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Why is moving so expensive?

Valerie said in a follow-up that she’d posted her original video about the $10,000 moving fee because she wanted to know if anyone paid those prices — and TikTok delivered.

One commenter pointed out that many companies pay relocation packages for their employees. A company has much more money to spare than an individual, so $10,000 is something they could cover for a worker.

However, another commenter, who said that they’re a job recruiter, added that $10,000 is still a lot of money and probably wouldn't be entirely covered by an employer.

The high cost of moving may be part of the reason that 2023 saw the least amount of moves since 1948 (when the U.S. government first started tracking this data), according to a Census analysis from the moving company, Hire a Helper.

Although 2022 saw the highest moving costs yet on record, they still never quite reached the $10,000 range. The average move cost $427 in 2022, according to that year’s report from Hire a Helper. The prices dropped slightly in 2023, averaging out at $407.

However, the New York Times disagreed with this assessment. They said moves can cost between a few thousand dollars for a local move up to $10,000 for a cross-country move. The prices depend on miles traveled, time to move and the weight of your belongings. Stairs can also impact the price.

Although Valerie is only moving one state away, a commenter pointed out that the drive from Denver to Kansas City is nine hours — one way. She’d have to take into account that the movers have to drive back, so it’s really an 18-hour round-trip for them.

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How to make the cost of moving cheaper

Valerie decided she isn’t going to use movers. In fact, she checked if their quote would cost more than renting her own truck and moving herself.

She said that she doesn’t know many people in Kansas City, according to another video she posted to TikTok. Her new home in Kansas City is a fourth-floor walkup, so she thought movers might help make the move a little easier.

But once she heard the price, she decided to stick with U-Haul, although she didn't disclose the quote they gave her.

Commenters recommended that she hire people off of Taskrabbit to help move her things into the new Kansas City apartment.

Other commenters said it’s cheaper for her to sell her bigger items — such as a sectional sofa and a queen-size bed — and buy new ones in Kansas City.

Another option is to use freight shipping. It takes a bit more time for your things to get to you, but can be significantly cheaper.


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Sabina Wex is a writer and podcast producer in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Fast Company, CBC and more.

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