Whether you’re feeling incredibly excited or completely overwhelmed by the prospect of moving into a new home, there’s a large number of logistical details you’ll want to nail down in order to ensure things go smoothly. Regardless of where you fall on the emotional scale, preparing for the financial and organizational implications of any move will make the process much more enjoyable.
In order to do so, you’ll first need to know exactly how much it costs to move. The cost of moving has unfortunately risen in recent years due to inflation, supply chain challenges, and other factors.
Determining the cost of a move isn’t as straightforward as it might initially seem. Factors like geography, the size of your move, and how much professional help you want to employ can all increase the cost — as well as determine the relative difficulty or ease — of your upcoming move.
Before we dive into the various factors that may end up increasing or decreasing the cost of your upcoming move, let’s establish the current national average cost. While this amount may end up being significantly higher or lower than what you actually end up paying, it will help you establish a ballpark figure to work with and help guide your decision-making process around how you determine your moving budget.
In 2023, data generated by HomeAdvisor suggests that the average cost for a local move is $1,710, while a long-distance move costs $4,837 on average. However, there are many factors that could skew the actual cost for your specific move — some of them depend on your personal preferences, while others will be unfortunately outside your control.
To avoid feeling blindsided by your moving costs, it’s a good idea to carefully think through the different expenses that you’ll face and decide exactly how much you want to spend on each. Creating a budget for your upcoming move gives you an opportunity to determine how much you have to spend.
After you establish a budget, you can create a plan that works for you, rather than spending huge lump sums when you’re in the thick of it because you’re too overwhelmed or short on time to find a more cost-effective alternative. Here are the most variable line items you’ll need to consider when determining your moving budget.
While you are hopefully moving of your own accord, it’s likely that you’ve chosen your destination in order to start a new job, go to school, be closer to family, or seek out other exciting opportunities this new place offers — not just because it’s a cheap place to relocate to.
Unfortunately, moving becomes more expensive the farther you go. If you’re staying within 100 miles, you can expect to pay around $1,700, but long-distance moves can cost anywhere between $2,679 and $12,350. Once you know how far you’ll be moving, find a company that covers that area and determine what you’ll be paying — and how much you should tip.
The volume of belongings you’re bringing with you also significantly impacts your cost — for example, if you live in an apartment, you’ll likely pay a lot less than if you’re moving a three-bedroom home.
When you’re shopping for moving companies, the most common question you’ll have to answer in order to get a quote is, “How many rooms are being moved?” Based on this number, the company will provide a quote, and you’ll be able to determine whether they’ll be a good mover for your needs. If you want to save money, you can choose to downsize in order to reduce the volume you’re bringing with you.
Although many people don’t consider it a significant expense, the cost of moving supplies can eat into your budget. Boxes, tape, bubble wrap and packing peanuts, and moving blankets to protect wooden furniture from scratching are all things you may need to invest in, and in large quantities. Although these may seem like insignificant costs in the grand scheme of things, they can add up if you don’t account for them in advance.
In order to reduce the cost in this category, seek out opportunities to reuse materials from previous moves or shop for the best price available. With so many things to consider during a move, the main costs you need to worry about are the ones you make at the last minute to solve a pressing need. By planning ahead and pricing out your options, you’ll save serious money during your move.
Regardless of how big or how far your move is, you’ll likely need to hire a moving vehicle of some type. Even if you aren’t going too far, renting a larger vehicle for a few hours could save you time and gas money you’d otherwise spend using your personal vehicle. However, the size of the vehicle you need and the period of time you’ll need it for will affect the amount you’ll need to budget.
Moving companies typically recommend a vehicle based on the size of your move. If you’re moving an apartment, you may only need a small trailer to transport your possessions to your new home. However, if you’re moving a large home, you could need a 26- or 52-foot truck. Once you determine how much you want to bring with you, you’ll be able to seek out quotes from moving companies and find a vehicle that works for your budget.
This is where you need to determine how much you want to do on your own to save money, or how much you want to outsource to decrease stress. If ease is what you’re after, you can hire professionals to:
If you hire professionals, you may be able to cut back on the cost of packing materials — many movers will offer you a deal to include this cost with labor. But if you have lots of fragile or precious goods to move, you may accrue additional packing fees and want to buy insurance to protect your goods during the move.
Of course, there are many benefits to outsourcing heavy labor to professionals — especially if you have large items or tight stairways to consider. Doing so will significantly increase the financial cost of your move, but it can also save you a lot of time and stress. Just think: by outsourcing packing for your move rather than doing so yourself in the weeks leading up to the big day, you can enjoy access to all your belongings for as long as possible and save yourself a whole lot of time.
At the end of the day, there’s no way around it — the process of relocating can be incredibly costly. The good news is, you do have some wiggle room in determining exactly how much it costs to move your life from one location to the next. By carefully planning out your move and determining in advance how much you’re willing and able to spend in any particular category, you’ll be able to put your money toward the best possible purchases to ensure things go smoothly.
The most costly pitfall faced by individuals in the process of moving are last-minute purchases. Although you can’t be prepared for every situation you’ll encounter during your move, by thinking through things in advance, you have an opportunity to avoid these costly expenses altogether. With how much it costs to move in 2023, any opportunity you have to save will surely be a welcome one.
When you list with Orchard, we’ll get your home show-ready and make repairs to increase your home’s value at no upfront cost.
Orchard guarantees your home will sell, so you can buy your next one worry-free.
We provide peace of mind that your home will sell, plus list your home on the market to maximize your earnings.
Use our home sale calculator to estimate your net proceeds.
Our Home Advisors are experienced local agents who know how to sell for top dollar and help win your dream home.
All Orchard Home Advisors are experienced agents who know your local market inside and out. Request a consult today.
Did you know cash offers are 4x more likely to be chosen by a seller? Let us help you make one on your next home.
Get the most accurate free home valuation — in minutes
Orchard Home Loans shops the market to find your best rates.
A cash offer is 4x more likely to be chosen by a seller. Get qualified today.
Make a cash offer now, and Orchard will sell your old home after you move.
Tell us your must-haves to see personalized home recommendations that meet your criteria.