Anthony Bale, expert writer at The Moving Blog. 

There are so many things to take into account when moving from one home to another that residential moves often turn out to be overwhelming for the people involved. Impeccable organisation will give you a much greater chance of success as it is considered to be the backbone of smooth relocation – simply take care of the tasks inside your personal moving calendar and it should be a good move altogether. Or at least that’s how it is supposed to be unless the move distance ends up being a much more important factor than you initially thought.

The move distance!

This external factor alone will determine not only how you prepare for the upcoming relocation, but also what type of help you will need to pull it off. In theory, the shorter the distance is to your new home, the easier and cheaper it will be to do the short distance move, and vice versa. In practice, however, things are not that black and white and you need to understand better the short distance moving options you have before you can reach the best decision out there.

The following short distance moving tips will give you more information on what to expect from your local move, including vital advice on what’s the best way to move short distance, how to choose the best short distance movers (if you decide that using professional relocation services is exactly what you need), how much short distance movers cost, and whether or not you are supposed to tip your professional helpers.

What’s the best way to move short distance?

Often, the best way to do something is a balanced combination of easy and cheap. Therefore, if you do manage to find a way to complete a task with minimum efforts and that successful completion won’t cost you too much in the end, then usually that’s the best method do it. But the moment you transfer that simple idea to the world of residential moving, then things suddenly become a bit more complicated than they actually need to be.

What’s the easiest way to do a short distance move?

Without a doubt, the easiest way to move short distance is to leave all the move related work to people who you can trust with your personal items. Or at least the tasks that either will eat up huge chunks of your time (packing up your entire home is one good example) or jobs that you can’t possible finish on your own even if you tried (disassembly or re-assembly of large furniture, carrying large items out of the house, or loading the moving vehicle). You may also have special items in your home that will require even more special handling than your ordinary belongings – specialty items include but are not limited to pianos, antique furniture, huge and heavy furniture pieces, pool tables, hot tubs, heavy safes, kitchen appliances, and so on.

When using one of the reputable short distance moving companies, you pay professionals for peace of mind (your things should arrive in your new residence in the condition they left your old one) and for extra free time – you can use the scheduled break for doing other important things that you wouldn’t have the chance to do if you were moving on your own. Saying goodbye to your dearest friends by spending quality time with them just before you move away? What a great idea!

Is your new home located within walking distance?

The only thing that may stop you from hiring short distance moving services is the price. If you’ve only received short distance moving quotes that exceed the limits of your preliminary relocation budget, then you might want to consider planning and executing a self-move – perfectly doable when moving locally.

What’s the cheapest way to move short distance?

It’s important that you know how to look for and possibly find cheap short distance movers as your relocation partner. Moving only a short distance has its clear advantages, and one of them is the lower overall price compared to a long distance move across the country. After all, there’s a huge difference whether your final destination is hundreds or thousands of miles away, or whether it’s conveniently located just across town or within the reasonable limit of 100 miles.

Read on to learn the proven steps of finding affordable local movers to take care of the details for you. However, it’s only fair to mention that under specific conditions /listed below/, the cheapest way to move locally may be to organize a DIY move with the help of a few good friends.

How much does it cost to move short distance?

More often than not, it’s the price that will determine what type of relocation you choose for your short distance move: professionally assisted relocation (short distance moving companies) or non-professionally assisted one (friends + a rented moving truck). To help you decide between the two options before you, here’s more information about what you are expected to pay in both real life scenarios.

How much do short distance movers cost?

In order to be able to make a comparison and decide which way to go, you need to know the average cost of local movers. Yes, it’s true that each relocation case is different and therefore the overall prices will vary, but a preliminary calculation of the short distance moving costs will give you an excellent idea of where you are at the moment.

Now, the main points to remember before you hire a short distance mover are:

  • When moving short distance, you should expect to be charged by the hour.
  • The average cost of hiring reputable short distance movers is $25 per hour per mover, but that price can be lower or higher depending on your exact location and the local movers you have chosen.
  • Local short distance movers will often charge you a travel fee – the time period your future moving team will need to reach your home. That fee usually amounts to 1 additional hour of labor.
  • The average prices of short distance moves depend primarily on the size of your place, the number of household items you’re moving, and any additional services you may have requested. In order to get a rough idea of what you will need to pay the pros, let’s assume that you’re moving out from one of these homes: studio apartment (2 movers + 3 hours = $150), 2-bedroom home (3 movers + 5 hours = $375), and 3-bedroom residence (4 movers + 7 hours = $700). Use these example short distance moving costs only as reference values and keep in mind only an accurate moving cost estimate, prepared by your local moving company, can give you good calculation of how much money you will pay in the end.
  • Packing/unpacking are considered extra services and usually cost around $30 per hour.
  • How much does a self-move cost?

Calculating your short distance moving costs on your own can be a bit of a challenge.
Many home movers think that moving on their own is by far the cheapest way to move short distance, but that is not always the case. Yes, a self-move can turn out to be a surprisingly frugal option to relocate provided that some fundamental and cost-saving requirements are met:

  • A bunch of loyal friends,
  • Not too many items in your home,
  • No special items to move safely,
  • Previous relocation experience, including renting and loading a moving truck.
  • If you feel confident that you can manage it without the timely assistance of professional short distance packers and movers, then be ready for the following expenses:

Renting a moving truck. Ideally, you will be able to borrow a pick-up truck from a trusted friend. If not, truck rental prices differ greatly per company, location, and conditions. Visit the websites of the major truck rental companies in the country to learn more about their pricing policies (U-Haul, Penske, Budget, Enterprise, Ryder). Keep in mind that truck rental insurance can be about $150 (around £115)

Fuel. Fuel is not included in the rental price. Note that the average fuel consumption of moving trucks is up to 10-12 mpg, and although you’re only moving locally, the exact move distance and the number of trips you make will determine how much you will pay for fuel. Important: always return the rented vehicle with its tank filled to the top to avoid additional charges.

Possible risks and dangers. What you probably don’t include in your DIY calculations is the possibility of extra expenses due to possible property damage or personal injuries. Both types of unexpected costs can come as a direct result of your move related inexperience or negligence during the chaotic Moving day. Such costs cannot be possibly planned in advance (of course not!) but one thing is sure – you won’t like the digits at the bottom line.
Remember that if you feel nervous about the upcoming short distance move, no matter how short it is, and you sense that you’re not quite ready for the challenge, then you’d better know how and where to find the best short distance moving companies.