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The Best Moving Companies for Small Moves

Author Image Written by Genesis Vesco + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by Sam DeLisle Updated 07/12/2024

Moving is exciting, but it can also be stressful to sort out all the logistics—even if you’re moving a small space. Moving companies define small moves as those weighing less than 2,000 pounds, about the size of a one-bedroom or studio apartment. While it’s possible to relocate a handful of furniture items and boxes on your own, professional movers can make the process a lot easier.

We researched 14 movers based on their service offerings, reputations, liability options, and more. We also spoke to more than a dozen industry experts and surveyed 1,000 recent moving customers. We used this data to create a six-factor scoring system to rate providers. Our criteria focused on the details that matter most to consumers: customer service, reputation, value, service offerings, item protection, and scheduling. 

We then narrowed this list down to the five best moving companies for small moves. Our guide includes both full-service and partial-service movers to fit your needs and budget.

Key Takeaways

Partial-service movers are the most cost-effective option for small moves.
Full-service movers are a great choice if you prefer to let your movers handle every aspect of your relocation, from packing and loading to furniture assembly.
Our cost data shows that the average cost for a small move is between $2,500–$5,130, depending on the distance you’re moving. Long-distance moves are more expensive than local moves.

Compare Our Top 5 Moving Companies for Small Moves

The table below compares our top five moving companies for small moves against all 14 of the providers we rated. We’ve highlighted how each mover scored in our review standards, plus important factors like pricing and deposits. 

Although other moving companies may have a higher overall score according to our ratings, we chose 1-800-PACK-RAT, U-Pack, Moving APT, Allied Van Lines, and North American Van Lines as our top recommended moving companies for this review because of the comprehensive services they offer for small-load moves. We included portable storage container companies, a partial-service mover, and full-service movers, so you can choose the company that best suits your needs.

Overall Rating

4.2 / 5
3.7 / 5
4.2 / 5
4.9 / 5
4.8 / 5
4.7 / 5
4.5 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.0 / 5
3.9 / 5
4.8 / 5
4 / 5
3.3 / 5

BBB Rating

A+
A+
B+
A+
A+
A+
A+
B-
A+
A+
B
A+
A+
A+

FMCSA Licensing

Carrier/Broker
Carrier
Broker
Carrier/Broker
Carrier/Broker
Carrier
Carrier
Carrier
Carrier
Carrier/Broker
Broker
Carrier/Broker
Carrier
Broker

Average Price*

$2,547
$3,705
$4,683
$5,370
$5,969
$7,171
$5,250
$5,631
$5,625
$5,100
$5,054
$3,306
$2,768
$2,800

Deposit Required

Varies
None
Varies
None
None
$250
Up to 25%
Up to 40%
Up to 50%
None
Up to 33%
None
Varies
None

Pros

  • Customized rental periods are available
  • Offers price-matching for comparable services from competitors, such as PODS
  • Containers are made entirely of steel to better protect belongings from weather damage
  • GPS tracking is available
  • Fast delivery times
  • Less expensive pricing than full-service movers
  • Offers an online cost estimator
  • Offers price-matching
  • Provides quick service
  • Climate-controlled storage facilities
  • Expedited relocation services
  • In-house vehicle shipping
  • Budget-planning service
  • No deposit
  • Only provides binding estimates
  • Background-checked movers
  • Financing available
  • Intuitive AI-assisted online quote tool
  • Flexible insurance plans
  • Free month of storage
  • Upfront pricing
  • Flat-rate pricing
  • Free month of storage for all customers
  • Light packing is available for long-distance moves
  • Hires movers who average 10 years of experience
  • Provides fixed-rate quotes
  • Trains its employees regularly to efficiently handle special packing and crating
  • Focuses on providing binding estimates only
  • Offers customizable moving packages
  • Offers GPS tracking
  • Offers a quick quote process for last-minute moves
  • Prescreens all third-party movers in its network
  • Provides full-service packing and crating for all moving customers
  • Gives you a minimum of 30 days to pack and load a container at your own pace
  • Offers short-term and long-term storage solutions
  • Ground-level containers make loading simple
  • Mobile application lets you access your vehicle order and place new ones
  • Quick and easy online reservation process
  • Offers rentable trucks, trailers, and containers
  • Provides door-to-door moving container services
  • Galvanized steel mesh portable containers are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions
  • Offers moving and storage solutions, allowing you to use the same container for both purposes

