Whether you realize it or not, the move distance plays a major role when you’re moving to a new house or apartment. In relation to the distance between the two homes, you’ve got
- LOCAL MOVING: moving just across the street, moving within the same town or city, or moving to another place within the same state;
- CROSS-COUNTRY (INTERSTATE) MOVING: moving to another town or city in a different state in the country;
- INTERNATIONAL MOVING: moving to another country.
And while the difficulty of the relocation will increase proportionally to the move distance, so will the cost of the residential move itself.
When you’re moving locally, you need to remember that the moving company you hire will charge you by the hour.
What that basically means is that if you’re familiar with the average cost of movers per hour, you’ll be able to calculate roughly how much you will pay in the end.
What are the average hourly moving costs?
Hiring local movers by the hour
Hiring professional movers to take care of packing and transporting your household items is the logical choice when you’ve never moved house before and you just don’t know how to approach the upcoming move. The lack of previous relocation experience can be a strong incentive to leave that difficult task to professionals, but there are also other reasons why you may opt for using professional moving services.
For obvious reasons, organizing a self-move won’t really work if you don’t have any friends who will be willing to provide the manpower you’ll need. Even if you have enough time to prepare for the local move, including pack safely all of your possessions, lifting, carrying and loading heavy items such as furniture pieces, large appliances and even fully loaded boxes is not something you should do on your own.
So, your smart decision to hire the services of a local moving company will lead to the all-important question, “How much do professional movers cost per hour?”
Remember that you must know in advance how much your local move will cost – approximately, of course – so that you can 1) confirm that you have enough money to complete the house move, and 2) be prepared mentally for the financial blow before it takes place.
What’s the average hourly rate for movers?
It’s not hard to guess that, all of a sudden, time will become a crucial factor when you are charged on an hourly basis. Ideally, you will be able to use various techniques to reduce the overall move time, thus lowering the final cost of the move (see below).
The typical hourly rate for local movers is about $25-$35/hour per mover.
Now, once you know this significant piece of information, it’s important that you understand one thing – the above-mentioned moving company hourly rate is only an approximate value and the actual movers cost per hour in your case will depend on these 3 additional factors:
- Local mover. Some professional moving companies are more expensive than others. The only way to know for sure how much local movers cost in your area is to request accurate price estimation for your particular house move. You can do this easily and completely free of charge here.
- Exact location. Where you live in the country will determine the approximate range of your professional relocation services. As a rule of thumb, movers rates in big cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. are higher than those in smaller cities and towns around the country.
- Move-out date. When moving during the busiest season for the moving industry (May-September), expect professional movers to charge more than their standard moving rates per hour. On the other hand, when moving during the off-season (September-May), then local movers tend to lower their moving prices per hour due to the decreased demand for their services.
Find out more: How much does it cost to hire movers?
What’s the average hourly moving cost for various home sizes?
Now that you are familiar with the average hourly cost of local movers, let’s do some rough calculations about how that hourly movers charge will apply to the different home sizes.
For easier calculations, let’s take $30/hour per mover as the average hourly price of local moving companies.
- Studio apartment. If you’re moving out of a studio apartment, 2 local movers (2 men and a truck) should be able to get the job done in 3-5 hours. So, your move should cost you around $180-$300. No extra services or charges are usually included in this average hourly rate.
- 2-bedroom home. If you’re moving out of a 2-bedroom home (approx. 1000 sq. ft.), then 3 local movers (3 men and a truck) should be able to move your household items in about 5-7 hours, amounting to $450-$630. This average moving cost does not usually include additional services or extra charges.
- 3-bedroom home. If you happen to be moving out of a 3-bedroom house or apartment with an approximate footage of 2000 square feet, then 4 hired movers (4 men and a truck) should finish the relocation job in about 7-9 hours. Thus, considering the hourly rate for local furniture movers, the moving cost should be somewhere between $840 and $1080. In most cases, extra services, fees, and charges are not included in this estimated cost.
