Best Moving Companies for Small Moves | 2024 Guide

By Amanda Lutz Updated April 26, 2024

All products and services featured are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you are planning a small move, such as a one-bedroom house, apartment, studio, or storage unit, you may be considering hiring professional movers to assist you with your move. Your upcoming relocation may involve just a few items, or you may need to rent a moving container or truck to move a larger amount of items.

While it’s possible to move your items without professionals, hiring movers can help simplify the process to help lessen the stress and difficulty that can come with a do-it-yourself move. To help you pick the right movers, we have compiled a list of the top moving companies for small moves from our research into the best long-distance moving companies and interstate providers.

Did You Know?

388 movers requested and received a free no-obligation quote from one of the above companies in the last 30 days.

 


 

The Best Moving Companies for Small Moves

Here is our list of the best companies for small moves, as determined by our research:


Compare Top Moving Companies

Star Rating BBB Rating Link
International Van Lines International Van Lines
B VISIT SITE
American Van Lines American Van Lines
A VISIT SITE
Safeway Moving Inc. Safeway Moving Inc.
A+ VISIT SITE
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
B VISIT SITE
Moving APT Moving APT
B VISIT SITE
JK Moving Services JK Moving Services
A+ VISIT SITE
North American Van Lines North American Van Lines
A+ VISIT SITE
Allied Van Lines Allied Van Lines
A+ VISIT SITE
1-800-PACK-RAT 1-800-PACK-RAT
A VISIT SITE
United Van Lines United Van Lines
A+ VISIT SITE
Mayflower Moving Mayflower Moving
A+ VISIT SITE
International Van Lines
Logo International Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
VISIT SITE
American Van Lines
Logo American Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating A
VISIT SITE
Safeway Moving Inc.
Logo Safeway Moving Inc.
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
VISIT SITE
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
Logo Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
VISIT SITE
Moving APT
Logo Moving APT
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
VISIT SITE
JK Moving Services
Logo JK Moving Services
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
VISIT SITE
North American Van Lines
Logo North American Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
VISIT SITE
Allied Van Lines
Logo Allied Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
VISIT SITE
1-800-PACK-RAT
Logo 1-800-PACK-RAT
Star Rating
BBB Rating A
VISIT SITE
United Van Lines
Logo United Van Lines
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
VISIT SITE
Mayflower Moving
Logo Mayflower Moving
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
VISIT SITE
Providers
Star Rating
Best For
BBB Rating
Our Top Pick
B
Best for Antiques
A
Best for Condos and HOAs
A+
Best for Major Cities
B
Best for Coordinated Moves
B
Best Mobile App
A+
Best for High-End Appliances
A+
Best Customer Experience
A+
Best for Self-Service Moves
A
Best for Home Office Moves
A+
Best for Expedited Moves
A+

International Van Lines

Our Top Pick
4.7

International Van Lines (IVL) is a great option for small-load international moves, and you can count on it for cross-country, long-distance, and local moving services. The company is licensed for ocean freight transport through the Federal Maritime Commission, which means it can efficiently handle the logistics of shipping your belongings overseas. It’s also licensed for air freight services for faster delivery. Overall, IVL stands out for its tailored solutions and guidance throughout the moving process, ensuring your belongings arrive safely at your new destination.

Pros and Cons

✓ Established presence in the international moving industry and provides detailed guidance for international moves
✓ Straightforward quote process and has provided prompt estimates in our experience
✓ Will fully refund deposits for domestic moving services as long as cancellation requests occur 48 hours or more before the pickup date

 

✗ Has local moving services but limits availability to certain states
✗ Will not refund deposits for international moves
✗ Requires a 25% deposit

Cost Details

International Van Lines can give you a price range online, but it is based on the typical size of a moving shipment from standard two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes. To get a more accurate and detailed estimate for your small move, you need to contact an IVL customer service representative with your details to receive a free quote.

Sample Quote: $825–$1,650 (one-bedroom home from Seattle to Los Angeles)

Deposit: 25% of your moves total cost

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from International Van Lines.

