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Local Moving Companies – Costs, Tipping, Packing, and More

Moving is stressful at the best of times. Even a simple move across town can be intimidating, especially if you’re tackling the move without assistance. The good news is that there is a comprehensive network of local moving companies across the nation that can help turn a move from a stressful and labor intensive experience to an exciting one. By hiring an experienced and trustworthy mover, the focus can be shifted to the thrill of moving into your new home, rather than on the difficulty of the move.

If you’re new to hiring local moving companies to assist you with your big day, this guide will answer some basic questions that should make the process much easier to understand. We’re going to shed light on some basic areas of the moving process that you might have questions about. These include:

  • The costs associated with moving with movers
  • How the packing process works
  • Comparing professional moving companies to do it yourself options

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The Cost of Moving Locally – Find Cheap Movers in Your Area

First, the good news: moving locally is much cheaper and more affordable than moving nationally or internationally. The reduced distances make things much easier for both you and your moving company, and many people are surprised at how affordable the cost of local moving is.

The reality, when it comes to moving, there are just too many variables at play to provide any sort of one-size-fits-all formula for pricing local moving companies. However, what can be done is we can create an understanding of the factors that will cause one move to cost more than another.

From cheap moving prices to high end solutions, these factors will all cause the base rate that a moving company uses to go up, although the amount or proportion that they cause the rate to increase will depend on the individual company and their pricing structure.

  • The distance of the move
  • The amount of belongings to be moved
  • Any special items to be moved that require extra equipment, men, or time, e.g., a piano
  • Any additional difficulty in the moving of the goods into or out of the properties, e.g. multiple flights of stairs with no accessible elevator
  • The value of the goods can cause insurance rates to rise if they are exceptionally valuable

Two main factors affect the base price in most moves: the amount of property you need moved, and how far you need it transported. These factors are critical because they are the most relevant in establishing the base costs of the moving company, but the factors listed above can also certainly cause a base quote to be adjusted up or down.

Tipping Your Local Moving Company

Tipping is prevalent in so many industries that many people sort of take for granted that a tip is expected when hiring someone for a short term service. However, because the rules for tipping are so varied from industry to industry, it can be awkward and confusing to know how to tip a local moving company if you haven’t done so in a given field before.

In the home moving industry, tipping is appreciated, but not necessarily expected. A good general guideline is to work with either a base percentage or an amount per worker based on how long they were assisting on your move.

If you’re tipping on a typical move, a 5% tip is considered the norm, and would be deemed appropriate in the vast majority of cases. On the other hand, if you would prefer to tip each mover individually, somewhere in the neighborhood of $10-$20 is considered an average tip, depending on how many hours the movers had to work and how hard they labored.

Learn More: Read “How Much I Tip Movers?

Local Movers Packing Your Belongings

Many people dread the idea of having to pack every last item in their home before a move. After all, it is easy to accumulate a lot of stuff in a short period of time when you’re settled into your home. However, there are full service movers available who can help you with the packing process.

Services that these types of movers might offer include:

  • Boxing and packaging breakable items such as dishes
  • Providing reinforced boxes for the moving of heavy items, such as books
  • Wrapping and packaging furniture to prevent it from becoming damaged in the move

Special Cases – Packing

In most cases, movers have a list of certain items that they won’t, or legally cannot, pack and transport for you. These are typically any goods that are considered dangerous or hazardous.

Packing Guns – Moving Company Policies

When it comes to guns, moving companies set their own policies. There are several companies that will in fact ship guns for you, as long as they are packed and secured properly according to local, state and federal regulations. However, the caveat here is that moving companies are not allowed to transport ammunition.

Always ask your potential local moving company about their policies regarding the moving of guns before assuming that they will move them for you, and to ensure that you can prepare your guns to adhere to their requirements.

Packing and Transporting Alcohol

Be it beer, wine, or whisky, Local moving companies will generally transport unopened alcohol. In fact, some companies even specialize in it! If you have a high-value wine collection, for example, shopping around will yield several options of movers that have specific experience in transporting wine safely without damaging bottles or jeopardizing the value of your collection.

