The Best Moving Companies for Small Moves of 2022

By Sarah Horvath

Contrary to popular belief, small moves can be just as time-consuming and stressful as long-distance moving. This can be especially true if you’re moving for the first time and you don’t know what you should expect. Taking time to plan ahead and explore all of your moving options can help ensure that you arrive at your new home with as little damage to your things as possible.

We recommend working with one of the best movers for small moves to reduce your stress during the moving process. Even when only moving a small load, there’s always the possibility of damaging your things on the road if you aren’t experienced in packing and moving best practices. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you explore the best moving companies for smaller moves below to help you get the affordable service you need. 

The 7 Best Moving Companies for Small Moves

Our top recommended moving companies for small moves in 2022: 

Compare The Best Moving Companies for Small Moves

Company Website Our Take Our Rating BBB Rating Local Cost
International Van Lines Site Best Full-Service Mover 9.8 B $600 – $1,200
American Van Lines Site Most Transparent Pricing  9.7 N/A $500 – $1,000
Moving APT Site Most Moving Partners 9.6 B
JK Moving Services Site Most Customizable Moving Experience 9.5 A+ Call for a quote
Allied Van Lines Site Most Vehicle Shipping Options 9.4 A+ $750 – $1,350
U-Pack Site Most Widely-Available Container Service 9.3 A+ N/A
North American Van Lines Site Best Pricing Options 9.2 A+ $750 – $1,350

International Van Lines

Best Full-Service Mover

  • Serving 50 states and 180 countries
  • Excellent customer service
  • One month of free storage

Why We Recommend International Van Lines

International Van Lines (IVL) has won Forbes Best National Moving Company Award for several years because of its comprehensive moving services and because of continuous customer satisfaction. If you’re looking to move a small amount of stuff from a one-bedroom apartment or a studio, IVL can move you to any state in the U.S. and even to over 150 countries worldwide. You don’t even have to schedule an in-person walkthrough to get a quote; you can use International Van Lines’ MoveOne software to give a representative a virtual walkthrough of your home straight from your phone. They can then give you a free quote through that process.

International Van Lines is a full-service mover, so whether you’re interested in a local moving plan or a long-distance move, IVL can turn your small move into a smooth process. You can sign up for the full-service package, which includes packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking. You can even select additional services such as furniture disassembly and reassembly and even unpacking and home organization on your move date.

Pros & Cons of International Van Lines

Pros Cons
  • Offers short-term storage services
  • Won Newsweek’s Best Customer Service Award for 2022
  • Provides moving to and from Alaska and Hawaii
  • 100% refund policy if you cancel your move at least 48 hours in advance
  • 25% upfront deposit required
  • If you don’t cancel at least 10 days before your storage service renews, you have to pay for the next month

Services Offered

IVL is a full-service moving company, which means that it provides more services than you’d typically expect from a partial moving service. IVL currently offers the following services to its customers:

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Loading and unloading services
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Crating
  • Specialized packing services for fragile items
  • Storage solutions for both short-term and long-term periods
  • Packing supplies
  • Auto transportation services
  • Military moving services
  • Commercial moving services

How Much Does International Van Lines Cost?

Like most major moving companies, International Van Lines prices its move using two primary factors:

  • Distance traveled (long-distance movers charge more for moving services than local movers)
  • The total size of your home (if you’re moving only a small load, you’ll pay less for your moving services than someone moving an entire home the same distance you’re traveling)

In order to help you get a better idea of what you might pay when you move with IVL, we’ve collected past customer pricing data and summarized it in the table below. Read on to get a ballpark estimate of what you might pay to move with IVL before you claim your free custom quote with the link below.

  <250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $1,400 to $4,400 $1,900 to $4,900 $2,100 to $5,100 $2,400 to $5,400
Four-bedroom home $3,200 to $6,200 $5,100 to $8,100 $5,700 to $8,700 $6,200 to $9,200

State Availability: All 50 states

Get a quote from IVL here.

American Van Lines

Most Transparent Pricing

  • Flat rate pricing
  • Competitor price matching
  • Moving shuttles between major cities

Why We Recommend American Van Lines

One thing that sets American Van Lines (AVL) apart from other full-service movers who can help you with your small move is that they have a flat-rate pricing system. You know upfront what you will pay for your move, and unless you add specific extra services to your plan, your quote will not change. There are no surprises, which can be a major source of peace of mind if you’re moving on a tight budget.  Because American Van Lines offers flat rates, they are more likely to provide you with quick and competent service. The more moves they book, the more money they earn, so they will make sure your items get to your destination on time and unscathed.

