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How Much Does it Cost to Hire Movers

Cost to Hire Movers

So, you’ve found a new home and with that comes all of the excitement of exploring your new neighbourhood, settling into your new space, and finally having a good excuse to upgrade the sofa to that cozy lounge set you’ve been eyeing. But before you get too caught up in daydreaming, make sure the practicalities are in place.

The decision to hire movers can be a life (and back!) saver, and they’ll take a lot of work off of your shoulders so that you can focus on other things. Before you embark on your local or long-distance move, it’s best to collect as much information as you can about how much it will all cost. This means you’ll save the headache of incurring unexpected costs, you’ll be able to set a budget, and you’ll know whether you should start measuring that new sofa or plan to include your current one in the move list. The more information you have, the more well-versed you will be in the different types of estimates, what (if anything) you should consider when crossing state lines, and so on, so you’ll be able to make an educated decision on who to hire for the big day. Unpakt has done the research for you, so read on to get a head start.

According to the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), there are a number of ways that movers calculate your estimate or bill: the actual weight of your shipment (determined at the time of the move and estimated when your quote is provided), the distance between your old home and your new one, and any additional services you use. According to their data, the average interstate move – based on a weight of 7,100 pounds and a distance of 1,220 miles – costs about $5600. 

Unpakt is here to help take the guesswork out of budgeting for a move, and preparing to hire movers. We’ve looked at the data for local and long-distance moves, and the cost of moving a one-distance home can vary significantly. Here are some examples:

Long Distance

Moving a one bedroom home can range from $840 to $4460. Clearly you need to know something a bit more specific in order to budget and prepare. Moving from NY to LA (or vice versa) will cost an average of $2586 or $2863 respectively. 

Local Moving

Moving companies typically calculate local moves by the hour or the day, rather than taking weight and distance into account. A one bedroom apartment generally requires 2 movers and 2-3 hours, and rates tend to range between $25-$50 per hour, per mover.

Moves to and from large cities are typically a bit less expensive due to the sheer volume of moving companies to choose from – competition tends to drive prices down. Keep in mind that prices can vary significantly, so it’s best to find reputable moving companies with good reviews, then hire movers who provide a clear quote without hidden fees. Unpakt can help you do exactly that! Keep reading below for a bit more data and insight on financial planning for your move.

How much does it cost to move to a different state?

Now that you have an idea of your costs to hire movers, make sure you factor in the other costs: Do you plan to fly to your new hometown? Will you take a chance to make a road trip, and pack some of your stuff in the car? Whichever option you choose, there are costs involved, whether it’s airfare and taxis, or gas, food, and hotels (if you’re moving far), make sure you consider these.

Small costs add up

Even the tidiest person or family will likely need to do some prep work before handing their old home over to its new residents. Painting, cleaning, and repairs will be added costs.

Similarly, you may arrive on the other side to find the former residents of your place didn’t give you the same courtesy. If that’s the case, you may want to have a cleaner give it a good scrub, or have a handyman come in to do some repairs. Have a different taste in colors and styles than the previous homeowners? Paint and supplies will also be extra. Put a bit of padding in your budget for these things, just in case. Of course, if you’re using this opportunity to buy new furniture or electronics for the new space, these bigger ticket items definitely need to go on your budget list.

Selling home carries the inherent need to budget for your lawyer’s fees. If you’re looking for your dream home, there’s a chance you’ll want (or need) to hire a realtor or broker to help you land the perfect place. Those services don’t come cheap, so be sure to plan ahead!

Small practicalities sometimes get missed in the excitement of planning. If you’re moving interstate, you’ll need to consider the cost of getting a new ID, drivers license, registering your car, etc. You can prepare for these fees by checking the DMV site in your new home state and getting an idea of what they will cost, as well as what documents you’ll need to bring with you to make the process as smooth as possible.

Regulations can vary between cities and states when it comes to the kinds of estimates moving companies can provide, and how much movers are able to charge clients. In Chicago for example, moves under 40 miles are charged per hour plus a fee for the truck, rather than by weight and distance. Many US cities have similar laws in place for shorter moves, even if you’re traveling across state lines. Some cities prohibit movers from giving binding estimates, so you’ll need to be willing to accept an estimate that may change in the end. Just be sure to ask questions and get a clear understanding of what may affect the bottom line.

How much does it cost to move 1,000 miles?

We’ve collected some simple numbers using Unpakt’s online moving estimates tool:

Boston to Atlanta (937 miles): $2,480

NYC to Miami (1283 miles): $2,464

Denver to San Francisco (1254 miles): $2,213

As you can see, price vary. These moving quotes aren’t necessarily based upon mileage alone, either. The size and weight of your collection of items will play a large part in the overall price, of course, as will the prices of gasoline along the way and the distance the movers need to travel in the truck to get you home. Reputable long distance movers often tae their estimates from the rate book published by the Household Goods Carriers Bureau called Tariff 400-M. This book provides estimates for all long distance moves, based upon shipment weight and distance. 

For long distance moving, you are likely to get a lower price if the move takes place along a major moving corridor. This opens up the possibility of consolidating your shipment within trucks already traveling, thus saving you money. For example, a move between New York and Chicago may be cheaper than moving to Maine. The distance to Maine may be shorter, but there are more trucks traveling the route to Chicago so you may get a price break.

When is the busy season for moving?

In places with extreme seasons (think summers in Florida, or winters in Michigan), there are busy times that literally coincide with the seasons. Not everyone can help the time of year they move, though, and there are other factors to consider year round when planning a relocation – whether it’s local or long distance. The days around the first of the month as well as weekends are, unsurprisingly, the busiest times for movers. If at all possible, aim to hire movers mid-month, or mid-week if you’re bound to moving in the beginning of the month.

Learn more about local moving costs, long distance moving costs, and Unpakt’s National moving services.