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How Much Does It Cost To Move?

By on Aug 19, 2016
How Much Does It Cost To Move?

Moving may not be fun, but as someone who has moved five times in the last five years, I know what it’s like to live out of boxes, hire movers, work with movers, find trucks and just about every other aspect of moving. But as you embark on your next home, you want to be sure that you are not overpaying. As such, you must be aware of all the costs that come with moving.

Below, I will discuss the most prominent expenses that come with hiring movers, as well as any DIY moving job. Later on, I will throw in some handy tips for making your move go as smooth as possible.

Moving Costs

Moving Costs

According to our moving cost estimator, it costs $608 to hire professional movers. Of course, this price will largely depend on the moving company you hire, how far you are moving, how many boxes you are bringing as well as time of day and month.

Many people, if they are moving from apartment to apartment, forgo movers and just handle all the heavy lifting themselves. Even so, expect to pay at least $200 for moving supplies, your truck rental and gas.

Moving Factors

There are many factors that go into that $608 price tag. Knowing each one, as well as a few tricks, could save you hundreds of dollars in the process.

Distance to Move/Time to Move

Many moving companies charge by distance and/or the time it takes to complete the job. Unsurprisingly, the farther you move, the longer it will take and the higher your overall moving bill will be.

Before calling a professional moving company, make sure you know exactly how far away your new address is. Then, determine the best time of day to move so you can avoid heavy traffic. Think of it as sitting in a cab in traffic, but the fare is probably over $100/hour.

While most companies do charge by distance and time, others charge a flat rate or by weight. Some may even offer inclusive moving packages that include services like packing, loading and transportation of boxes.

If you are moving across the state, a company with a flat rate is the way to go. If you are moving close by, try to find movers that charge by the hour. To help locate a mover near you, check out our friends at Unpakt.

Moving Boxes

Items to Move

Along with distance, the number of items you are moving will largely affect the total time it takes to move and as a result, total cost. If you are not going far, I highly suggest you move as many items as possible before the big day. This will not only make your life and your mover’s lives easier, but could save you hundreds in the process.

If you are moving to a different state or country, some moving companies will charge based on the weight of your items. Additionally, they take physical space occupied in the truck into the formula. If you’re moving service charges by space, try cramming as many items into as little space as possible.

Moving Supplies 

Whether you reserve moving services or not, you will have to pay for moving supplies. If you look hard enough, there are plenty of locations to grab free moving boxes, but if you want to simplify the process, just head to your nearest Home Depot or Lowe’s.

If you are purchasing moving supplies yourself, be sure to grab boxes, tape, newspapers, labels and markers. While this cost is certainly a small piece of the pie, it does add to overall moving cost.


One aspect of moving that many homeowners and renters overlook is insurance. No matter how much experience your moving company has, accidents do happen and you must be prepared. So while it may seem like an extra $50 is not worth the cost, just know that if no insurance is included, you could lose $500 to that broken dresser.

When you hire movers, make sure you know exactly how big the insurance policy is. If it is not up to your standards, try to negotiate. If they don’t come down to a level you are comfortable with, walk away! There are other, cheap moving companies ready for your business.

Other Costs Involved with Moving 

All costs above revolve around moving day, but there other expenses that pop up over the course of the moving process.

Waste Removal 

Fortunately, many homeowners or renters will not need professional waste removal services, but for larger moves, it may come in handy. According to our waste removal cost estimator, most homeowners spend $262 on waste removal. You can consider a handyman for the job or hire a licensed contractor. Expect to pay at least $10 per hour for a private worker and at least $15 per hour for a professional.


This largely relates to those of you renting, but some sales contracts do add in contingencies on cleaning the property. While a little elbow grease never hurt anyone, oftentimes, the homeowner, renter or landlord hires a professional maid service. While the average cost is only $155, it does add to the overall cost of moving.

Believe it or not, this kind of help isn't limited to the extremely affluent. Many people rely on maids to keep their homes clean when they can't manage it themselves.

Simple Moving Tips

Even if you do hire movers, there are easy and simple ways to make your move go as smooth as possible. They include:

  1. Pack essentials in a small bag for the day of the move.
  2. Use different tape colors for boxes that go in each room.
  3. Pack materials and protect your glasses and stemware by sliding each one into a clean sock.
  4. Use available luggage to wheel heavy items.
  5. Take photos of your old and new place in case anything gets damaged.
  6. Use a garbage bag for clothes hanging in the closet. Rather than removing from the shelf, just wrap them as they hang.

See more stress-free moving tips at 10 Moving Tips To Make Your Life Simpler.


Now that you know all the costs that come with moving, you can determine if $608 is worth the hassle of conducting the move yourself. If you are still on the fence, please see 5 Reasons Why Hiring A Moving Company Isn’t As Expensive As It Seems.

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