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7 Best Moving Companies of 2021

Hiring the right moving company for your relocation can make a huge difference when it comes to your family’s peace of mind about the transition. Learn about the services, costs, benefits, and drawbacks of the best moving companies nationwide.

Brown cardboard moving boxes in a white room of a home with stone fireplace, white furniture, white walls, and white curtains. Adobe

The moving experience is one full of excitement and stress. There are so many options for professional movers that it can become a challenge to determine which company and what type of move is right for you.

That is why the This Old House Reviews Team has created this guide to help you in your research and decision-making process.

This guide will help you compare seven top-rated moving companies based on the types of moves they help with, their costs, their services, and their pros and cons.

7 Best Moving Companies of 2021

After in-depth research, our review team found the following to be the best moving companies on the market today:

International Van Lines: Best Overall Full-Service Mover

International Van Lines is our top pick for a moving company, thanks to its competitive rates and a wide variety of services. The company offers full-service, partial-service, or self-service options for both local and long-distance moves anywhere in the country.

Full-service options include packing and unpacking, specialty services for pianos and antiques, storage, and other useful options.

Pros & Cons of International Van Lines

✔ Offers specialty services for artwork, antiques, and pianos
✔ Provides multiple protection plan options
✔ Offers vehicle relocation for a wide variety of vehicles
✘ No sample pricing online
✘ Customer reviews vary according to location and mention difficulty in communication

Cost: Moving a two-bedroom home from Chicago to Houston within a month’s time costs $2,015–$3,445 with International Van Lines. This includes the company providing loading and driving services.

State Availability: International Van Lines helps with local and long-distance moves in every state. The company also provides services for international moves.

IVL Services: Learn More

Learn More: International Van Line Review


Allied Van Lines: Best for Vehicle Relocation

Many other movers outsource vehicle shipping services, Allied Van Lines is a full-service mover that offers the rare perk of conducting its vehicle relocations services using its own trucks. It also offers GPS tracking on these shipments.

Pros & Cons of Allied Van Lines

✔ Offers in-house vehicle relocation services
✔ Partners with the Salvation Army to help donate unwanted items
✔ Provides GPS tracking on all shipments

✘ Its prices may run higher than some competitors
✘ Customer reviews mention a difficult claims process

Cost: Allied Van Lines estimates that moving a two-bedroom home/apartment from Chicago to Houston with an average-sized load would cost about $5,364–$6,131. This is a ballpark quote that may change dramatically over the course of a move due to unforeseen circumstances, such as increased travel time. However, Allied typically provides binding estimates through in-home and virtual surveys. This is a quote that does not change once you are quoted unless your inventory changes.

State Availability: Allied Van Lines helps with local and cross-country moves in all 50 states. It also helps with international moves in 130 countries.

Allied Van Lines Services: Learn More

Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review


North American Van Lines is a full-service mover that provides comprehensive contents protection plans and an easy-to-use claims process. This makes the company a great choice for those looking to transport expensive belongings.

North American Van Lines offers custom full-value release plans, so customers receive coverage and compensation that matches the actual value of their items rather than a predetermined amount. The company also provides direct, easy-to-reach communication if something goes wrong through a separate customer support line for filing claims and a thorough claims process.

Pros & Cons of North American Van Lines

✔ Detailed and transparent claims process
✔ Provides personal moving agent from a network of more than 500 agent locations
✔ Wide assortment of online tools and resources

✘ Available agents may be limited based on your location
✘ Storage options may be limited based on your location

Cost: North American Van Lines quoted us to move a two-bedroom home from Chicago to Houston with a medium-sized load for $5,343–$6,105. Similar to Allied, the company also offers binding estimates through virtual and in-home surveys. This provides even greater financial peace of mind when paired with North American Van Lines’ coverage plans and claims process.

State Availability: North American Van Lines is available for local and long-distance moves in every state. It also helps with international moves in 130 countries.

North American Van Lines Services: Learn More

Learn More: North American Van Lines Review


American Van Lines: Most Experienced Moving Labor

American Van Lines provides some of the most experienced, consistent, and reliable moving labor with its full-service options.

The company exclusively hires full-time movers, as opposed to the popular method of contract-based work. As a result, American Van Lines’ workers have an average 10 years of moving experience when they arrive to help you, making them some of the best movers for a wide range of services, including packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading.

Pros & Cons of American Van Lines

✔ Provides a price-matching policy
✔ Offers flat-rate quotes
✔ Workers have 10 years of experience, on average
✘ Prices can be slightly higher than competitors
✘ Up-front deposits range from 10%–50% of total cost
✘ No online estimate option

Cost: American Van Lines does not post sample pricing for specific services online, but it does feature a moving cost page on its website with special offerings for popular moves. The company estimates that a move from Houston to Chicago for a two-bedroom apartment (or a move weighing 6,000 pounds) would be around $4,669.

