Chicago moving costs can vary greatly depending on the neighborhood you are moving into, the specific services required, and the time of year you are moving. On average, local moves can cost up to $2500, and long-distance moves can cost upwards of $5000. But with a little research and careful planning, you can make your move without breaking the bank.
Finding the best Chicago movers isn’t just about researching a reliable company that has the services you need to relocate with ease. It’s also about finding a moving company that fits your budget and offers competitive pricing.
To help you find the right movers who won’t break the bank, we’ve put together a list of moving costs to consider when making your Chicago move.
Essential Chicago Moving Costs
Hiring movers is often done because it’s the most convenient (and often, the safest) way to get your belongings from Point A to Point B. When hiring moving companies, the essential service of loading, transport, and unloading will typically account for the bulk of your moving costs.
In the case of local moves around the city, Chicago movers will calculate moving costs hourly based on the number of rooms or amount of belongings you have and the distance being traveled.
This rate varies from company to company, with some as low as $45 per hour and others as much as $100. These rates include a few movers, moving equipment, and the necessary moving truck to get the job done.
Hiring a long-distance mover for a Chicago relocation will offer you the same essential services of loading, transport, and unloading, but at a per mile/pound rate that typically averages about $0.80.
So, if traveling 1000 miles with 4000 pounds worth of stuff, you can expect to pay $800 in travel and $3,200 for belongings for a total of $4,000.
Essential services from long-distance movers may also include tolls, fuel surcharges, and other travel-related expenses, so be sure to ask about those potential costs as well.
Optional Chicago Moving Costs
While the essential services of loading, transport, and unloading will get your belongings from Point A to Point B, there are optional services that can be hired to make your move even easier.
These additional moving services come at an additional cost but may be worth the investment, depending on your needs.
1. Packing & Unpacking Services
If you don’t have the time or energy to pack up all your belongings for the move, most Chicago moving companies offer packing and unpacking services starting at about $25 per hour.
This service includes materials and labor to carefully pack up your belongings in boxes and unpack them at your new place.
2. Storage Services
If you need a place to store your belongings before, during, or after your move, many moving companies offer storage solutions starting at about $60 per month.
This service is perfect if you’re downsizing and need a place to keep some of your belongings until you find a permanent spot in Chicago.
3. Furniture Handling
From disassembly and reassembly to placement and removal, Chicago movers offer several different furniture handling services to make your move even easier. These services are typically charged a flat rate of about $100 per hour and include the materials and labor needed to complete the job.
4. Specialty Item Handling
If you have larger or more delicate items that need special handling during your move, most movers offer services for an additional fee. This may include crating for large paintings or mirrors, hoisting for pianos or other large furniture, and more.
While rates vary depending on the specific item and handling requirements, you can expect to pay the following for the most commonly handled special items:
- Piano – $100-$1500
- Mirror – $50-$100
- Safe – $100-$1000
- Hot tub – $250-$1,000
While most Chicago moving companies are insured, there is always the potential for damage during a move. To protect your belongings in case of any, you may want to purchase additional insurance from your moving company.
This insurance typically costs about $0.60 per pound of belongings and replacement value in case of any damage.
Required Chicago Moving Costs
Ensure you stay under or on par with your moving budget by being prepared for required Chicago moving costs, often referred to as access fees. Unlike essential moving costs for the actual service of moving your belongings, access fees are costs associated with obstacles in the way of or things necessary to complete your move.
If you’re moving to a new apartment or condo in Chicago, you’ll need to apply and pay for a moving permit through the city. These permits cost $25 per truck or $50 if moving in or out of the Chicago CBD.
Elevator & Stair Fees
If you’re moving into or out of an apartment or condo with an elevator or multiple flights of stairs, you may be charged an additional fee. These fees vary, with some companies charging up to $3 per step and $50 per hour for elevator use.
Saving on Chicago Moving Costs
Stay on budget and ensure you have enough for your initial living costs when moving to Chicago by following these money-saving moving tips.
- Schedule your move during the off-season from mid-September through mid-May to avoid peak moving season pricing.
- Choose a mid-week move rather than a weekend move to avoid higher moving costs.
- Get rid of items you don’t need to reduce the cost of your move.
- Look for coupons or discounts when hiring a moving company.
- Reuse boxes and other packing materials whenever possible.
- Pack your own belongings and perform your own disassembly and reassembly to save on packing and furniture handling services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find movers in Chicago?
The best way to find Chicago movers is to search online for moving companies in your area. This will allow you to compare reviews, services, and prices to find the best company for your needs.
How much does it cost to move in Chicago?
The cost of moving to Chicago varies depending on several factors, including the size of your home, the distance of your move, the services required, and more. The average cost of a local move in Chicago is about $1,000, while the average cost of a long-distance move is about $4,000.
What are the most important things to consider when hiring a moving company?
When hiring a moving company, it’s important to consider its reputation, reviews, services offered, and price. You should also make sure the company is licensed and insured.
How can I calculate the cost of my move?
The best way to calculate moving costs is to use a free online cost calculator. These tools are specially designed to provide an estimate based on the size of your home and the services you require.
What is the best time of year to move in Chicago?
The best time of year to move in Chicago is during the off-season, from mid-September through mid-May. This is when moving companies are typically less busy and offer lower rates.
However, if you are looking to move when the weather is at its best, consider moving in the summer months when there is less chances of snow or rain.
Budget for Any Chicago Move
By being prepared and doing your research ahead of time, you can ensure a smooth and affordable move to your new Chicago home. Whether moving locally or long-distance, be prepared for required access fees and additional services that may increase your total moving cost. And, if you want to save money on your move, consider scheduling during the off-season or performing some of the work yourself.