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  • Writer's pictureAmerican National Movers

How Do Movers Calculate Costs

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

Many consumers wonder how movers calculate costs and how movers estimate cubic feet. Moving can be stressful, and figuring out how much your move will cost can be overwhelming. One of the biggest factors that movers use to calculate the cost of your move is based on the amount of space your belongings take up in the moving truck. This is typically measured in cubic feet and, in some instances, weight. So, how do movers calculate costs? It's a simple process. Movers will measure each item's length, width, and height and then multiply those three numbers to get the cubic feet. For example, a box 2 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 2 feet tall would be eight cubic feet. It's important to note that movers will also factor in any odd-shaped items or pieces that require special handling. These items may require more space in the moving truck, which can increase the overall cost of your move. Moving companies can charge by weight or volume, so be sure to ask your mover about their estimate process. Most movers do charge by cubic feet. Charging by cubic feet is more transparent and easier to understand for the consumer. Getting Charged by weight is hard to understand and a difficult process. Calculating costs by weight is not a straightforward estimate process.



Once movers have determined the cubic feet of your belongings, they will use this measurement to provide you with an estimate for your move. This estimate will be based on factors such as the distance of your move, the size of your belongings, and any additional services you may require. Therefore, it's important to be accurate when providing information to your movers. For example, suppose you underestimate the space your belongings will take up in your truck. In that case, you may need to pay a higher cost on a moving day.


On the other hand, if you overestimate the space you need, your moving costs will be reduced. So, it's better to overestimate your long distance move. Cubic feet play a crucial factor in determining the cost of your move. You can avoid any surprises on moving day by measuring your stuff and giving it to your movers.



How much your move will cost starts with calculating the cubic feet of your stuff. Cubic feet are calculated by measuring each item's length, width, and height. Next, multiply these measurements to get the item's cubic inches. Finally, divide the total cubic inches by 1728 to get cubic feet. For example, let's say you want to measure a dresser. Measure the dresser's length, width, and height in inches. The measurements are 76 inches long, 53 inches wide, and 10 inches high. Multiply these measurements: 76 x 53 x 10 = 40,180 cubic inches. Divide the total cubic inches by 1728: 40,180 ÷ 1728 = 23.26 cubic feet. In the moving truck, the dresser takes up 23.26 cubic feet. Calculate how much space you need in the moving truck by calculating the cubic feet of all your things.

Suppose you are not undergoing a long distance move and are seeking local moving services. In that case, local move costs are calculated by the hour. The average moving costs for local moves vary. Your local moving costs are based on labor for local moves.


If you've ever searched "why do movers charge so much," you're not alone. Many consumers wonder why moving companies can be so expensive. The truth is many factors can influence the cost of a move. First, before moving, consider the logistics involved in moving your belongings from one location to another. How difficult is the task? How many items do you have? Moving requires specialized equipment, such as trucks, dollies, and packing materials, which can be expensive to maintain and operate. Additionally, movers may need additional staff to handle large or complex moves, which can add to the cost.

Another factor to consider is the distance of your move. Long-distance moves can be especially costly, requiring more time, fuel, and labor. And if you have many items to move or require special services such as packing or unpacking, the cost can quickly add up. Moving is not an easy task, especially if you have a lot of items. So, before hiring a mover, stop yourself and ask: "Am I making this decision solely based on price?" Of course, the cost of your move will also depend on the moving company you choose. It's important to lean towards a moving company that provides high-quality service. Remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best, as you may pay more in the long run if your belongings are damaged or lost during the move. Ultimately, the cost of your move will depend on various factors.



To avoid this, make sure your inventory is accurate when moving long distance. Make sure you check the cubic feet on your contract. Accurate inventory prevents you from having issues with movers. Ensure all items are accounted for during the move. In addition, measuring cubic feet helps determine how much space your stuff will take up in the truck. The moving company might not bring the right size truck or charge you extra for an extra trip if the cubic feet measurement is wrong. As a result, it can cause delays and unexpected costs. In the same way, an inaccurate inventory can lead to missing or damaged items. It would be best to double-check your contract's cubic feet/volume before you sign and provide an accurate inventory of everything you're moving. Measure bigger items like furniture and appliances to ensure they're accounted for. The wrong cubic feet measurement or inventory can cause delays and unexpected costs. Ensure accuracy and double-check the contract to avoid these issues.


Take a look at some commonly asked NYC moving questions below:


How much should I pay for movers in NYC?

In NYC, moving costs vary based on the difficulty level of your moving project. For instance, the distance you are moving, the number of items you need to move, and the level of service you require. An average NYC move will cost between $100 and $200 per hour, while a long-distance move will cost much more. Expect to pay upwards of 5,000.00 if you move a lot of furniture and a long distance.


How to find good movers in NYC?

To find good movers in NYC, you need to verify legitimacy. Start by doing your research. Then, open up your mind and ask questions beyond costs.


What day is the cheapest to hire movers?

If you want to save money on your move, consider hiring movers on a weekday rather than a weekend. Weekdays are typically less busy for moving companies, meaning lower rates. Moving during the off-season (typically between September and April) can also lead to lower prices.


Are movers worth it NYC?

I have moved a few times before owning a moving company. My first move, out of four, was by myself. Moving by myself was a mistake I never made again. Hiring a long distance moving company can be extremely convenient. Moving can be enjoyable and stress-free when you don't have to lift a finger. It can be a smart investment to hire long distance movers if you have a lot of items to move, have a large house, or are moving a long distance. You can save time and hassle by hiring movers to pack and transport your belongings safely. You may be able to handle the move yourself if you have a smaller move or are on a tight budget.





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