One great feature from American Van Lines is that it provides binding estimates. This means you receive a fixed rate that will not change despite what happens during your move. Other companies may adjust their prices based on unexpected events or changes during a move, but American Van Lines guarantees your quote price through fixed pricing.

State Availability: American Van Lines can help with moves of any size and distance in 48 states. It is not available in Alaska and Hawaii.

American Van Lines Services: Learn More

Learn More: American Van Lines Review


1-800-PACK-RAT: Best Overall Self-Service Mover

1-800-PACK-RAT is our top choice for self-service mover. Not only does the company provide excellent pricing on its portable storage container service, but it partners with Hire-A-Helper. This partnership allows customers to receive the moving assistance they need for an additional cost. 1-800-PACK-RAT can assist with both local and interstate moves.

Pros & Cons of 1-800-PACK-RAT

✔ Includes $10,000 of protection on long-distance moves
✔ Wide selection of online resources and tools
✔ Offers three different-sized weather-proof and easily-accessible containers
✘ Locations are only in 29 states
✘ Bookings and quotes must be completed over the phone

Cost: We obtained a quote from 1-800-PACK-RAT for a 16-foot container moving from Chicago to Houston in about a month for $3,239.76. This quote includes all transportation during the move, delivery and pickup of the container, a no-cut security lock for the container, and $10,000 in content protection coverage.

State Availability: 1-800-PACK-RAT states that it helps within a 100-mile radius of each of its locations easily. The company also says it can most likely help with a move in the United States even if a location is not nearby, so we encourage you to call the company to figure out if it can help you. See which states 1-800-PACK-RAT services.

1-800-PACK-RAT Services: Learn More

Learn More: 1-800-PACK-RAT Review


JK Moving: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover

JK Moving is a full-service mover that focuses on tailoring your moving package in accordance with your budget and moving needs.

Another standout feature of JK Moving is that customers are able to finance their move with the company. This is not a common offering in the moving industry. Some customers can get rates as low as 0% same-as-cash.

Pros & Cons JK Moving

✔ Provides customer service 24/7
✔ Offers financing through Enhancify
✔ Storage facilities include climate-controlled units
✘ Does not provide sample pricing online
✘ Mixed customer reviews based on location
✘ Local moves are only available in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia

Cost: JK Moving customizes each of its moving packages based on each customer’s needs, so the company does not feature sample pricing online. We were able to get a ballpark estimate from JK Moving for a two-bedroom home (or 10,400 pounds) going from Atlanta to Chicago for $7,521. This includes furniture disassembly, wrapping and padding, loading, unloading, and full value protection.

State Availability: While JK Moving helps with local moves only in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., the company provides assistance with long-distance moves in all 50 states. JK Moving can also supply assistance for international moving.

JK Moving Services: Learn More

Learn More: JK Moving Review


PODS: Most Convenient

PODS is another portable storage container company that can provide a mixture of self-service and partial-service options. We find that PODS offers the most convenience when it comes to the schedule of your move.

PODS offers 30 days for you to load up your moving containers, and it then allows for another 30 days for you to unload once you are at your destination. PODS customers also get access to additional services like storage and protection plans.

Pros & Cons of PODS

✔ Quote process provides plenty of details and transparency
✔ 30 days to load and 30 days to unload your belongings
✔ Claims to help with moves in all 50 states
✘ Lengthy quote process
✘ Not much availability for short-term notice

Cost: PODS is a pay-as-you-go service, so there are no up-front costs. We received a quote from PODS for a 16-foot container moving from Chicago to Houston in about two months. This quote includes six to eight days for transit, which excludes Sundays and major holidays. PODS’ overall estimated cost for this move $3,494.08 plus taxes.

Payment: Payments are made in installments. The first payment of $487.95 includes the delivery of the container, its pickup, first month’s rental, and $10k in contents protection. The second payment for the cost of transportation of the container is $2,867.13. The redelivery of the container to the new address in Houston and its final pickup is $139.

State Availability: PODS states that it can help with moves in all 50 states. The company does not feature a physical branch in every state. PODS does not have a brick-and-mortar location in:

  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

PODS Services: Learn More

Learn More: PODS Review


Compare the Top Moving Companies

See how some of the top moving companies compare to help make your decision a little easier.

What Impacts a Moving Company’s Cost

Most moving companies have the same factors impact the average cost of their services.

