Moving Cost Calculator Piece of Cake Moving

Moving Cost Calculator

Add your items & moving day details to see your flat moving price instantly online.

See your flat moving fee instantly with our moving fee calculator

Enter your items into our free moving calculator for a flat fee price quote.

Moving Cost Calculator

Relocating can be an exciting yet daunting task, with one of the most critical aspects being the moving expenses involved. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, understanding how a moving cost calculator works and how moving expenses are estimated can help you budget effectively and avoid surprises so you can navigate your next move with confidence and ease. Use Piece of Cake’s free moving cost calculator above to instantly see your flat moving fee online. Check out our helpful guide on how your moving fee is calculated, as well as useful tips to help save on your next move.

How much do movers cost?

The cost of hiring professional movers can vary depending on the size of your home, the distance between locations, and any additional services or fees. When choosing professional movers, you’ll generally encounter two main pricing models that are the basis for moving rate calculators: hourly rates and flat-fee rates.

  • Flat-fee movers: A flat fee based on the inventory of your items and your moving day details offers secure pricing. This rate remains the same regardless of the time it takes to complete the move, which provides peace of mind against unforeseen delays or complications. It requires a detailed account of what you’re moving to ensure the quote is accurate. Working with a professional mover like Piece of Cake Moving, your flat moving is transparent as we break down the cost of your quote so you are aware of your total price, locked in before your moving day.

Inventory-based calculation: volume of goods + mileage + any special complexities = estimate

  • Hourly rate movers: This model charges based on the time it takes to complete your move. Hourly rates can be advantageous for smaller, simpler moves, like moving a studio or a small one-bedroom apartment where the amount of furniture is minimal, and everything is pre-packed. However, there can be unexpected costs, like traffic delays or parking issues. Moving companies may also set a minimum number of hours for a job, which could affect local moves within the same building or neighborhood.

Inventory-based calculation: volume of goods + mileage + any special complexities = estimate
Both pricing models require providing as much detailed information as possible about your move to avoid surprises. For hourly rates, factors like traffic and weather can impact the final cost, so it’s crucial to discuss potential issues and minimum charges upfront. For a flat-fee move, ensuring all items are accounted for in the inventory is key to avoiding last-minute adjustments to the quote.

Local move cost

For a local move, the moving fee calculator  depends on whether you opt for an hourly rate or flat-fee pricing.

  • Flat-fee: The average cost of a flat-fee based local move can vary based on the size of your move and any additional services required. A general ballpark figure for a local move can be about $1,250, based on a smaller sized move. It’s important to note that this is an average estimate, and actual costs can fluctuate based on inventory specifics and services needed​​.
  • Hourly rates: Hourly rates for local moves typically range from $100 to $150 per hour and the number of movers needed also impacts the cost. For smaller moves, like a studio or one-bedroom apartment, costs can range from $500 to $1,500. For larger homes, costs can potentially range from $1,500 to $3,000 depending on the number of movers and hours needed.

These costs are influenced by several factors, including the volume of items, the moving date, and any additional services like packing or special handling for bulky items.

Long distance move cost

Average moving expenses of a long-distance move are  higher than a local move due to factors like the total distance, the volume or weight of the shipment, and additional services such as packing, insurance, or storage. On average, a long-distance move might cost around $3,000+, based on a medium-sized move and a distance of 1,000 miles. This estimate is a baseline that can vary widely depending on the specifics of the move, such as the exact distance, the volume of belongings, and whether you opt for full-service moving options that include packing and unpacking services.

How to calculate moving expenses

A moving cost calculator  involves key factors to ensure you budget accurately for your move. Start by determining the type of move—local or long-distance—and doing an inventory of all your possessions. You should also account for additional services you may need, such as packing and unpacking, handling for specialty items, and storage if there’s a gap between move-out and move-in dates or if you’re downsizing. Remember to factor in costs for packing supplies and insurance to protect your belongings during transit.

