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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Moving Company?

Friday, March 17, 2023

Whether it’s a few blocks away or across the country, moving is an exciting experience. It can also be stressful, and one of the stress-causing factors associated with relocation is undoubtedly the cost of moving.

After careful thought, you may have concluded that a DIY move is not your thing. While it can be the cheapest moving option, moving the DIY way is difficult, stressful, and time-consuming.

When you hire a moving company, the process will be much easier. Professional movers will deal with the physical work, planning, and logistics. Most provide many optional add-on services, such as packing or temporary storage. You will also have some financial protection for your household items in case of damage.

But how much does it cost to hire a moving company? 

In this article, we look at the factors that come into play when estimating the cost of hiring a professional moving company and suggest several ways to save money.

An African American couple over 50 taking a selfie in front of their new home while grabbing a coffee to go outside

What Factors Affect the Cost of Professional Movers?

The cost of hiring a moving company primarily depends on the 3 Ws: where, what, and when you want to move.

In other words, the cost of professional moving is mainly determined by distance, size of shipment, and timing.

Other factors can also play a part, depending on the level of service you require.

Let us look more closely into how professional movers determine their prices.

Relocation Distance

One of the main factors that affect the cost of hiring a moving company is the distance of your move. 

Long-distance moves require more planning and preparation compared to local ones. They typically cost more because the moving company has to cover various expenses, such as fuel, toll fees, labor, food, and accommodation for the movers.

Room with packed moving boxes

Size of Shipment

Another major factor that affects the cost of hiring a moving company a.k.a. the move is the size of your belongings. Moving companies usually charge based on the weight and volume of your belongings. Furniture and appliances will cost more to move than smaller items like boxes and clothes.

How to save: To lower your cost, reduce your shipment as much as you can. How to save: To lower your cost, reduce your shipment as much as possible. Decide what you can sell, give away or discard. The fewer items you have, the less you will pay.

Timing of the Move

The time of the year and the day of the week can massively affect the cost of hiring a moving company. Moving during peak periods, typically during the summer and on weekends, can be more expensive due to the high demand for moving services. 

How to save: To secure the best possible deal when hiring a moving company, plan to move in the middle of the week and during the winter. Some moving companies may offer special promotions or discounts during off-peak seasons, which can further reduce the cost of your move.

Additional Services and Sundries

The level of service you require will also play a role in determining the cost of hiring a moving company. Many moving companies offer a range of moving services. They make moving more expensive but can save you time and effort.

Packing: Professionally packed household items are a beauty to behold. Just picture each leg of your precious antique chairs individually wrapped in high-quality packing material! 

How to save: Pack at least some of the items yourself. Clothes, bedding, books, and many other things do not require professional packaging. Just be sure to get sturdy boxes and pack heavy items into smaller ones. You may buy the boxes or, even better, get some for free from your local stores.

Special items: Moving a piano or a pool table requires specialized services and can involve an additional fee.

Storage: Renting storage may be necessary when moving into a smaller home or when your new home is not ready yet. Consider using the storage service offered by your moving company. This option may be more expensive than renting storage on your own, but it is usually more convenient and reliable. Storage should have climate control because your books, artworks, musical instruments, antiques, and clothing are worth protecting from humidity and extreme temperatures.

How to save: With good planning, you may avoid renting a storage unit. Before setting off, you can, for example, make sure that your new home is ready and that all your belongings will fit into it. Alternatively, you can ask family members or friends to temporarily house some of your things.   

Insurance: Professional movers typically offer basic liability coverage, which provides limited protection for lost or damaged belongings. This may not cover high-value items, such as antiques or electronics. In these cases, it may be necessary to purchase additional insurance.

Carrying fees: If your mover has to carry items down or up the stairs, if they have to make numerous trips up and down a narrow elevator, or if the moving truck can't park near your house, you may need to pay an additional fee. 

Disassembling and reassembling furniture: Professional moving companies can take apart and put back together pieces of furniture, but this usually means an extra charge.

