How much does it cost to move?

Learn the average moving cost in the U.S. and how to budget for it.

Moving is never easy on you or your wallet. In fact, the average moving cost of an in-state relocation in America is around $1,170.1

But no matter how you feel about that number, you should know that there are a lot of options that could help you save on moving. From paying friends in pizza to calling in the professionals, these tips can help you be ready for any moving costs that may come your way and help you answer the question, “How much money should I save before moving?”

For a low-cost local move

When it comes to moving, you pay in 2 currencies: time and money. Typically, the more of your own time you’re willing to put in, the more you’ll save money moving and vice versa. So, if you want to save on typical moving costs, you’ll need to invest a lot of your time and recruit a few friends to help you.

Moving Costs Checklist: - A friend or family member with a truck ($20) - Be sure to budget for their gas or to slip them some cash to thank them for their help. - A few pizzas to thank your friends and family for their hard work ($20–$40) - Boxes and other packing supplies ($94–$1,004)2 - The range listed above covers everything from a minimalist, studio apartment to the average cost to move a 4-bedroom house. You can figure out how much you’ll need to spend on packing supplies based on your home size and packing style with this calculator.

It’s important to note that this method typically works best for a local move. If you’re moving a long distance, you probably won’t be able to take friends (and their vehicles) along for the ride. But, if you’re just moving across town, this moving solution is a good place to start.

Another way you could save money is using boxes, bins and suitcases you already have in your home or going to your local grocery store or drugstore to ask for free boxes. You can also use towels, bedsheets and old newspapers to protect your fragile belongings and cut down on the cost of packing supplies.3

For a mid-range local or in-state move

In terms of time and if you’re moving a farther distance, moving is a lot more streamlined when you have a truck. However, if you don’t have a friend with a truck this next method could be helpful.

Moving Costs Checklist: - Friends or family members to help haul your stuff ($0) - Boxes and other packing supplies ($94–$1,004)2 - Remember, this range covers everything from a studio apartment to a 4-bedroom house. - A moving truck ($20–$70)3 - The cost of a moving truck depends on how big of a truck you’re renting and how long you keep it. The costs listed above range from a 14-foot truck to a 24-foot truck for an 8-hour rental. - Truck mileage ($0.68–$1.10 per mile)3 - Gas for the truck - You can calculate the fuel cost of your specific move using this tool.

A great way to save on this type of move is to do it in the off-season. The prices of rental trucks can increase anywhere from 20% to 100% during the busy summer months,3 so try scheduling your move between September and May.4

Also keep in mind that if you’re hesitant about driving a big moving truck, there are self-service movers out there that will just drive the truck. You can still help with moving costs by doing the packing and unpacking yourself.

Need to store your stuff before you make your move? Portable moving and storage containers combine a moving truck and storage facility to make your move easier. All you have to do is pack the truck once and find a place to keep the storage container, and you can avoid the hassle moving in and out of a storage facility. But keep in mind that this convenience could cost you. Prices can range from $500 for a local move to $5,000 for a long-distance one,5 so it’s important to decide if this solution is worth the cost.

For a more convenient local or long-distance move

If you’re looking to save more time than money on moving costs, consider hiring a professional moving company. They’ll pack your furniture and belongings in their truck, drive it and even unload it at your destination.

Moving Costs Checklist: - Professional movers ($90–$120 per hour)6 - The above range is the average cost of hiring 2 movers and 1 truck for a local move. If you’re moving out of a studio apartment, estimate about 3–4 hours for a move, and for a 3-bedroom home or apartment, estimate about 8–9 hours. Check out this guide for additional time estimates.

  • Tips for your movers ($5 per mover, per hour)6
  • Boxes and other packing supplies ($94–$1,004)2
    • Remember, this range covers everything from a studio apartment to a 4-bedroom house.

Even though this is one of the more expensive ways to haul your stuff, you can still save money moving by packing smaller boxes and belongings in your own car and saving just the big stuff for the movers. That means you’ll save on the cost of labor since the work won’t take as long.

Looking to move across the state or country? You're probably wondering how much money you should save before moving. For a bigger move, be prepared to pay a little more. To move a studio apartment about 1,000 miles, expect to pay about $1,200 for moving services. The average cost to move a 3-bedroom house the same distance is around $6,300.6 To get an even better idea, try this moving cost estimator. Also know that if you have a long-distance move, you’ll need to consider the costs of hotels, food and your own gas to help you reach your destination.

So how much does it cost to move? As you can see, the costs can vary based on where, when and how you’re moving. The best way to be ready for household moving costs is to start saving ahead of time. When you know a move is coming up, try opening a savings account and setting a little money aside every month. That way, you can be ready for the cost of moving and be able to enjoy your new home without worrying about your wallet.