How Many Movers Do I Need?

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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 HireAHelper.com 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 HireAHelper.com 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.

HireAHelper

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.

Moving far away?

See prices for movers – instantly.

Read honest customer reviews.

Book everything online.

 

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

Can Movers Help You With Other Stuff Besides Moving?

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If you thought moving companies do nothing but put all your stuff on a big truck, you’d be right—if you were living sometime in the distant past.

Today’s moving companies are constantly expanding their range of services and offering them all à la carte. That half-job or heavy lifting you need help with? Sure, you can try begging and bribing your friends, or you can call up a few movers in your area. You might be surprised at what they can help you with.

So What Else, Exactly, Can Movers Help With?

More than you can probably imagine. Heck, you don’t even need to be moving to have them give you a hand! More and more, people are turning to moving companies for all kinds of tasks too big to tackle alone. Movers make great day laborers, for things like:

Clearing out your garage or basement

  • Having a couple of sets of hands to move stuff while you figure out whether it goes to the curb or your cousin’s house or back into the garage can save you an entire weekend (if your garage looks anything like mine)
  • This also applies to attics, sheds, or anywhere

Hauling individual furniture from Point A to Point B

  • From your house to the curb; from your bedroom to the basement; to that cousin’s house; to the municipal trash dump; to your local secondhand store or consignment shop

Moving everything out of the room you are repainting or remodeling 

  • And then moving it back when you are done

Hauling stuff to your home from the furniture store

  • Or from your second cousin’s house, or from the garage of the guy selling that big beautiful piano on craigslist

Movers can (and often will) also take care of those jobs tangential to a move:

Even if you’ve managed to tackle your entire move on your own, you may be left with a mountain of unwanted cardboard boxes and unusable packing paper that you just don’t want to deal with. Movers, however, see gold in those mountains. So try giving them a call.

Protip: Most movers tend to charge for a minimum of two hours of labor, due to scheduling their business hours. This is not by any means a hard and fast rule, but make sure you ask before you book your help.

Can I hire movers to JUST help me load and unload my U-Haul?

You betcha!

Renting a truck or a moving container and hiring moving labor for all the heavy lifting is a huge trend—and for good reason. You save a ton of money by renting your own truck, and you save your back by hiring movers.

À la carte movers often:

  • Bring all the equipment
  • Have all the knowledge necessary to do the job right
  • Pack stuff you need packed, wrap stuff you need to be wrapped
  • Load it all up safely and securely

You drive your U-Haul (or Penske or Budget), or have your portable container delivered, and a fresh crew of movers unloads everything at your new home. This is what we call a Hybrid Move. As far as moving goes, it’s the best of both worlds. And it’s what HireAHelper movers do best.

Need Your TV Mounted?

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Protip: If you are moving locally, your movers may be able to rent you moving blankets for a small fee. But if you are moving out of the area, you might be able to rent them from your rental truck company. You may, however, have to buy them. Just please don’t move without them!

Can my movers do my entire move?

Yes, of course. Your traditional Full Service moving company will handle the whole moving enchilada if that is what you want, including packing up your entire home, right down to your last box of biscuits. This is the easiest way to move. It is also by far the most expensive.

Movers Know Best

Of course, we can’t tell you what’s best for you. But we can say with total confidence that movers know how to best handle your stuff. Whether it’s a single item job or a few pieces of heavy furniture; whether you’re moving one room or one door down or one hundred miles away; whether you need loading help, unloading help, or both, hiring moving labor is the best and most economical way to make sure your belongings are taken care of.

If you’re not sure what to do, that’s cool. Calling a mover and asking a few questions costs nothing. And it could end up saving you a lot.


Illustrations by Rob Wadleigh
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