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Professional movers

Sit back and let someone else do all of the work. Full-service movers make moving easier but usually cost more and require some research to find reputable companies.

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Find a professional mover

We did the research and created a list of the best professional movers in 2018.

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Weighing the costs

How much does a moving company cost?

For moves within 50 miles companies typically charge $50 to $200 per hour depending on how many movers are needed.

For interstate moves, pricing is based on the distance and size of the move. Costs can vary greatly depending on the requirements of the move.

Be sure to check out our moving cost calculator to get a more accurate idea on what your move may cost.

Sample Pricing Table
1 Bedroom 2-3 Bedroom 4-5 Bedroom
<50 miles $300 – $700 $500 – $1,100 $1,000 – $2,900
250 miles $700 – $1,900 $1,600 – $2,900 $2,100 – $3,950
1,000 miles $1,100 – $2,700 $1,900 – $4,500 $4,100 – $7,800
2,500 miles $1,500 – $3,500 $2,900 – $6,500 $7,900 – $13,700

9 insider tips for saving money

We went deep undercover with industry insiders and got them to spill the beans on how you can save money when you use a professional mover.

Get multiple quotes

Long distance moving is a game of logistics. Different schedules, availability and more allow some moving companies to offer better prices than others.

Getting several quotes increases the odds you find a mover in a position to offer a discounted rate. Just make sure you find reputable movers!

Book early

Ideally, you should book your mover 30-60 days in advance. Moving companies will increase prices for moves booked last minute or worst case they may not have any availability at all.

Flexible pickup & delivery

Moving is a tough business and movers often face unexpected delays like weather or traffic issues. Customers with flexible move dates enable moving companies to build some cushion into their schedule. Often times resulting in a better price for you.

Sell, donate, trash items

Roughly 70% of your total cost is determined by how much you’re moving. Downsizing can help you save money, but be aware most movers have minimum size requirements so don’t get rid of too much.

Move mid-month

Rental leases typically turnover at the end of the month causing spikes in demand on those last few days. Avoiding the rush by moving in the middle of the month can often result in better pricing.

Move mid-week

Weekends are always a more popular time to move. If you move mid-week availability and pricing will typically be better.

Prep your move properly

Avoid getting charged for expensive packing materials on moving day by properly preparing your move. Mattresses should have covers, glass table tops need to be protected, all loose items need to go in boxes.

Work with your move coordinator directly to understand who is responsible for packing certain items. If you’re packing yourself, make sure you understand the mover’s packing standards or they will have to repack items at your expense.

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13 extra fees to watch out for

A good moving company will always try to include all charges in their initial estimate. But details can change so it’s important to know any possible extra charges that may arise during the move.

Long carry

Most movers will charge an additional fee if the distance to your front door from the truck is over 75ft. If you live in an apartment building, the distance is measured from the front door of your actual apartment, not the building.

Stair carry

If there are more than 1 or 2 flights of stairs leading up to your residence, movers will typically charge a fee per additional flight of stairs.

Elevator

Some movers will charge an elevator fee if your residence is located on a floor that requires a lengthy elevator ride or if your building has a narrow elevator requiring a lot of trips.

Extra stops

Need to stop by a local storage unit or your in-law’s house? Movers will typically charge a fee for additional stops beyond the primary residence.

Handling fees

Movers will typically charge a fee for items such as heavy safes, riding lawnmowers, pianos, hot tubs, large tool chests, etc. These items typically require additional equipment and labor to ensure safe transport.

Connecting appliances

Some companies may charge an additional fee to disconnect and reconnect appliances such as washers, dryers, and dishwashers.

Storage-in-Transit (SIT)

For long distance moves, most movers offer 30 days of free storage. For storage longer than 30 days, typically a monthly fee applies. If you require 6 months or more of storage you may want to consider delivery to a local storage unit or using a portable storage container for your move.

Additional valuation coverage

While every long distance moving company includes $.60 per pound of valuation coverage in their base price, it’s highly recommended you consider increasing this amount.

Expedited delivery

For an additional cost, movers agree to expedite your delivery and have your items delivered on or before a specific date.

Shuttle services

Most long distance moves will be done with a 53’ tractor-trailer (like you see on the interstate). If a full-size tractor-trailer can’t get to your residence, a smaller, shuttle truck may be necessary. Shuttles are frequently required in urban areas and can increase move costs significantly.

Guaranteed delivery

The movers will guarantee a specific date when your items are delivered. Depending on the distance and locations guaranteed delivery can be very expensive.

Full-packing

Most movers will offer the option to pack all your loose items into boxes for you. Having professionals pack everything will also extend your valuation coverage to all boxed items. So if a box isn’t packed properly the movers will be on the hook for it, not you.

Specialty packing & crating

Fragile items such as mirrors, glass table tops, grandfather clocks, flat screen TVs, chandeliers, etc., require specialty packing or crating to prevent damage. Work with your mover directly to understand who is responsible for packing delicate items. If you’re packing fragile items yourself, make sure you meet the movers packing standards or they will have to repack items at your expense.

What you get

What’s included with a professional mover?

Every moving company generally offers the same set of services for a basic full-service move.

Keep in mind, there are different types of moving estimates that can be hard to compare.

When getting quotes, ask every company to verify the exact services they’re offering.

What seems like a cheaper quote may actually just be because certain packing services weren’t included or the quote was done in cubic feet instead of weight.

If you’re working with a moving broker get the name of the actual moving company who will be performing the move.