Your American Van Lines move specialist will make sure that your move fits your requirements. Each item shipped with AVL is packed to specific standards and individually wrapped. American Van Lines has staff with special certifications on standby so that you have qualified individuals to pack and move things like antiques, instruments, art, or other specialty items.

Pros & Cons of American Van Lines

Pros Cons
  • Price-matching guarantee
  • Environmentally conscious business practices (fuel-efficient vehicles, uses green energy sources)
  • Binding estimates
  • Handpicked, certified movers who have cleared background checks and drug tests
  • No services to and from Alaska and Hawaii
  • No accurate online quoting process (although there are estimates for popular U.S. city-to-city moves)

Services Offered

Like Allied Van Lines and IVL, AVL also offers full-service moving capabilities. You can currently schedule the following services through AVL’s team: 

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Storage unit arrangement
  • Specialty packing services for items like pianos and antiques
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Crating for large items (like pianos)
  • Moving supplies
  • Office moving services and corporate relocation
  • Military moves

How Much Does AVL Cost?

To help you get a general estimate of what you might pay for moving services from AVL, take a look at the chart below before claiming your free moving quote. 

  <250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $1,700 to $4,700 $2,300 to $5,300 $2,600 to $5,600 $4,200 to $7,200
Four-bedroom home $4,800 to $7,800 $5,600 to $8,600 $7,400 to $10,400 $10,800 to $13,800

State Availability: 48 States

Get a quote from American Van Lines here.

Moving APT

Most Moving Partners

  • Profiles for most-used partners
  • Price matching and discounts
  • Large pool of moving providers

our rating9.5

Why We Recommend Moving APT

Moving APT has a different model than the other companies we’ve included here. They are a moving services broker, which means that they do the work of connecting you with the movers you need for your small move rather than providing the moving services themselves. Moving APT can connect you with a range of services, whether you require long-term storage, packing services, crating, fragile-only packing, vehicle transport, local moving, or simply a moving truck you want to load yourself.

Because of its connections, Moving APT can access its network of companies to pick and choose which carriers in your area are right for you. The goal is to save you money by finding you the best deal depending on your origin and destination, but sometimes the price is either the same as hiring a company yourself or it can be more expensive. This is where Moving APT’s price matching comes in handy. If you are willing to do the research to get a cheaper quote than what they give you, you can save with Moving APT and their price-matching guarantee. 

Pros & Cons of Moving APT

Pros Cons
  • Connected with over 2,500 partner companies across the country
  • Can connect you with specialty movers for pianos and hot tubs
  • Facilitated over half a million moves
  • Offer discounts for seniors and short-distance moves
  • Does not currently provide international moving processes

Services Offered

Some of the most popular services booked through Moving APT include: 

  • Commercial and residential moving
  • Piano moving
  • Auto shipping
  • Packing services
  • Packing supplies (included for some moves)
  • Appliance connection services
  • Limited furniture disassembly and reassembly

Keep in mind that because Moving APT is a broker and not a service provider, services available may vary depending on your location and the carrier you’re partnered with. 

How Much Does Moving APT Cost?

Due to Moving APT’s price-matching guarantee, it can be difficult to estimate what you can expect to pay for services before you claim your free, no-obligation quote. A recent 1,000-mile move for a four-bedroom home was quoted at a price of $7,800 from Moving APT, which puts the company in line with its competitors. Be sure to click the link below to claim your free moving quote before you book your move date.  

State Availability: All 50 States

Get a quote from Moving APT here.

JK Moving Services

Most Customizable Moving Experience

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Financing available
  • Excellent insurance options

our rating9.4

Why We Recommend JK Moving Services

JK Moving Services has the reputation of being the full-service mover with the most customizable moving plans out there. They plan and execute long-distance moves in every state as well as many locations overseas. JK offers a wide array of moving services, including packing, packing supplies, unpacking, appliance relocation and installation, custom crating, storage solutions, and international freight shipping.

