short distance movers


  • A local move is one that does not exceed 50 miles and stays within the state of origin.
  • Moving only a short distance away gives you the opportunity to organize a successful DIY move.
  • Hiring short-distance movers can still prove to be the best option for you. This is especially true when you don’t have any move-related experience and you’re running short of time.
  • Learn how to find the best short-distance movers near you and use hand-picked tips for saving money on your local move.

Thanks to the shorter travel distance between the two homes, moving over a short distance should be easier and faster than moving over a long distance. So far, so good.

But the question that is likely to keep you tossing and turning in bed is, Is moving short distance cheaper?

The truth is that it’s hard to answer this puzzling question without having enough analytical data to process.

Depending on how you choose to approach your local move (moving on your own or hiring a local moving company), the number and nature of the items you intend to move, and the way you organize your preparation period, your upcoming short-distance move can range from being largely problem-free to being rather problematic, or even nightmarish.

Read this short-distance moving guide to learn how to find the best short-distance movers near you. Also, this relocation guide will show you how to use the best short-distance moving tips to your advantage.

Short-distance moving vs. long-distance moving

First and foremost, you should understand the main differences between a local move (a short-distance move) and an interstate move (a long-distance move). In doing so, you will know what to expect from your upcoming relocation and will be better prepared to overcome the challenges that come with it.


Of course, the travel distance is the major difference between the two types of moving.

A short-distance move (local moving) stays within a radius of 50 miles and never leaves the state of origin.

A long-distance move (interstate moving) is when the distance between Point A and Point B exceeds 50 miles and when the move starts in one state and ends in another one.


Cost of hiring local movers
Short-distance movers charge on an hourly basis.

Generally speaking, local moves are cheaper because of the (much) shorter distance between the two homes.

Local moving companies charge by the hour, meaning that the final sum you pay to the local mover you’re working with will depend on the number of hours the pros work to complete the relocation.

Cross-country moving companies charge a flat rate based on several critical factors such as the distance to the new place, the weight of the shipment, and the extra moving services needed to get the job done.


As a rule of thumb, a short-distance move will give you more options – something that may prove to work out great in your case.

The shorter distance to the new home gives you the possibility to rent a smaller moving truck, load it up with your belongings, and drive it yourself to the destination. You can even do multiple trips, if necessary.

When you’re moving across the country, though, organizing a DIY move is often not a good idea due to the numerous hidden costs when moving on your own and the scores of risks involved in a self-move over a long distance.

Local Moving Checklist: How to Prepare for a Local Move

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What’s the cheapest way to move short distance?

It should come as no surprise that everyone’s desperately looking for the cheapest way to move house. After all, residential moving has a bad reputation for being too expensive in the first place.

And if you’re about to move locally soon – regardless of whether your destination home is located just across the street, in another neighborhood within the same city or town, or in another city within the same state, then your main objective should be more or less the same – to save as much money as possible on your short-distance move by using a number of proven cost-reducing techniques.

Depending on your special set of circumstances, the cheapest way to move locally for you can be:

Moving locally by yourself + friends

Short distance moving
It’s nice to have friends to help you move house. And it’s even nicer if you can save money on your short-distance move too.

To move house within the state of origin and inside a radius of around 50 miles presents a viable option for people to rent a moving vehicle from a local truck rental agency, pack their belongings, load them into that rented vehicle with the help of a few good friends, and drive the loaded truck to their new home.

Self-moving can be a cheaper alternative to hiring one of the best short-distance moving companies in your area if

  • you have reliable friends who you know won’t back down on your in the last possible moment;
  • you have moved house before and know what it takes to go through a seemingly endless checklist of moving tasks;
  • you know you have good packing skills that won’t let you down;
  • you’ve been recommended a reputable and affordable truck rental company in your city, or a pal of yours has agreed to lend you their pickup truck for the day;
  • you don’t own too many household items and there are no special items among them – specialty items that will require special packing services.

Short-distance moving services

The great news is that it’s quite possible to use professional short-distance moving services and still keep the relocation costs within reasonable limits. The trick to achieving it is to

  • find a low-cost short-distance moving company that will do a decent job of protecting and transporting your household items,
  • find the perfect balance between doing some of the tasks by yourself and leaving the tougher jobs to the pros, and
  • use clever cost-effective strategic moves to bring down the final price even more.

The easiest way to move short distance is to hire trained professionals to do the entire work from start to finish while you take advantage of the free time to do the things you would not have time to do otherwise.

It’s a good feeling to know that you can trust a bunch of experts to disassemble, pack and transport your large furniture pieces, including antique furniture, as well as to protect well and move safely some valuable items that fall into the Special Items category – pianos, pool tables, grandfather clocks, or hot tubs, for example.

