The Move Estimator™

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How to Calculate Moving Costs

So how much will it cost to move? Try our free moving cost estimate to find out. Let us know where you’re moving from and the destination of your new home. Use the drop-down function to select the size of your move (in bedrooms), and your move date. We’ll take all of these factors into consideration to give you an accurate cost estimate from top movers.

Factors that Affect Your Moving Cost

When calculating moving costs, don’t forget to factor in all possible moving expenses. These include:

  • Travel fees – Travel fees add up quickly when moving a long distance. These fees take into account fuel costs, as well as labor costs for the time it will take for the movers to get from house A to house B.
  • Size of your move – Moving a lot of stuff? Not only will the move take longer to complete, but your shipment of belongings will also be heavier. This can result in a cost increase. Rule of thumb: the more belongings you have to move, the more expensive your move will be.
  • Packing services – While convenient, hiring movers to pack up your belongings could cost you an extra few hundred bucks or more.
  • Moving add-ons – The cost of your move will be affected by any add-on services you choose to include. This could mean disassembling and reassembling furniture, moving of specialty items, and moving supplies provided by movers such as stretch wrap, felt pads and mattress bags.
  • Storage – If you’re dealing with a complicated move, you may choose to have a moving company hold or store all belongings before, during or after a move. Just be prepared to pay extra for this service. Storage rates vary from moving company to moving company, so be sure to ask for specifics.
  • Moving supplies – Unless you’re able to scrounge up enough free boxes for your move, you’ll need to plan on purchasing moving supplies. These could include cardboard boxes, plastic bins, bubble wrap, packing paper and any other supplies needed for the move.
  • Moving date – Remember: when you move is just as important as how you move. That’s because the specific date of your move can affect the price dramatically. For example, a weekend move and/or a move during peak season tends to cost much more than a week-day, off-season move.
  • Liability and valuation coverage – If you’re using a moving company, you’ll likely need to purchase some sort of liability coverage. Most moving companies offer multiple levels of protection including: Basic Release Value Protection and Full Value Protection. Keep in mind that you may want to purchase additional moving insurance from a third-party provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to move?

If hiring professional movers for a relocation, you can expect to pay at least $1,000. As mentioned above, the American Moving and Storage Association states that the average cost of a local household move is $2,300, and the average cost of a long distance move is $4,300. Of course, the cost of your move will depend on a number of factors including distance traveled, weight of belongings, moving date, labor costs and any additional services needed such as insurance or packing.

How much does valuation coverage cost?

All interstate movers are required by federal law to offer Released Value Protection and Full Value Protection to customers. The cost of Full Value Protection varies by mover, so be sure to ask your moving company for details. The most basic level of liability, Released Value Protection, is automatically included in the cost of your move. This basic protection covers 60 cents per pound per item. While this type of coverage won’t cost you anything extra, it is considered the bare minimum. Those looking for more comprehensive coverage should opt for Full Value Protection. This level of liability means that if the mover damages or loses a belonging, the mover must either replace your item or reimburse you for its current cash value.

Can moving costs be deducted?

Yes! Save those receipts because your moving expenses could be tax-deductible. If donating household items to a charity before or after the move, be sure to itemize all belongings and record their current cash value on the donation receipt. You should be able to claim a tax deduction on these donations. In addition, those moving for work may be eligible to receive a tax deduction on moving expenses.

Are moving costs for a job tax-deductible?

Possibly. If you are moving for work, your moving expenses could be tax-deductible. According to the IRS, “if you moved due to a change in your job or business location, or because you started a new job or business, you may be able to deduct your reasonable moving expenses but not any expenses for meals.” The IRS claims that you can deduct these moving expenses if: 1) Your move closely relates to the start of work. 2) You meet the distance test. 3) You meet the time test. To deduct these expenses, you must fill out and submit IRS Form 3903.

What should I consider before hiring a moving company?

Before hiring a pricey moving company, be sure to consider whether or not the expense is worth the money. If the answer is no, consider less expensive DIY alternatives such as truck rentals or moving containers. However, if your budget is more flexible, and you’d like to save time and energy on the move, then hiring movers may be worth the price. Whatever you do, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each choice carefully before deciding on a move method.

How are moving costs calculated?

The cost of an interstate or long distance move is determined by the weight of the shipment, the mileage between the origin and destination, and the labor costs. Calculating the cost of a local move is slightly different. Intrastate moves are based on a flat dollar amount per hour. Factors that affect this hourly rate include labor costs, services such as packing or climbing an excessive number of stairs, assembling furniture and extra add-ons. In addition, many local movers also offer customers a flat rate option. A flat rate is typically the moving company’s estimated number of hours the move will take, multiplied by their hourly rate. Many times this fixed price includes the cost of add-ons as well.