Cons

  • Can only do long-distance moves with an 8-foot container
  • Requires a deposit for long-distance moves
  • Services aren't available in all states
  • Cancelation fee charged if within a week of your service date
  • Moves must exceed 150 miles
  • Storage only available at a company facility
  • Not responsible for any damage due to broker status
  • Service varies by location according to reviews
  • Unwanted contact from partner companies may occur
  • Misleading quote tool
  • No weekend support
  • Slow claims process
  • Items may take 10–14 days to arrive
  • Limited storage services according to zip code
  • Three-day requirement for cancellations
  • Higher-than-average pricing
  • Long quote process
  • No refund on your deposit
  • Below-average customer reviews
  • Outsources some moves
  • Requires up to a 25% deposit
  • Can’t promise extra services, such as fragile packing and crating
  • No upfront pricing
  • Reputation for difficult communication during the first phase of a move
  • Charges higher average prices
  • Has limited customer service on weekends
  • Requires a deposit of up to 50% of the total cost
  • Long quote process makes it not ideal for quick moves
  • Reviews vary by local branch
  • Slow damage claims process
  • No customer service on the weekends
  • No refund on your deposit if it's more than 72 hours after booking
  • Not responsible for damage due to broker status
  • Reviews mention difficulties in resolving billing issues
  • Requires $150 if you cancel less than three days before delivery
  • Doesn't supply containers efficently on short notice
  • Customer must drive its trucks
  • U-Box portable containers only come in one size
  • Limits mileage for long-distance moves
  • Only has locations in 35 states
  • Customer is responsible for packing and loading
  • Largest portable container is 15 feet and only carries up to three rooms' worth of furniture and boxes

Summary

We recommend 1-800-PACK-RAT for partial-service moves because of its simple and affordable storage and transportation solutions.

We recommend U-Pack if you’re moving on a tight budget. You can save big if you’re willing to handle most of the labor yourself, but the company also offers third-party assistance with packing and loading services.

We recommend Moving APT because of its highly rated customer service and its ability to quickly provide you with multiple quotes for its partner companies.

We recommend Allied if you want to ship a vehicle due to the company’s in-house vehicle relocation services.

We recommend North American Van Lines (NAVL) as the best long-distance mover overall because of its customizable insurance packages, highly rated customer service, and extensive service options.

We recommend JK Moving Services for its ability to offer financing options through its partnership with Enhancify and its high-end, white-glove packing services.

We recommend International Van Lines (IVL) if you want the most moving service options possible. The company boasts one of the most extensive moving service catalogs at highly competitive rates.

We recommend Safeway Moving Inc. for condo or HOA residents. The company has a special focus and training on the regulations and problems that may arise with these moves.

We recommend American Van Lines if you’re moving high-end items or antiques because it focuses on training its staff to move difficult and valuable items.

We recommend Mayflower for moves with more than five bedrooms. Its fleet, service areas, and specialized large-home service options offer more flexibility than other movers.

We recommend Interstate Moving & Relocation Group as a reputable broker if you need to move quickly. The company’s customer service is prompt, and its broker network helps you find a vetted mover fast.

PODS is ideal if you want to take the time to pack and load your belongings for your move. We also recommend it for its moving and storage solutions.

We recommend U-Haul if you prefer to handle the entire moving process yourself, from loading to driving. The company offers several rental options that are perfect for moves of various sizes.

We recommend Zippy Shell if you’re seeking flexible moving and storage solutions at a competitive price—especially if your move is within the urban areas where Zippy Shell has its storage facilities.

Customer Service

3.6 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.4 / 5
4.4 / 5
4.4 / 5
5 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.4 / 5
4.4 / 5
3.8 / 5
4.4 / 5
3.9 / 5
3.3 / 5

Reputation

4.7 / 5
4.4 / 5
3.9 / 5
3.9 / 5
3.6 / 5
5 / 5
4.3 / 5
4.3 / 5
3.9 / 5
3.2 / 5
2.9 / 5
4.6 / 5
3.6 / 5
2.9 / 5

Value

5 / 5
4.4 / 5
4.2 / 5
4.7 / 5
4.7 / 5
3.1 / 5
2.8 / 5
3.3 / 5
3.3 / 5
2.8 / 5
4.2 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
4.4 / 5

Service Offerings

5 / 5
3.4 / 5
4.5 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
4.7 / 5
4.7 / 5
4.5 / 5
4.7 / 5
3.7 / 5
4.5 / 5
4.7 / 5
4.5 / 5
3.2 / 5

Item Protection

2 / 5
2.8 / 5
4.3 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
4.3 / 5
5 / 5
4.3 / 5
3.5 / 5
2 / 5
4.3 / 5
2.5 / 5

Scheduling

4.1 / 5
2.3 / 5
2.3 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
5 / 5
4.1 / 5
4.1 / 5
2.3 / 5
5 / 5
3.9 / 5
3.2 / 5
2.3 / 5
2.3 / 5

*BBB ratings are accurate as of June 2024.