JK Moving Services’ fleet of moving trucks is fully electric, and they also use their profits and voice as a reputable company to speak up for environmentally friendly business practices, support a wildlife sanctuary, and establish community gardens. Although JK is pricier than some competitors, you get what you pay for with peace of mind and a move as stress-free as they can make it. If you’re having trouble affording your move, be sure to ask about JK’s financing options, which are available even on small-load moves.

Pros & Cons of JK Moving Services

Pros Cons
  • 24/7 customer service
  • GPS tracking on all moves
  • Financing available on all moves
  • Convenient mobile app to keep you updated and connected
  • Long, intensive quoting process
  • Pricier than competitors

Services Offered

One of the reasons why we consider JK Moving Services to be one of our top-rated moving companies is their full line of moving services and processes. You can currently book the following services and processes through JK Moving Services’ team: 

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Loading and unloading services
  • Long-term and short-term storage unit arrangement
  • Transportation and delivery
  • Freighting
  • Crating
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly services
  • Specialty services for items like antiques and pianos
  • Specialized services for commercial moves for law firms, hospitals and other specialized workplaces
  • Government moving services
  • Archive services
  • Auto relocation services

If you need a service that you don’t see on the list above, don’t be afraid to ask your personal moving coordinator if they can schedule it for you. If JK’s team doesn’t have a qualified professional to help you, chances are high that they can connect you with one of their partner companies to get the job done. 

How Much Does JK Moving Services Cost?

JK Moving Services takes a highly personalized approach to its pricing, which means that it’s difficult to estimate what you can expect to pay for your services before you claim your free quote. Homeowners can usually expect to pay between $2,500 and $5,500 when moving a two-bedroom home a total distance of 500 miles, but this is just a general example of pricing. Click on the link below to learn more about what you’ll pay for your specific moving processes from JK.  

State Availability: All lower 48 states.

Get a quote from JK Moving Services here.

Allied Van Lines

Most Vehicle Shipping Options

  • No hidden fees
  • Vehicle shipping is NOT outsourced
  • GPS tracking

our rating9.7

Why We Recommend Allied Van Lines

Allied Van Lines can provide peace of mind for all your moving needs, whether you’re planning a local move, a long-distance move, or even a cross-country move. They also have moving services to more than 130 countries. Whatever you’re looking for in a small move, Allied can provide it. Even if you are simply looking to do DIY packing and unpacking services, Allied Van Lines has a new moving container service called Allied Express. 

This service allows you to save money on your small move by packing up yourself — but Allied will still do all the loading and unloading on your behalf. For this, they will pick up the moving container from your origin and drop it off at your destination before unloading everything for you, free of hassle and driving a bulky vehicle. Allied offers disassembly for pieces of furniture, appliance disconnection and reinstallation, vehicle transport, and even a short-term storage unit if your new home isn’t ready for you when you arrive.

Pros & Cons of Allied Van Lines

Pros Cons
  • If your vehicle shipment is late, Allied will provide you with a rental car free of charge
  • A+ rating with the BBB
  • Loading and unloading included in the price of all moves
  • GPS tracking on all moves
  • Not many affordable short-term options
  • Customers say claims department can be dismissive and aloof

Services Offered

Allied Van Lines is proud to offer full-service moving capabilities. You can currently schedule the following services through Allied Van Lines: 

  • Packing services and unpacking services
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Storage for in-transit items
  • Arrangement of long-term storage units
  • Shipment tracking
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Auto and boat transport
  • Basic liability coverage
  • Full-value coverage

How Much Does Allied Van Lines Cost?

To help you get a general estimate of what you might pay for moving services from Allied Van Lines, take a look at the chart below before claiming your free moving quote. 

  <250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $1,800 to $4,500 $2,400 to $5,400 $2,700 to $5,700 $4,400 to $7,400
Four-bedroom home $3,300 to $6,000 $5,700 to $8,700 $7,500 to $10,500 $10,900 to $13,000

State Availability: All 50 states

Get a quote from Allied Van Lines here.

