General Question

kneesox's avatar

Long-distance moves: how expensive?

Asked by kneesox (3859points) May 23rd, 2021

For anybody who’s made a big move lately, how expensive was it?

I know there’s a lot of factors, but just a general idea.

I’ve been told it’s cheaper just to get all new furniture than to pay for moving what you have. Is this true? Especially long distance, like across the country.

How much have moving rates (like Mayflower, for ex.) increased in, say, the past 10–20 years?

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10 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

I had this convo a few days ago with some friends that are relocating, they said they got ballpark ideas from something called

Good luck with this!

JLeslie's avatar

Moving long distances is expensive! If you will need storage even worse. I many times have wished I just ditched everything and bought new, but your things also make a new place feel like home. Plus, furniture is only half the stuff, your clothes, kitchen, linens, a 4 bedroom house can easily be 75 boxes.

A 4 bedroom house plus a car is probably $5,000 to $8,000 to move 10 hours away by professional well known brand movers. It really matters on so many factors.

A 4 bedroom house (no car) an hour away might just be $800—$1,200.

Are you packing everything yourself?

If you just have a one or two bedroom apartment and very little “stuff” that changes the equation considerably.

Most movers will give you a free estimate. Call a few.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Quite expensive. Of course, it depends on a bunch of factors:

- distance
– weight of all your goods
– do they do the packing or do you?
– how old are you and how is your back?

On the other hand, moving yourself in a U-Haul isn’t particularly easy. Yes you may save money, but it will take days to drive across country and you’ll have to do the loading and unloading yourself.

I’ve done both – me doing it and paying to have someone do it. It’s worth it to pay.

People say “sell everything and buy new” – but that raises its own set of issues. It takes a while to outfit a household, even a small one.

canidmajor's avatar

If you are thinking of downsizing your residence on the other side, there are places that can help get rid of the overflow that you don’t want to move, they handle estate sales. A quick trip through Google can probably point you at a couple. I remember a friend doing that when she seriously downsized. The stuff she wanted to keep, she just moved into storage, first, then had a company come in take care of all the rest.

Maybe something like this.

janbb's avatar

If you don’t have a ton of stuff to move you can save money by having the movers use part of their truck. When we bought a condo in Florida and wanted to move some furniture from NJ, we found a mover who would do that for us. The downside was that we had to wait until they had enough of a load to fill a truck but it was a lot cheaper.

smudges's avatar

When I recently moved from a one-bedroom apartment to another, I had them pack everything for me. I moved 10–15 miles and was charged about $1,100.

@janbb I don’t know how much she paid, but a friend recently did that, moving from Kansas to Washington. She was supposed to get her furniture in 3 weeks…took them 3 months, and it was stored in a warehouse in Ohio after they told her it wouldn’t be stored. She got mad, bitched, moaned, and complained; what finally made them get it to her was when she cried. LOL

SnipSnip's avatar

When I moved from the west coast to the east coast I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with minimal furniture because I knew it was temporary. The moving estimate I got that did not include my vehicle was $8,000. I sold and gave away everything I could not get into my Explorer.

LuckyGuy's avatar

My son, DIL, and grandson recently moved from here to the west coast. They rented a UHaul U container and stuffed it with an incredible amount of furniture, clothes, and even some items so they would not have to go shopping once they got to their place. They packed themselves and it was packed solid – like a 3D Tetris game. Nothing was broken.
I think the move cost ~$2000 and that included help unpacking. It was well worth it.

Cupcake's avatar

We moved from FL to CA (just arrived yesterday).
– Because of the pandemic, we couldn’t travel in advance to find a place to live, so we arranged for an AirBnB for 2 months.
– We sold our furniture on facebook marketplace and earned ~$2000.
– We drove for 10 days and stayed in hotels with rooms (large enough for the 4 of us and provided a mini fridge and microwave) most of the time and with family the rest of the time (~$600).
– You can estimate gas for yourself with an online calculator, but the cost of gas increased from ~$2.50 to $4.50/gallon during our trip.
– We spent about $1000 on food, eating cereal for breakfast, sandwiches and snacks in the car, and buying deli sandwiches for dinner (~$60–100 per day for 4 people).
– We shipped our belongings in a 7×7 pod and are storing for 2 months (until we have a lease) for ~$2800.
– We’ll have to pay at least first month’s rent and security deposit at a new place, possibly also last month’s rent.
– We’ll have to buy furniture (and garbage cans, hand soap, laundry detergent, etc.), which I am estimating at $1000 out of pocket after using what we earned off facebook marketplace for mostly used and Ikea furniture.
– Note: I am being reimbursed some amount from my new job, but no where near what it cost. I’m not adding it up… I don’t want to know.

Obviously, our costs are specific to our family requirements and the cost of living in the new location, so I am leaving off our specific AirBnB/rental expenses.

smudges's avatar


Welcome to your new home, Cupcake!

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