How Much Does Moving Cost? 5 Important Things to Consider

How Much Does Moving Cost? 5 Important Things to Consider

Woman researching moving costs on laptop

In planning your move in 2023, there are numerous factors to consider. Things like location, storage, and packing leave you with much to think about, including the cost of it all. So, how much does moving cost?

Well, determining costs also comes with a fair amount of variables that will impact your overall budget. Are you moving from a house? An apartment? Whatever your situation, don’t fret! We’ve identified 5 factors to consider as you determine how much moving will cost.

1. Distance

When it comes to distance traveled, there are two types of moves: local and long-distance (“long-distance” is a term generally used for moves with a distance of more than 100 miles). Know that moving farther distances will surely increase your cost. So before you start solidifying your moving plan, ensure your budget will be able to support the distance of your move.

In 2023, HomeAdvisor calculated that the average cost of a local move is $1,710, with a range of $913 to $2,531. The average cost of a cross-country move was $4,802, with a range of $2,648 and $6,990. Long-distance moves will incur more costs such as mileage, lodging, and the cost of your moving company of choice (if you decide to hire a moving service at all – more on that in a moment). So the average expenses you should expect to pay are significantly higher.

Furthermore, if you’re moving out of the country, there will be additional costs to come as well. The cost of moving abroad will vary depending on which country you’re headed to. But you should have funds prepared for things like travel, shipping, and visa costs. According to the Huffington Post, it can cost over $3,000 to ship your items overseas alone!

International moves might carry a heftier price tag, but it’s also important to consider whether the cost of living in the country you’re considering is lower than in the U.S. This might make up for those moving costs!

2. Professional Movers

Another highly significant factor in determining how much moving will cost you is whether you plan to invest in a moving company or do most of the work yourself.

Understandably, hiring a moving company is more expensive than doing the heavy lifting yourself. But it also saves a lot of time, stress, and difficult labor, so you’ll have to evaluate the demands of your move and determine whether or not it’s worth it. Note that professional movers will be more expensive for long-distance moves!

Want a great tip? Always get a cost estimate before deciding on a moving company. Of course, costs are always subject to fluctuation, but you should be able to get a reliable number on which you can base your budgeting.

3. Transportation

How you transport yourself and your things will affect the cost of your move, especially if you opt not to hire professional movers. If you’re using a personal vehicle so you don’t have to worry about the cost of moving trucks, be aware of its specific gas mileage, as it may differ from car to car. One trick you can use is to search for the cheapest gas with the app, Gas Buddy, or get cash back at gas stations with the app, Upside. You’ll want to minimize spending money on gas where you can.

This might mean utilizing a vehicle with a large trunk or storage space. If you don’t have one at your disposal, consider investing in renting a POD, truck, or van, to name some examples (know that the cost of moving a shipping container varies). If you’re moving locally, you might be able to take multiple trips back and forth, but when you’re traveling longer distances, you’re going to want to make sure you have enough vehicle space to fit all your things in one go.

In the case you’re using your own vehicle, you could also invest in storage racks instead of spending more money on truck rentals. Of course, in addition to what you can afford, one of the most deciding factors in determining how you’ll be transporting your belongings (and how much you’ll need to spend) is how much you’ll need to fit.

4. Quantity

How much moving costs also depends on how much stuff you have to transport. Regardless of distance, this will affect your price tag! For example, moving a one-bedroom apartment might involve having to move fewer belongings than you’d be dealing with in an entire house.

The more things you must move, the longer it’ll take to move them, so the more you’ll have to pay your movers (if you do hire them). Forbes Home’s study reports that the average cost of movers for a studio apartment is only $400, while a 4-bedroom home could be as expensive as $1,800 between the number of movers and time spent. In addition to that, you’ll also have to factor in the cost of the moving truck. Point being the size of your space and the quantity of your things affects the cost.

A substantial difference in possessions might even require more than one moving truck or storage container, which also increases cost. This is where packing supplies and storage costs come in.

5. Packing and Storage

It’s easy to forget this part of the process, but moving supplies will add to your cost as well. If you need anything beyond cardboard boxes, which you can often outsource for free, you should count on adding supplies to your budget!

If you’re moving items with special requirements, such as art pieces, pianos, or large furniture, you might have to invest in additional items like moving blankets or even additional hired hands to help with these pieces. That being said, packing and moving things in this realm will be more expensive, depending on how you go about it, due to the additional supplies and precautions.

If you decide you can’t move all of your things into your new home but you don’t want to get rid of them (this can be for many reasons such as downsizing or a temporary living situation), you’ll likely have to invest in a storage unit. These generally range from $80 to $150 a month depending on the size and location of the unit. So, when calculating the cost of your move you’ll have to decide if keeping old items is in your budget or not.

Conclusion

Moving costs can vary greatly depending on your needs, preferences, and the uniqueness of each situation. The most important thing in estimating how much your move will cost is getting an accurate idea of your specific needs. Do you need a truck? Professional movers? Lots of supplies?

Ask yourself these questions and more and pinpoint as many details of your move as possible. The more specifics you know, the more specifics you’ll have in terms of price tags. Be honest with yourself and open to assistance where you need it. If you can do this, budgeting should be a piece of cake!

Samantha attends the University of Northern Colorado as a double major in English and Theatre with minors in Writing and Japanese. In her free time she enjoys creative writing, art, and making music.