You can use our online moving cost calculator to get an instant quote. Feel free to ask us for a detailed breakdown of the moving expenses or how we can help with services like our white-glove Platinum Packing Experience.

Factors and considerations that affect moving costs

Understanding the factors that affect moving expenses  are  essential to plan and accurately budget for your move. Here’s a comprehensive list to help you navigate through the various scenarios and elements that can impact the final price of your move.

  • The complexity of your move: The ease of access at your moving locations and any special items like grand pianos, pool tables, or hot tubs can affect the move’s complexity and cost. Ensure your movers are prepared for unique challenges and ask about specialty handling fees and insurance coverage.
  • Packing supplies: Consider the cost of packing supplies, including any specialty boxes for glasses or dishware, wardrobe boxes, plastic bin rentals, tape, and protective materials like bubble wrap. Buying supplies from your mover can save time and ensure you have the right materials, while renting plastic moving bins is an eco-friendly, efficient, and clutter-free option, especially when it comes discarding boxes after unpacking.
  • Timing and season: Moving costs tend to rise during the peak season from May to September due to higher demand. Similarly, weekends also see increased prices compared to weekdays, and the end of the month can be pricier because of lease turnovers. If possible, having a flexible moving date and opting for off-peak times can significantly reduce moving expenses.
  • Tipping your movers: Tipping movers is a common gesture of appreciation for their hard work. A general guideline is tipping 15-20% of the total move cost for small to medium moves, while 20% is standard for long-distance moves, with adjustments made to account for the move’s difficulty, size, quality of service, and the number of movers.
  • Storage solutions: Downsizing and needing a storage solution is common, with costs varying by volume, storage type (on-demand storage vs. self-storage), location, and rental duration. Self-storage units in urban cities range from about $60 for small units to over $500 for large spaces. For on-demand storage, your costs are determined by the volume (measured in cubic feet), moving costs to-and-from the storage unit, and storage duration. Prices typically range from $0.50 to $2.00 per cubic foot. This option is notably more convenient and cost-effective since you’re charged for the actual storage used rather than renting a fixed-size unit.
  • Insurance coverage: Basic coverage is usually included, but you may opt for full-value protection or third-party insurance for added security and protection.

Easy ways to save money and cut moving costs

Relocating doesn’t have to break the bank. With smart planning, strategic choices, and in using a moving fee calculator, you can significantly reduce your moving expenses. Here are tips for a budget-friendly move:

  • Declutter before you pack: Decluttering before packing not only clears your space but also your moving bill. Fewer items mean fewer boxes, which translates to lower moving costs and less packing time. Plus, selling or donating items can put extra cash in your pocket or give you a sense of contribution. It’s a straightforward equation: Less to move equals more savings and a smoother transition to your new home.
  • Gather multiple quotes: Shopping around for a moving company is kind of like a treasure hunt for the best deal. It allows you to gather quotes to ensure that you find the best option tailored to your specific needs. Compare services, prices, and customer reviews and highlight potential savings and value-added services. This competitive insight can also be a bargaining chip, as companies might match or beat lower quotes. Ultimately, it’s a strategy that ensures quality service at the most cost-effective price to maximize your budget for a smooth move..
  • Choose an off-peak moving date: Choosing an off-peak moving date, such as mid-month or outside of the summer rush, can be a smart move for your moving expenses. Most people aim to move at the end of the month or during summer, which makes those times super busy and high in demand for moving companies. If you can swing a move during off-peak quieter periods, like mid-month or in cooler seasons, companies can offer better rates. Opting for a weekday move instead of a weekend can also lower costs since weekends are prime moving days for movers.
  • DIY packing: Taking a DIY approach to certain aspects of your move can be a savvy way to save money. By packing, loading, and transporting smaller items yourself, you can avoid some of the higher costs associated with full-service moving packages. Investing time in gathering free packing materials, carefully boxing up your belongings, and enlisting the help of friends and family for the heavy lifting can significantly reduce expenses. Plus, this method gives you control over the packing and moving process to ensure that your possessions are handled exactly how you want.
  • DIY disassembly: Tackling furniture disassembly and reassembly yourself during a move can be a great way to reduce moving expenses. It avoids the extra cost that moving companies charge for these services. With a bit of research and careful organization (keeping track of screws and hardware in labeled bags, for example), most furniture pieces can be safely taken apart and put back together. A pro tip is to take photos before and during the disassembly process, especially for complex items with multiple screw sizes or fittings. These visual aids can be invaluable when it’s time to put everything back together. This approach not only saves money but also familiarizes you with your furniture assembly, which can be handy for future moves or adjustments..
  • Disconnect your utilities: Scheduling the disconnection of your utilities before your moving date can lead to savings. By aligning utility shut-off dates with your move, you avoid paying for services after you’ve moved. Proactive planning ensures you’re only billed up to the day you leave to prevent any overlap in utility costs between your old and new homes. Plus, it’s one less thing to worry about in the chaos of budgeting, packing, and keeping a handle on all the moving parts.
  • Tax deductions: Moving expenses are deductible on your federal tax return if you’re in the military moving due to a permanent change of station. This change came into effect with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, applicable for tax years 2018 through 2025. Some states may offer deductions or credits for moving expenses, so it’s worth looking into your specific state’s tax regulations. While moving expenses for most people aren’t tax-deductible, your employer may cover some or all of your moving costs if you’re relocating for work. It’s increasingly common for job relocation packages to include moving expense reimbursements. Always check with your employer about the availability and extent of these benefits, and for more detailed IRS information, you can visit the official IRS page on this topic.

