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How Many Movers Do I Need?

Posted in: I'm Moving, Money Saving, Moving Advice

Four zillion. Wait, no. That’s not how many movers you’ll need … that’s how many questions you’ll be asking yourself while tackling your move.

If you make a smart, economical choice to book moving labor for your rental truck or container – as opposed to hiring a Full Service moving company – one of your four zillion questions is bound to be: “how many movers do I need to hire?”

So what’s the answer?

Generally, moving labor companies give you the option to choose between:

  • 2-4 Movers (and occasionally more, if they’re staffed and available)
  • How many hours you want those movers

Based on extensive data from HireAHelper pulled from thousands of booked movers across the country, here are two ways of looking at your options.

The median cost per additional mover

Cost per mover

2 Hours

  • 2 Movers – $155.00
  • 3 Movers – $235.00
  • 4 Movers – $268.75

3 Hours

  • 2 Movers – $215.50
  • 3 Movers – $253.88
  • 4 Movers – $337.30

4 Hours

  • 2 Movers – $273.75
  • 3 Movers – $394.16
  • 4 Movers – $478.75
Prices listed in median, data based on analysis of over 50,000 labor-only jobs booked on in 2019.

The median cost per mover, by the hour

Cost per hour

2 Movers

  • 2 Hours – $155.00
  • 3 Hours – $215.50
  • 4 Hours – $273.75

3 Movers

  • 2 Hours – $235.00
  • 3 Hours – $253.88
  • 4 Hours – $394.16

4 Movers

  • 2 Hours – $268.75
  • 3 Hours – $337.30
  • 4 Hours – $478.75
Prices listed in median, data based on analysis of over 50,000 labor-only jobs booked on in 2019.

Note: Almost every single moving company maintains a standard “2 mover, 2 hour” minimum, so as to maintain a reasonable work schedule. (You can imagine the potential chaos of trying to send out individual employees in separate vehicles all across creation for 30 minutes at a time.)

So how many movers do I need and for how long?

So now you know the ballpark cost. But the number of movers you should hire and the amount of time you should hire them for your move depends on these specific things:

  • How big is your place? (And how much stuff do you have?)
  • How big (and weird) are the things you own?
  • How far is it from the door to your truck (and how many stairs)?
  • How much time do you have?

Let’s talk about how each changes the equation.

How big is your place?

This step is relatively easy. Check the chart below to see how many movers you’ll most likely need to get your world moved, along with how many hours it is likely to take, and how big of a truck you’ll need to rent.


Simple right? But not so fast! Your move is unique! (Just like you.)

…and how much stuff do you have?

Judging your moving needs based on how big your place is doesn’t matter if, say, you have three grand pianos in your one-bedroom apartment.

Taking the legs off pool tables and pinball machines, unhooking and moving major appliances, disassembling bed frames and dining room tables… these things take time. It may be beneficial to look into more movers or hours if you think your things might call for the extra help.

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There’s an easy way to think about this. Think about how much stuff your friends generally have and compare that to your own situation. Everyone has a dining room table. Do you have a lot of them? Do you have a lot more books – and bookshelves? Got an overload of electronics, or paintings, or exercise equipment? Moving lots of extra stuff takes extra time – and so does packing it up!

Note: Doing your own packing is cost-efficient. Having the pros do your packing is time-efficient (plus they know how to do it right). Not all moving companies offer packing services, but when they do, it’s your call.

How far is it from your door to the truck?

If you live in a house, your main consideration is how close you can get the moving truck to the front door. (Or maybe even better, the garage!) Still, narrow staircases and narrow doorways inside the house can also slow your movers down if they have to handle lots of those larger items.

If you live in an apartment building, the time (and price) required to complete your move goes up automatically because movers typically charge by how many flights of stairs there are, which are often prevalent with apartments. The price also will go up based on:

  • Whether or not there’s an elevator
  • If not, how many flights of stairs your movers will have to haul your stuff
  • How close to the building’s point of access you can get the truck

Note: Are there specific hours you are allowed to move in or out of your building? Do you have to reserve an elevator, or get permission to use the service elevator? Check with your building manager ahead of time!

How much time do you have? (And is it better to get more movers, or more hours?)

Are more movers better, or are more hours better? Using the data above, you could figure things out by the dollar amount alone. But there’s another way to look at it.

Here is an example: If you need eight hours of person power, you could hire 2 movers for 4 hours ($273.75) or 4 movers for 2 hours ($268.75). On paper, this looks close to equal.

But in the second scenario, your crew is done in just 2 hours, instead of four. That’s a huge difference. Also, a move needing that much work done will tire a crew of 2 movers by hour four, meaning they’ll probably slow down and might even need a fifth hour!

On the other hand, if your place is tiny, lots of extra people may be unnecessary, if not plain problematic when they just get in each other’s way. This is especially true if there are not many extra heavy pieces of furniture that require team-work.

The Final Tally

The advice above is based on averages: average amount of stuff, average amount of stairs inside, and average distance to the truck outside.

From the baseline figure that applies to you, add or subtract a mover or two – and an hour or more – depending on your answers to the questions above.

If you’re still unsure of your math, just call us. (1-855-992-8691) We’ve seen it all. And we can help you figure out whatever moving service we know is the absolute best value for you.

Illustrations by Daniel Fishel


  1. Pepe

    We need help in moving small office in the same office complex.Office desks chairs selfs supplies and heavy mailing machines

  2. Meech Kooiker

    I am moving from one condo to another condo in same building which has an elevator. June 8

  3. Renee Rousey

    Need help moving contents from house to container in yard, and contents of moving truck to container as well

  4. Monty Lacy

    Need to unload two abf trailers (1 full, other half full) into 2355 sf house with three bedrooms upstairs in Plano. Closing date is scheduled for 8/10 maybe sooner.

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