Home > The Best Long-Distance Movers for Apartments and Small Moves in 2021

The Best Long-Distance Apartment Movers in 2021

How to Find Long-Distance Moving Services for Your Apartment or Small Home

Finding moving companies to handle relocations of any size has become fairly easy in our increasingly mobile society. Nearly all towns and cities have moving companies which are easily accessible. If you happen to live near a major city, you will almost definitely have access to one or more local agents from major moving carriers. 

Every major moving company you can think of will have a thorough outline of services provided on their websites. This makes it easy to put a list of movers together and begin scheduling estimates from the comfort of your own home. To get the ball rolling, many movers have online quote apps or pages available. Getting a ballpark figure before even scheduling an in-home estimate is a nice way to begin setting a preliminary budget, and can be the beginning of a stress-free moving experience.

Best Full-Service Mover

International Van Lines

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

American Van Lines

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Best for Protection Insurance

Safeway Moving System

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

What to Look for When Booking a Long-Distance Move

Planning a move for a small apartment or house comes with the same general logistical requirements as would a move of a larger home. Therefore, you should have many of the same requirements as your prospective moving company. 

First and foremost, all household goods carriers have to be registered in order to operate. There is a definite distinction between the way local movers and interstate movers are licensed. Local carriers are required to carry registrations with whatever government body regulates the transportation of household goods in a given state. Interstate or cross-country movers, however, are required to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 

Through this database, prospective clients can use their mover’s USDOT number to confirm the validity of their registration and research their individual complaint history. This, coupled with customer reviews from multiple platforms, can give you valuable insight into a company’s trends beyond their stated policies.

Beyond this, all movers have to carry multiple forms of insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance protects moving clients in case a worker is injured in their home or on their job. Without this insurance, the client could easily be liable for damages. In addition, movers also have to provide basic liability insurance with the cost of each job. This amounts to $0.60 per pound, per item, in the event of damage or loss. Clients should also be able to purchase full valuation insurance for the entirety of their shipment upon request. 

All relevant documentation of the coverages and licensing above should be accessible on request. Reputable movers will expect clients to ask for these, and should easily be able to provide them during any moving estimate. 

Finally, all in-home estimates and walkthroughs should be done free of charge. Moving estimates are a known quantity to movers; they are simply the last step in the sales process when marketing their services. Clients should never feel pressured to sign contracts after estimates, nor should they be asked to pay for that service.

Best Full-Service Mover

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Best for Protection Insurance

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

Most Customizable Moves

4.5
  • Long-Distance, Interstate, Local & Int'l Moves
  • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App for Customers
  • Low-Interest Financing Available with JK Moving partner

Most Competitive Pricing

4.4
  • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
  • Portable Storage Service at U-Pack Warehouse
  • Negligence & Catastrophic Liability Coverage

The Average Cost of a Small Long-Distance Move

​The average cost of moving a one-bedroom apartment a distance of 1,000 miles is $2,500. This implies a shipment weight of around 2,000 to 3,000 pounds. Of course, hiring a full-service provider, or using a moving container company coupled with local moving help to complete your relocation is going to be more expensive than a DIY truck rental. 

This stated cost does not even take into consideration add-on services. Furniture assembly and disassembly, a variety of packing services, crating of fragile items, and other add-ons can inflate the cost of your interstate move very quickly. The costs of these added frills will vary across moving companies, which highlights the importance of getting as many estimates as you can before signing a moving contract.

The Best Full-Service, Long-Distance Moving Companies for Small Moves

​Two Men and a Truck

Two Men and a Truck lays claim to being the fastest-growing franchised moving chain in the country. With their record of customer service, it’s easy to see why. Across 350 locations, with 3,000 trucks on the road, Two Men claims a 96% referral rate. The “Movers Who Care” stand behind their well-known “Grandma Rule,” which is a pledge to treat each client with the care that they would a family member. 

For small-scale interstate moving, Two Men and a Truck is one of the best options for clients of any budget. Though they began as a local mover in Michigan, they have grown to become one of the best long-distance moving companies around. Their two distinct plans, Expedited Long-Distance and Value-Flex Long-Distance provide vastly different moving experiences of the same high quality. 

