How Much Does It Cost to Move?

June 10, 2019 9:00 am How Much Does It Cost to Move Published by

So you have reached a milestone in your life that leaves you with no other option than to relocate…Why else would you have searched for an article like this? Worry no more, the research may prove to be much less daunting than you first imagined. Just sit back, wipe the sweat from your brow, and read further to find out just how simple it can be. We have tried to eliminate as much of the guesswork as possible. It is not possible for us to tell you exactly how much your move will cost, but we can give you some tips and guidelines to help you figure it all out. 

You Get What You Pay For

You have likely made a plan of action and are ready to implement it. Start by asking others who have recently moved into or near your area. Find out what they paid, then get estimates from as many moving companies as possible. People have to make a living, so do not expect to get off cheap. After all, the old saying “you get what you pay for” applies to most situations in life and moving is no exception.

This website has a very helpful calculator that is meant to determine the cost of moving any home. For instance, if you are moving 130 miles with three bedrooms worth of cargo, your cost will range between $5000 to $7100 depending on which company you choose and how much weight is being moved. If you have a gun safe, or other extremely heavy items, expect a much higher bill. A longer move of 350 miles will cost between $6000 and $8000. 

A good suggestion may be to add 100 miles to your move and adjust your budget accordingly. Once you have an exaggerated distance, you can compensate for unexpected expenses such as hotels, food, labor, and fuel costs. This over-estimation should provide a margin of error sufficient enough to allow for unexpected delays and will cover extended hotel stays if needed.

Ways To Save Money

If those figures scare you, then here are some ways to make a move more affordable. No one knows your stuff better than you do, and movers get paid by the hour, so boxing it yourself will make any move go much faster. This will also cut labor costs. The price of Boxes can add up as well, but many local businesses will often donate their empty boxes if you show up after they have unloaded a truck. 

If you do not have time to pack your belongings yourself, there are many factors that can drive up the cost of this service. If your rooms are cluttered or disorganized, the packing will take longer (for obvious reasons). A three bedroom home with only essential items such as dressers, beds, clothes, and appliances will cost much less to pack up than a home the same size where every room of the house is stuffed to the gills with various junk. Movers are people just like you, so expect to pay them what they earn. Tipping your movers is not a mandatory practice, but it’s a good practice to tip the one that you see working the hardest. This will hopefully set a good example to motivate the others. The faster they work, the lower your labor costs will be. 

It will be difficult to prepare meals while on the road, and fast food costs will add up very quickly. Some people choose to stock a cooler with quick and easy meals that can be prepared on the go. Simple measures like this can save you a lot when you are paying movers by the hour. 

Arrange Your Cargo Carefully

A very important factor to consider before taking off is balancing the load inside the truck. It is important to place heavy items on the bottom of the truck bed, and the heaviest items should be centered over the rear axles. The load should be stacked evenly and neatly front to rear and tied off with a ratchet strap at the back of the truck. Use multiple ratchet straps if necessary.

A professional mover will most likely be familiar with issues of fuel economy. If you are inexperienced at loading a truck, you may encounter load shifting on curvy roads which could result in damage to your belongings and possibly the vehicle. You could also suffer injury or death if you lose control of the truck. Instead, save yourself a lot of time, money, frustration, and bodily injuries. There is no shame in hiring a professional if necessary. It may be more expensive, but a visit to the emergency room halfway through a move will not make moving any easier. 

Fuel Economy

If you have never driven a particularly large vehicle, then you are probably unaware of their problems with fluctuating fuel economy. You will most likely require a 20 to 24-foot box truck in order to move in one trip, making two trips should only be a last resort. A vehicle of this size does not require a special license to operate, but it handles quite differently when compared to a normal car. According to the website of a major moving company, a diesel truck will average 8 miles per gallon at $3.1 per gallon which will average about $.39 per mile. 

That same truck, when fueled by gasoline, will average only 6 miles per gallon at $2.84 per gallon. Do not let the lower fuel cost affect your decision, as the average cost for a gasoline-powered box truck is $.47 per mile. You should also consider that fuel economy is somewhat influenced by the incline of the highway

A truck traveling on a flat highway, or a downhill grade, can easily maintain optimal speed and fuel economy. Traversing a steep incline can reduce your speed and fuel economy a great deal. It is important to research the terrain and plan your route accordingly. A shorter route may not necessarily be faster or more fuel efficient, depending on the number of hills that you have to climb. Traffic should also play a role in your route planning. 

Should You Hire A Moving Company?

Let’s compare the pros and cons of hiring a company to move your things instead of doing the job yourself.


  • Combined rate
  • Damages are insured
  • Quicker results
  • Safer loading practices
  • Frees up your time for other tasks
  • No chance of back injury for you


  • Risk of theft
  • Risk of damage
  • High cost
  • Potential privacy issues


As we explained from the start, there is no way that we can give a moving estimate that will work for everyone. Cost will mostly depend on how much stuff you are moving, how far it has to go, and how many hidden costs you can avoid. We hope that this article has given you a better idea of what to expect and helped you to prepare for every expense. Feel free to fill out the contact form below for more informative content like this.