You’re counting down the days until you can leave your current digs and move into your new home. You’re excited to move, but not so excited about the move itself.
Are you dreading the idea of packing up and hauling all your stuff yourself? Do you find yourself asking how much do movers cost? Depending on how far you’re going, how much stuff you have and how high your stress level is, working with pro movers might be worth the expense.
What affects the cost of a move?
So, how much do movers cost? The cost of moving has multiple variables, some of which you might have expected, but others that might surprise you.
One major variable is the size of your home. If you’re moving from one 300-square-foot studio to another, you’ll pay a lot less than a family that is moving the contents of a 2,500-square-foot home.
You can reduce the amount of stuff that movers have to pack up and haul by donating, selling or discarding any items you don’t think you’ll need in the new home.
Try to eat through your pantry and use up any disposable items. You can buy more soap and garbage bags once you get to your new place. There’s no sense in paying to move them.
The time of year and even the day of the week also affect the cost of working with a moving company.
Spring and summer tend to be the busy season for moving and movers. Often, moves between April and October cost 25 percent more than moves at other times of the year.
Moving on weekends is also pricier, as is moving at the end or beginning of the month.
Whether you insure the move or not will change the price. Keep in mind that your current homeowner’s policy might offer coverage for your move. It’s worth double-checking so that you don’t pay more for coverage that you don’t need.
How far you’re moving also influences cost, but there is little you can do to change that. The farther away you’re going, the higher the cost of the move.
Average cost of movers
The average cost of a professional interstate move that covers 1,220 miles is $5,630, according to the American Moving and Storage Association. That amount covers the cost of moving about 7,400 pounds of stuff. Meanwhile, an intrastate move of 7,400 pounds of stuff, using a four-person crew, costs an average of $1,170.
Usually, the more expensive the area you are moving to or from, the more expensive your move.
For example, it costs an average of $555 to move the contents of a one-bedroom apartment from one area of Boston to another. The average cost to move from a one-bedroom apartment to another in San Francisco is $576.
READ MORE: 7 ways to save money on moving costs
Costs that complicate matters
Sometimes, getting your stuff from point A to point B isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Part of figuring out how much movers will cost is figuring out if your move will have any special complications.
One unexpected cost you might face, especially if you’re moving to a city with tiny, narrow streets, is that of transporting your belongings from a big moving truck to a smaller shuttle. You might have to pay from $250 to $500 extra to have your belongings transferred from the main moving truck to a shuttle.
If you have to leave your current home but won’t be able to move into your next house right away, you might have to pay the moving company to store your belongings for a certain amount of time.
Costs vary based on the amount of items you need to store, but generally the cost ranges from $150 per month for a studio to $1,179 per month for the contents of a four-bedroom home.
There’s also the cost of staying in a short-term rental or hotel until you can move into your next home.
Hiring professional movers isn’t your only option. If you don’t mind packing up your belongings and lifting heavy furniture yourself, you can move for the cost of renting a van and paying for gasoline.
For some people, the three- or four-digit cost of working with pro movers is well worth the reduced stress and risk of injury of moving on your own.