How Much Does It Cost to Move an Apartment?

From tiny lofts and trendy studios to sprawling 4 -bedrooms with custom kitchens and walk-in closets, apartments come in all shapes and sizes, and not surprisingly, the cost to move them can vary greatly.

So how much does it cost to move an apartment?

Moving the contents of a one-bedroom apartment locally usually costs between $350 and 3,000 dollars, while relocating to a neighboring state or cross country ranges from $900 to $6,000.

Of course, your price will depend on some factors which we’ll cover shortly, but as a refresher, keep in mind that –

  • Local moving costs usually charge an hourly rate (plus packing and additional services like crating)
  • On long-distance interstate moves, you calculate the cost from the mileage and weight of your shipment (plus packing services and extra fees)

To get things rolling, here are a few links you might find helpful if you want to know how much it will cost to move your apartment:

  • Moving Costs: Taking advantage of our moving cost calculator is a great way to determine how much you can expect to pay and your options.
  • The Best Moving Companies: Hiring a reliable moving company is pretty straightforward with our list of the best interstate movers of 2021.

Now let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of moving an apartment.

The Cost to Move a 1-Bedroom Apartment Locally

To calculate the following data, we found “average” local moving expenses in several locations across the country and was based on various shipment weights, the ease or difficulty of access between the truck and apartment, and whether packing and additional services were required.

Furnishings/ Density Easy Access

(No Packing)

With Long Carry or Elevator (Partial Packing) Difficult Access (Full Packing & Additional Services)
Minimalist $350 – $475 $476 – $600 $601 – $750
Moderate $476 – $650 $651 – $800 $801 – $1,100
Full $650 – 1,100 $1,101 – $1,300 $1,301 – $2,600+
Beyond Full $750 – $950 $951 – $1,600 $1,601 – $3,000+

The Cost to Move a 1-Bedroom Apartment to Another State

Furnishings/ Density

(Mileage – between 250 and 2,000)

Easy to Moderate Access

(No Packing)

Difficult Access(Long Carry or Elevator with Partial Packing) Full Packing & Additional Services Like Storage and Appliance Disconnect/ Reconnect
Minimalist $900 – 1,100 $1,101 – $2,100 $2,101 – $3,200
Moderate $1,100 – 1,450 $1,451 – $1,800 $1,801 – $3,900
Full $1,450 – $2,700 $2,701 – $3,600 $3,601 – $4,500
Beyond Full $2,700 – 3,600 $3,601 – $4,400 $4,401 – 6,000+

Remember, for both local and interstate moves, your actual cost may be higher or lower than the above figures depending on the following factors –

  • How much ‘stuff’ you have
  • Whether you need help with packing
  • How organized and prepared you are on move day
  • The experience and efficiency of your moving crew
  • The distance (mileage) between your old and new home or apartment
  • What parts of the country you’re moving from and to
  • What month and day of the week you’re moving
  • If you’re moving appliances and specialty items like pool tables that require servicing
  • The ease or difficulty of access between the moving truck and your apartment

Things to Consider When Moving an Apartment

How is the Access?

Gated apartment complexes with tight corners and awnings over the parking spaces are often inaccessible to tractor-trailers, in which case you’ll need to specify a smaller truck before booking your move or pay for a shuttle if you’re moving out of state.

Likewise, in cities, parking on the street can be tricky, and –

  • Management and rental companies at high rise apartment buildings often require full-service movers to provide proof of insurance
  • Some apartments complexes only allow moving during regular business hours
  • You may need to reserve elevators in loading docks well in advance of your moving date

Can I do My Move Myself (DIY Move)?

Especially on local moves, you can tackle relatively small apartments by do-it-yourselfers.

Of course, you’ll need to do the packing, round up helpers, and worry about the truck rental.

Also, consider the likelihood of damage to your household goods and apartment, injuries, and extra costs like food, drinks, fuel, and additional fees for returning the truck late, which are common at companies like U-Haul.

On interstate moves, you’ll also need to take the following into account –

  • The stress and danger associated with driving a large vehicle through mountainous terrain, inclement weather, and tight city streets
  • Food, fuel, and lodging while on the road
  • The number of days your trip will take
  • Additional insurance
  • The price difference between a full-service move and renting a moving container

For these reasons and others, we recommend hiring a reputable and professional moving company with verified customer reviews.

You can save money when moving an apartment

Moving isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition.

In fact, there are lots of ways savvy families can customize their moves to fit their particular needs. There are also quite a few ways to save money during a move.

In the end, getting the move you want will save money, reduce stress, and make the process more efficient.

Here’s how –

1. Discard, Donate and Downsize

Barring seasonal holiday items, winter clothing, and the old fondue pot in your attic, if you haven’t used something in six months, it’s probably worth getting rid of.

After all, with both interstate and local movers, the more you move, the more you’ll pay.

Decluttering and downsizing are great ways to lighten your load, and donated items can be godsends for the less fortunate.

Did You Know?

On local moves, you’ll probably pay a 3-hour minimum (plus travel time and a fuel surcharge), and many van lines have minimum weight requirements ranging from 1,000 to 2,100 pounds, which means if your shipment weighs less, you’ll still pay for the minimum.

2. Do the Packing Yourself

For families with kids, multi-bedroom homes, and overworked parents, DIY packing might not be an option.

