How to Calculate Your Relocation Moving Costs

Lauren Wellbank
Written by Lauren Wellbank
Updated June 2, 2022
family unloading boxes from moving truck into home
Photo: Monkey Business / Adobe Stock


  • Make a relocation budget based on the size and distance of your move.

  • Determine whether you need to hire interstate or intrastate movers.

  • Calculate the cost of moving expenses like packing supplies and renting a moving truck.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Whether you’re leaving your hometown for the big city or relocating for an exciting job opportunity in a different state, budgeting for an upcoming move can be complicated. But don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

Once you’ve determined your moving day and new location, it’s time to calculate your moving expenses. Let’s break down what you need to know before starting the moving process.

Create a Relocation Budget

To create a relocation moving budget, start with the facts, such as the distance of your move, whether you plan to hire movers, the size of your move (in the number of bedrooms), and your move date. Then, you can factor in the estimated costs of each moving expense. 

Keep in mind that size and distance of your move will greatly impact the total bill. For example, you can expect to pay $4,000 to $10,000 for a cross-country move, while a local move will cost about $1,400.

Moving Cost Factors

Now that you’re ready to fill in your moving budget, here are some common expenses you’ll need to pay for when you relocate. 

Packing Materials

You’ll need to budget for the cost of packing supplies, including tape, furniture pads, and moving boxes. You can attempt to find free moving boxes by scoping out big-box stores or your local grocer. If you purchase new moving boxes, you can expect to pay between $1 and $10 per box

Professional Movers

professional movers loading truck
Photo: Leika production / Adobe Stock

Moving is no small feat, which is why it’s helpful to hire professional movers to help manage your move. Your moving company expenses will vary based on the size of your move, distance traveled, number of movers, and any additional services requested. You can expect to pay$25 to $50 per mover per hour for their services.

Moving Truck Rental 

Do you plan to rent a moving truck to transport your belongings? If so, you can expect rental truck costs to run about $120 to $200 for a local move or $1,200 to $2,300 for a long-distance move. For a more accurate estimate, determine which moving truck size is best for you.

Storage Units 

If you need to put your items in a temporary self-storage unit, it will cost between $20 to $450 per month, depending on its size and location. 

Travel Costs

Don’t overlook the cost of getting you and your family from point A to point B. Calculate your travel expenses by tallying up the cost of gas per mile, overnight hotel stays, food stops, and toll charges.

Utility Deposits and Fees

Utility companies typically require an upfront deposit or request the first month’s payment in full when you set up service. You should include these figures in your budget so you don’t end up (literally) in the dark once you arrive. Don’t forget to account for any outstanding utility bills at your old location, too.

Cleaning Fees

You may need to hire a professional cleaning service to deep-clean your old space after the last box has been carried out or get your new home in tip-top shape before you move in. Professional cleaners charge between $25 and $45 an hour.

Shipping Furniture

In some cases, it’s easier to ship large furniture pieces rather than transporting them via moving truck. However, shipping items will increase your total moving cost. You can expect to pay about $300 to $800 per item to ship furniture cross-country

Moving Insurance

Moving insurance is a worthwhile expense. It protects your belongings if anything is damaged or lost on its way to its destination. The cost of moving insurance depends on whether you have full-value protection, released-value protection, or separate liability coverage. Full-value protection usually costs 1% of the total estimated value of your items, and released-value protection costs about $0.60 per pound per item.

Questions About Calculating the Cost of Relocating

Check out these answers to common moving-related questions.

What expenses will I have to pay after moving?

Once you complete the moving process, you’ll have to transition into paying for your new living expenses, including monthly rent or mortgage payments. You should also consider the cost of property taxes, utilities, and new furnishings for your home.

How much does a 1,000-mile move cost?

The cost of a long-distance move depends on several factors, including whether you hire movers, use a moving truck, and the size of your move. For a 1,000-mile move, you’ll need to hire interstate movers and ask them for an estimate based on the details of your move. Keep in mind that a 1,000-mile move will likely cost $10,000 or more.

Do movers charge by weight or volume?

Most moving companies don’t charge by weight or volume unless you’re freight shipping items. The cost of hiring movers typically depends on the number of movers and time spent on the task.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.