Moving locally doesn't come with a specific price tag. Though local moves are often cheaper than long-distance moves, there are many factors that can change the cost of moving locally. By understanding what goes into local moving costs, you can better plan your budget and find ways to save money.

In this post, our team at Alliance Moving & Storage will break down the factors that affect the cost of local moving, why it's essential to hire local movers instead of making DIY relocation, and provide tips on how to save money on your move.

Key Takeaways:

  • The total cost of a local move can vary, but on average it falls between $300 and $6,900.
  • The size of your move, the distance you’re moving, the services you need, and the move date will all affect the cost of your move.
  • There are a number of things you can do to save money on your local move, such as getting multiple quotes, packing yourself, and moving during the off-season.
  • Hiring professional movers can take a lot of the stress out of your move.

Average Costs of Local Moving

So how much do movers cost for a local move? The average cost of a local relocation can vary depending on a number of factors, but it typically falls between $300 and $6,900. Here are some general guidelines:

Service Type Studio/Small 1-Bedroom Typical 1-Bedroom 2-Bedroom 3-Bedroom 4+ Bedroom
DIY Move $150 - $300 $200 - $400 $300 - $600 $400 - $800 $500 - $1000
Hiring Movers (Load/Unload Only) $200 - $500 $300 - $650 $400 - $850 $600 - $1200 $800 - $2000
Full-Service Move $300 - $800 $400 - $1200 $800 - $2500 $1500 - $4000 $2000 - $7000+

10 Factors that Affect Local Moving Costs

Factors that Affect Local Moving Costs

To get a better picture of how much your upcoming move will cost, let's explore the factors that most commonly affect the local move cost. These factors include:

#1. Move Size

The size of your apartment move will be one of the biggest factors when calculating the cost of moving locally.

  • A studio apartment typically has the least amount of furniture and belongings, so it will cost the least to move.
  • A one-bedroom apartment will cost slightly more, while a two-bedroom apartment or house will cost even more.
  • A three-bedroom house will typically cost the most to move, as it will have the most furniture, appliances, and belongings.

As you can imagine, the more items you have to move, the more time and labor it will take, which will increase your moving costs.

#2. Amount and Type of Belongings

In addition to the size of your home, the amount and type of belongings you have will also affect your moving costs. If you have a lot of heavy furniture, such as a piano, pool table, or large appliances, it will take more time and effort to move them, which will increase your costs.

Similarly, if you have many fragile or valuable items that require special handling or packing, such as artwork, antiques, or electronics, it will also increase your moving costs. Specialty items, such as a hot tub, safe, or oversized furniture may require special equipment or additional labor, so these items are more expensive to move.

#3. Accessibility


The accessibility of your home can also impact your moving costs.

  • If you live in a building with stairs, narrow doorways, or long walks from the moving truck to your door, it will take more time and effort to move your belongings and increase your costs.
  • If you live in a high-rise building, you may need to reserve an elevator, which can also add to your expenses.
  • If you have any obstacles or challenges that make it more difficult for movers to access your home or belongings, it will take more time and labor which makes the move more expensive.

#4. Packing Services

If the idea of packing and unpacking your house is stressing you out, a moving company can pack your belongings for you for a fee. This service will often cost a few hundred dollars, but the ultimate cost will depend on how many belongings you have.

If you're going to hire a moving company to pack your home, you can cut down on this cost by selling some items in a garage sale or donating unwanted furniture. If moving for a low cost is your only goal, your best bet will be to pack up your home yourself and then leave the more physical moving to your moving company.

#5. Long Distance Move

The distance of your move is another important factor in determining your moving costs. Local moves, which typically involve a distance of less than 100 miles, are usually charged by the hour. The longer it takes to load, transport, and unload your belongings, the more expensive your move will be.

If you're going to have a long distance move, such as to another state, you'll likely be charged based on the weight of your belongings and the distance of your move. Long-distance moves can be significantly more expensive than local moves, as they require more time, fuel, and labor.

#6. Moving Add-On Services

Moving Add-On Services

There are dozens of moving add-ons that could shift the price of your move upwards. A few of the most common add-ons include:

Just because these add-ons will increase the cost of your move doesn't mean they aren't worth it, though. Consider how much time you can save by hiring movers to perform these tasks instead of shouldering the burden on your own.

#7. Moving Storage Unit

If your move is especially complex, most moving companies can store your belongings for an additional fee. Storage costs are often based on how much you’re storing (more items require more space) and how long you’ll be storing your belongings. Alliance Moving & Storage offers various storage options for both residential and commercial moves. We're happy to store your items for as long as you need while you sort out the complexities of your local move.

#8. Moving Supplies

The cost of moving supplies can add up faster than you think. If you don't already have basic materials and boxes lying around, you'll have to head to a store to get all the proper materials. You can save time by having a moving company take care of the packing process, but they’ll add a charge to your final bill for both the labor and the cost of supplies.

#9. Moving Date

Moving Date

The timing of your move can also impact your costs. The summer months (May through September) are typically considered the peak moving season, as many people prefer to move when the weather is warm and children are out of school. Moving on weekends can also be more expensive, as there is a higher demand for moving services.