Expedited services are mainly used for mid-sized moves, but can be used by anyone. With this plan, your belongings will get speedy delivery with a dedicated crew and moving truck. The Value-Flex plan is for smaller moves and involves loading your items into a sixteen-foot container for shipment. It is by far the more budget-friendly option, as its title suggests.

College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving

College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving was founded in 2005 and only took two years to begin franchising other locations across North America. Their HUNKS moniker is not without meaning; it stands for Honest Uniformed Nice Knowledgeable Service. Their customer service record shows that they stand behind this. 

Service from College HUNKS begins with transparent pricing and does not end until their clients are settled in their new home. As movers transporting goods across state lines, they take the distinction of full-service operators seriously. From each of their 150 locations, this mover services locations everywhere in the United States and Canada. 

United Van Lines

United Van Lines lays claim to having the largest moving network in North America, a distinction which it has held for nearly 30 years. Along with that, this massive carrier handles all kinds of international moves to more than 150 other countries around the world. From packing, storage, car shipping, and more, United does it all.

For smaller moves, United’s SnapMoves program sets an industry standard. Through this, United provides industry-leading moving services for one-bedroom houses, studio to three-bedroom apartments, and more. Besides this, UVL includes a number of other moving services under the SnapMoves umbrella. These include (but are not limited to) disbursement of family heirlooms, small office moving, and small family moves of a few rooms or less. 

Mayflower Movers

As a partner of United Van Lines, Mayflower is yet another well-known provider whose services bear a striking resemblance to its sister company. They, too, offer a SnapMoves program that paces the moving industry in providing the convenience of a large van line to even the smallest of jobs and clients. 

With this program, full value protection is always included, as are professional crews, transparent pricing, and assembly and disassembly of essential furniture, to make sure that you can get settled as soon as possible. 

​Atlas Van Lines 

Atlas Van Lines has more than 70 years of experience in the moving industry. Since their founding in 1948, they have steadily expanded to a network of 430 local agents in North America, along with access to 140 other countries for international moving purposes. Despite their absolutely massive scale, AVL still manages to maintain an aggregate review score of 4.84 (out of 5) across all customer review platforms.

It may seem odd that a carrier this large would cater to smaller moves, but they do just that with their SimpliCity program. Through this, they handle one to two-bedroom moves of all distances, with expedited timetables. They aim to simplify the moving process through transparent, up-front pricing. Whether a long-distance or local move, free quotes for this kind of relocation name one flat fee for clients to pay. This includes all possible packing or packing supplies, and other services, with a guaranteed pickup and delivery date.

PODS

​PODS emerged in Florida in the late 1990s as the pioneer of the mobile storage unit side of the moving industry. Since then, they have moved more than 4 million clients, including 1.2 million long-distance moves. PODS maintains a 4.6 average customer score out of 5, across thousands of reviews.

As a mover, PODS is far more well-equipped to handle the smallest of moves. They offer 8, 12, and 16-foot moving containers, which can fit up to a two-bedroom home. However, if cost-effectiveness is your main concern, you should know that costs can sharply increase if you should need more than one container. Although they do not have workers who physically move things themselves, PODS contracts moving help around each of its locations with quality in mind. This moving method may be geared more towards people verging on “do-it-yourself-ers,” but they can still provide help where and when it is necessary.

U-Pack/ABF

U-Pack, along with their transporting partner ABF, may provide the most flexible array of moving container-related services. They provide both moving containers and moving trailers to serve moving needs of clients with studio apartments all the way up to small houses. Much like their competitors, U-Pack provides clients with the freedom and flexibility to load their moving vessel at their leisure, and how they choose. 

Since costs are determined by how many feet in a trailer or container clients may happen to use, it is always recommended that they hire professional moving help to get all of their things loaded safely and tightly. Especially with moving, these two do not always coincide when loading trailers. Unless you are totally committed to moving your household goods on your own, then hiring some pros to help out is always recommended.

ProTip: Choosing the Best Professional Movers for Your Relocation

Choosing the best mover for your small home relocation will depend entirely on what your specific needs are throughout the moving process. This process should ideally start early – at least eight weeks ahead of your ideal moving date. At this stage, you should begin researching moving companies in your area and organizing your home. Take the time to make side-by-side moving checklists of things that you would like to keep and take with you, and of things you are going to get rid of before moving. Remember; anything that takes up space in your chosen moving vessel will ultimately cost you money during a cross-country move. 

