What is considered small moves?
It’s a relative term. However, you most likely have a small moving if:
- Shipping a single item
- A studio apartment or a 1-bedroom apartment with moderately furnished furniture is your choice.
- Your new home will include a college dorm.
- You are moving some specialty items
- You are temporarily moving some items as part of a home renovation
- You are shipping an item from an estate sale
What is the weight of a small move
Full-service moving companies consider small shipments below 3,000 pounds, although this varies from company to company.
We’ll assume that small moves are less than 1,500 pounds for our purposes.
Many movers are happy to move small items within Canada and around the country.
They are hard to beat for peace of mind and overall value.
Let’s look at some of the best options for small moves.
Services for long-distance moving
Uship – A marketplace online that is ideal for customers who have small moves
ShipSmart – Ideal for micro moves and a single item
U-Pack – Rent a shipping container
Moving companies in your area
Renting a Moving Truck
Is a DIY option that can be very cost-effective, but hard on your back.
Moving Labor Services – Apps such as TaskRabbit and Hire-A-Helper
On-Demand Movers: Last-minute moving specialists
There are many options for small long-distance moves
ShipSmart – A great option for long-distance shipping
ShipSmart is another leader within the small-sized cross-country move sector.
They are equal parts traditional moving company and delivery service, unlike some competitors.
ShipSmart can move small parcels that are too big for other parcel companies such as FedEx or UPS.
They can ship an antique curio case and a marble statue from Wisconsin, Arizona to you.
ShipSmart: Why should you use it?
They are affordable, flexible, and easy to use
They provide seamless door-to-door service.
Customers have the option of dropping off at their home or curbside.
They are experts in shipping shipments below 2,000 pounds
There are many insurance options
uShip – An online shipping marketplace
The bulk of the moving business is made up of small shipments.
It’s not surprising that online marketplaces connecting customers and service providers are a big hit.
These can be very valuable resources but there is a catch.
They are essentially intermediaries or dare we say…brokers.
They don’t own their trucks or moving crews.
They provide a platform where companies and contractors can offer their services for moving and transport jobs.
Although this competition helps keep prices down, it can lead to poor service and major headaches later on.
Many customers had great experiences with companies such as uShip.
It is important to verify the service providers you are considering.
Fortunately, uShip makes this easy by providing authentic customer reviews through its verified vendors’ system.
U-Pack – Rent a shipping container
U-Pack is the nation’s largest container shipping company. U-Pack offers multiple sizes of containers, and they offer a pay-as-you-go policy for larger moving trucks.
Customers receive fast delivery times and can track their shipments with an online tracker.
U-Pack can help you customize your move by adding on additional services. U-Pack can move and store your belongings if necessary. You can choose from different sizes of containers and only pay for what you use.
There are many options for small local moves
You can rent a moving truck
Small local moves are relatively easy and affordable if you have the right help and time.
DIY moves are not possible for the elderly, handicapped, or busy families.
This is especially true when you are moving long distances.
Consider the costs of renting a truck as well as the benefits of moving yourself. Make sure you include fuel, insurance, tolls, and any additional fees for late returns.
Think about what you are moving
A flatbed trailer might be more suitable for you if your shipment includes a motorcycle and a riding mower.
You will need to transport antiques, electronics, and artwork with lots of packing materials, good moving blankets, and an enclosed truck.
Moving Labor Services
You don’t have to lift the heavy stuff yourself if you rent a moving truck.
- Day-laborers can be a great option for moving from one place to another, but they are also ideal for –
- Assembled in-home (similar to when you purchase furniture from IKEA).
- Furniture arrangement in your apartment or home
- Clearing out items from garages and basements prior to a yard sale
- Mini-storage units can be used to transport items.
- Professional movers are usually more expensive than labor providers, but they are often more flexible.
For local and in-home moves, we recommend that you hire moving labor services like HireAHelper instead of traditional movers.
Did You Know?
Some moving companies do not offer assembly or disassembly services. Ask your company in the beginning stages of the move.
In recent years, on-demand movers are becoming more popular.
They are generally smaller than their larger counterparts and have lower overhead, making them more affordable and flexible.
They are also experts in last-minute shipping.
This is a great option for people who don’t want to spend their time planning and screening large moves.
While on-demand movers offer more options for local and in-home moves, some also offer interstate services.
They aren’t furniture movers, but they are popular with customers who have bulky items to move.
What are the minimum Van Line and Moving Company costs?
Minimum Local Moves
Local move fees are almost always charged on an hourly basis plus –
Optional valuation (insurance).
Additional services include packing and unpacking as well as appliance disconnects or reconnects and storage
Local movers often have minimums of 3-4 hours. Some add travel time and fuel surcharges.
Also, you might end up spending more on very small moves.
Long distant moves
- Van lines usually have minimum weights of 1,000 to 2,100 pounds for out-of-state moves.
- If your items are lighter than usual, it’s a good idea to hire small movers who charge by actual weight.
- When possible, we recommend that you have an in-home estimate.
- A company representative will not need to see your furniture if you are only moving a loveseat, dresser, or kitchen table and chair.
- Are you not ready to book a move yet? These are the steps to hiring movers
Although small load movers may not provide estimates at home, it should not discourage you from hiring them.
Small Move Tips
- Refer to family, friends, and coworkers for recommendations
- Get multiple moving quotes
- You can find out more about companies that use the Better Business Bureau (BBB), website.
- MiniMoves can be booked weeks in advance, especially during peak summer months.
- You can save even more money by moving in the fall and winter.
- Combine your shipment with another person if possible to save even more
- Ask about insurance options
How to Lower Small Moves Costs
Do a cost-benefit analysis
Only move those items that are truly worth it. It’s not worth the effort if the items you are considering shipping can be replaced and the cost of moving them exceeds their cost. This may not be true for family heirlooms or other items that have sentimental value.
DIY packing is a great way to cut down on moving costs. You can ask your family and friends for boxes and reuse old blankets and towels to wrap the items. If you are transporting high-value or fragile items, professionals may be able to pack them and insure them.
Assemble and disassemble the items yourself
You may be able to lower the cost of your move if you have the skills and tools. This is often true for local moves but not always for interstate moves. Make sure to ask.
Reduce your size
You’ll save money if you ship less. To get the best bang for your buck, start donating, selling, or discarding items you don’t use often weeks before you move.
Instead of ordering in-home delivery, choose curbside delivery
For customers who want to save money, some small-move specialists can offer curbside delivery. You may be able to pick up your items at a nearby terminal or they might offer curbside delivery at a reduced rate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the prices for small moves?
It can be difficult to figure out the price of small moves because there are so many options. Local moves are usually charged by the hour, while long-distance moves can be charged for weight and mileage. Ask about any additional fees for long distance moves, packing and unpacking, lifts and accessibility issues.
Is my moving estimate accurate?
Smaller shipments usually have more accurate estimates than larger ones. If you don’t ship more than you originally planned, your final costs should be close to the estimate. You can also request a flat rate for an exact price.
What are the pros and cons of moving small items?
Small shipments are often not top priorities for big van lines. You may not receive your items for several weeks after picking up small, long-distance shipments.