U-Pack

Best Overall Container Service

  • 240 locations nationwide
  • “Pay for what you use” pricing
  • 3-day grace period for loading/unloading

our rating9.3

Why We Recommend U-Pack

U-Pack, unlike the full-service movers mentioned on our list above, is a moving container company. As the name suggests, you pack and load up everything yourself in a moving container provided by U-Pack, but this is the most affordable option on our list for your moving experience. All you have to do is figure out how much space your items will need. U-Pack’s ReloCubes are aluminum and steel containers that occupy a small parking space. If you’re moving a studio apartment or a college dorm room, one ReloCube should suffice. If you’re moving a small house, you can opt to order two or three ReloCubes or even a moving trailer. Once you’ve selected your containers from U-Pack’s website, all you do is schedule a drop-off time with the driver and they will bring the container to your home.

Once you’ve packed everything and loaded it into the container, your qualified driver will return and transport your items to your new home. U-Pack’s system is excellent for small moves because you can easily pack your small number of items yourself and then entrust the driving of a bulky moving vehicle to the professionals. You can also get a quote instantly online, which can be a major benefit for anyone looking to move on a short timeline.

Pros & Cons of U-Pack

Pros Cons
  • Instant and accurate quotes online
  • Affordable DIY packing option
  • Overall positive customer reviews
  • Hire other services through Moving Staffers network
  • Moves must be at least 200 miles
  • Only have three days to load/unload containers

Services Offered

U-Pack currently allows its customers to schedule the following moving processes: 

  • Long-distance container moving services
  • Long-term and short-term storage options

U-Pack currently only provides moving container services on moves that total at least 200 miles in distance. If you won’t be moving at least 200 miles, you may want to consider working with a competing moving container service like PODS. 

How Much Does U-Pack Cost?

To help you get a general estimate of what you might pay for moving services from U-Pack, take a look at the chart below before claiming your free moving quote. 

  <250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $600 to $1,600 $1,200 to $2,200 $1,600 to $2,600 $2,100 to $3,100
Four-bedroom home $800 to $1,800 $1,800 to $2,800 $2,800 to $3,800 $4,100 – $5,100

State Availability: All 50 States

Get a quote from U-Pack here.

North American Van Lines

Best Pricing Options

  • GPS tracking
  • Dedicated move coordinator provided relocations
  • “Not to exceed” pricing option

Why We Recommend North American Van Lines

North American Van Lines has over 85 years of experience in the moving industry. Although they are a full-service mover with services ranging from specialty packing, vehicle transport, and storage in transit to international shipping and fragile-only packing, North American has also recently added a moving container service. This service, named BlueExpress, was designed for small moves. You simply pack up your home or office and North American staff will load and drive the container to its destination. This is an affordable alternative to a full-service move if you only need to move a studio or one bedroom.

North American Van Lines also has a debris removal service for when the moving process is complete, and you need all the packing materials removed. If you require, they can also arrange for you to have a climate-controlled, affordable storage unit in place for your shipment during transit. 

Pros & Cons of North American Van Lines

Pros Cons
  • Driver simulator aids in driving safety
  • WorldTrac GPS software tracks every shipment
  • International moves to 175 countries
  • Each move has a relocation specialist as your point of contact for planning, questions, and concerns
  • Customers have mentioned that movers were careless and damaged floors and walls
  • Overall poor reviews online

Services Offered

North American Van Lines currently allows its customers to schedule the following moving processes: 

  • Full-service packing
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Boxes and moving supplies
  • Appliance disconnection and reconnection
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Custom crates
  • Loading and unloading
  • Crane vans for large items
  • Storage
  • Auto transport
  • Basic liability coverage
  • Full-valuation coverage

How Much Does North American Van Lines Cost?

To help you get a general estimate of what you might pay for moving services from North American Van Lines, take a look at the chart below before claiming your free moving quote. 

  <250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $1,800 to $4,500 $2,400 to $5,400 $2,700 to $5,700 $4,400 to $7,400
Four-bedroom home $3,300 to $6,000 $5,700 to $8,700 $7,500 to $10,500 $10,900 to $13,000

State Availability: All 50 States

Get a quote from North American Van Lines here.

What To Look for In Moving Companies for Small Moves

Moving can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. If you’re overwhelmed at the prospect of undertaking your move on your own, you might want to consider working with a professional moving company. How can you know a moving company is right for your small move? Be sure to look for the following characteristics before you book your move date. 

