Local Moving (under 50 miles)

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a mover during the COVID-19 pandemic?

If you’re trying to set up a consultation or an appointment with a mover during the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure to use digital tools to avoid exposure. When searching for movers online, ask if they’d be willing to do a video chat to assess the size of your move. This will be in place of the typical “walk-through” they perform, and they may be able to give you a price quote. You can also discuss safe strategies for completing the job during your call or video chat.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a mover when social distancing?

If you decide to hire a mover, consider making adjustments to accommodate current guidelines. This may involve staying outside while the mover works inside your home or letting the mover handle only parts of the move.

It’s important to follow social distancing guidelines while performing any service work. For example, do not make physical contact with the movers, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you at all times, and use digital payments instead of cash or a check.

Does a mover need to enter my home?

A mover will likely need to enter your home -- unless you’ve placed all of your belongings outside beforehand. To stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might to consider keeping all (or most) of the work outside and/or having at-risk individuals leave the house while the movers work. 

You can minimize exposure by doing a preliminary walk-through by video call instead of in person. Discuss your options with the top movers near you before hiring one.

Do movers offer remote or virtual services?

Movers generally need to be present to do their job. But if you come across a mover’s profile that states they’re offering remote services, you can contact them to see what those services include. 

How can I find out if a mover is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Your local city or state’s government website is a great resource if you’re trying to figure out whether a mover is considered an essential service provider during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For a source of national guidelines, visit the CISA website’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. On this page, you’ll find 16 categories of critical infrastructure sectors. But note that some -- not all --  jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure. 

Can I use digital payments to pay for moving services?

Most local moving companies are likely to accept some form of digital payment. Particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies are likely to conduct transactions through platforms like PayPal, Zelle, Square Cash, Venmo, Google Pay and more. 

To ensure the mover accepts a platform you can use, you can peruse the mover’s online profile and see what is listed there. You can also ask the mover about payment policies during a consultation call.

What is considered a local move vs. a long-distance move?

Local moves are among the most common moves. Unlike a long-distance move, a local move is typically less than 50 miles and does not cross state lines. Generally, a local move only takes one day, and movers tend to charge by the hour. 

The definition of a long-distance move may vary depending on the moving company. Generally, a long-distance considered to be any move of 400 miles or more. However, some say a long-distance move is over 50-100 miles. 

Local Move

A move under 50 miles

Long-Distance Move

A move over 50-100 miles or over 400 miles; may also be called an “interstate move” or “out-of-state move”

Out-of-State Move

A move that crosses state lines; may also be called an “interstate move” or “long-distance move”

Interstate Move

A move that crosses state lines; may also be called an “out-of-state move” or “long-distance move”

Intrastate Move

A move that begins and ends in the same state, typically beyond 50 miles

Interstate moves require additional legal preparation and will incur additional costs for distance, the amount and weight of your items, the preparation required and various other factors. Moving companies tend to do an initial weighing of the truck, which you should be present for.

A move that crosses state lines is considered an interstate move or an out-of-state move. Contrast this with an intrastate move, which begins and ends in the same state, but is typically above 50 miles. 

To determine whether your move is local or long-distance, contact the best movers in your area.



How much does it cost for long-distance movers?

Long-distance movers transport your belongings across the country for you. No more renting a trailer and road-tripping from state to state with your entire house hitched to your bumper. Long-distance movers make the move happen so you can fly to your new home, suitcase in hand, and wait for your furniture to arrive. Nationally, the average price range for long-distance movers is $1,490-$2,230. The distance you are moving and the number of cubic feet the movers have to transport will both affect cost. Another factor in long-distance moving costs is whether you choose to pay for an exclusive move or a consolidated move.

In an exclusive move, which is more expensive, your belongings are the only cargo on the moving truck. The movers travel directly to your new house and deliver your belongings on a scheduled day. A consolidated move is more affordable because the movers transport your belongings along with those of other people, saving them time and gas — which means you save money. The downside is that your belongings typically arrive with a two-week delivery window rather than on a prescheduled day. Read reviews to make sure you can trust the company with your possessions to ensure a peaceful moving process.