**Average prices are taken from moving quotes for two-bedroom homes relocating between 500 and 800 miles.


Video of How to Move Furniture Yourself for a Small Move

You can save money on your small move by choosing to pack, load, and unload your belongings and furniture yourself, but it requires more elbow grease. Moving a box spring, for example, can be challenging—especially when narrow stairs are in play. In the video below, Tom Silva shares tips and tricks on how to move this bulky item. 


Our Top Moving Company Picks


How We Selected The Best Moving Companies for Small Moves

We used a detailed research process to ensure our recommendations reflect what you care most about when selecting a moving company. We surveyed customers to get real feedback about our top providers and read customer reviews from trusted sources like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot to get a broad spectrum of opinions and experiences. The following factors emerged as the most important to customers: customer service, reputation, value, service offerings, item protection, and scheduling.

The chart below shows the relationship between average pricing and overall scores for our recommended small-load movers.

Customer Service

You want your movers to have good customer care in case any issues arise with your small move. We evaluated the following criteria to score this category:

  • BBB ratings and response rates: The BBB is an organization that evaluates and rates businesses based on their trustworthiness and practices. Companies with a high BBB rating have demonstrated consistent customer satisfaction and quick responses to customer complaints. However, businesses must pay membership fees to be accredited by the BBB, so a low or missing rating doesn’t always paint the whole picture. We always research the reason why a company has a poor rating before deciding how to rate it.
  • Online user experience: Companies with online tools such as moving checklists and calculators show their willingness to educate and help customers beyond their moving day. Clear and accessible U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) information also displays transparency and fosters trust. You can research a company’s USDOT number to make sure it complies with federal regulations and to access its safety record, which includes inspections, audits, and more.

All of our recommended small-load movers excelled in this category thanks to their accessible online tools, high BBB ratings of B+ or above, and quick customer complaint response rates of at least 90%, meaning they addressed all or nearly all complaints filed against them through the BBB.

However, there are some differences in the online tools each mover provides. Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines don’t offer online moving calculators, while 1-800-PACK-RAT and U-Pack don’t display their USDOT numbers on their websites. The only mover to check all the boxes in this category was Moving APT.

Customer Support Score

Reputation

Proper licensing and transparency are important for small moves since many relocations involve transporting valuable or sentimental items. You should also ensure you’re working with a credible moving company so you aren’t overcharged—especially since small moves are generally cheaper. For this category, we checked each company’s license status, confirmed whether they had background-checked movers, and reviewed their vehicle out-of-service percentage, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  

Moving companies can be licensed as carriers, brokers, or both. Here’s what that means:

  • Brokers: Moving companies with broker licenses arrange the transportation of your items through third-party movers. Brokers tend to have wider networks, competitive pricing, schedule flexibility, and specialized services.
  • Carriers: Licensed carriers own their vehicles and move your belongings themselves. Carriers work directly with you throughout the whole moving process, take accountability for any hiccups, and keep the process streamlined and simple. 

Many partial-service movers are brokers, such as Moving APT, while many full-service moving companies are brokers and carriers, such as Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines. Partial-service movers allow customers to choose specific services, such as packing, loading, furniture assembly, and transportation. This requires flexibility and a large provider network, which brokers have access to.

Some companies on our list break that mold, as 1-800-PACK-RAT is both a broker and carrier, while U-Pack is only a carrier. We ranked companies that hold carrier licenses the highest because they provide direct oversight and guidance during your move and have complete control over scheduling. Choosing a carrier reduces the risk of miscommunication or issues that could arise while working with intermediaries like brokers. 

When reading customer reviews, we noticed that movers who background-check their employees tend to have higher customer satisfaction ratings, as customers can feel better about their belongings’ safety and security. Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, and U-Pack advertise their screened movers.

The last piece of the reputation puzzle was vehicle reliability. FMCSA periodically inspects moving company vehicles and publishes its findings. The national average for out-of-service moving vehicles is 22.26%, so we awarded the most points to movers with percentages below that number.