Some companies will include different factors, such as hourly labor or the amount of containers you receive, but the following factors will most likely influence the final price you pay for your moving company’s services:

  • Location of your original residence
  • Date and time of your move
  • Overall distance of the move
  • Truck parking access
  • Truck size used
  • Truck driver’s hours
  • Hours worked by moving labor
  • Fuel costs
  • Number of portable storage containers used
  • Size/weight of your move
  • Additional protection plans you purchase
  • Additional services you purchase

What to Look for in a Moving Company

It can be challenging to research each moving company’s website to determine which company is right for you. There are a few important, universal factors to keep in mind when comparing top moving companies. To help you keep those major factors in mind, we have listed them here:

1. Figure Out Which Type of Move You Want

Take some time as you research to figure out which type of move you and your family might want. You should think about what you value in a moving service and what you are willing to do in order to effectively determine which type of move you should undertake.

Full-Service Moving Companies

If you are looking to have a moving company handle as much of your move as possible, then we recommend a full-service moving company like International Van Lines or JK Moving. Full-service moving companies pack and unpack belongings, and they might train their movers in transporting fragile items like antiques.

Self-Service Moving Companies

If you are looking to save money and enjoy taking the DIY approach to things, then we suggest you look into self-service moving companies like 1-800-PACK-RAT or PODS.

2. Review the Best Moving Companies in Your Area

To help you find the best moving company to assist you and your needs the best you should compare the top moving companies in your state:

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

3. Research Each Company’s Reputation

Getting a friend or family member’s recommendation is a good way to know how a moving company realistically works. Another great step is to visit trusted customer reviews sites online, such as Yelp, Consumer Reports, Angi, MyMovingReviews.com, and the Better Business Bureau. When reading moving company reviews, pay attention to how each customer describes the highs and lows from their experience with the movers to get a feeling for how the customer service for each company really works. This is also a great time to get moving estimates from each company to compare costs.

4. Check That the Moving Company is Properly Licensed

The best moving companies are properly licensed and insured for the move you are asking them to execute. Luckily, If you choose a moving company from this list, then you do not have to worry about doing this. All of our recommended movers are licensed, bonded, and insured.

If you decide to use another moving company, then you can check their credentials by obtaining the company’s USDOT number and visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website to search for them.


How to Prepare for a Move

Moving companies often act as an effective means to remember important steps to accomplish during a move, such as scheduling time off work and purchasing moving boxes. Some moving companies offer personal moving coaches, and other companies provide a moving checklist.

Even with these resources, there are some important steps that may get skipped over when preparing for your move. Read over some major steps to take below to make sure your move occurs with ease:

1. Condense Your Belongings

We recommend you make two piles as moving day draws near. In one of the piles, place items you can donate. In the other pile, place items you want to throw away. A few days before the movers arrive, you can spend some time taking each pile to its respective drop-off location.

2. Notify Important People

Be sure to notify your internet provider, your electricity and water companies, insurance companies, tax agencies, utility companies, the post office, and the Social Security Administration.

3. Create an Inventory

An important step to take when making your inventory is to make note of the condition of your items and take pictures of them. These photos and notes will come in handy if you have to file a damage claim for reimbursement.

Learn More: Our Guide to Moving


Moving Companies FAQs

What is the most affordable moving company?

U-Pack is the most affordable self-service moving company on our list. When it comes to the most affordable full-service mover, we recommend JK Moving. This company helps customers customize their moves to fit their budgets.

How far in advance should I book movers?

Though you will want to check with your moving company, we suggest booking your movers at least two months in advance.

Should you help your movers?

You may be able to help them if you want. Keep in mind that movers will work quickly and efficiently at their jobs and you are paying them to do this for you, so they do not mind. Also, check with the company you are using as some companies refuse to let customers assist their movers for liability reasons.

Do you feed your movers?

If you are expecting your movers to work for more than four or five hours, then it is a gracious gesture to purchase and provide your movers with lunch. This is by no means required, and movers can take their own lunch break if needed.


Other Moving Resources

We’ve done extensive research on the best moving companies across the country and have compiled easy to digest comparisons:


Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for moving service providers is on a 100-point scale based on 7 factors:

  • Moving Services (30): Does the company offer its services for local, long-distance, and or international moves?
  • Additional Services (29): What additional services does the company provide, such as packing and unpacking or loading and unloading?
  • Coverage (10): Does the company offer any additional insurance plans, such as full-value coverage?
  • Scheduling (7): Are customers able to schedule online, over the phone, or on both platforms?
  • Trailers/containers (7): How many trailer or container sizes does the company offer?
  • Additional Benefits (12): What additional benefits does the company provide, such as storage options, moving truck rentals, and financing?
  • Reputation (5): What rating does the company feature on popular review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.