The Best Ways to Handle a Small Move

It is generally known that every moving process doesn’t necessarily need to be huge. Aside from the big relocation which involves many complications and attention, there are small moves that don’t take much time and don’t involve many complications.

However, you can only move using your own or a friend’s car if you are moving a few belongings to your new home. Moving an apartment is very different from moving an entire home.

The Best Ways to Handle a Small Move

In this article

For those who are new to moving, it is possible you don’t have many items and they’ve been packed into a 2-bedroom apartment than what you might pack in a 2-bedroom house, giving room for more flexibility in the type of service you request for.

There is a need for you to understand how to handle small relocation regardless of your moving option whether to hire a full-service moving company or to rent a moving truck and haul your belongings to your new home. You will find everything you need in this article.

What is a Small Move?

Basically, any move that weighs between 150 lbs up to 2000 lbs is classified as a small move. Any items that are not up to 150 lbs are classed as parcels while those above 2000 lbs are classified as large moves.

But the ones that fall in-between are considered small moves. Small moves are generally any type of relocation that does not involve much materials or supplies. It involves relocating your belongings or just a single object from one location to another.

Regardless of what you are moving, there are many movers waiting to take care of your move. Your move will be classified as a small move when the total weight of your belongings is below 2000 pounds. Moving a single but large item such as a dining room table or a student in or out of a dorm room are both considered small moves.

Examples of Small Moves

1. Moving College dorm room:

Leaving home for school for the first time could be overwhelming, but getting your belongings to your destination should be as easy as it can be. As a matter of fact, moving a college dorm room is the best example of a small move.

You may not necessarily need to pack many items as most college dorm rooms are already furnished with a desk, kitchen appliances, bed, and bookshelf.

You will only need to come with smaller belongings such as toiletries, bedding, clothes, and school supplies. Check here for a list of items to bring to college.

2. Moving only special belongings:

Moving one or two of your heavy belongings from home is also a small move. Items like a bathtub, piano, appliance, and a pool table are all examples of items that you can transport separately.

In most cases, these items are separately transported by moving companies that specialize in moving such items. For example, you will find many moving companies that specialize in moving pianos in the United States.

Make sure you follow instructions with uttermost care if you plan to move your specialty belongings yourself.

Pro Tip

If you have to move your special belongings such as piano by yourself, ensure you read our tips on how to move a piano to take required precautions.

3. Local move within the same area:

When moving across the street, regardless of the number of items you are moving, since the distance involved is so small; your move is also considered a small move. This is the case when your move is within the same area.

Note, most of these small relocations do take longer than expected time, and this is because homeowners do take their time with each of the items they move, thereby extending the moving duration. The right way to complete a small move successfully is to do it all at once.

Factors to Consider when Moving a Small Belongings

There are lots of factors to consider before deciding on a method to choose for relocating your belongings:

1. Moving timeline:

You have to consider the amount of time you have to pull this move off because even small moves can take many weeks before completion. You can embark on a DIY move with your personal car or rental truck if you have the time required by the move.

It is, however, important to hire professional movers to handle your move if you must get it done within a day or two.

2. The condition of your possessions:

You have to look for other means of transporting items such as wine glasses, TVs, mirrors, and other delicate items. You can hire professional loaders for both the packing and loading of such fragile items. Make sure the moving truck you are looking to rent has enough straps and tie-downs to hold your belongings firmly while moving.

3. Moving distance:

You have to consider the distance involved in your move as it is best to either ship your belongings or have professional moving companies transport them to your long-distance home.

You may be able to handle the move if you are moving to a closer destination, either by your car or through a rental truck.

4. Storage needs:

The best option to store some of your belongings anytime when moving is to rent a small moving container. You can use the moving containers as storage units, meaning that you do not need to locate any storage facility once you’ve relocated to your new place.

5. Your budget:

The moving option you choose is generally based on its affordability. Consider using your personal car or a rental moving truck if you are on a tight budget. If you have a robust budget, then you may hire a professional moving company or rent a moving container.

6. Time and energy:

If you have the strength and the time to pull off a small move without hiring professionals, then you can use your personal car or rent a moving truck to handle the move. You will be doing the heavy lifting yourself since you have the energy.

4. Moving a studio or 1-bedroom apartment:

Your move is also considered small if you are moving to and from a studio or 1-bedroom apartment. This is also true when you plan to purchase furniture and have it delivered to your new home after you move in.

when relocating to a small apartment, it means you are only moving small boxes and furniture. You can always pull this off by renting a moving truck or cargo van.

Pro Tip

Consider hiring professional movers if you do not have the time and energy to handle the move all by yourself.

7. Calculate the costs:

The cost of small moves cannot be compared to the big ones. However, beware of scams in the moving industry that are ready to fool you. You need to make proper preparations and calculate every step of the process.