Included
  • All loading and unloading
  • Breakdown & reassembly of basic furniture
  • Moving blankets, pads, straps
  • All necessary moving equipment (dolly, rollers)
  • Fuel, tolls, taxes
  • Parking permits
  • Very limited valuation coverage ($.60/lb)
Not included
  • Packing supplies such as boxes, bubble wrap, etc.
  • Packing of boxes & loose items (additional cost)
  • Storage (additional cost)
  • Additional insurance (available for purchase)
  • Breakdown & reassembly of complicated furniture (IKEA)
  • Packing of fragile items (additional cost)
Best movers of 2018

How do I find a great professional mover?

We did the research and created a list of the best professional movers in 2018.

Find a pro mover

How does a professional mover work?

A professional mover is the most convenient way to move but that doesn’t mean that you are off the hook entirely. Here’s how it works.

90 days out

The in-home estimate

In order to give you an accurate quote, the movers need to know exactly what you are moving.

To do this, each mover will send an agent to your residence to complete a survey of your move.

One week out

One week before the big move

If the mover isn’t the one packing and unpacking all of your belongings you need to make sure that it is already done before the mover arrives.

If it’s not, you may end up paying more.

The big day

Moving day

The big day is here, all of your belongings are boxed up and you’re ready to get started.

When the movers show up the first thing they’ll do is disassemble all of the basic furniture that needs it.

Then, they’ll make sure everything is wrapped in pads and blankets before they load it on the truck.

Up to 30 days later

The waiting is the hardest part

You’ve made the trip to your new home and now all you have to do is wait for the movers to show up.

Make sure you know ahead of time when you can expect your movers to arrive.

Welcome home

Delivery

When the movers arrive at your new residence, they’ll do everything they did before but in reverse.

They’ll unload the truck, and reassemble the furniture that needs it. If you paid for unpacking, they’ll do that too.

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Moving cost calculator

Get instant ballpark estimates for professional movers, moving containers, freight companies, and rental trucks.

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Compare and contrast

Professional movers may be the most convenient option but that doesn’t always mean it’s the best option for you. Compare professional movers to freight trailers, moving containers, and rental trucks to determine the best option for your move.

Professional movers vs. freight

See how professional movers stack up against freight trailers.

Professional Movers Freight Trailers
Labor Professional movers will load and unload the truck including basic furniture assembly. Freight provides no labor although it’s not hard to hire some help.
Insurance Professional moving companies tend to have more insurance options and better overall coverage for damages. Freight companies usually don’t offer more than basic valuation coverage.
Materials Professional movers will bring pads, blankets, dollies, and straps to make sure all items are properly secured. Freight provides limited equipment.
Storage Professional moving companies typically offer a month of free storage. Freight storage is expensive.
Delivery Moving companies often give wide and unreliable delivery windows, especially for smaller shipments. Freight companies tend to have much faster and more reliable delivery windows than movers.
Cancellations Professional moving companies have much smaller truck fleets and rely on labor crews to show up on moving day, increasing the chances of cancellations or delays on moving day. Freight companies are much less likely to cancel on moving day because they aren’t reliant on moving crews and have access to a much larger fleet of trucks.
Prep Time With professional movers you’ll need to be fully prepared before they arrive. Freight offers 3 days to load so you have more time to pack and clear everything out.
Privacy Unless your move is a full truckload, professional movers almost always share moving truck space with multiple loads. Your items are the only household goods in the freight trailer, secured behind a bulkhead door.
Pricing Professional moving quotes can be difficult to understand. Freight pricing is based on a simple per foot charge.
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How much does a professional mover cost?

Compare prices on professional movers, containers, freight, and rental trucks.

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Professional movers vs. containers

See how professional movers stack up against portable moving containers.

Professional Movers Containers
Labor Movers will load and unload the truck including basic furniture assembly. Containers provide no labor although it’s not hard to hire some help.
Insurance Moving companies tend to have more insurance options and better overall coverage for damages. Container companies usually don’t offer more than basic valuation coverage.
Materials Professional movers will bring pads, blankets, dollies, and straps to make sure all items are properly secured. Containers provide limited moving equipment.
Storage Moving companies only offer storage-in-transit and it can get expensive if you need storage more than a few months. Container companies have very competitive storage rates and the container can be delivered to your residence multiple times.
Delivery Professional companies tend to have less accurate delivery windows. Container companies tend to have much faster and more accurate delivery windows than professional movers.
Prep Time With movers you’ll need to be fully prepared before they arrive. Containers offer open-ended load time so you have more time to pack loose items.
Pricing Moving companies usually require in-home estimates and variable costs since their service offerings are more complex. Container companies offer flat rates based on container sizes.
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Plan ahead

How much does a professional mover cost?

Compare prices on professional movers, containers, freight, and rental trucks.

Get started

Professional movers vs. moving truck rentals

See how professional movers stack up against moving truck rentals.

Professional Movers Moving Truck Rentals
Labor Movers will load and unload the truck including basic furniture assembly. Rental trucks provide no labor although it’s not hard to hire some.
Driving Movers will handle all the unpleasantries of driving a truck long distance for you. Weather, traffic, flat tires, parking, etc. are all a part of driving a rental truck.
Insurance Moving companies offer coverage for damage to items during the move. Rental trucks generally don’t cover damages since you’re responsible for packing.
Cost Because professional movers handle everything you should expect to pay a lot more. In most cases, rental trucks are going to be less expensive than movers but make sure to factor in fuel, tolls, parking fees, your sanity, and any other costs when comparing the two options.
Control With professional movers you’re entrusting everything to relative strangers. With a rental truck you have complete control over the process from end to end.
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Get instant ballpark estimates

Instantly compare prices for professional movers, moving containers, freight companies, and rental trucks.

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Read & Learn

The results are in

Looking for a great professional mover?

We did the research and created a list of the best professional movers in 2018.

See the best pro movers of 2018