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:   ✓ Full Service  ✓ International   ✓ Local   ✓ Long-Distance

Shipping:   ✓ Custom Crating for Fragile Items  ✓ Pianos   ✓ Vehicles   ✓ Debris Removal

Perks:   ✓ Refundable Deposits for Domestic Moves  ✓ Self and Partial Service Options Available

American Van Lines

Best for Antiques
4.4

American Van Lines made our list of the best small movers for its special handling of high-value items such as fine art or antiques. The full-service company provides local, long-distance, and international moving services for relocations of any size, with a focus on expert item handling for added peace of mind. American hires its moving crew members as full-time employees and requires them to complete ongoing training in areas such as disassembling and reassembling pianos and fitness equipment and packing and loading one-of-a-kind artwork. It also emphasizes safe moving techniques for antiques and other delicate items.

Pros and Cons

✓ Trains its crews in the latest moving techniques and emphasizes previous industry experience in its hiring practices
✓ Dedicates part of its employee training to moving large, fragile, and high-end items
✓ Uses an easy-to-understand pricing system based on flat rates

 

✗ Cannot provide local moving services in all states
✗ Operates a much smaller fleet of moving trucks than some of the other exclusive moving carriers in our guide
✗ May require a deposit as high as 50% based on your credit score

Cost Details

American Van Lines gives binding estimates and will not provide an instant moving quote online or over the phone. To receive your binding estimate, you must speak with a customer service representative and complete a virtual home assessment. AVL will also factor in the size of your move and any special handling requirements you have.

Sample Quote: $2,000 (one-bedroom home from Seattle to Los Angeles)

Deposit: Ranges from 10% to 50%

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from American Van Lines.

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:  ✓ Full-Service   ✓ Local  ✓ Long-Distance  ✓ International

Shipping:  ✓ Fine Art   ✓ Antiques   ✓ Vehicles   ✓ Pianos   ✓ Fitness Equipment

Perks:   ✓ Partial Service Can Be Requested   ✓ Extensive Experience With Military Moves

Safeway Moving Inc.

Best for Condos and HOAs
3.5

As a long-distance moving specialist, Safeway Moving Inc. is well-equipped to handle small moves across the United States, ensuring your belongings reach their destination safely and efficiently. One of Safeway’s strengths is its focus on full-service relocation. It understands that even small moves can be stressful and physically demanding, so it aims to alleviate that burden for its customers. Additionally, Safeway has substantial experience navigating the strict rules and regulations set by homeowners associations (HOAs) and condo associations. This expertise makes the company a good choice if you’re moving to or from a neighborhood under HOA oversight.

Pros and Cons

✓ Is familiar with the processes for providing moving services in accordance with HOA and COA regulations
✓ Advocates for senior citizen relocation, dedicating extra customer service and other staff support to seniors
✓ Provides one free month of storage for all its moving services

 

✗ Has limited service offerings, focusing on full-service interstate moves with few specialty add-on options
✗ Customer reviews mention difficulty contacting customer support
✗ May have limited availability for local, short-distance moves

Cost Details

Safeway provides binding estimates based on a survey of your inventory. The company accepts a self-reported inventory to start the quote process, but it also offers video and in-home surveys to ensure that the estimate is as accurate as possible. For any moving service, you can add one month of storage for no additional charge.

Sample Quote: $4,680 (one-bedroom home from Seattle to Los Angeles)

Deposit: 40% of your move’s total cost

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from Safeway Moving Inc.

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:  ✓ Full-Service   ✓ Long-Distance

Shipping:  ✓ Crating For Fragile Items   ✓ Loading Assistance

Perks:   ✓ Advocates for Senior Citizens by Providing Extra Assistance   ✓ Free Month of Storage for all Moves

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group

Best for Major Cities
4.2

Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) is a moving broker that indirectly coordinates moving services by assessing your needs and assigning you to a mover in its network. One of the key advantages of working with IMRG for a small-load move is its ability to provide fast estimates and schedule move dates on relatively short notice. Whether you’re moving across town or to a neighboring state, IMRG’s approach can be particularly beneficial for small-load moves, providing you with a streamlined experience and the peace of mind that comes with working with a reputable moving broker.