On the other hand, for apartment dwellers, it’s doable as long as you make a packing schedule, stick to it, and give yourself plenty of time.

Just remember that packing supplies aren’t cheap, and you’ll likely need more moving boxes than estimated, so buying them always err on the high side.

Need a little motivation?

Consider this – on many moves, full-service packing can double the cost.

Yikes!

3. Rent an Easily Accessible Apartment

Renting an accessible apartment may not be possible if you’re heading to Manhattan or Chicago. But moving into a 27th-floor apartment without a loading dock and only one service elevator is going to be more expensive than a first-floor unit with ample truck parking just outside your front door.

4. Stay Close to Home

If you’re moving for a new job or transfer, or to attend a college or university, staying close might not be an option.

However, if you’re young, single, and just looking to spread your proverbial wings, moving to a new city or town just a few hundred miles from your old stomping grounds has lots of benefits.

Not only will your move be significantly cheaper than moving from coast to coast, but you’ll be closer to friends and family too.

For example, moving from New York to Boston can be less than half as expensive as moving from New York to LA.

5. Plan and Prepare (Don’t Procrastinate)

Saving money is a no-brainer, and one of the best ways to keep more of those hard-earned greenbacks in your pocket is by planning and preparing for your move weeks and even months in advance.

That said, sometimes you can’t help same-day moves.

In addition, if you’re moving locally, the bulk of your charges will be based on the amount of time it takes the crew to complete your move, so disassembling beds and tables and removing mirrors from dressers will save money in the end.

For the best results, do them at least a day before the movers arrive.

6. Hire a Top-Notch Moving Company

Nobody in their right mind would say that all cars are the same.

As in – AMC Pacer vs. Porsche 911 Turbo.

And the same is true of movers.

While it may be tempting to go with a surprisingly low quote from an online broker, in most cases, you’ll regret it down the road when your household goods are two weeks late, and the “best price” has more than doubled. Don’t settle for the cheapest moving company.

During the pre-move screening process –

  • Ask friends, coworkers, and family members for personal referrals
  • Check out the companies you’re considering with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Read verified customer reviews from trustworthy websites
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask during your in-home estimates

Did You Know?

If you know exactly what you’re moving, your mover may give you a guaranteed price estimate.

7. Move When It’s Cheapest

The summer months between June and August are the “peak season in the moving business.”

More than half of all nationwide relocations happen within this small window, and movers often have more business than they can handle, which means prices are higher too.

If you’re flexible, putting off your move until the fall or winter can equate to huge savings, reduced delivery times, and all-around better service.

8. Rent a Storage Unit

If you need to store your items before moving into your new apartment, renting your own unit instead of using a mover’s warehouse can save big bucks.

On the downside, you’ll have the added task of screening facilities, and when you’re ready to have your items delivered, you’ll need to hire a local mover or do it yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much money should I save to move into an apartment?

When moving into a new apartment, you’ll need to pay a security deposit and the first month’s rent, as well as the costs associated with setting up utilities like internet and cable. In addition, having a nest egg tucked away to get you through the first few months will help ease the transition if you’re looking for a new job.

How much do movers cost for local moves?

A local move costs anywhere between $350 to $3,000.

This number varies depending on the size of your apartment, where you’re moving, and how much you’ll do packing yourself,

How long should it take to move to a 2-bedroom apartment?

If you pack everything, are ready to go, and you’re moving from first-floor to first-floor, a 3-person crew should be able to move a 2-bedroom apartment in between 5 and 7 hours.

What is the average cost to move a 2-bedroom apartment?

Though it depends on the factors above, a typical 2-bedroom apartment move costs between $600 and $1,500.

What is a reasonable estimate of the cost to move an apartment locally?

The cost to move an apartment can range from less than $400 for a minimally furnished studio with no packing to well over $3,000 for a 3-bedroom unit with full packing.

How many square feet is a 2 bedroom apartment?

Most 2-bedroom apartments are between 700 and 900 square feet.

What are the steps to getting a quote for a move?

First, to get a moving quote, use a moving cost calculator to get a “ballpark” idea of cost. Next, ask for personal referrals from friends and family members, and when you’ve compiled a list of potential movers, schedule in-home estimates.

How much should I expect to spend on boxes to move?

On most apartment moves, boxes and packing material like tape and packing paper should run between $100 and $400.

What’s the average weight of household goods in a one-bedroom apartment?

Most one-bedroom apartments contain between 1,500 and 4,000 pounds of household goods.

Is full-service moving with packing and unpacking worth it?

Though it’s usually more expensive than a DIY move, full-service moves are definitely worth it from convenience, speed, and safety standpoints.

Do local and long-distance moving companies charge by the cubic foot?

No. In almost every case (excluding some international relocations), they will charge for time on local moves and by weight and miles (plus additional services like packing and unpacking) on interstate moves.

How should I pack fragile items on a DIY move?

Great question, learn how here.

Is heavy lifting dangerous?

Yes, especially when moving large items like dressers, pianos, and appliances.

What insurance options do local moving companies offer?

Like long-distance movers, local moving companies usually offer a minimal released value coverage for free but give customers the option of purchasing full-value protection coverage, typically with three deductible options between $0 and $500. Just remember, you’ll have to choose an option before pick up because once the crew starts moving your items, it’s hard to go back.

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