Hire Movers or Do It Yourself: 10 Questions to Help You Decide

What you should know about short-distance moving costs

If the preliminary analysis points to a self-moving approach to your upcoming local move, then it’s important to note down that you will find it extremely hard to calculate the DIY costs properly before the relocation takes place.

This is due to the fact that in addition to the expenses of renting a vehicle from a trusted moving truck rental company in your city or area (plus fuel, insurance, parking fees, and road tolls), you will quickly be reminded of the forgotten costs of moving on your own – packing materials (mostly cardboard boxes), renting moving equipment, food and drinks for your helpers, possible property damage and personal injuries, and so on.

local moving costs
You don’t have to kill all of your savings to do a short-distance move.

On the other hand, whenever you choose to use the professional services of a local mover, the short-distance moving costs are much easier to calculate simply because the company will give you a price estimate before the move happens.

It’s easy, really – after asking for an in-home survey from several top-rated short-distance movers in your city, you will receive local moving quotes to compare.

In-home visits constitute an important part of the moving process as they give you the opportunity to

  • discuss the move details with local movers’ experts,
  • show movers exactly what it is that you intend to pack and move,
  • let them know of any peculiarities that could make things tougher for them on moving day and inflate the costs, and
  • get short-distance moving estimates to know what to expect price-wise from your local movers.

How to compare local movers? Use our special-purpose Moving Companies Comparison Chart with 25 comparison points that should help you pick the best short-distance moving company for you in no time at all.

How much do short-distance movers cost?

The only good way to know how much your short-distance move will cost is to request cost estimates from 2-3 local moving companies. This is the right way to go because each residential move has different parameters that will affect the final price differently.

Still, if you wish to know the average moving cost when moving locally as a reference, here are the main things you should be aware of:

  • Short-distance movers usually charge their customers by the hour which basically means that, all of a sudden, the time factor becomes more important than ever.
  • The average short-distance movers’ cost is roughly $60 per mover per hour. However, the exact amount depends on the local mover, your location, and the time of year.
  • You may be charged a travel fee that will amount to 1 extra hour of work. The travel fee is viewed as compensation for the time the local moving crew needs to reach your home.
  • The more items you have in your home, including some special items that will require extra effort from your local movers, the more time will be needed to finish the job. Also, each extra moving service you request will prolong the moving process. And as you well know, more time means more money.
  • Roughly speaking, studio apartments require 2 local movers to work 3 hours to finish the moving job, 2-bedroom homes = 3 movers + 5 hours, and 3-bedroom homes = 4 movers + 7 hours. Keep in mind that while these approximate calculations might help you get a preliminary idea of what to expect, there’s only one sure way to know how much your short-distance move will cost – to get the short-distance moving quotes.

What Is the Average Moving Cost?

How to find the best short-distance movers near you

Short distance furniture movers
It’s no secret that some short-distance movers are better than others. Don’t make compromises while trying to find the best local mover.

If you really want to make sure you hire absolutely the best short-distance mover, then you may as well follow our 31.5-step guide on how to choose the right mover at the right moment.

Feel free to follow those steps to guarantee a smooth local move without any major problems.

  • Step 1. Get short-distance quotes. Compare the offers and the local moving companies with great care. With a few local moving estimates in your hands, choosing the best short-distance mover that will fit your moving budget and satisfy your relocation needs will usually turn out to be a no-brainer.
  • Step 2. Do not hire a mover on a random principle. Instead, always start your search for reputable movers with thorough research of their online reputation. Before choosing your local moving company, read moving reviews and testimonials regarding their services.
  • Step 3. Check out the licensing information of short-distance moving companies with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT number) and take a look at their records with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Step 4. Ask friends, relatives, colleagues, or neighbors if they can give you any positive or negative feedback about the movers you have shortlisted before making your final decision to hire a specific local moving company. After all, advice works in mysterious ways and you never know who can come up with a precious last-minute tip.
  • Step 5. Make an effort to learn more about the moving company you plan to work with. Call them up and voice any concerns you may have regarding the upcoming move. The personal interaction with them will tell you a lot about their level of professionalism and how trustworthy they really are. Their answers should be clear and easy to understand, without any attempts to withhold information or elude your questions. You have the right to obtain any information that is relevant to your local move.
  • Step 6. Be sure to ask your short-distance movers about possible ways to lower the moving costs, such as taking advantage of ongoing relocation promotions, specific discounts, and so on. Why pay more when you can pay less for the same moving services, right? With a little luck and some prudence, you can select relatively cheap short-distance movers.

Tips for Moving Across Town 

Short-Distance Moving Tips

You can play an active role in keeping the local moving costs as low as possible by using money-saving tips, time-saving tips, and proven packing tips when moving only a short distance away.

Start early

Start the moving preparations early and approach the entire relocation with the same seriousness as if you were relocating across the country.

The term short distance alone should not give you false hope that your move will be so much easier because it’s a local one. In fact, if you underestimate the whole moving situation, you could end up with a stronger headache than ever.

