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Moving Cost

$1,500Typical Cost
Homeowners in the US usually spend between $500 and $10,000 on moving.
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What others are spending on moving:
Typical Cost$1,500
Typical Range$500–$10,000
Low End$250
High End$15,000

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Cost of Moving

How much does it cost to move?

The average cost of moving is around $1,500. While moving costs can range from $500 to $10,000, a big cross-country move can easily cost upward of $15,000. These ranges are so broad because the cost of moving ultimately depends on the distance you’re moving, how much stuff you have and when you’re relocating.

Table of Contents:
  • How much does it cost to move?
  • How much does it cost to move locally?
  • How much does it cost to move long-distance?
  • How can I save on moving costs?

You’ve found the perfect new home across town or across the country, and you’re ready for a fresh start — you just have to get all your stuff there. Moving can be more expensive than most people realize, but if you know what you’re getting yourself into, you’ll be much more comfortable navigating the many cost variables of a move. Some homeowners opt to take on the task themselves by using rental trucks or containers, which can significantly cut expenses but will cost them time and physical labor. Others opt to spend more and have a professional mover take on the often stressful task. Whichever route you take, there will be moving costs involved, so educate yourself for the smoothest possible relocation experience.

To stay within your budget, consider the number of items you have, how far you’re moving and the timing of your relocation. Moving is labor-intensive, so it’s a good idea to contact multiple moving companies to get a few different quotes for their various services to decide which is the best option for you. If you opt to have a professional do all of the work, find a moving service that specializes in local or long-distance moves to ensure you’re getting a fair price and experienced laborers.

For more inspiration: 7 Things to Do Before You Move Into a New House

How much does it cost to move locally?

A local move costs an average of $1,500. Also referred to as an intrastate move, this type of move involves any location within 100 miles of the starting point. Since local moves can usually be done in one day, local movers generally charge by the hour. The more stuff you have, the longer it will take and the more it will cost. Moving items from a one-bedroom apartment may take three to five hours and cost anywhere from $250 to $500, whereas moving items from a four-bedroom home can take 10 or more hours and run upward of $3,000.

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How much does it cost to move long-distance?

A long-distance move costs an average of $5,000. This type of move involves any location more than 100 miles from the starting point, and is often an interstate move. Because you could be moving 200 or 2,000 miles away, the cost range varies greatly. Moving across the country can cost you $10,000, while moving to the next county over may run you just $1,000. Typically, long-distance movers charge by weight and distance. Experienced movers have a good idea of weight based on the size of your home and are often able to give you a close estimate for the overall cost.

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How can I save on moving costs?

While professional full-service movers are worth their weight in gold, you may not have piles of cash lying around to get the contents of your home from location A to location B. The two biggest ways to cut down on moving expenses are renting your own moving truck and renting a moving container. Below you’ll find a little information on how each method works, in case you’re looking to save money.

Money-Saving Tips

Renting a Moving Truck: If you want to go the ultimate DIY route, look into renting a moving truck and packing, driving and unpacking everything yourself. It’s a lot of work, but if you have the time and strength (and a few good friends) and want to save on moving expenses, it’s the way to go. Truck rentals vary depending on the size of truck you need, and rental companies typically charge daily or hourly rates as well as for mileage and fuel, so the quicker you can get everything done, the less you’ll have to pay. For a local move, you could pay as low as $50 or over $2,000, depending on the factors mentioned above.

Renting a Moving Container: If driving a big truck filled with all of your precious belongings sounds too daunting, try renting a portable moving container instead. You can pack up everything at your own pace and let the company pick it up and transport it to your new location. Then you can leisurely unpack as you please, depending on how long you want to pay to rent the pod. Portable moving containers are generally rented by the month, giving you ample time to pack and unpack. You’ll then pay a per-mile fee for the distance the storage pod has to be moved. Long-distance moves start at around $800 and go up from there, whereas a local move should yield an average price of $500 to $800 total.

If a DIY move is not for you, there are still ways to cut costs while getting the full-service experience. Read on to learn more about the factors that contribute to moving prices, both locally and long-distance, and how you can save money.

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Moving Cost Factors

Amount of Belongings: The more stuff you have, the more it will cost you to move. Regardless of whether your movers charge by weight or by the hour, having less to move can save you money. Long-distance movers typically charge by weight, so make sure to learn what the rates are and try to keep your household goods within the lower ranges to help keep costs to a minimum. If you’re moving locally, bring what you can in your own car to make the move go a little bit quicker.

Packing: If you have the time and patience to pack your own belongings, you could save yourself a few hundred dollars. It you go this route, try to track down free or discounted packing supplies, like cardboard boxes and padding; they’re easier to find than you think! If you need the help of the pros, this service is sure to add to the cost of your move. However, if your time is more valuable to you than money, it might just be worth it to have the professionals pack up your home — they’re experienced in proper packing techniques and will have all of the boxes and supplies needed for the job. Specialty items, like high-value artwork, large objects or fragile pieces may cost more, as they are more difficult to handle, so you might consider taking these with you separately.

Unpacking: Some moving companies will unpack all or some of your boxes for you. While most people prefer to do this themselves as they nestle into their new home, some find it extremely helpful and time-saving to have pros do it. Did you or the mover have to break down large pieces of furniture before the move? Put them back together yourself, if possible, to save a few bucks.

Insurance: While movers should be careful with each and every one of your belongings, accidents do happen. Most companies will offer the option to insure your items for an extra fee, which would cover any damage in the unfortunate event that something awful happens to them. If you have any valuable items in your move, either take them yourself or splurge for the extra cost of insurance to make sure you’re covered.

Moving Date: Movers are in the highest demand on weekends and the beginning and end of each month, as most people cannot or do not want to take off work for a day, and most leases start or end then. If you can afford to miss a weekday of work or wait until the middle of the month, you’ll likely be able to save on the moving rate, since companies are less in demand at those times. A summertime moving date will also likely cost you more than an off-season move, as families with children tend to uproot when school is out.

Tax Deductions: Did you do a big purge and donate some of your household goods to charity? If so, make sure to get a receipt so that you can deduct your donations from your taxes when tax season rolls around. Also, if your move was work-related, you may be able to write off some of your relocation expenses.

Ready to start the moving process? Find a moving company near you