Moving furniture is hard work and potentially dangerous unless you’re properly equipped. For anyone not ready to handle their heavy oak armoire alone, professional furniture movers can safely and efficiently move your items to another room in your house or across town as needed. The national average cost to hire heavy furniture movers is $150-$200 per hour. This rate could include multiple furniture movers working as a team to move items such as beds, armoires, billiards tables, pianos, shelves, tables, entertainment centers and more. Hourly rates can vary by region. If your furniture movers have arrived on time, done a great job, kept your home and belongings protected from scratches and dings, and completed the move as planned, a tip will be greatly appreciated. Moving companies suggest approximately 10 percent of the total bill as gratuity for those doing local moving jobs, which is also a good guideline for tipping heavy furniture movers. If the total bill for heavy moving was $100 and two workers were onsite, consider giving them $10 total, or $5 each for a job well done.
Book movers at least two months in advance for a local move, and at least four months in advance for a cross-country move. If you’re moving during the off-season, it’s best to book movers about four to eight weeks in advance. Factor in an extra two to three weeks if you have antiques or valuables that are difficult to transport.
May through September is considered peak moving season, according to the American Moving & Storage Association. If you’re moving during this time, hire movers with as much advance notice as possible.
Full-service moving companies can help take the stress out of moving by supplying a moving truck and handling your entire move from start to finish. These professional movers can also provide packing services, materials and supplies. Full-service movers also load your belongings into the truck, drive it to your new home, unload the truck and (in some cases) offer to help you unpack your belongings.
Scheduling your move during the off-season is typically the cheapest way to move. Avoid moving in May, June, July, August or September, when moving company rates are typically much higher. If you’re moving across the country, research how the moving companies in your city charge. You might save money if you hire flat-rate movers instead of hourly movers.
Of course, you can save money moving if you DIY by renting a moving truck or moving pods. However, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of moving all of your belongings and valuables by yourself. Factor in the cost of a moving truck (including fuel), the cost of moving equipment, the labor involved and the time it will take to complete your move by yourself.
To find the best moving companies, research the best movers in your area and ask yourself a series of questions, such as:
- Does the company show up on time or are they late?
- Does the moving company charge by the hour or is it a flat rate?
- What are people saying about their movers?
- Does the moving company offer insurance?
- Does the company provide specific moving services, like packing or storage?
- How does the moving company charge for long-distance moves?
On Thumbtack, you can easily spot the best moving companies by looking for the blue Top Pro badge. You can find more tips on how to hire the best movers with Thumbtack’s Smart Hiring Guide.
When you’re ready to make a major move, it’s time to research moving companies’ prices. A moving company may charge on average anywhere between $25 and $100 per hour, per worker, for moving services. The price will vary with regional labor rates, local cost to do business, and the level of service the movers are providing. Nationally, the average hourly rate for a moving company is $250-$350 per hour. This price includes a range of pricing, from all-in service with four or more movers on site to standard hourly rates for one or two movers. Other factors that affect moving companies’ prices are packing, stairs (or elevators), and distance. For a full-service move, you pay movers to pack your belongings for you. You may pay for the cost of the moving boxes and an hourly rate per worker, and there may be additional charges for packing fragile items. Stairs will also add to your moving prices. Lifting and carrying boxes and furniture up and down stairs takes more time and creates more physical labor for the workers. Moving companies may charge flat rates for flights of stairs, such as $50-$70 per flight. A moving company may also charge a one-time fee for moving things via elevator, such as $75-$100. If parking is not accessible in front of your home or apartment building, there may also be an additional fee for the added distance to carry your belongings to the truck.
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.
When accounting for moving costs, you can generally expect to pay around $30 to $50 per mover, per hour. However, these costs could change and you should compare movers in your city to estimate the true cost of your move.
Moving companies usually provide a team of at least two individuals depending on the size of the job and the objects to be moved. This hourly rate also changes with driving distance. And, moving specialty objects such as pianos can also drive up the cost. Some moving companies may provide a free estimate even offer a flat rate if the job.
For more information on moving costs, read Thumbtack’s cost guide on movers.
Your homeowners or renters insurance policy may or may not protect your belongings if they get lost or damaged during a move. If you’re moving valuable items, or if you’re moving a great distance, it could be a good idea to invest in moving insurance.
Interstate movers are required to offer you full value protection and released value protection to help reimburse you in case of damage or loss. If you’re moving within your state, check with your state’s consumer affairs agency to see if your state has rules and requirements regarding moving insurance and valuation coverage.
Professional movers can handle the hard work of moving your one-bedroom apartment across the country for you. You can determine what your move will cost by learning the rate your movers charge per cubic foot and how they factor distance into the total cost. Cross-country movers typically charge based on your belongings rather than apartment size because that determines how much work they will have to do. For example, a studio apartment that is crammed full of things will take more work and moving truck space than the contents of a three-bedroom apartment with very little furniture.
Cross-country movers may also have varying rates, depending on where in the country you are moving. For example, a company may charge $5 per cubic foot for consolidated moves along the East Coast and $6 per cubic foot for consolidated moves from the East Coast to the central states or the West Coast. A one-bedroom apartment costs approximately $1,500 to move across the country.