How much does moving cost in NYC?

NYC is one of the world’s most expensive cities, with 8 million people squished into just over 300 square miles. Moving is one of the most expensive tasks someone can go through in their life. This makes moving in New York City an undesirable cocktail. Most people can quickly come up with the variables that go into pricing their move, like how many boxes they need, how much stuff they have, and how much time it’ll take to get to their new home with their old stuff. How NYC affects these variables, though, those people aren’t completely sure. Everyone’s moving price is different, because everyone has different needs on their moving day. The best way to estimate how much moving costs in NYC for you is to understand how much these variables individually add into the cost of your move, and then to do the calculations yourself.


Moving costs depend on several variable factors, but the best shorthand to estimate your moving fees is your inventory. Oz broke down our average costs based on NYC apartment size, and found price ranges were generally consistent with how many rooms were in a person’s apartment. The price ranges we found were as follows within the New York City area:

  • STUDIO - $420 -$700

  • 1 BEDROOM APARTMENT - $700 TO $1100

  • 2 BEDROOM APARTMENT - $1100 - $1500


The main factors in your quote from Oz are inventory, distance and accessorial services required. For more on Oz’s pricing scheme, visit our pricing information page.


Should you choose to hire a moving company to commandeer your inventory to its new home, your moving quote will most largely relate to the amount of items you ask them to move. Moving companies try to charge their customers by the amount of time they will spend working with them, and the best way for them to estimate the time they’ll spend on a job is by determining what’s going to be moved. Generally, volume can be a shorthand for the amount of time it will take for a moving company to finish a move, but other factors are relevant too.




The stuff in your home can’t be moved as is - it has to be packed up. Depending on what you’re moving, buying packing supplies for your belongings might be simple; you might just need a few boxes and some tape. If you have more fragile items, packing paper, bubble wrap, and special boxes enter the equation. Typically the rule of thumb is that one shelf, or drawer in your home will fit into one regular moving box (medium/linen box), meaning a six-tiered bookshelf will likely take 6 boxes to pack fully. Visit our blog for a more detailed list of supplies to budget for when you move.


Professional Movers can offer you a full service packing. If you opt for this service, movers will provide full packing materials and arrive at your home to pack your belongings, disassemble your furniture and load the trucks. Professional movers are experienced with packing bulky and fragile items, so you can even opt for them to provide a partial packing service for those items, while you pack the rest of your items yourself. This may be a better option for those looking to save money. You can also pay movers to do a professional unpacking service upon arrival to your new place. Be sure to inquire with your movers on all of the services they offer. Full service packing may also be helpful if you are not present at the time of the move. 


How long will it take to transport your belongings to their new home? This is an obvious but major consideration that goes into a nyc moving price. Raw distance plays a part in this calculation, but so does traffic, accessibility, and any other factors that could get in the way. New York city isn’t the easiest place for a moving truck to get around, so a simple journey of a few miles can take significantly more time than might be expected.


NYC might have a reputation as a modern, progressive city, but a lot of its apartments are quite old. A lot of these apartment buildings are “walk-ups”, meaning the units inside are only accessible by walking up stairs. The stair commute is just a mild annoyance for day-to-day living, but on moving day it can become a challenging quagmire. Professionals can maneuver up and down stairs with items without too much trouble, but this process takes more time than simply using an elevator. The more stairs a moving crew needs to go up or down, the longer the move will take.


The moving service, moving rental, and moving supply industry is demand elastic. Pick the right time to move, and you’ll score a sweet deal. Unfortunately, because moving typically isn't something people do for fun, you won’t be able to pick when you move. The times people are most likely to need to move are typically the worst times to move. Families don’t like to uproot their children from school, so they will typically only move in the summer, making that part of the calendar more expensive for moving. In NYC, a high percentage of the populus rent their apartments. Year long leases typically end on either the last day or the first day of a particular month, making those times of the month particularly busy for movers in the city.


Some other small additional NYC fees could come into play during your move, depending on where you’re moving from and to. If you’re renting your own truck to move, parking it can be time consuming and you could get ticketed if you’re not careful. If you’re moving across the water to a new borough or NJ, you might need to pay tolls, depending on which bridge or tunnel you take. You also may need to replace your furniture or buy new furniture, though secondhand sites like AptDeco can help you save on buying furniture in NYC.. These are by no means the biggest fees involved in your move, but should be accounted for in your moving budget.


NYC Movers offer both short distance moves (think moving from Brooklyn to Manhattan) and long distance moves like NYC to LA. The cost and affordability of the move depends on several factors. For short distance moves, movers tend to charge an hourly rate depending on how long the job takes. Long distance moves, however, are usually priced based on distance and volume (or weight) of your belongings. Be sure to get an estimate before you hire any movers, and be sure to factor in the cost of additional gratuity on top of the price they give you. Check out our guide to tipping movers here

First time movers should do plenty of research before deciding the best moving option for them. Sometimes, depending on how much stuff you have, the best and most affordable option may just be renting a U-Haul and driving your stuff yourself. But, if that doesn’t sound like something you’d be willing to do, gather several estimates from professional movers in your area to find the most affordable option.

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