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How Much Do Professional Packers Cost? (2024 Guide)

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Young woman packing cardboard box at new home

Professional packers can ease moving day stress by packing your house quickly and transporting your belongings safely and securely. However, hiring professional movers can be expensive for some.
This moving guide assesses whether you should hire professional packers, how much professional packers charge, and explores ways to save on professional packing services as you prepare to move into your new home.


Major Professional Packer Cost Factors

The cost of packing services ranges from $280–$2,200 and includes labor and materials. Moving costs jump to somewhere between $380 and $3,600 if you also need unpacking services.*

Consider the additional variables when budgeting:

  • Date and time: Expect to pay more during peak moving season, which lasts from June to September. 
  • Fuel: Some movers may charge a fuel fee per mile, and your area’s fuel prices will dictate the related costs.
  • Labor: Most moves require at least two packers, and you’ll either pay each packer at an hourly rate, or you’ll pay a flat rate.
  • Packing materials: Some moving companies will include packing supplies such as boxes, packing blankets, packing paper, and tape in the original moving quote, but they’ll often upcharge for these materials.
  • Volume: Packing companies will charge more depending on the size of your home. The price will also increase as the shipping load gets heavier.

*All cost data in this article is from HomeAdvisor.

Date and Time

Moving is more expensive on weekends, holidays, and during peak moving season. Moving during the winter may cost less, but you may have to deal with snow, ice, and other inclement weather, which can affect your moving experience.

Fuel

Some packers may charge extra for fuel per mile. These prices will likely depend on fuel prices in your area and whether you’re making a local or long-distance move. U-Haul charges $0.99 per mile for local moves, for example.

Labor

A single packer can pack 100 square feet in an hour, on average, which can cost you between $25 and $40 per 100 square feet or $25 per hour per professional.

The amount and type of belongings that require packing will change your overall estimate. Packing fragile items, such as antiques or glassware, can add up to two hours of additional labor. Moving specialty items can increase labor costs from $25 to $100 overall.

Cost by Hourly Labor

The chart below shows how much you can expect to pay for labor based on your home’s square footage and the number of packers required.

Home Size (Square Feet)

Packers Required

Estimated Hours

Total Cost Range

400

2

2

$100–$150

800

2

4

$200–$330

1,200

2

6

$300–$480

2,000

2

10

$500–$800

2,400

3

8

$600–$950

3,200

3

10.5

$800–$1,250

Packing Materials

Movers may include packing material pricing in your moving quote, which can increase the cost of your overall move. Packing materials typically include boxes, bubble wrap, tape, packing blankets, and packing paper. These materials can cost between $180 for packing a one-bedroom apartment or house and $750 for packing a three-bedroom home.

Small boxes typically cost $1, while extra large boxes cost $2.50. You’ll need specialty boxes if you’re packing dishes or other specialty household items, which will cost between $2 for a single book box and $25 for a TV or picture box. Bubble wrap typically costs $35 for a three-bedroom home, and the cost of packing tape and tape dispensers comes out to about $30 for a three-bedroom home. 

Volume

Packing a one-bedroom apartment may cost as little as $280, and packing a five-bedroom home may cost as much as $2,000. Packing furniture, specifically, can cost $100–$1,450, but this depends on how many items you have and the size and shape of your furniture.

The weight of your items can also increase the price. Heavier items slow down the packing process and may require heavy-duty boxes or more labor.


How To Save on Professional Packing

Hiring a professional packing service is a big investment. Below are a few ways to save money.

  • Declutter and get rid of belongings you don’t need before moving.
  • Pick a moving date between October and April when rates are lower.
  • Pack and unpack on your own as much as possible. Check out our guide on tips for effective packing to make your move easier.
  • Request a free quote from at least three professional packing companies to find the best deal.
  • Stock up on boxes by visiting a local supermarket or department store. Retailers get shipments almost every day, and many give away empty cardboard boxes for free.

Our Conclusion

Hiring professional packers for your move is a worthwhile investment if you’re short on time and energy. We recommend using a cost calculator and getting cost estimates from several local movers. Read our guide on the top companies we recommend for packing and moving for more information.


FAQ About Professional Packer Costs

Are packers worth it for moving?

Professional packers may be worth the cost, depending on your budget, schedule, and physical capabilities. Professional packers can safely move furniture, appliances, and other heavy items so that you can focus on other important tasks.

What are the pros and cons of professional packers?

The biggest advantage of hiring professional packers is the peace of mind that experts will pack and unpack your belongings promptly and safely. Most moving companies also offer insurance to cover the cost of lost or damaged valuable items. A few downsides to moving include the cost of moving services and having less control of the packing and unpacking processes. 

What should I know before hiring a packer?

You should consider potential tipping expenses before hiring a packer. It’s not unusual to tip between $4 and $8 per professional per hour.

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