Pros and Cons

✓ Can tailor moving services to your needs through a coast-to-coast partner network
✓ Is prompt to provide estimates and typically has a fast booking process
✓ Has helpful information on its website for moving between major cities

 

✗ Doesn’t offer customer support on the weekends
✗ Brokers services to third-party providers, and service quality may vary depending on the moving company that picks up your contract
✗ Has no liability for your household goods, leaving that responsibility to the third-party movers in its network

Cost Details

For a binding estimate, you will need to go over your projected inventory with an IMRG relocation specialist. You can do this over the phone or request an in-home consultation to have a company representative review the inventory in person. IMRG also has an online calculator for estimating potential moving costs.

Sample Quote: $3,500 (one-bedroom home from Seattle to Los Angeles)

Deposit: 15% of your moves total cost

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from Interstate Moving & Relocation Group.

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:  ✓ Full-Service   ✓ Self-Service   ✓ International   ✓ Long-Distance   ✓ Local

Shipping:  ✓ Storage   ✓ Pianos   ✓ Vehicles

Perks:   ✓ Also Specializes in Military and Corporate Moves   ✓ Fast Estimates

Moving APT

Best for Coordinated Moves
4.5

Moving APT operates strictly as a moving broker. This means that the company does not actually handle moves but instead connects customers to local companies in their areas. Utilizing its network of more than 2,500 providers, Moving APT can help you find the right fit for your small moving needs and will oversee every step of the moving process. Providers in Moving APT’s network can handle residential moving requests of all sizes on a local, national, and international scale.

Pros and Cons

✓ Partners with more than 2,500 professional movers to help provide prompt service nationwide
✓ Establishes a direct connection between customers and its partner companies for greater transparency
✓ Can coordinate a broad selection of specialty moving services

 

✗ Cannot operate its own moving trucks or crews, hiring third parties to complete your move
✗ Isn’t responsible for broken, damaged, or lost items due to broker status|
✗ Transfers your information to multiple partners, sometimes leading to a high volume of emails and phone calls

Cost Details

You can get an instant online moving quote through Moving APT’s website, but the company will need to conduct a virtual review of your home and discuss the details of your small load to provide a binding estimate. A binding estimate reflects the actual cost you can expect to pay on moving day.

Sample Quote: $1,500–$3,500 (one-bedroom home from Seattle to Los Angeles)

Deposit: Varies by partner

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from Moving APT.

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:  ✓ Full-Service   ✓ Self-Service  ✓ Local   ✓ International   ✓ Long-Distance

Shipping:  ✓ Storage Options   ✓ Vehicles   ✓ Junk Cleanup   ✓ Fitness Equipment / Bulky Items

Perks:   ✓ High Transparency with Customers  ✓ Provide Disassembly and Reassembly of Furniture

North American Van Lines

Best for High-End Appliances
4.8

North American Van Lines (NAVL) is a good choice for those planning a small move involving major appliances. It specializes in handling appliances carefully and has a team of professionals who can disconnect, transport, and reconnect them at your new location. NAVL also offers a user-friendly website with helpful resources, including packing tips and inventory checklists to ensure you’re well-prepared for your small-load move.

Pros and Cons

✓ Offers several packing options to better accommodate moves of all sizes
✓ Operates a large fleet of moving trucks and has agents across the United States
✓ Stays up to date with the latest trends in the moving industry

 

✗ Will not typically provide ballpark estimates for a rough idea of moving costs, instead urging customers to provide a full inventory for a binding estimate
✗ Varies storage services based on location
✗ Outsources some services when its own crews have scheduling conflicts or are otherwise unavailable

Cost Details

NAVL will give you a price range based on the distance and date of your move and your home’s size on its website. However, this is only a general estimate and may not reflect the actual size of your small move. You can schedule an in-depth review of your home and moving inventory, after which NAVL will provide a binding estimate.