Frequently asked questions when hiring a moving company and budgeting moving costs

Our moving fee calculator is accurate and does not lead to unwanted moving expenses. We provide you with the option to select every room in your house, as well as every furniture and household item to see your flat moving fee. Our team of moving consultants will also be in touch to confirm your moving fee to confirm accuracy of your quote.

For modestly sized apartments using professional movers typically costs between $400-$750 for local relocations. This price can increase to $600-$1200 for one-bedroom units with more furnishings. Larger moves, such as 2–3-bedroom apartments, might cost between $1,000 and over $2,000, depending on the amount and type of items. Moves involving 3–4-bedroom households could range from $1,500 to $3,500 for a local move. Keep in mind there are factors that impact each price including the day of the week, month, packing services, distance between locations, stairs and handling needs.

We make it a priority to reach out to each customer beforehand to ensure the inventory list is comprehensive and current. This proactive approach is designed to eliminate any unexpected or additional moving expenses on the day of the move. If there are last-minute items, you can call our Call Center with your reference number and we will be able to update your quote to reflect the changes in your inventory.

To save on moving costs, timing is everything. The off-peak winter season, from around October to April, is generally the cheapest time to move due to lower demand and better deals from moving companies. November and December are great moving months, since business usually slows down due to the holidays and cold weather. Planning your move on a weekday, ideally Monday through Thursday, can also lower your moving expenses since weekends are peak times for moving companies. Also, starting early in the morning not only helps avoid traffic and the midday heat but it can also maximize the speed of the moving process, especially if your movers charge by the hour.

Booking your movers at least 4 weeks in advance is ideal to give you the best chance to secure the services you need and when you need them, especially during the busy summer months. If you’re up against the clock, aim for at least a 2-week lead time to avoid being stuck with limited options. Early booking not only secures a slot with your preferred movers but also offers potential lower moving expenses and a better opportunity to compare services and costs.

Moving in or out of buildings with stairs adds complexity and cost to the relocation process. Factors affecting these moving expenses include the number of floors to walk up/down, the type and number of items being moved, and the necessary equipment needed. Additional charges may apply based on the distance movers must carry items to the truck. Reputable companies like Piece of Cake Moving & Storage will communicate these potential extra charges upfront to help you effectively budget for your move.

Depending on the size of the move, the moving crew will consist of a 2-, 3-, 4- or 5-man crew. For a one—two bedroom apartment, a 3-man crew is the most common. We also send crew with more members upon request.