Moving to Florida for example, you need to contact reliable long distance moving companies in Florida to get your moving quote. Your costs will be calculated by the experts immediately and they will provide you with the best moving conditions.

Pro Tip

The best way to get a good deal for your small (either professional mover or rental truck) is to use our online moving quote to get your moving cost.

How to Handle a Small Move

Consider the list of tips compiled just for you below as you are looking to relocate small belongings to a long distance place without any plan to hire a professional mover:

DIY Move Using a Rental Moving Truck or Cargo Van

You can always pull off small moves by using a small rental truck or cargo van. A 1-2-bedroom move can be perfectly handled by a rental truck. Studio and college dorm rooms are best moved using rental trailers and cargo vans because of less or no large furniture. It is also possible to rent moving equipment along with the moving truck, trailer, or cargo vans.

If your move requires the use of moving equipment, then make sure you go for moving truck rental. Check’s truck rental center for discounts and other information on truck rental companies like Budget, Penske, and U-Pack.

1. Moving Container

One of the best ways to take care of a small relocation is to rent a moving container. You only need a normal-sized moving container to transport all your belongings if your apartment is small.

You may also use these containers as self-storage in a place where you do not have much space until you have enough space in your home either by downsizing or decluttering.

2. DIY Moves Using a Car

In most cases, a small move(to or fro) only means to move belongings in a car or two. If all your belongings will fit into your personal car, then you can give this a trial. This will not only save you some money, but it will also allow you to move at your own appointed time. You have total control of the move in your hand when you use your personal car to move your belongings.

3. Shipping Items One By One

When relocating to a long distance and you have few items to move, the best option here is always to ship those items to your destination. There are different ways to ship your belongings.

You can consider a shipping partner for your larger belongings on U-Ship. This website will help you find the right service provider for your special belongings. You can consider UPS, USPS, or FedEx for other items like boxes.

Pro Tip

Note that these mail companies regulate the weight of the items to be shipped.

4. Hire a Specialized Mover

If you are looking to hire a moving company for your small move then it is important that you choose a mover that specializes in small moves. Although hiring a professional mover that specializes in small moves might come at an expensive cost, however, it will come with great help, especially with heavy lifting and loading of specialty items.

If you have just a few belongings that require special attention then you can hire professional service for such items to reduce expense.

Top Small Load Moving Companies

Movers that handle small moves are divided into three categories:

  • Full-service movers
  • Moving containers (also known as moving pods)
  • Moving truck rentals

Full-service Apartment Movers

The best option to consider when you have large belongings to move or you are short on time, or you need help in moving your heavy furniture through stairs in your home is to hire a full-service mover. Even though this option is the most costly on our list of options, it is, however, the most convenient.

In addition, the option allows customers to customize their preferences as there are additional services such as storage and packing services. You can remove any service you don’t want, to reduce your moving expenses.

Our top picks for apartment movers are as follows:


This company will assist you with your moving needs, as it is present in 380 locations in North America and 44 states in general. Although the price rate from each of their location is set individually; however, the price for their long-distance service is based on the total weight and mileage.

Local moves, on the other hand, are basically charged per hour. This is, especially great for those moving a load in a studio apartment as the move will be completed in a matter of hours.

Moving and Storage Containers

You can rent moving storage containers if you decide to handle the packing and loading of your items by yourself and most especially if you will also be handling the driving of your belongings.

Our top picks for moving and storage containers are as follows:


PODS is a big name in the moving container industry. PODS provides customers with the convenience of service that comes from a full-service mover and the affordability that comes with DIY moves due to its availability and varieties of containers.

The majority of container companies provide only one size of container for customers, while PODS provides customers with three different sizes, which include the 7ft, 12ft, and 16ft.

Each of the PODS containers can contain from 1-4 rooms, meaning that you can add containers to suit your needs. The moving containers from PODS are very strong.

The containers are built on a steel frame foundation and are waterproof. PODS moving containers are different from any other containers on the moving container market because most of them are made of wood.

The containers have roll-up doors that are easy to use as well as clear roofs that allow for light during the day, meaning that there is no need for a flashlight when inside the container.

Read our review on PODS for further information. You can as well check our review on U-Pack as they offer the customer the option to pay for what they use, so you don’t have to pay for oversized containers for your small move.

Moving Truck and Van Rental Companies

The best option to go for when you decide to move your small belongings to your new home all by yourself as long as you are willing to drive is to rent a moving truck or van.

Our top picks for rental moving trucks are as follows:


U-Haul is widely known among moving truck rental companies due to its quality services and availability. It is also perfect for small local relocations due to its varieties of truck sizes. The company’s presence spread from coast to coast, and it said it is the largest moving rental truck company fleet.

If the U-Haul location you first visit doesn’t have the truck size you desire, you will most likely be able to visit a closer location to the first one and get the perfect truck size for your move. There are various sizes of moving trucks with U-Haul, and it surpasses the industry standard sizes (small, medium, and large).