Sample Quote: Contact for a quote

Deposit: No deposit required

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:  ✓ Full-Service   ✓ Fragile-Only Packing   ✓ International

Shipping:  ✓ Appliance Disconnection and Reconnection   ✓ Vehicles

Perks:   ✓ Many Packing Options to Accommodate Moves of All Sizes   ✓ Short and Long-Term Storage

Allied Van Lines

Best Customer Experience
4.7

Allied Van Lines is a reliable choice for small-load moves, offering dedicated moving coordinators who provide personalized guidance. Allied also assigns a moving coordinator to every customer. Your moving coordinator will work closely with you to understand your requirements and guide you throughout the relocation process. It offers comprehensive full-service moving options, including professional packing, loading, and unloading, and fragile-only packing services for those who prefer to handle some aspects themselves, which is ideal for small movers on a budget.

Pros and Cons

✓ Has various online resources that are valuable for move planning and preparation
✓ Provides online shipment tracking
✓ Has a portable container storage service that includes full moving assistance

 

✗ Customer reviews mention that the claims department is hard to reach
✗ Doesn’t have 24/7 customer service
✗ Typically requires customers to book moves six to eight weeks in advance to avoid scheduling delays

Cost Details

Allied Van Lines doesn’t provide online moving quotes or estimates over the phone. You will need to contact the company to discuss the details of your small move for a more accurate quote. You can complete a virtual home survey to get a binding estimate. AVL will also factor in the distance and date of your move when determining cost.

Sample Quote: Contact for a quote

Deposit: No deposit required

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from Allied Van Lines.

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:  ✓ Full-Service   ✓ Fragile-Only Packing

Shipping:   ✓ Vehicles    ✓ Fragile Items

Perks:   ✓ Portable Storage Container Service   ✓ Online Shipment Tracking

1-800-PACK-RAT

Best for Self-Service Moves
3.9

1-800-PACK-RAT is our recommendation for self-service providers because it makes prepping for small moves easy and stress-free. PACK-RAT delivers all-steel, weatherproof containers to your home or one-bedroom apartment for you to load at your leisure. The company’s monthly rental schedule means you can take up to 30 days from start to finish to complete your move. Once you have packed your container, 1-800-PACK-RAT will arrange to pick up and deliver it to your new home or a facility for short- or long-term storage. If you wish, 1-800-PACK-RAT can help you coordinate loading and unloading assistance.

Pros and Cons

✓ Convenient option for those who prefer a DIY move but don’t want to drive a moving truck
✓ Temporary and permanent storage options
✓ Maintains an easy-to-read and informative website with several helpful resources

 

✗ Doesn’t have full availability in all 50 states
✗ Doesn’t provide services on Sundays
✗ Does not offer full-service packing and unpacking support

Cost Details

1-800-PACK-RAT provides general moving quotes on its website, but you must call the company to get pricing for your small move. 1-800-PACK-RAT offers 10% discounts on long-distance moves and for active and retired military. Payments must be made by credit card.

Sample Quote: $1,733 (one-bedroom from Seattle to Los Angeles)

Deposit: No deposit required

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from 1-800-PACK-RAT

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:   ✓ Self-Service   ✓ Fragile-Only Packing

Shipping:    ✓ Temporary and Permanent Storage Options    ✓ On-Site Storage Options

Perks:   ✓ Offers Military Discount  ✓ Facilities have 24/7 surveillance

Mayflower Moving

Best for Expedited Moves
4.7

Mayflower Moving provides services for long-distance, international, and local moves. Its Snapmoves service provides expedited moving help for small moves. Mayflower was founded in 1927 and is available in 46 states. In 1995, Mayflower joined UniGroup, one of the largest moving networks in the country.

Pros and Cons

✓ Provides Snapmoves service for expedited small moves
✓Offers binding estimates for all moves
✓ Includes full-value protection in all quotes

 

✗ Subcontracts some moving services out to other carriers
✗ Features somewhat higher rates than competitors due to valuation coverage options

Cost Details

Mayflower offers quick ballpark quotes for service, but most Mayflower moves begin with an in-home consultation. Its free quotes take move distance, inventory, and service needs into account. As a carrier, Mayflower does not require deposits to book a move.

