Movers carrying boxes
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You just bought a new home and are counting down the days until you leave your current place. You’re excited to move, but not so much about the move itself.

If the thought of packing up and hauling all of your stuff on your own fills you with dread, you may want to hire a moving company.

The cost varies and can easily reach into the thousands of dollars. But depending on how far you’re going, how much stuff you have and how well you handle stress, working with professional movers might be worth the expense.

What affects the cost of a move?

The cost of moving has a lot of variables, the biggest one being the size of your home. If you’re relocating from one 300-square-foot studio to another, you’ll pay a lot loss than a family moving the contents of a 2,500-square-foot home.

You can reduce the amount of stuff the movers have to pack and haul by donating, selling or discarding items you don’t think you’ll need in the new home. Try to eat through your pantry and use up any perishable items. You can buy more soap and garbage bags once you get to your new place – there’s no sense in paying someone to move them.

The time of year and even the day of the week also affect what a moving company charges. Spring and summer tend to be the busy seasons for moving. Often, moves between April and October cost 25 percent more than other times of the year. Moving on weekends is also pricier, as is moving at the end or beginning of the month.

Insuring the move will raise the price. Keep in mind that your current home insurance policy might offer coverage for your move. It’s worth double-checking so that you don’t pay for additional coverage you don’t need.

Distance also influences what you pay for a move. The farther you’re going, the higher the cost.

Average cost of movers

The average cost of a professional interstate move that covers 1,220 miles is $5,630, according to the American Moving and Storage Association. That amount covers the cost of moving about 7,400 pounds of stuff. Meanwhile, an intrastate move of 7,400 pounds of stuff, using a four-person crew, costs an average of $1,170.

Usually, the more expensive the area you are moving to or from, the more expensive your move. For example, it costs an average of $555 to move the contents of a one-bedroom apartment from one area of Boston to another. The average cost to move from a one-bedroom apartment to another in San Francisco is $576.

Costs that complicate matters

Sometimes, getting your stuff from point A to point B isn’t straightforward. One unexpected cost you might face — especially if you’re moving to a city with tiny, narrow streets — is for transferring your belongings from a big moving truck to a smaller shuttle. You might have to pay $250 to $500 extra to have your belongings reloaded onto a shuttle.

If you have to leave your current home but are still shopping for your next house, you might have to pay the moving company to store your belongings. Costs vary based on how much stuff you need to store, but generally range from $150 per month for a studio to $1,179 per month for the contents of a four-bedroom home. There’s also the cost of staying in a short-term rental or hotel until you can move into your next home.

Conclusion

Hiring professional movers isn’t your only option. If you don’t mind packing your belongings and lifting heavy furniture yourself, you can move for the cost of renting a van and paying for gasoline. But for many people, the cost of hiring professional movers is worth it to reduce stress and reduce the risk of injury.

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