Tell somebody that moving is expensive and they’ll probably look at you as if you just told them that Earth is round and resolves around the sun. The real question though is not whether or not the process of moving from one home to another is costly or not – the big question is just how costly it really is.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that anyone who’s about to move either locally or long distance is genuinely interested in knowing the answer to the puzzle, “How much does it cost to hire movers?”. Because that’s exactly what it is – a puzzle which you can only solve by matching together the following 5 puzzle pieces:
What type of a move do you need?
Moving house is believed to be a complicated matter but it really isn’t that hard. In fact, if you do know what you want and what you need, then your moving experience can be even kind of fun. The good news is that adequate professional help is just a mouse click and a phone call away, and the best thing about it is that you are free to tailor those professional services to fit your specific needs and preferences. The level of customization you are given will let you take complete control over the two most important factors when moving house: money and time.
- Most expensive option. Full service move – the most expensive option available where movers will manage all the stages of your move and will let you enjoy the show. The pros will even handle packing and unpacking for you, but be ready to dig deeper into your pockets for those extra moving services. Packing/unpacking rates start from around $30 per mover per hour but the exact price will depend from company to company and from city to city.
- Less expensive option. If you are willing to do some of the tougher work yourself, then you can drastically reduce the final moving bill. You may choose to pack and unpack your items yourself and use professional laborers to load your stuff into the truck, transport it and then unload it at your new home. This is a very common moving scenario for obvious reasons.
- Least expensive option. You can even go a step further and attempt to save more money by packing/unpacking on your own and renting a moving truck to drive yourself to your new home. This way, you only use professional assistance for loading and unloading your items.
Although this DIY type of moving is regarded as the most inexpensive option, things are not that black and white and the large number of hidden moving costs /fuel, truck rental costs, insurance, packing supplies, renting moving equipment, road tolls, etc./ can be a reason enough to change your mind.
How many items do you own?
What is the cost to hire movers? The other puzzle piece is the amount of household goods you have in your home after you have discarded all the items you won’t be taking with you. As a rule of thumb, the stuff you own will influence directly the final moving cost simply because the heavier your shipment is, the larger moving truck will be needed to accommodate it and more movers you will need to hire for the job.
Roughly speaking, the average weight of the items found in a studio apartment is 2000 pounds, between 2500 pounds and 3500 pounds for a 1 bedroom apartment and around 5000-6000 pounds for a 2 bedroom dwelling. Also, 3 bedroom residences usually weight up to 9000 pounds while 4 bedroom and larger houses go around and above 11000 pounds.
Of course, these example values can only serve as approximated guidelines and a more precise calculation of your home can only be done by an experienced moving company representative.
How far will your move take you?
Our sample moving costs continue with another essential factor that plays a major role in determining the relocation price – the distance between your two homes.
- Local move. It’s important to remember that local movers charge by the hour. Expect to pay between $90 and $120 per hour for hiring two movers with one moving truck. If you have rented a moving truck yourself and only need the moving labor, the pros will usually charge you $60-$80 per hour. Now, having said this, the size of your residence and especially the items inside it will determine the number of hours your hired professional hands will need to complete the moving job. The prices vary greatly but here’s a rough approximation so that you can get a much better idea of how much it costs to hire movers: moving out of a studio apartment can cost you around $200 /2 movers, 4 hours/, a 2-bedroom residence will be somewhere between $400 and $500 /3 movers, 5-6 hours/, while moving out of a 3-bedroom house or apartment will cost you roughly $900-$1000 /4 movers, 8-9 hours/.
- Long distance move. Long distance moves are charged by the distance to your new home and the total weight of your shipment. Giving you sample moving costs for long distance relocation is unrealistically hard as the prices for each moving instance can vary too greatly. Of course, your best bet is to request a binding moving estimate from your long distance moving company. Still, if you do need a rough calculation in advance, be ready to be charged at least $0.50 per pound per 200 miles /see the approximate home size weight calculations above/.
Do you live in a big city or a small town?
It’s no secret that as a rule, big cities are more expensive than small towns. Moving costs make no exception and if you live in a metropolitan area, you can expect to be charged up to $20 more per mover/hour than if you lived in a smaller town.
What time of the year are you moving in?
Often overlooked by home movers, the time factor can greatly influence the final moving price. Most moving companies charge more during the 5-month period between May and September simply because that stretch has proven to be the most popular time for people to move. Moreover, weekends are always pricier, as are holidays and beginnings and ends of each calendar month. If you can exercise any flexibility to choose your moving date, don’t hesitate to select your moving day in the off-peak moving season to save a bunch of hard-earned dollars.
How much do movers charge? This is a really tough question to answer simply because the moving costs are calculated on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, in order to learn the relocation cost in your particular case, the best course of action for you is to get a few moving estimates from several reputable moving companies, compare the quotes carefully and choose your relocation partner based on the quality services they offer and their respective rates.