Portrait of happy young family holding cardboard boxes standing next to moving van and smiling looking at their son

The Best Small Load Moving Companies of 2022

By Sarah Horvath

If you’re moving a one-bedroom apartment or studio space, you might assume that your moving process will go smoothly because you don’t need to load an entire home into your moving vehicle. Local movers know that even those moving a small space can benefit from the expertise provided by professional moving companies. Professional movers know exactly how to pack and load your things while also protecting them against breakage and damage, making them an invaluable asset for even small moves. But with so many moving companies out there, how can you be sure that you’re working with the best movers for your needs?

At House Method, we understand that no one wants to take on the moving process alone — even if you’re only moving a small home. Read on to learn more about:

  • Some of the best moving service providers for small moves
  • Information on what you might expect to pay for your moving services
  • Some characteristics you should look for when comparing moving companies

The 7 Best Small Load Moving Companies 

Our top recommended small load moving companies for 2022: 

Compare The Best Small Load Moving Companies

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) is one of the best moving companies in the industry for small moves. It helps facilitate an average of 20,000 moves each year, and it has earned its reputation as the Best National Moving Company of 2022 (according to Forbes). IVL is truly international, with moving services available to and from all fifty states and to over 150 countries. If you are only moving a one-bedroom house or a studio apartment, moving cross country or overseas with IVL will be a snap.

Because of IVL’s extensive moving experience, small moves are second nature to them. They can provide packing for specialty items such as appliances, pianos, and hot tubs, and if you’re only moving a small amount of stuff, your move will be completed quickly and efficiently. Whether you’re moving household goods or you’re relocating your workspace, International Van Lines’ small load movers are up for the job.

Pros & Cons of International Van Lines

Pros Cons
  • MoveOne software allows you to do a virtual walkthrough
  • First flight of stairs is free
  • International shipping by air and sea
  • Storage available upon request (sometimes included in moving cost)
  • May contract services out to third parties
  • 25% deposit required upfront

Services Offered

IVL is a full-service moving company, which means that the company provides an enhanced range of services for your convenience. You can currently book the following processes through IVL’s team: 

  • 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 IVL Cost?

To help you get an idea of what you might pay when you move with IVL, we’ve collected past pricing data from IVL customers. Take a look at the chart below to get an idea of this moving company’s pricing. 

  <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

American Van Lines is one of the only small load movers in the moving industry that reliably offers flat-rate pricing. This means that your move estimate is predictable and binding and that you don’t have to worry about hidden fees later. The only costs are the ones you are informed about when planning your move date and the plan you need. 

All staff members of American Van Lines have continuing training each year about updates to the moving industry so that they can stay on top of new developments and technology. AVL staff is also trained and certified to pack and move fragile items such as art and antiques as well as specialty items like pianos.No matter what you’re moving to your new home, American Van Lines can help you get there affordably and reliably. 

Pros & Cons of American Van Lines 

Pros Cons
  • Binding estimates and price-matching guarantee
  • Fuel-efficient vehicles
  • Climate-controlled storage available
  • Individually wrap and inventory each item
  • Moves within the continental U.S. only
  • Deposit required to book your moving date

Services Offered

You can currently book the following processes through American Van Lines’ 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 American Van Lines Cost?

Take a look at the chart below to predict what you might pay for services from American Van Lines. 

  <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 is a moving broker that specializes in making your move as stress-free as possible by connecting you with the best companies for your moving needs. Moving APT has connections all over the country with moving companies, vehicle rental services, specialty movers, and storage facilities. Depending on what you need for your small load move, whether that’s just a moving trailer or a full-service move, they can facilitate your move by finding you the best deal on service providers in your area. 

Moving APT can be an ideal choice for your small load move if you’re looking for movers at the last minute. When you have a last-minute move you need to plan, you might not have time to spend hours on the phone with moving representatives to find the best possible price. When you work with Moving APT, their team will do the hard work on your behalf to find you a moving team with the services you need at a price you can afford.  

Pros & Cons of Moving APT

Pros Cons
  • Discounts for seniors and for short-distance moves
  • More than 2,500 carrier partners all over the nation
  • Offers price matching
  • Fast and accurate free quote process
  • Seven-day notice required to get your deposit refunded

Services Offered

You can currently book the following processes through Moving APT’s team:

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

Depending on your needs, Moving APT may also be able to arrange additional services for your move. Don’t be afraid to ask a representative if you need a service that you don’t see listed above. 

How Much Does Moving APT Cost?

Moving APT offers a price matching guarantee that makes it difficult to predict what you’ll pay for moving services before you get your free moving quote. A recent 1,000-mile move for a four-bedroom home was quoted at a price of $7,800 from Moving APT, but you can’t be sure of what you’ll pay until you consult with a Moving APT representative. Click on the link below to claim your free pricing estimate from Moving APT. 