Sample Quote: Contact for a quote

Deposit: No deposit required

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from Mayflower Moving.

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:  ✓ Moving Carrier   ✓ Long-Distance    ✓ International    ✓ Local

Shipping:   ✓ Assembly and Disassembly   ✓ Full-Value Protection    ✓ Family Heirlooms

Perks:   ✓ SnapMoves for Expedited Small Moves

United Van Lines

Best for Home Office Moves
4.8

As one of the major companies under the UniGroup moving umbrella, United Van Lines has been in business since 1928. This co-op services local, international, and long-distance moves and is one of the largest moving networks in the country. Similar to Mayflower, United Van Lines offers a Snapmoves service to assist with small relocations. United Van Lines provides relocation services in 46 states and international moving assistance to 150 countries.

Pros and Cons

✓ Provides dedicated small move services
✓ Offers full-value protection with all moves
✓ Has tech disassembly and installation services

 

✗ Features higher rates than its competitors
✗ Has negative reviews that report spam calls after booking
✗ Features a longer quote process than other small-load movers

Cost Details

United Van Lines provides binding estimates for all moves. Its quote process is similar to that of many full-service carriers. It requires a phone call for booking and will often request a video survey or in-person walkthrough of your home. 

Sample Quote: Contact for a quote

Deposit: No deposit required

To find out the cost of your move, get a free quote from United Van Lines.

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:   ✓ Local   ✓ Long-Distance    ✓ International

Shipping:    ✓ Vehicles    ✓ Storage for Domestic Moves

Perks:   ✓ SnapMoves Expedited Service for Small Moves  ✓ Breaks Down and Reassembles Offices, Theatres, and Tech Items

JK Moving Services

Best Mobile App
4.9

JK Moving is a reliable choice for moving from a small apartment or home. The company provides flexible and customized moving plans and, similar to Allied Van Lines, assigns a coordinator to guide you through your move. In addition to full-service moves, JK Moving offers small shipments, crating of large or bulky items, special handling of antiques and artwork, and vehicle relocation. JK Moving’s user-friendly mobile app makes it easy to schedule your small move and track your shipment while en route.

Pros and Cons

Offers a wider selection of residential and commercial services than many competitors
Has several different survey options to give customers flexibility in how to assess the weight and volume of their household goods
Runs 24/7 customer support lines

 

✗ Only provides local moving services in the greater Washington, D.C. area
✗ Will typically outsource a portion of its moving services
✗ Offers no online cost information

Cost Details

JK Moving gives binding estimates following virtual home reviews. The company will not provide a general quote online or over the phone. We contacted the company for a ballpark quote but were told we must undergo a virtual or in-home estimate. This requirement is a great sign because it shows the company’s devotion to providing accurate pricing. JK Moving offers in-house financing through a partnership with Enhancify, which offers rates as low as 0%, same-as-cash*.

Sample Quote: Contact for a quote

Deposit: $250

*Subject to credit approval.

Moving Services Offered

Move Types:  ✓ Full-Service   ✓ Long-Distance  ✓ International   ✓ Local (In the Washington D.C. area)

Shipping:  ✓ Antiques   ✓ Art   ✓ Vehicles

Perks:   ✓ 24/7 Customer Support Lines  ✓ User-Friendly Mobile App for Scheduling


Our Recommendation

Our research shows that International Van Lines is a good fit for small moves. IVL has a long-standing reputation in the moving industry and can accommodate relocations of all sizes locally, long-distance, and internationally.

Similarly, Allied Van Lines made our list of best movers for small relocations because it provides partial-packing services and can customize your moving package with various add-on options. 1-800-PACK-RAT is a viable choice for a self-service move, particularly if you need short- or long-term storage as part of your relocation. 

While JK Moving is a great place to start, we recommend you request quotes from at least three top moving companies to better understand the services you will receive for the price.


