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The Big Apple is one of the world’s most expensive cities, with 8 million people squished into just over 300 square miles. And unfortunately, moving can be one of the most financially strenuous expenses.

This makes moving to New York City an undesirable cocktail. Most people can quickly determine 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.

Everyone’s moving price is different because everyone has different needs on their moving day.  Moreover, there are different price ranges for moves: local moves tend to be the most affordable, while cross-country moves can cost you up to $10k.

The best way to estimate how much moving will cost is to reach out to movers based in New York City like Oz Moving & Storage and request a quote. You may want to reach out to several to understand better the price ranges that moving companies charge. 

Rough Estimates

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


Though some moving companies may offer a flat rate, in general, moving costs depend on several factors and thus can vary depending on the requirements of the moving job. The main factors in your quote from Oz are inventory, distance and accessorial services required. Also, remember that most movers rely on tips as a part of their income, so keep that in mind when budgeting your move.


How Much Do Movers Charge? 

NYC movers can vary in price depending on a number of factors. Though not all moving companies charge by the hour, here is a quick guide to help you navigate hourly moving prices.


In general, local NYC movers cost anywhere from $40-$150 per mover per hour. The wide range in price is due to the many categories of moving jobs and the company's professionalism. For instance, an uninsured mover you find on craigslist or TaskRabbit will charge significantly less than a mover at an insured professional moving company. 


There are a number of other factors that can affect the price. For instance, long-distance movers will be more expensive and can go up to $200 per mover per hour. Moreover, for additional services like packing, unpacking, and furniture assembly/disassembly, you’ll also be paying a premium.   


If you are looking to save money on movers, you can try to book a move in the middle of the week, during the off-peak season (September-May). Movers tend to be busiest during the summers and during the weekends. If you are flexible, see if your local movers are offering an off-peak deal.


Sheer Volume / Time

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 number 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 will be moved. Generally, volume can be a shorthand for the time it will take for a moving company to finish a move, but other factors are relevant too. 


Supplies For Moving

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.

Packing Services & Other Additional Services

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. This service may also be helpful if you are not present at the time of the move.

Travel Time

How long will it take to transport your belongings to their new home? This is an obvious but major consideration for 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.



Moving Into a Walk-up Building

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.

Setting the Date

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.

Extra NYC Costs

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 may need to replace your furniture or buy new furniture, though second-hand sites like AptDeco can help you save on buying furniture in NYC. It is also a good idea to hire a cleaning service before moving into your new apartment. These are by no means the biggest fees involved in your move but they 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 LA to NYC. 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. 

First-time movers should do plenty of research before deciding the best moving option. Sometimes, depending on how much you have, the best and most affordable option may be renting a U-Haul and driving your stuff yourself. But, if a moving truck rental 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.

The Big Apple is not limited to Manhattan. Check out the other NYC boroughs like Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx to see which borough fits your style and budget. You may even consider other nearby areas like New Jersey and Yonkers. Though the average cost of an NYC apartment is quite high, some parts of NYC have more affordable pricing than others. 


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