Deciding Between Moving Companies and a Do-it-Yourself Option

When getting ready for a move across town, many people at least consider the option of just renting a Uhaul trailer and doing it themselves. Certainly, it can be appealing to tackle any project yourself, but when it comes to moving, there are several reasons why a professional might be preferable. These include:

  • Movers can provide insurance to protect the value of your goods while in transit
  • Experienced movers know how to pack and carry your goods to reduce the prospect of damage
  • Many people injure themselves when moving themselves because of improper technique, a lack of fitness, or a lack of knowledge about how to properly move heavy pieces
  • Movers can complete a local move in a day or less, while it might take you several times that length to do it yourself.

This is a decision that everyone needs to make for themselves, but anyone who has ever used a U-Haul and struggled with their furniture up a flight of stairs knows that there is a lot to recommend the expertise of a professional moving company.

Ready to find a local moving company in your area? Let’s get started by comparing prices from the best movers in the town.

Learn More: See Our Moving Guide for Tons of Advice & Tips

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New York , NYCharlotte , NCFort Worth , TXColumbus , OH
Los Angeles, CAAustin , TXIndianapolis, INJacksonville, FL
Chicago , ILSan Francisco , CABoston , MASan Jose , CA
Houston, TXSan Diego , CADallas , TXSan Antonio , TX
Phoenix , AZPhiladelphia , PASt. Petersburg , FLAugusta, GA
Memphis , TNVirginia Beach , VAJersey City , NJGrand Rapids, MI
Baltimore, MDMiami , FLScottsdale , AZHuntington Beach , CA
El Paso , TXOakland , CANorfolk , VAMobile, AL
Raleigh , NCDetroit, MIMadison , WIMoreno Valley , CA
Milwaukee , WITulsa , OKOrlando , FLLittle Rock , AR
Long Beach , CAMinneapolis , MNBirmingham , ALAmarillo , TX
Fort Wayne , INColorado Springs , COBaton Rouge , LAColumbus , GA
San Bernardino , CAHonolulu, HIDurham , NCOxnard , CA
Mesa , AZArlington , TXLaredo , TXFontana , CA
Glendale , AZWichita , KSLubbock , TXKnoxville , TN
Tacoma , WASt. Louis , MOChesapeake , VAFort Lauderdale , FL
Kansas City , MOTampa , FLChula Vista , CASalt Lake City , UT
Greensboro , NCSanta Ana , CAGarland , TXNewport News , VA
Glendale , CAAnaheim , CAWinston-Salem , NCHuntsville , AL
Omaha , NECincinnati , OHNorth Las Vegas , NVTempe , AZ
Chandler , AZBakersfield , CAReno , NVBrownsville , TX
Des Moines , IAAurora , COGilbert, AZWorcester , MA
Cleveland , OHNew Orleans , LAHialeah , FLFayetteville , NC
Denver , COPittsburgh , PAArlington, VAJackson , MS
Seattle , WARiverside , CAAkron , OHTallahassee , FL
Nashville, TNToledo , OHIrvine , CAAurora , IL
Washington , DCStockton , CARochester , NYOntario , CA
Las Vegas , NVCorpus Christi , TXBoise City , IDProvidence , RI
Portland , ORLexington, KYModesto , CAOverland Park , KS
Louisville, KYSt. Paul , MNFremont , CARancho Cucamonga , CA
Oklahoma City , OKAnchorage, AKMontgomery , ALChattanooga , TN
Tucson , AZNewark , NJSpokane , WAOceanside , CA
Atlanta , GABuffalo , NYRichmond , VASanta Clarita , CA
Albuquerque , NMPlano , TXYonkers , NYGarden Grove , CA
Fresno , CAHenderson , NVIrving , TXVancouver , WA
Sacramento , CALincoln , NEShreveport , LAGrand Prairie , TX