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

Whether you need assistance with interstate moving, packing services, packing supplies, fragile-only packing and moving, or the whole nine yards, JK Moving Services is an excellent full-service moving company for all your small load moving needs. All of JK’s employees are background-checked, drug-tested, and receive regular training to stay on top of new developments in the moving industry. There’s little question why more than 500,000 homeowners have already moved with JK Moving Services when you understand the level of personalization their team provides on each move. 

JK Moving Services matches you with a personal moving coordinator as soon as you begin planning your move. Even if you’re just moving a trailer full of items, JK’s moving plans are so rooted in customer needs and satisfaction that it’s worth getting them to pack, load, unload, and unpack your items. They can quickly and efficiently pack up and transport everything in a one-bedroom house or studio apartment, taking all the hassle out of your move. You can have your ideal move without breaking the bank because JK Moving Services also offers financing options on all of its moving processes. 

Pros & Cons of JK Moving Services

Pros Cons
  • Committed to environmental sustainability
  • Storage options available, complete with video surveillance
  • 24/7 customer service on in-house mobile app
  • A+ Better Business Bureau rating
  • No local moves outside of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia
  • More expensive than competitors

Services Offered

You can currently book the following 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

How Much Does JK Moving Services Cost?

JK Moving Services takes a very personalized approach to pricing, which means that you’ll need to connect with a representative before you learn more about pricing. As a general rule, a property owner moving a two-bedroom home a distance of about 500 miles can usually expect to pay between  $2,500 and $5,500. Click on the link below to get your custom quote and learn more about what you’ll pay for service with this company. 

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 is an excellent choice for moving your small load, whether it’s locally or a long-distance move. They offer packing and unpacking services, and loading and unloading is included in the price of each and every move. This also includes Allied’s new moving container service, Allied Express. Allied staff will drop off your moving and storage container at your home so you can pack up your stuff. They then drive the moving container to your new home and unload it for you upon arrival. This is a great option for small loads because you are able to manage the packing yourself and save money doing it.

Allied Van Lines may be a bit pricier for short-term storage and local moves than its competitors, but if you’re moving a small load a long distance, this company can be a wonderful option for you and your family. If you’re moving a vehicle, know that Allied Van Lines also offers guarantees on your delivery date. If your vehicle shipment is late, Allied Van Lines will cover the cost of your rental vehicle on your behalf. 

Pros & Cons of Allied Van Lines

Pros Cons
  • New service takes your unwanted items to Salvation Army
  • Full valuation coverage available
  • Offers custom crating and vehicle transportation
  • International moves to more than 130 countries
  • Not much information available about storage units
  • Instant quoting tool on website is inaccurate; you need to speak with a representative for an accurate quote

Services Offered

You can currently book the following processes through Allied Van Lines’ team:

  • 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 an idea of what you might pay when you move with Allied Van Lines, we’ve collected past pricing data from this company’s customers. Take a look at the chart below to get an idea of what you might pay to move with Allied. 

  <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

The most affordable option on our list for small-load moving is U-Pack. U-Pack is a moving container company that conveniently drives your belongings from your current home to your new home so that you don’t have the hassle of renting and driving a moving vehicle. You simply get on U-Pack’s website and then you can peruse the moving containers available. The process is simple because you can either choose a moving trailer (think 18-wheeler) or one or more ReloCubes. 

ReloCubes are U-Pack’s weatherproof small moving containers that measure six by seven by eight feet. You can easily fit a dorm room or even a studio apartment’s worth of items inside one ReloCube, but if you have more stuff than that, you can book multiple moving containers. Once you’ve made your decision, a U-Pack driver will pick up the container(s) and take them to your home. You then have three days to pack and load before the driver returns and whisks your belongings off to their new abode. You have another three days after the container arrives to unpack.

Pros & Cons of U-Pack

Pros Cons
  • You only pay for the square footage you use when you move with a trailer
  • Transparent pricing with no hidden fees
  • Fast delivery times and online tracking
  • You can save $25 by booking online after claiming your free moving quote
  • No on-site storage available
  • Need 7-day notice of cancelation to get your deposit back

Services Offered

U-Pack is not a full-service moving company, and the only services it currently offers are long-distance moving container services and limited storage options. U-Pack only provides service on moves of 200 miles or more. If you’re moving less than 200 miles away from your current destination, you might want to consider a competing moving container service like PODS. 

How Much Does U-Pack Cost?

One of the reasons why we love U-Pack is that they provide instant online quotes for the majority of movers who use their services. You can check out the table below to learn more about what previous customers paid for U-Pack service before claiming your free 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 America Van Lines

Best Pricing Options

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

Why We Recommend North American Van Lines

The professional movers at North American Van Lines offer comprehensive moving services for small loads and large alike — whatever your needs, North American can find a way to accommodate them. They specialize in cross-country and long-distance moves, but they also do small loads and local moving. North American can even move you to 175 overseas destinations. Besides typical moving services offered by full-service movers such as packing, packing materials, loading, unloading, furniture disassembly and reassembly, and fragile-only packing, North American now offers a moving container service called BlueExpress. This is catered toward moving small loads and it’s a great option for a more affordable move.

