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No one looks forward to moving — it's stressful, chaotic, and you might feel like there are always half a dozen jobs that need to be taken care of. Even though you may do a lot of preparation in advance, you might still experience stress and be confronted with obstacles on the day you move in San Francisco.
On top of all of the other moving-related stresses, you may be concerned about how much movers will cost.
Luckily, our carefully crafted list of San Francisco's best movers can help you discover the right experts and eliminate a lot of the stress.
Local movers often have lower prices and better short-notice availability. These movers also typically know their way around San Francisco better, which makes for a smoother and faster local move.
Something that most people worry about as they prepare to move is the price tag. In San Francisco, the typical hourly cost for movers is:
You will first have to decide what kind of mover is right for you. As shown above, whether a local or national mover is better will depend on some of the details of your move. Movers can further be split into full-service and self-service companies. Full-service moving companies provide packing and loading services, which can be well worth it if you are someone who dreads packing boxes. A self-service mover will provide a truck and a driver, but you'll be expected to have everything packed when they arrive.
Some of the ways you can learn about the reputation of a moving company are through online reviews and the BBB. You might also want to learn about which movers near you meet all of California's licensing requirements for movers. All of the companies on our list of San Francisco's best movers are well-reviewed and selected by our expert team.
Once you've put together a small list of companies to choose from, you can contact them and get a free estimate. We recommend reaching out to two or more of the companies on our above list. Make sure that you tell them about all of the services you may need, and to verify that the provided estimate is a "binding estimate," or otherwise it may be subject to change.
Here are some resources that you may find helpful after moving:
The median house value in San Francisco is currently around $1,156,552. Some other facts about living in San Francisco are:
There is greater tree coverage in San Francisco than in only 16% of the country. In addition:
The median income in San Francisco is $104,552, putting it in the 93.9% percentile. Other stats about employment and education are:
Around 85% of San Francisco's 866,606 citizens are physically active. In addition:
There are about 4,300 eating places in San Francisco. In addition:
Will your move take you out of California, or farther than 75 miles? A national mover will likely be your best fit. National companies tend to have bigger trucks, more interstate moving experience, and better knowledge of regulations across multiple states.
International Van Lines (IVL), founded in 2000, acts as both a carrier and a broker for long-distance moving. IVL provides full-service moving, offering services such as packing and loading for customers to choose from. IVL has been operating in over 180 countries since 2004, helping customers worldwide create custom moving packages that fit their unique needs.
For over 20 years, Moving APT has been providing a top-notch interstate moving experience to customers across the country. From humble beginnings as a small five-person crew in Florida, Moving APT has now served over half a million customers. They are fully compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
North American Moving Services was founded in 1933 and now has over 500 agents all across North America. They provide both residential and corporate moves, and can help with moves that are local, long-distance, or international. They offer packing, loading, and storage services, and everything they do is backed by 24-hour customer service.
American Van Lines, originally founded in Pompano Beach, Florida, now provides long-distance moving across the U.S. For over 50 years, the company has been offering a variety of full-service moving packages. The company has won one of Newsweek's 'Best Customer Service' Awards twice, in 2019 and 2021.
Allied Van Lines is an expert broker-carrier. They can help you move with their own team, or they can outsource to other carriers in an area where they don't offer direct services. A representative from Allied Van Lines can walk you through what options are available in your area. Allied Van Lines has over 90 years of professional moving experience.
JK Moving prides itself on the use of modern technology to help make moving fast and easy. They use solutions such as GPS tracking and climate-controlled storage to help everything in your move go smoothly. Since its founding in 1982, JK Moving has also prioritized the use of sustainable practices, such as recycling its materials. The company partners with Fight for Children, Habitat for Humanity, and the Race for Hope.
Based on our research, the top-rated movers in San Francisco are California Movers USA South San Francisco, Gentle Giant Moving Company, and California Movers Local & Long Distance Moving Company.
We choose our best San Francisco movers based on several weighted factors. These include (but are not limited to) the types of moves a mover offers (international, interstate, and/or local), if they have additional services like packing, insurance offerings, ease of scheduling, and customer reviews on websites including the BBB.
For unusual, oversized, or expensive items, it is best to proactively contact your movers and make sure that they will be able to move everything. We suggest that you do this well in advance, before you sign a contract, to be sure everything goes smoothly on moving day. Some movers may charge an additional fee if asked to move items that are unusually large or require special care.
Be sure to book a moving company far enough in advance of your move. If you've decided to go with a full-service moving company with a packing service, they will provide packing materials and labor — you'll just need to be ready to pack up. If you are using a self-service company, make sure you get supplies and start packing four to six weeks in advance. You'll also want to make sure the home that you are vacating is clean — make sure all storage spaces are empty, take out the trash, clear out the fridge, and so on.
On the other end of your move, be sure that you have keys to get into your new home. Pack essentials such as toilet paper, a change of clothes, and medications in an easily accessible bag. This way, you're not forced to rummage through boxes during your first evening in your new home. Last but not least, make sure that things such as updating your car's registration (if needed), updating your address with your bank, and mail forwarding will be taken care of within a reasonable time after your move.
Generally, you should plan to book your mover about two months ahead of time, and start packing about four to six weeks out. For longer moves, you might want to give yourself more time to prepare. (You should also be aware that you will likely need to book a national mover further out than you would a local one.)
How long your move actually takes will depend on factors like the weather, the size of your home, and the traffic in San Francisco. San Francisco tends to have more traffic than many parts of the country, which may affect what day of the week or time of day you decide to move.
If you decide to take care of moving by yourself, you'll be responsible for all steps of the process: renting the moving truck, packing your possessions, loading your boxes, and driving to your destination. A self-service moving company provides a truck and people to drive it, although you'll still be responsible for packing, loading, and unloading everything. Full-service moving companies offer packing and loading services in addition to supplying trucks and drivers.
Your best course of action when it comes to picking a company will depend on how much work you want to do and how much money you want to spend. Full-service companies are the most expensive, but this option requires the least manual labor from you. Moving yourself is at the opposite end of both spectrums, and choosing a self-service mover will fall somewhere in the middle.
It is a good idea to contact two or three companies from our list of the best movers in San Francisco to get price estimates. At that point, you can compare prices and decide which option is right for you.