources of a reputable moving company is one of the best ways to take the stress out of moving. You might be wondering, “How much does it cost to move?” The average moving cost is $1,250 for a local move. A long-distance move could cost an average of $4,890. These costs are determined by the amount of belongings being moved (generally based on the number or type of rooms in your house), the distance of the move, the number of movers required, and how many supplies or extra services are needed. Keep reading to learn more about how much it costs to move.
Factors in Calculating How Much Does It Cost to Move
Since every house and its belongings are different, it’s challenging to use a one-size-fits-all approach for determining the cost of moving. Whether you move yourself or use the help of local moving companies, moving expenses can add up quickly. The distance and quantity of the goods being moved are two of the most significant factors in determining how much it costs to move. You’ll also need to factor in the size of the moving vehicles, the amount of time and labor required, plus any supplies or additional services. The time of year and your location could influence your total price as well.
Local vs. Long Distance
It’s easy to guess that moving around the block is the cheapest move you might ever make. There’s little distance to travel, and you might not need much assistance or careful packing. However, even moving across a city can make a move more expensive. Residential movers can ensure your possessions are packed securely for the trip across bumpy roads. Moving within a 100-mile radius usually costs an average of $1,250.
A long-distance moving company is the best option for moving your belongings farther than 100 miles or across state lines. These companies have the right equipment and know-how to make sure your goods are transported securely for the duration of the trip. The average cost of a long-distance move is $4,890.
Size of the Move
The volume of belongings in a studio apartment is naturally less than what’s in a 4-bedroom house. In your search for a “moving company near me,” the first or second question moving companies will ask when quoting a price will be something like, “How many rooms are being moved?” The moving company will then try to determine the types of rooms that will be moved. Family rooms tend to have large, bulky furniture and delicate TVs. Garages and attics can be filled with numerous boxes. Bedrooms have heavy furniture. All of these factors are assessed to help determine a custom quote for your move.
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Size and Type of Moving Vehicle
Whether you hire a helper or a moving company to move your house or attempt the journey on your own, you’ll need a moving vehicle to haul all your goods. Moving trucks come in several sizes that are estimated for the number of bedrooms being moved. For example, a 26-foot truck can typically hold around four bedrooms’ worth of items. Small apartments with a few pieces of furniture might only need a small moving trailer. Still, larger moves might need the assistance of a full 52-foot semitruck through a licensed moving company.
For local moves, you’ll likely be charged $25 to $50 per hour for each mover. Since the distance within a city or two isn’t far, it won’t take long to do the actual moving as long as you have all your belongings packed up and ready to go. Long-distance moves require much more time, which means you’ll pay more for the driver’s time and effort. You can estimate the time and distance using an online map to get an idea of how long it will take to travel from point A to point B. Keep in mind that if you move during rush hour, the time could increase dramatically.
Movers and Labor
Local movers often have a flat-rate fee for a move with a certain number of rooms. However, that fee can quickly change based on a few factors. If you have more heavy items than average, they’ll likely need to bring in extra movers. A high number of fragile items will require more packing supplies and potentially cost more for handling. Moving items up or down numerous stairs can increase the cost, especially if you’re in an apartment building without an elevator.
One of the not-so-hidden costs of moving that quickly adds up is the amount of moving supplies you need to pack and transport your possessions safely. You’ll need to purchase boxes, lots of tape, bubble wrap or packing paper, and possibly moving blankets or specialty boxes for china and glassware. While it’s common to toss everything in the back of your car when moving between apartments at college, that’s not as feasible for moving a long distance with furniture.
Packing Services, Storage, and Other Add-Ons
Consider adding packing services to your moving contract if you’ve surveyed your mountain of belongings and wondered where to start. Many homeowners appreciate—and look forward to—handing over the headache of packing the multitude of items they’ve acquired over the years. Movers can quickly pack up your goods without any sentimental attachments, which makes them much more efficient. Packing services often average $1,000 for a home.
Depending on your situation, you might not be able to move into your new house right away. Most local and long-distance movers have access to storage facilities to store your goods while you wait. The cost depends on how long you need them stored and can vary between companies. Other add-on services include having the movers disassemble or reassemble items, provide wooden crating, or move specialty items like pianos (which requires a special mover).
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Day of the Month and Time of Year
Most people move in the spring or summer, which means that’s the most expensive time to move since demand is higher. Additionally, weekends tend to have the highest moving rates, as most people try not to take extra time off work to move. If you can schedule a midweek move, you can likely find lower rates and more availability in most areas. Most of all, avoid moving on or near holidays, as these dates typically cost extra.
Liability and Insurance Coverage
When you entrust valuables to any company, you should—and in most cases must—purchase liability insurance coverage. Moving companies usually offer one or more insurance packages to meet your needs, whether it’s basic or full coverage. Basic insurance doesn’t usually cover the entire cost of your goods, so consider what’s best for your situation if you have a high quantity of expensive items.
When you search for “moving companies near me,” you’ll find that local movers tend to have similar rates and fees, but it’s always best to ask for a breakdown of their estimate. That way, you can identify the costs of additional fees and whether you actually need them. For instance, you may not need an automatically applied storage fee if you move houses on the same day.
Consider tipping your movers if the company allows tips. It’s a customary practice to thank them for doing the literal heavy lifting. You could pay $10 per mover for a half-day move.