North American Van Lines is also notable for its unique pricing options. Unlike most moving companies, North American Van Lines allows you to select the pricing structure that fits best with your budget. For example, you can book “not to exceed” pricing, which puts a total cap on the amount of money your moving company can charge during your relocation. This can make North American a strong choice if you’re on a very strict budget but you still want access to full-service moving processes. 

Pros & Cons of North American Van Lines

Pros Cons
  • Offers bottom-line pricing and not-to-exceed pricing
  • Created an interactive simulator to facilitate driver training and safe practices
  • GPS tracking on all shipments through satellite program WorldTrac
  • Staff background-checked and trained throughout the year to limit the possibility of damage 
  • Storage options are limited
  • Customers have reported damaged items

Services Offered

North American Van Lines is our last recommended full-service moving company. You can currently book the following processes through North American Van Lines team:

  • 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?

Take a look at the chart below to predict what you might pay for services from North American Van Lines. 

  <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 Small Load Moving Companies

When you’re searching for the right moving company to help you with your small load, you can consider several different factors in making your decision. One tip is to compare and contrast at least three moving companies in your area that also provide services to your new place. You can then see which price is best for the services they offer. Here are some other things to help you make your choice when you’re stuck considering multiple moving companies. 

  • Customer reviews and reputation: It’s best to check out reviews from outside organizations and blogs that don’t have a personal stake in the moving company’s success or failure when considering customer reviews. There you will find the most unbiased reviews and opinions possible. Do you know anyone personally who has used a small load mover that you’re checking out? You can ask them how their experience was. Otherwise, you can look at the good, the bad, and the ugly customer reviews. Remember that there are always two sides to every story, but take note of complaints that are repeated in multiple reviews. 
  • Safety and qualifications: Never trust a mover that does not proudly display their USDOT number on their website. If you visit a local office of professional movers in person, check out their safety protocols. Is it obvious that there are procedures in place to handle certain issues that may arise? Do they have proper licensing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and is their record clean with said administration? Doing background research on violations each company may have been penalized for in the past helps you choose a service that treats your things as their own. 
  • Transparent rates: Although it is common for moving companies to tack on hidden fees, be on the lookout for those who have upfront pricing and won’t give you any surprises later. International Van Lines has a helpful chart of its extra fees, and American Van Lines has flat-rate moving plans, so you might want to consider these two companies if you’re on a strict budget. 

What Costs Are Involved with Small Load Moving Companies?

Even small load moving companies can get pricey. Let’s check out some costs that come with using moving companies for small loads. Be sure to take the following costs into consideration when planning your moving budget. 

  • Long distances: Domestic move costs are calculated by weight, square footage, and mileage. Short-distance moves tend to cost more per mile because the mileage cost is the same, but the labor cost tends to be more. Long-distance movers often charge a lower price per mile, but since there are many more miles, the cost increases. Labor costs are typically the same for any move, but sometimes you can get discounts and deals with certain companies.
  • Bulky items and specialty items: Because of the added safety concerns, moving experience, and niche equipment movers need to use to move certain items, hundreds of dollars can be added to the cost of your move if you have things like a hot tub, pool table, or large instrument. Fine art and antiques require special training to pack and move as well, so those are an added cost. If you need to store one of these specialty items during transportation, you can also expect to pay more for climate-controlled storage facilities. 
  • Storage: Some of the companies on our list include a month of free storage with their moves in case your new home isn’t quite ready to be moved into when you arrive or some other issue arises during your move. However, most plans add storage as an extra cost, especially if you need a climate-controlled unit. If you need storage for longer than a month, prepare to be charged extra for this service, no matter which company you move with. 

Final Thoughts

Moving even a small load can feel overwhelming. In addition to making your moving process easier, working with a professional moving service can also ensure that you don’t miss any essential steps when relocating to a new property. When you have a moving team on your side, you won’t need to worry about loading things in a way that limits the possibility of damage or creating a route that limits delays. Your moving company will take care of these considerations on your behalf, allowing you to truly sit back and relax. 

Small Load Moving Companies FAQs

What is the best moving company to hire for my small load move?

Of the options mentioned above, U-Pack would be your best option if you’re thinking in terms of affordability and price. Because you’re the one who packs and loads the moving container and U-Pack staff only has the responsibility of driving, it’s the least expensive option. You’re paying for the least amount of labor and planning, as well as minimal personal connection. However, the best moving company for your needs will vary depending on the individual circumstances surrounding your move.

What is the best vehicle for a two-bedroom home or apartment?

If you rent a small moving truck (11 or 12 feet long), you should be able to pack up what you have in your home and transport it with one trip. However, if you want to move any pieces of furniture or appliances, it’s best to hire professionals.

What qualifies as a small move?

Even if the distance of your move is something like from San Francisco to New York, a small move is defined as anything less than and up to 1,000 pounds. This normally means a small apartment or one-bedroom home. However, if you’re moving just a piano or just a hot tub, that also qualifies as a small move.

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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