Tips: While not obligatory, tipping the movers is a nice token of appreciation for their hard work. The amount depends on the work it takes to move.

Truck on the road moving customers’ items long distance

So, How Much Can You Expect to Pay for a Move?

The cost of moving is steadily rising because more people are moving and the demand is up. Inflation is also pushing the prices up, as well as periodic shortages of truck drivers and on-site labor.

The cost of a local move can range from below $500 for a studio apartment to about $2,000 for a four-bedroom house. A distance of fewer than 100 miles is usually considered local. It takes the movers about 3 hours to move the content of a studio, while a four-bedroom household takes about 9 hours. Local moves are typically priced hourly.

Generally speaking, anything over 100 miles can be considered a long-distance move. Long-distance moves are priced based on mileage and the size of the belongings. Moving a small household (studio or one-bedroom) 1,000 miles can cost between about $1,500 and $3,000 while moving four-bedroom household costs from $5,000 to over $8,000 for the same distance.  

Although it can be costly, relocating to another country is usually not much more expensive than moving long distances within the U.S.

Remember to factor in other expenses you may need, such as insurance, storage, or handling special items. And if you are moving abroad, check whether you’ll need to pay customs duties.

How to Choose the Best Moving Company

To choose the best moving company, you can spend hours researching your options, reading reviews, and obtaining quotes, being careful not to fall prey to moving scammers.

You will also have to read the fine print carefully to ensure that the mover of your choice offers a binding quote so that you don’t have to worry about getting some surprise fees at the end. 

Or you can entrust your move to AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft and avoid all the searching and worrying. Instead, you will get at least three binding quotes from top movers without any one of them setting foot in your house.

A smiling Asian American man in his new retirement home

Shyft Takes Effort Out of Relocation 

Shyft brings state-of-art technology and expertise to the area of professional moving and also a personal touch.

Shyft will assign you a dedicated Move Coach to assist with everything from recording your belongings to finding the best moving company in your area and overseeing the process door to door. In addition, your Move Coach will provide the best solution for any special services or requirements you may have. 

Start by requesting the handy moving checklist, which you can print and then tick off item by item.

Then download Shyft’s free and user-friendly moving app, called Shyft Next. Shyft Next is available for iPhone and Android devices. This app allows the Shyft representative to see, apprise and note everything you want to move.

The next step is to schedule a video call with a Shyft representative on AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft website or by calling Shyft at 1-888-501-3181. 

During the video call, you will take the Shyft representative (your dedicated Move Coach) around your home. You’ll show them what you want to move with the camera on your device.

You will also be able to discuss your options and ask questions. The video call takes about 30 minutes.

Soon after the video call, your Move Coach will send you an inventory list comprising all items that need to be moved. As a rule, this list is 95% accurate. You can add or remove items until you make it 100% accurate. 

As you can see, taking stock of your moving inventory could not be easier! 

What follows is just as easy.

Your completed inventory list goes to a secure Shyft platform, where vetted moving companies submit their offers. This system ensures you get the best possible deal at the most competitive price.

Shyft will send you at least three top moving quotes to choose the best mover that suits your needs and budget. As soon as you accept a quote, the price becomes binding. It is locked and cannot be changed unless you add or remove items, alter the move distance, or fail to book your move before the quote expiry date. There are no hidden fees to surprise you.

Whichever company is handling your move, Shyft is there to ensure the same high-quality standards and help you every step of the way.

With Shyft, AARP members get up to a $250 discount for every move booked, no matter how many times you decide to move and where you decide to move to. 

You can learn more on AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft website or by calling Shyft at 1-888-501-3181. 

Shyft is there for you seven days a week. Contact them to book your move and save up to $250.

Whether you are planning a local or long-distance move, Shyft will make the experience as easy, efficient, and safe as possible.

You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that Shyft will help you get your beloved possessions to your new home. 

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