If you have flexibility in your moving date, you may be able to move during the off-peak season (October through April) or on a weekday. Some moving companies may also offer discounts for mid-week or off-season moves, so be sure to ask about any available promotions or discounts when getting quotes.

#10. Liability Coverage

The cost of liability coverage can stack up pretty quickly if you're planning to hire a mover. Typically, there are multiple levels of coverage that are made available by moving companies. At Alliance Moving & Storage, we offer three levels of liability coverage. Our basic coverage comes in two levels, one for local moves and another for long-distance moves, and both are free and included in your estimate.

We also offer declared value coverage for an additional fee. In general, movers will base the liability coverage price on the weight of the move, and each level covers a portion of the value of your shipment.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind

When hiring local movers, be sure to also budget for the following additional costs:

  • Insurance coverage in case of damage or loss. Most moving companies offer basic coverage, but for high-value items, you may want to purchase additional insurance or check your homeowner's policy.
  • Tips for movers. Assuming they do a good job, it's customary to tip movers around $5 per hour per mover or 5-10% of the total moving cost.
  • Incidental expenses like utility hookups, cleaning services, and restocking your pantry. Set aside a "settling in" fund for those first few days.

Hiring Professional Moving Company vs. DIY Relocation

Choosing between professional movers and a DIY move comes down to balancing cost, efficiency, and control:

  • Professional movers offer speed, safety, liability coverage, and reduced stress, but can be expensive.
  • A DIY move is budget-friendly and gives you full control, but it's time-consuming, physically demanding, and carries a higher risk of damage or injury.

The best option depends on your individual needs and priorities. If you have a large amount of belongings, or fragile items, or are short on time, hiring professional movers may bring more peace of mind despite the cost. For smaller moves and those on a tight budget, many people find success with a carefully planned DIY move.

6 Tips to Save Money on Your Local Move

Tips to Save Money on Your Local Move

Just as there are many add-ons and services that can increase the cost of your local move, there are just as many ways to keep money. Here are a few things that you can do to cut costs the next time you're moving locally:

#1. Get Free Moving Boxes

  • Ask local retailers (grocery stores, liquor stores, bookstores) if they have any boxes they're getting rid of. Many will be happy to give them away for free.
  • Check online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Nextdoor for people giving away moving boxes.
  • Ask friends, family, and coworkers if they have any boxes left over from a recent move.
  • Some moving companies offer free used boxes to customers, so be sure to ask.

#2. Use Alternative Packing Materials

  • Instead of buying bubble wrap, use towels, linens, and clothing to wrap fragile items.
  • Use newspapers or magazines as packing paper (just be careful of ink transfer).
  • Rent plastic bins instead of buying cardboard boxes for a more eco-friendly and cost-effective solution.

#3. Negotiate with Moving Companies

Negotiate with Moving Companies
  • Get quotes from at least 3-5 different moving companies to compare prices.
  • Don't be afraid to negotiate, especially if you have a competitive quote from another company.
  • Ask about any current promotions, discounts, or special offers.
  • See if they offer any price matching or beat competitor pricing.

#4. Choose a Strategic Move Date

  • Avoid moving in the summer or at the end of the month when demand is highest.
  • If possible, move on a weekday as weekends tend to be more expensive.
  • Book your move as early as possible to secure lower rates and avoid last-minute price hikes.

#5. Do Some of the Work Yourself

  • Pack your own boxes instead of paying for packing services.
  • Disassemble the furniture yourself before the movers arrive.
  • Transport smaller, more valuable items (jewelry, important documents) yourself.
  • Recruit friends and family to help with loading/unloading to save on labor costs.

#6. Take Advantage of Tax Deductions

  • If you're moving for work, you may be eligible to deduct your moving expenses on your tax return.
  • Keep detailed records of all moving-related expenses (boxes, packing tape, movers, truck rental, etc.).
  • Consult with a tax professional to see what qualifies as a deduction.

Get an Accurate Moving Estimate

Hiring Professional Moving Company vs. DIY Relocation

The best way to calculate moving costs is to get an in-home estimate from a professional moving company. An experienced estimator will assess your belongings in person, taking note of any specialty items (pianos, safes, oversized furniture) that may need additional labor or equipment. They'll provide a detailed quote based on factors such as:

  • The volume and type of items being moved.
  • The distance between your old and new homes.
  • Any access issues or obstacles at either location.
  • Your preferred move date and time.
  • Any additional services you require (packing supplies, moving containers cost, and other extra services).

Be sure to ask questions and voice any concerns during the estimate process to ensure you have a clear understanding of what's included in your quote and what to expect on move day. A thorough in-home estimate is the best way to avoid surprises and ensure a smooth, stress-free moving experience.

Local Movers You Can Trust!

At Alliance Moving & Storage, we understand that every local move is unique. Our experienced movers will work with you to create a customized moving plan that fits your needs and your moving budget without breaking the bank! Regardless of your moving destination in the area, we offer transparent pricing, flexible scheduling, and quality service you can count on.

Contact us today for a free moving cost estimate and see why we're one of the most trusted moving companies near you. Let us take the stress out of your next local move!