10 Easy Ways to Cut Moving Costs

Looking to save money on your next move? Here are several easy ways to cut costs when moving to a new home.

  1. Get rid of your excess belongings – The easiest way to save money on a move is to simply get rid of unnecessary household items. Start the pre-move purging process early by cleaning out your closet. Then come up with a room-by-room decluttering plan. Donate unnecessary furniture, clothing and knick knacks. If you’re looking to sell items, try consigning them, hosting a garage sale or listing them on an online marketplace such as Craigslist.
  2. Rent a moving truck – Thinking of taking on a DIY move? You could save thousands of dollars by renting a truck and moving yourself. If moving a large household, consider renting the 26 ft. truck rental option from a reputable truck rental company. These large trucks are capable of holding four-plus bedrooms. To find a large moving truck that best fits your budget and needs, check out U-haul.
  3. Enlist friends and family to help – Unless you’re prepared to pay for professional movers or labor assistance, try asking friends and family for their help. Make sure to give them plenty of notice when asking for their assistance with a move. Also, be sure that those people are more than capable of lifting heavy boxes and appliances.
  4. Find free moving boxes and supplies – A simple way to slash moving costs is to seek out free moving boxes and supplies from local liquor stores, large chain stores, grocery stores, recycling drop-off points, office buildings and schools. You may also be able to find free supplies on Craigslist, Freecycle, U-Haul Box Exchange, and local Facebook groups. In addition, you can save money on various supplies by visiting box centers. We’ve partnered with and to help you purchase any necessary moving boxes and supplies at the best prices possible. Tip: Before ordering the boxes, figure out exactly how many you’re going to need for the move by getting a free estimate from us.
  5. Rent a portable moving container – Renting a portable moving container is another great alternative to hiring full-service movers. The cost of renting a portable moving container depends on the length of time needed and the size of the container. To move with a container all you have to do is load it up, and the container company will do the rest. Popular moving container companies include: PODS, ABF’s U-Pack ReloCubes, United Mayflower’s container, Door-to-Door storage containers, U-Haul’s U-Boxes, and 1-800-PACK-RAT. To find a moving container that fits your budget and needs, check out’s Get Free Quotes Now tool.
  6. Look into moving discounts – Those with a AAA membership may be eligible to receive special moving and storage discounts. For example, Atlas Van Lines offers free Full Value Protection to AAA members moving to a new state. In addition, members of the military may be eligible to receive discounts on moving companies, truck rentals and more.
  7. Pack yourself – This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how much money you can save by packing yourself. While many professional movers offer some sort of packing assistance, the service doesn’t come cheap. Packing rates vary from moving company to moving company but are sure to cost at least several hundred dollars. To save money on packing, I recommend packing yourself or enlisting friends and family to help out.
  8. Choose a less expensive move date – When you move can make a big difference in the overall cost of your relocation. In general, it’s best to opt for a mid-month, mid-week move. This is typically when demand for moving companies is lowest and therefore, costs are lower as well. While moving on a weekend may be more convenient, keep in mind that there are a limited number of weekends in a year, and most customers will be vying for one of those dates. Those who have the flexibility to miss a day of work to move during the week should do so. Also, keep in mind that more people move during the summer. In fact, roughly 70 percent of moves take place between Memorial Day and Labor Day. So, if possible, avoid moving during this peak moving season. Instead, opt for a late fall to winter move to save on costs.
  9. Obtain quotes from multiple movers – Before hiring a moving company, be sure to shop around for the best price. We recommend obtaining quotes from at least three moving companies. The mover should conduct either an in-person inspection or a video survey of your belongings before giving you a quote. Don’t trust quotes you receive over the internet. For the most accurate quote possible, make sure that the mover is aware of any specialty items that require extra care. To hire a reliable and reputable mover, choose from’s large network of licensed and insured professional moving companies by getting 3 FREE estimates.
  10. Find out if your moving expenses are tax-deductible – Save those receipts! If you donated items to charities before the move, you should be able to deduct these donations from your taxes. In addition, those moving for work may be able to deduct their moving expenses come tax season. To find out more, read TurboTax’s guide to handling moving expenses here.

Why You Should Use The Move Estimator™ Moving Cost Calculator

Our moving cost calculator makes it easy for you to budget effectively. This straightforward and easy-to-use tool gives users an accurate and reliable estimate for how much a move will cost, based on a number of factors. Try it now and receive up to four free quotes from different professional moving companies.

More Tools to Help Financially Plan for a Move

In our suite of tools, we also offer a packing calculator to estimate the cost of packing your home based on its size; a move planner with customizable help lists, weekly email alerts and coupons and other special offers to save during your move; and a utility finder to help you decide on the best TV, internet, and phone deals for your lifestyle. Let help your next move go off without a hitch.

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