How to Choose a Moving Company for Small Moves

While small moves may seem straightforward, choosing the right moving company is still crucial to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. Several key factors must be considered to make an informed decision with such a wide range of options available.

Once you have a list of required services, you can begin contacting companies that match your criteria. International Van Lines and American Van Lines are among the full-service providers experienced in moving large or fragile items. If you decide you can handle most of the heavy lifting, companies like 1-800-PACK-RAT offer online calculators to help you figure out the size and number of moving containers you will need.


What is Considered a Small Move?

A small move usually refers to any move involving a smaller amount of items. Small moves do not always require hiring professional movers, but it can save you a great deal of time and reduce your stress when moving homes. Hiring a moving company also spares you the risk involved with heavy lifting and driving a large vehicle over long distances.

Here are some examples of moves that could be considered small moves:

Dorm Room

1 – to – 3 Bedroom Apartment

One-Bedroom House

Studio Apartment

Small Office Space

Storage Unit


What Factors Influence a Small Move’s Cost?

Many factors can affect the cost of your move, including distance. Moving companies usually use different factors to calculate the cost of a local move vs. long-distance move. 

Our research for this guide revealed that a small-load move between Seattle and Los Angeles costs an average of $2,713.

There are some cost factors that mainly apply to long-distance moves such as toll charges, but most moves usually involve the following cost factors:

Some other cost factors that may not apply to all moves but still worth considering are:


Is a Moving Company for Small Moves Worth It?

It’s possible to conduct a small move with the help of family and friends using a rental truck, van, or trailer. But hiring movers is worth it when large furniture is involved or you need to move specialty items. Trained moving crews can properly package and handle fragile items. Many full-service movers, such as American Van Lines, specialize in the white-glove treatment of items like pianos, antiques, and fine art.

Moving can be stressful even with a small shipment, especially if you are moving long distance. Having assistance with packing, loading, and transportation can help take a few items off your relocation to-do list and allow you to focus on other tasks, like changing your address and finding medical providers in your new location.

Hiring a moving company is worth it, especially if you are worried about high-value items. We surveyed 1,000 consumers who had moved in the last five years and found that transporting artwork and mirrors was the top concern.

Here are many of the reasons why a moving company is worth it for small moves:

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you move a small amount of things?

For moving a small amount of things from one home to another, you have more than one option. You can rent a moving truck and drive your items to your destination, or you can hire a moving company. Full-service moving companies provide movers to pack, load, and deliver your inventory, and self-service companies drop off portable storage containers that you will load yourself. The company will then pick up and deliver these storage containers on or around the date you agreed to in your moving contract. 

What is the cheapest way to move a short distance?

The cheapest way to move a short distance in most cases is to rent a moving truck and pack, load, and drive your inventory on your own or with the help of family and friends. 

How much does a small local move cost?

According to one of the top-rated providers in our guide, International Van Lines, a local move will typically cost around $150 an hour for a team of three movers. This rate assumes that you packed your own belongings in boxes before the movers arrived.

What are the benefits of hiring a moving company?

The main benefit of hiring a moving company is that you can streamline your move by allowing the company to pack, load, unload, and unpack your belongings. Many movers also offer partial-packing options if you prefer to handle some of your belongings on your own. The moving company will also haul your items to your destination, keeping you from having to drive a moving truck.

 


 

How We Chose the Top Moving Companies for Small Moves

We researched and analyzed dozens of full- and self-service moving companies and formulated a moving review methodology based on a number of factors, including package options, pricing, and reputation. We also identified customer pain points based on customer-review analysis, proprietary consumer surveys, and interviews with former and current moving professionals.

Speaking directly to a representative at each company, we determined the number of package options available, the coverage provided, the types of moves available (long-distance, local, and international), and any extra perks offered, such as mobile apps, moving checklists, and 24/7 customer service.

We also gathered pricing data from each of the companies and determined whether they provide ballpark estimates or binding quotes. To determine reputation, we evaluated companies based on their rating with the Better Business Bureau as well as their overall score on Yelp.