Tipping movers is a common practice to show appreciation for their hard work. It’s not required but it is recommended. A general guideline is tipping between 15% to 20% of the total move cost, with discretionary adjustments for the move’s size and complexity. For substantial relocations, it’s recommended to consider tipping towards the higher end of this range.

Moving companies typically offer boxes for a fee or include them as part of their service packages. Discuss with your moving company what types of boxes are provided and which ones might incur additional costs. The number and kind of boxes you’ll need depend on the volume and type of items you’re moving.

Our standard moving service includes complimentary boxes for your hanging clothes, TVs, mirrors, and picture frames, and standard-sized boxes for packing up everything else. You can also upgrade to our full packing package, which is comprehensive of packing supplies and services, so you can relax while we do all the heavy lifting.

Plastic bins offer durability, stackability, moisture and dust protection, and are eco-friendly if reused or rented. They also allow for quick access to belongings and might be more cost-effective than purchasing new cardboard boxes, as they don’t require packing tape. Piece of Cake Moving & Storage provides both options, allowing you to select the best container type for your move.

Hiring movers from online classifieds like Craigslist can be tempting due to low costs and convenience, but risks include possibly dealing with unlicensed or uninsured operators with professional experience and equipment, which can lead to potential damage or injury. It’s crucial to verify their insurance, DOT registration, and customer reviews.

Before committing to a moving company, it’s wise to perform a quick check to ensure their reliability. All movers must be registered with the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and typically display their USDOT number on their website. You can use this number to check their registration status, fleet size, and compliance details via the FMCSA website’s search tool.

The weather can definitely throw a wrench in your moving plans. Things like heavy rain, snow, or floods can make a moving day more challenging, from slowing down loading and unloading, to affecting driving speeds and how safe it is to be on the road, especially in heavy snow conditions and freezing temperatures. Plus, if you’re paying by the hour, this kind of weather could mean more time spent on the move, which would increase your moving expenses.

No matter the weather on your moving day—rain or shine—rest assured, our team is ready and equipped. We come with protective gear like waterproof covers and our trained movers ensure your move goes safe and smooth, regardless of the forecast.

Movers are typically restricted from transporting hazardous materials (like paint, chemicals, or flammable items), perishables, plants, and pets. When in doubt, ask your mover about any items they are unable to move to ensure a smooth process.

Before filing your next tax return, consult with a tax advisor as some states still allow deductions for moving expenses despite the federal suspension from 2018 to 2025. Specific states, including New York, New Jersey, and California, offer state tax breaks for moving expenses under certain conditions.

Common moving terms people are often unfamiliar with include “Bill of Lading,” which is the contract between you and the moving company; “Tariff,” detailing the company’s rates and services; “Binding/Non-Binding Estimate,” which refers to whether the quoted price can change; and “Flight Charge,” an additional fee for moving items up or down stairs. Understanding these terms can significantly clarify the moving process and costs involved. Read through our Moving Industry Terminology Guide to ensure you understand your moving documents and contracts.

Yes, you can hire movers for single-item or small moves. Services designed for such tasks cater to moving large, bulky items or furniture. When choosing a moving company for small moves, consider their experience with your specific items, insurance coverage, protective measures during the move, and the cost involved.

Whether you need extra moving insurance depends on the value of your belongings and the coverage provided by your moving company. Most movers offer basic liability insurance, but this may not fully cover high-value items. Evaluate the worth of your items and the risk involved in the move. For complete protection, especially for valuable or irreplaceable items, consider purchasing full-value protection insurance.

Choosing between DIY moving with a U-Haul or hiring a professional moving company involves weighing various factors, including cost, time, safety, and the complexity of your move. While renting a moving truck can initially seem more cost-effective, professional movers offer piece-of-mind with an upfront quote covering all services, potentially saving you from the unexpected costs of broken valuables or damaged appliances, to ensure your move is efficient, safe, and streamlined.