  • Budget-friendly: Before you consider anything else, you’ll need to think about your overall moving budget. If your employer is paying for all or part of your relocation, then this may not be your number one priority, but if you’re trying to save money on your move, make sure you don’t settle for the first quote you get. Get quotes from at least three different companies and compare them. This will help you get a better idea of what you can expect to pay for moving services while also directly comparing pricing between companies. 
  • Licensing and qualifications: It’s always great to check and see if the company is accredited with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). This ensures that customer reviews, good and bad, are available to you because the BBB is a third party with no bias toward or against the professional movers you’re researching. All movers who cross state lines need to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a federal body that oversees the moving industry. You can be sure that a moving company is registered with the FMCSA by asking for the company’s USDOT number. 
  • Reputation and experience: Most of the companies on our list have decades of experience in the moving industry. Check out companies that have a lot of customer reviews, high customer satisfaction, and easily accessible customer service. If you know anyone who has used a moving company that you’re considering, ask them all about their experience. Make sure you’re going with a company that people write positive things about overall.

What Costs Are Involved with Moving Companies for Small Moves?

Moving often has unexpected costs and fees which aren’t included in the preliminary quoting process. These are some of the things that can surprise you when it comes to moving costs on small-load moves.

  • Insurance: Unless you only want recovery insurance, which is the minimum requirement under the law, you will have to sign up for full coverage insurance. This is not included within most moving plans and it will be an extra cost (typically 1-2% of the total move cost). If you opt not to book enhanced insurance, you may be left covering the costs of repairs or replacements to items damaged during shipment on your own.
  • Delays, tolls, route changes: Whether your small move is long-distance or local, roads can be unpredictable. Moving companies plan their route in advance, but unexpected road work, traffic accidents, or inclement weather conditions can slow down your move and thus cost the movers more in fuel costs or vehicle maintenance. This increases the price of your move. 
  • Specialty items and extra fees: Most movers charge around $100 for every flight of stairs they have to traverse when picking up your shipment. There are also fees for what’s called a “long carry,” which occurs when movers have to carry your items 75 feet or more from your door to their vehicle. Long-term storage, specialty item moves, and elevators can all result in added fees to your move cost as well.

Final Thoughts

If you’re like most movers, you’re probably actively looking for ways to lower the cost of your small move. The best way to reduce the amount that you’ll pay for your moving services is to get a quote from at least three competing moving companies before you book your moving date. Remember that every moving company uses its own unique formula to determine what you’ll pay for your move. This means that it’s possible to find the exact same moving services from five different moving companies at five completely different price points. Getting multiple quotes helps ensure that you aren’t overpaying for your moving services.

FAQs

Can I do a DIY small move?

If you’re going to attempt a DIY move, a small move is the best time to try your skills. You can simply rent a moving trailer or a small moving truck, load everything up yourself, and drive to your new home. This isn’t a great option if you’re uncomfortable driving a large commercial vehicle or towing a trailer, or if you cannot drive. If you have any fragile items or antiques, you may be better off hiring professionals for your move.

What is considered a long-distance move?

A long-distance move is anything over 400 miles. Some moving companies consider any move that crosses state lines to be a long-distance move.

How long does a small move take?

A small move should not take more than a day or two depending on where you’re moving. Packing and loading is done on your scheduled moving day, and if the drive is only a few hours, you should be able to sleep in your new home by the end of the day. However, if your drive will take several days, it’ll take more time to travel and settle into your new property.

House Method Rating Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. We’ve done the homework for you and have researched several dozen moving companies so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your move. 

To make the most of our research, we developed a formula to objectively determine the best moving companies on a 10-point scale based on the following criteria:

  • Moving Services (3.0): Does the company offer international, interstate, or local moving services? Or all three?
  • Additional Services (3.0): Does the company offer additional services such as packing/unpacking or loading/unloading?
  • Insurance Coverage (1.0): What kind of moving insurance coverage does the company offer, such as released value protection or full-value protection?
  • Trailers and Containers (1.0): How many trailer or container sizes does the company offer to customers?
  • Benefits (1.0): What additional perks does the company offer? Some examples: storage, packing, free boxes, moving truck rentals, financing, etc.
  • Scheduling (.5): How are customers able to schedule their move, online, through the phone, or both? What is the ease of the scheduling process?
  • Reputation (.5): What kind of ratings does the company have on popular review sites such as Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and Trustpilot?

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