Under ideal conditions, you will have no less than 2 full months to get everything ready for the move, but oftentimes, you’ll have much less time than that. Be aware of the fact that the less time there is until the moving date, the faster time will seem to pass.

How to Pack for a Move in 3 Days

Inventory, sort out, and purge

How to pack when moving short distance?
Start early, pack in stages, and label your ready boxes accordingly.

Your local move is a very opportune moment to decrease the number of your household items by carefully sorting them out – a perfect opportunity to inventory your entire home and move only the things you will need and use.

The purging process you’re advised to initiate will serve three distinctly beneficial purposes:

  • Money: you will save big on your short-distance move if you move only the necessary stuff simply because the more items there are to be packed and move, the more money you will have to pay your short-haul movers due to the prolonged time.
  • Space: the living space of your new home may be smaller than your soon-to-be-old one, but even if it’s not, ask yourself if you do want to clutter up your new apartment or house so quickly after the move.
  • Decluttered mind: it’s not a secret that too much stuff around you could bog down your mind, so purge your home to free up your mind too.

How to Make a Moving Inventory

Be an efficient packer

How to pack for a short-distance move?

Unless you’ve opted for a full-service move from your short-distance movers, you’re going to have to pack your things yourself.

Even so, you may still request that your most fragile and valuable items (dishes, glasses, delicate electronic equipment, etc.), as well as your most heavyweight and bulky goods (furniture pieces, kitchen appliances, etc.), be packed by professional packers for guaranteed problem-free transportation to your new residence.

Usually, you will be facing a painfully long and somewhat boring packing stint. What can you do to make packing more efficient?

  • Get suitable packing supplies. First of all, you should get your hands on moving boxes in good condition. One of your options is to purchase new moving containers from your selected short-distance moving company, and if you can afford it, you should do it. However, there’s a much cheaper way of obtaining cardboard boxes for your local move – either ask friends or coworkers if they have such boxes and are willing to spare them, or visit some big local businesses (supermarkets, bookstores, etc.) and see if you can get them for free. Where to Find Free Moving Boxes?
  • Pack in logical stages. One thing is clear – you won’t be able to pack your entire household in one day. Therefore, you need a working packing strategy in order to finish the preparations on time. Start packing from the rooms you use less and continue towards the ones you use every single day. That way, you won’t clutter unnecessarily your working space and will make progress much faster. Packing Timeline

Call for friendly backup

A short-distance move is the type of relocation where reliable friends can offer the biggest help – not only during the busy period of getting ready for moving day, but on the moving day itself.

If your new house or apartment is a short distance away, you may as well consider executing a self-move with the help of some good helpers, of course. See if any of your pals will be willing to give you the much-needed helping hands in exchange for your eternal gratitude and some delicious pizza and refreshing drinks. Let Friends Help You Move

For a complete short-distance moving checklist and more ideas to save money, time, and effort during your short-distance move, be sure to check out this Week-by-Week Moving Timeline.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much does it cost to move short distance?

The national average cost of a local move is about $1,500 with a price range from $800 to $2,200. A local move is considered one that stays within a radius of around 50 miles and never leaves the state of origin.

Hiring two movers and a truck should cost you between $90 and $120 per hour. Keep in mind that local movers charge by the hour – that is, they charge on an hourly basis. How Much Does It Cost to Hire Local Movers?

What’s the cheapest way to move short distance?

The cheapest way to move locally will depend on several critical factors: number of household items, presence of specialty items, availability of reliable friends, and level of previous move-related experience.

Moving locally gives you a chance to organize a cost-effective DIY move but the hidden costs of moving by yourself must also be taken into account. Create a moving budget and compare the costs of each relocation scenario.

How to find the best short-distance movers near you?

You should begin the hunt for the best local movers in your area by requesting free moving quotes from reputable short-distance moving companies.

Check their licensing information by verifying their USDOT number and check their reputation by reading moving reviews left by customers.

Finally, compare the local movers and pick the one that best fits your budget and satisfies your relocation needs.

How much to tip short-distance movers?

You’re not obliged to tip your local movers in any way. However, if you’re happy with their work, then you should seriously consider doing it as a way to show your appreciation for their hard work and professionalism.

How much to tip local movers? Tip your hired men around $5/hour per mover, or roughly $40 a day if they do a good job. If they happen to do an outstanding job, then consider tipping your movers $8/hour per mover.

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More about the author


  1. I have a small office move and it’s a short distance. Just a few pieces of furniture and a few boxes of books. Do you do this type of service?

    1. Hi Dear respected sir and madam.
      Yes we do all kind of Commercial and residential relocation services

  2. It makes sense to find a moving company with experience in safely handling valuables. I can see how hiring a reputable company can give you peace of mind during the process. I should share this with my friend whose uncle wants to move into the countryside for their retirement.

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