Again, keep in mind that these average moving costs will only give you a ball-park estimate of the final moving price – for accurate moving cost estimation, schedule in-home surveys with several top-rated local moving companies.
Additional local moving costs
The specifics of your local move will determine how many additional services you may need for its successful completion. And, as you can imagine, each extra service will cost you more money.
Here are some average costs of accessorial services and additional charges when moving locally within the same state:
Extra local movers
Hiring an additional mover will cost another $25-$35/hour per worker.
While that extra expense seems unjustified, more movers are supposed to finish the move more quickly, which in some cases may prove to be more cost-effective.
Speak with your local moving company and discuss which option will be cheaper for you as a customer.
Additional local moving services
Unlike using the services of a long-distance mover where you get a separate price for the extra service of packing, full-service local moving companies charge by the hour regardless of the type of work they do at any given moment – packing, furniture disassembly, carrying furniture, loading household items, unpacking, and so on.
That’s true unless you request special services like temporary storage or wood crating services – extra services which you will most likely pay extra.
When hiring movers by the hour, you may get charged extra money if your local movers are forced to go numerous flights of stairs without an elevator they can use.
If they are unable to park the moving truck right next to the entrance of your residence, then you may also get charged the so-called Long Carry fee.
Local movers can also charge a travel fee – you’ll actually pay for the time the team of movers needs to reach your home from their head office. Most of the time, the travel fee is calculated as one extra hour of labor.
When moving fairly valuable items with you, it’s a good idea to speak with your local mover about purchasing proper moving insurance. You will get basic coverage when you sign your moving contract, but that coverage (60 cents per pound per item) will not be nearly enough in case something bad happens to your valuables during transit.
Do consider buying adequate insurance through your moving company for peace of mind.
Tipping local movers
Naturally, local moving rates per hour do not include possible tips you choose to give to your hired workers as a sign of appreciation for their hard work.
It goes without saying that you should only consider tipping movers when you’re really satisfied with the way they’ve handled the move.
How much to tip local movers? For a job well done, a typical tip is $5/hour per mover. For an exceptional job packing and moving your possessions, you can shell out $8/hour per mover.
Of course, you may wish to give your movers bigger tips as well – basically, it all comes down to your best judgment under the presented circumstances.
How to lower the hourly moving charge [Top 3 money-saving tips]
Despite that fact that now you know how much movers charge an hour, that important piece of information won’t really help you pay less money in the end. To be able to reduce the hourly moving cost, you’re going to need some cost-saving tips when moving locally within the same state.
Here are 3 great ways you can save money on your local move:
Money-saving tip 1: Hire an affordable local moving company
Why should you pay more money for the same type and quality of moving services?
Hourly rates for movers differ from company to company, so make sure you compare at least 3 (preferably 4-5) quotes by local companies before accepting a relocation offer that’s agreeable to your budget.
DO NOT agree on moving cost estimates done over the phone or sent via e-mail. Instead, always request free in-home surveys where experienced professionals will be able to give you much more precise moving quotes.
A word of caution: Stay away from any local moving companies that refuse to do in-home inspections.
Money-saving tip 2: Declutter your home
The more household items you have in your home for packing and moving, the more TIME your hired workers will need to finish the move. And as you know, more time when you get charged by the hour will mean more money out of your own pocket.
Declutter your home early in your preparations. The idea is simple enough: if you don’t need or want an item anymore, get rid of it without delay. Why would you pay to move any unwanted things in the first place?
Organize a garage sale to help out your budget. Donate some of your items to do something good for the community. Throw away for recycling broken items or items that nobody will ever need.
Money-saving tip 3: Pack up your things by yourself
Paying local movers to disassemble your large furniture or pack up and carry heavy items does make sense.
Paying local movers to pack up your clothes, shoes, bedding, and books, for example, doesn’t make a lot of sense, particularly if you’re moving on a tight budget as it is.
In reality, you can save plenty of money by doing whatever tasks you can by yourself – especially true when it comes to packing an entire home for a move. Packing IS still the most time-consuming task in your moving checklist, so save BIG by packing your things on your own.