It is estimated that approximately 40 million Americans move each year, with the average American relocating 11.7 times in their lifetime. That’s a lot of moving! If you have an upcoming move, you likely have copious questions about the process. And given the expense of replanting your roots, the estimated cost of your move is probably at the top of the list. Read on to discover what the impact of a local move may have on your wallet.
When researching reputable moving companies and seeking an estimate, the first question you must ask yourself is ‘am I moving local or long-distance?’ To determine this the general rule of thumb is that anything beyond 60 to 100 miles from origin to destination is usually considered long-distance. Naturally, a local move will be cheaper as you will not have to worry about additional costs like fuel and shipment weight. Many companies will even have a minimum flat rate of $1,000 for a long-distance move.
Once you have determined the type of move you will be making, you can break down the various expenses to be incurred.
Moving Company Average Labor Costs
Most companies charge an hourly rate for labor on local moves, and often have an hourly minimum. Be prepared to pay between $25 to $60 per worker per hour. This number is just the labor and typically will not include a truck and furniture dolly so check with your move consultant when you receive an estimate. The range in hourly price is determined by the number of belongings you have and the time it takes to move them. Most moving jobs require two or more movers, so expect to pay $50 to $100 per hour to move the contents of a small apartment. Larger homes could cost at least $200 per hour.
Additional Moving Company Charges
Packing and Unpacking
Are you looking to avoid the tedious task of packing up all of your belongings? You can hire movers to do the packing for you but at an additional fee. The average packing service cost is typically based on the time it takes to pack, how heavy items are, and how much packing materials are used. Expect to pay upwards of $60 per hour for this service or a flat rate fee of $1,000 for larger households. Unpacking is usually a separate charge so ask your move consultant about this extra service.
Specialty Moving Services
Each additional service your move requires will cost more, including moving services for specialty items like delicate artwork, pianos, heavy furniture, and more. It is estimated that the average cost of movers for specialty services is between an additional $400 to $2,000 as it may require specific equipment or more movers.
Special Moving Circumstances
There are certain special circumstances that may arise during a local move which will increase your estimate. For example, you may incur a long carry fee depending on the distance from your entryway to the moving truck. Additionally, you may be charged an elevator fee if the movers are forced to go up and down flights of stairs and do not have access to an elevator. Depending on how difficult your place is to access, the company may add an extra $200-$500 fee to your total bill.
When it comes to moving, timing does not always work out as planned. If you need to utilize storage services most moving companies will have short-term and long-term options for you to choose from. Having a mover transport your belongings to a storage facility and then from the facility to your final destination will result in additional costs. You can expect to pay upwards of $200 per month to have your belongings securely stored.
Moving companies automatically provide limited liability insurance for your belongings which is typically valued at $0.60 per pound. This type of insurance is free of charge and does not fully cover your household items. For those seeking greater protection, most moving companies will offer their customers alternative insurance options at a cost.
If you are happy with your movers’ work you can show your appreciation for a job well done by tipping them. Similar to what you would tip a waiter or bartender, it’s considered customary to provide a 10 to 20 percent tip. This equates to around $5 per hour per mover.
Are you planning a local move? Hire professional movers like Gentle Giant to take away the stress of the move! Check out our moving checklist for further information on how to prepare for your move and use our free move estimate tool to determine the cost of your move. Additionally, you can view our locations, and the various services we offer including packing, piano moving, and more here.