How much do you tip movers?

It’s recommended that you tip your movers individually around $4 to $5 per hour. For example, if a team of four movers spends a half-day (four hours) on your move, tip each mover $20. Or, some people tip 5% to 10% of their total bill for small moves and 15% to 20% for larger moves.

If you’re moving across state lines, you may hire different crews to load and unload your goods. In that case, divide the tips between both crews. It’s also a good rule of thumb to add a bit extra for tipping movers if you have special circumstances that have made the move harder, like a spiral staircase or an exceptionally heavy sofa. 

Can you move furniture by yourself?

You might be able to move smaller items like nightstands, small desks, chairs and small tables by yourself. However, it’s best to get a professional mover near you to move larger items such as couches, dressers, armoires and televisions. 

If you do decide to move furniture by yourself, carefully lift and lower items and take your time.

Reviews for Goleta movers
Xinwei W.
Super fast and responsible movers. Handled my huge furnitures with care. Moving long-distance from South California to Bay Area, can't believe we finished by 4. Great moving experience!
Orda MovingOrda Moving
Barbara B.
JC and Ben were fantastic. They went above and beyond . Everything was safely moved with care and efficiency. I highly recommend them to everyone and when I need a mover again, West Coast Movers are my choice.
Daniel W.
We had a great experience working with Matt’s moving. I highly recommend Matt’s moving and will be hiring them again.
Matt’s movingMatt’s moving
Cindy V.
I hired Matt's Moving to move my daughter out of her apartment. Ivan was very responsive via text and confirmed everything with me. He reserved and picked up a U-Haul, and his team of movers (Jimmy & Jordan) did a great job. I'm planning on using Matt's Moving again later this month.
Matt’s movingMatt’s moving
Roxan d.
Had Matts moving helped us with a moving project. They moved a queen size electric bed upstairs. It went up without a fight. They were AWESOME. They came in and get right to work. They were done in about 2 hours will use them in the future....
Matt’s movingMatt’s moving
Kyle G.
Smooth communication process and quick movers! Moved everything out of our house and into the new one in about 4 hours. No damage to anything, and easy to work with.
MAN AND A VAN  Moving HelpMAN AND A VAN Moving Help
Michael B.
On time, very professional. Moved items with care. Recommended.
MAN AND A VAN  Moving HelpMAN AND A VAN Moving Help
Tory M.
Great experience, showed up on time and moved everything quickly and efficiently!
Matt’s movingMatt’s moving
Coree P.
Alex and his team work very quickly and will take great care of your things. I was impressed with all aspects of my move, especially taking my piano down many stairs. They are very respectful and did an awesome job on my move.
Aleks's piano moversAleks's piano movers
Charmaine V.
The two gentleman that came to move us were professional and efficient. We are very pleased.
Aussie Moving IncAussie Moving Inc
Olivia T.
Very impressed with how the team handled our move. We had large furniture items that took up alot of space but Alfredo made it work, called for backup, and helped us pack nearly our entire apartment!
MAN AND A VAN  Moving HelpMAN AND A VAN Moving Help
Sara D.
Simply amazing! Matt was so responsive and always got back to me IMMEDIATELY, which made things so much easier. He gave me a straightforward quote and did not try to overcharge me at all like other moving companies do. He was even able to squeeze me in on a busy day! His men were so fast and finished the whole job in a little over an hour with no fuss. They knew what they were doing and did an excellent job. Great company, great work, great price. I really recommend Matt's Moving!!!
Matt’s movingMatt’s moving
It was very easy to move my son's belongings from his UCSB house to a storage with this company. Ivan's workers were experienced, quick and courteous. I am planning to hire them again for next year and I would highly recommend them. Great service, great value. Big thumbs up for them.....
Matt’s movingMatt’s moving
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