Go through your home, one room at a time, and clean as you organize. When you ultimately have a moving company representative into your home for a moving quote, this will make it far easier for them to give you a ballpark – if not an exact – figure for what your move will cost. If you leave this part of the move until the last minute, even a small one-bedroom apartment will feel like an overwhelming ordeal to get situated.

Next, you should compile a list of any add-on moving services you would like to tack on to your move. Even for the smallest of homes, there are a variety of things that most moving companies offer, which can make your life immeasurably easier on moving day. If you opt for a true full-service move, then your ending price tag could be quite high. Packing services, car shipping, custom crating, unpacking after unloading, and furniture assembly will all add time and supplies to your job, which invariably costs money. If this isn’t your speed, and you would like to save money while taking more control, then any reputable mover will work with you. You are free to customize your own move package relative to your own preferences. 

Even if your home is fully organized, you should have your lists handy during the actual moving estimate. At the beginning of your move, let your moving company rep know which add-on services you would like to have. As you review each room in your home, be very up-front about which contents of that room are coming with you, and which you are getting rid of. Remember; binding estimates are liable to change if you add services or inventory to a move after the actual quote process is over. Most nightmare-moving stories stem from a lack of communication between the clients and the movers. If you speak clearly on what your needs are and schedule multiple estimates, you will give yourself the best possible chance at having a positive moving experience.

Opting for a DIY Move

There are, of course, plenty of options available to people on the move, beyond using a full-service moving company. Especially when moving a studio apartment or one to two-bedroom home, the prospect of a DIY move seems highly intriguing, not to mention doable. 

When planning a move of this type, you may still have to schedule a moving quote, unless you decide to rent a moving truck from a company like UHaul or Penske. If you are renting a moving or storage container, quotes are necessary in order to accurately assess how big of a container (or how many) you will need. If you are planning on doing everything by yourself, you should strongly consider starting the moving process a little earlier. The eight-week threshold mentioned above applies mainly to those who are contracting the services of a moving company. When you’re taking on every aspect of your relocation by yourself, you should plan for the process to take longer to complete effectively. If not longer, it will certainly be more hectic.

Apartment and Small Home Moving FAQ

Are there added fees if my movers have to carry my items a long way?

Many movers will have an explicit “long-carry fee” if they have to park their moving truck a far enough distance away from your home on either end of your move. Oftentimes, this will amount to a fee somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 to $150. This will kick in after a distance of more than 75 feet if your chosen moving company charges for this. Either way, the long walk will lead to more time on the clock, which could cause your bill to increase, depending on the kind of move you’ve booked. Arranging for parking in advance will eliminate this.

How much can elevators complicate my move?

Depending on the apartment building you’re moving into – or moving from – elevator setups will vary. That is if there even is an elevator. Many movers will charge fees for this since the potential hassle of competing with building tenants for elevator time can be a huge headache for all involved. Some buildings will have a dedicated freight elevator, which is ideal. However, this may come with a requirement that a worker in the building accompanies the movers at all times. You should communicate your needs in this area to your building manager at either end of the job.

My apartment building has a loading dock. Do I have to reserve this on moving day?

You may not need to reserve your loading dock, but letting the building manager know about your move date and plans is still the courteous thing to do. Especially if you are moving during the summer, at the beginning or end of a month (or on a weekend), you may not be the only tenant moving on that particular day. Even beyond that, if any other trucks have scheduled delivery or pickups in your building on that day, you will be delayed and could be stuck paying for your movers during this time.

What is the best way to get flat-rate pricing on my small move?

Shipping or moving containers often come with fixed, or semi-fixed pricing. Some full-service movers do as well, but with moving containers, the prices are far more defined. In fact, U-Pack guarantees their prices, with no hidden fees. With such companies, however, you will have to be responsible for your own labor. Whether you load and unload on your own, or hire moving labor help is up to you.

If I need storage services between leaving my old home and my move-in date, what is my best option?

Moving container companies are definitely your best option if you have a smaller-sized home and need storage. Most of these companies have dedicated storage facilities where these now-storage containers can be kept until you move into your new home. Short and long-term storage options are available in these cases.