The varieties of sizes from U-Haul allow the customer to choose the truck size that perfectly fits their belongings without having to overpay.

Below is the complete list of truck sizes from U-Haul:

  • 10-ft moving truck
  • 15-ft moving truck
  • 17-ft moving truck
  • 20-ft moving truck
  • 26-ft moving truck

Although the 26-ft moving truck can contain more than 4-bedrooms apartments, which is the most popular, however, it is important to add more spaces in case you have other items in storage that you may want to move.

The company also provides pick-up trucks and cargo vans for rent, meaning that you can get one that perfectly fits your belongings when moving from your studio apartment instead of renting a moving truck.

For further reading on U-Haul and its services, kindly read our U-Haul Review.

Factors for Choosing a Small Load Mover

Apartment relocation is also referred to as small load moves because they are always on the smaller side. In most cases, the apartment moves refer to only a maximum of 3-bedrooms, except you have a penthouse that is above 6 rooms in the heart of the city.

Below is the list of factors to consider in a mover when moving an apartment regardless of the size:

Cost factors:

Local apartment moves are generally cheaper than long-distance apartment relocation. Local moving companies charge per hour, and since you don’t spend much time to pack, load transport, and unload your belongings, this might actually benefit you a lot.

Moving an apartment to a long-distance will definitely cost you more than it would in a local apartment move, so be prepared. The overall weight of your belongings and the mileage will determine the cost of your long-distance apartment move.

Flight charge:

The majority of movers include additional fees for carrying your heavy items through many flights of stairs. There are different approaches to which each company handles this, so be sure to ask around and make a comparison before you decide on which to go for.

Available sizes of moving truck or container:

It is very important to rent a truck size that fit your belongings as there won’t be any gain when you pay for an oversized moving truck.

You will be faced with the opportunity to get the perfect truck size for your belongings without having to pay for what you didn’t use when a company provides you with various sizes of moving trucks other than the industry standard.


You will get to know if you can work with a particular company based on their availability in your location. Generally, most moving companies will list out the areas they service on their website and the working hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I plan to schedule my small move?

Contrary to what many expect, even moving a small home or studio apartment can take several weeks to effectively organize. For this reason, it is recommended that you schedule moves at least two weeks in advance to ensure that have enough time to prepare your home.

Moving companies can also get busy quickly, so time your reservation to avoid any problems with getting movers to pack, load, or unload your belongings. If you wait too long, you may be stuck handling everything on your own or scrambling to find a different solution for your move.

What time of the year is the best for moves?

Moving is seasonal, which means there are months where companies are extremely busy and months when they have high availability. During busier months, which range roughly from September to April, you may see an increase in the price of services, as people often schedule moves around the holidays and during the summer.

The best time to get your move done is outside of the busy season, giving you anywhere from May to mid-September to get the best rates. Your moving team may also be more flexible, as they have more time to focus on moving your items in the most efficient way possible.

Do moving companies provide free estimates?

There are some moving companies that will provide individuals with free estimates, but first you should determine what services you need from a mover. The first thing to consider before looking for estimates is whether you will need a full service moving company or not.

Once you’ve determined your needs, ask around to see if friends or family members can give you recommendations on where to start your search – you can also go online to look for reviews and company information. Make sure the moving company is legitimate and then inquire with a representative about getting a free quote.

When should I start contact movers to get estimates?

When it comes to planning a move, doing things sooner is much better than hoping that your plans can be finalized later on. Estimates can take time, so it’s recommended that homeowners allow estimators to have at least six weeks’ notice before your moving date to complete a survey and estimate the costs of your move.

The movers you are working with should be given as much information as possible about your move, allowing them to design a plan for handling your items. If you have belongings that will need special care, such as fragile or overweight pieces of furniture, let movers know so that those costs can also be calculated.

What happens when a relocation specialist conducts a home moving survey?

When an estimator comes to your door, it’s best to be prepared by knowing what to expect. The professional that visits your home will talk through and conduct a visual survey of your belongings. Once the visual survey has been completed, your estimated moving costs will be calculated.

If you want to get the most accurate estimate possible, be sure that the items in attics and closets are accounted for, as these belongings can add onto your price. Your cabinets will also be assessed in order for the moving company to know what they will need on the date of your move.

What is the difference between binding and non-binding estimates?

You will hear these terms while conducting research for your move, so it’s important to know what these words mean.

A binding estimate specifies the total costs of your move based on the services required and the items being transported. Non-binding estimates calculate charges based on weight, verifying your shipment’s weight several times to make sure your costs are accurate.


The time and energy required to pull off a move are not what everyone can boast of. Fortunately for you, there are many professional movers out there that can handle the task without you breaking a sweat regardless of the size. Check’s wide network of reliable and trustworthy national moving companies that you can choose from for your moving needs. All the movers in our network are properly licensed and insured, so there won’t be any cause to fear all through the moving process.

Leave a Reply