At the top of our list for this criteria was 1-800-PACK-RAT, with only 15.3% out-of-service vehicles. Our other top four have out-of-service percentages between 22.26% and 27.25%. Choosing a company with a lower out-of-service vehicle percentage means you’ll be less likely to experience sudden delays or cancellations due to vehicle malfunctions.

Reputation Score

Value

When you’re only transporting a few pieces of furniture and some smaller belongings, you likely want the lowest price that won’t sacrifice quality. Partial-service movers tend to be more cost-effective for these types of relocations. However, that doesn’t mean you should cross all full-service moving companies off your list.

When evaluating this category, we compared pricing, moving estimate types, and do-it-yourself (DIY) availability. Expectedly, the partial-service movers on our list (1-800-PACK-RAT and U-Pack) had the most competitive rates. Their average pricing for two-bedroom moves across 500–800 miles was below $4,000, while North American Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, and Moving APT gave us pricing in the $4,500–$6,000 range. If money isn’t a concern, hiring a full-service moving company may be the right choice for added peace of mind, but we recommend a partial-service mover if you’re trying to relocate on a budget.

A binding estimate provides a cost for your move based on an initial assessment of your belongings; so long as your inventory doesn’t change, you’ll pay exactly your quoted amount. Flat-rate pricing is fixed and doesn’t change regardless of weight or inventory. Nonbinding estimates are approximate and often change with the actual weight and volume of your belongings. We rated companies with binding estimates or flat-rate pricing higher because they provide clear, predictable costs so you can budget more effectively. 

North American Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, and 1-800-PACK-RAT offer flat-rate or binding estimates upfront, earning them more points. Moving APT and U-Pack only offer nonbinding estimates.

The ability to DIY parts of your small move can also ease the financial burden of relocating. All of our top movers offer portable storage containers, which allow you to manage the bulk of your move yourself (packing, loading, unpacking, and unloading) and only pay for the container and transportation services.

Value Score

Service Offerings

You can likely handle packing and loading yourself for a small move, but you may prefer to have your movers do everything for you. Either way, it’s important that you’re aware of the scope of services that your movers provide. We weighed two factors when evaluating this category: service selection and availability of packing supplies.

We broke down the service selection category into specific service options, including the following:

  • Packing
  • Unpacking
  • Loading
  • Unloading
  • Vehicle shipping
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Furniture disassembly
  • Furniture assembly
  • Appliance/electronics handling
  • Office moves
  • Piano moving

Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, 1-800-PACK-RAT, and Moving APT offer all the services above. U-Pack only offers packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading, though it connects its customers with providers for additional services.

Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, and 1-800-PACK-RAT also provide packing supplies, such as boxes, tape, and furniture covers, at an extra cost. Unfortunately, Moving APT and U-Pack don’t sell these items.

Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, and 1-800-PACK-RAT shined in this category, all tying for first place.

Services Offered Score

Item Protection

Even if you’re only moving a few rooms’ worth of belongings, the last thing you should have to worry about is damage or loss. That’s why it’s crucial to hire a moving company that offers protection plans. All full- and partial-service interstate movers are federally mandated to offer at least two moving insurance options: released value protection and full value protection.

  • Released value protection: This basic liability coverage reimburses up to 60 cents per pound for lost and damaged items.
  • Full value protection: Full value protection means your mover is responsible for the replacement value of lost or damaged goods in your entire shipment.

We gave the highest scores to providers that offer more than two plans, as it demonstrates their commitment to protecting your items. Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines both offer three or more liability coverage options, including basic protection and more comprehensive plans. If you need to transport high-value items, we recommend choosing a company that allows you to declare those items, such as Allied Van Lines or North American Van Lines. When you declare high-value items, you add them to an inventory form, ensuring they receive extra protection and coverage under the mover’s liability policy.

Some companies offer additional protection services, such as crating, storage, GPS tracking, and antique/specialty services. Our top picks for small moves all offer these services except U-Pack and 1-800-PACK-RAT. Neither company offers crating or specialty services, and 1-800-PACK-RAT doesn’t provide GPS tracking.

Item Protection Score

Scheduling

Having multiple contact options helps make the moving process more convenient and smooth. For example, can you book your small move services online, or do you have to call? The inconvenience of picking up the phone could be enough to sway your decision. That’s why we focused on contact options, quote process options, and mobile app accessibility for this category.

The majority of our recommended small-load movers can be contacted via email, virtual chat, or phone, but two can only be reached by phone—Moving APT and U-Pack. We awarded more points to moving companies that offer multiple avenues of communication. If you’re only looking for a quick quote, all five of our recommended movers can assist you virtually. If you prefer to receive a quote in person, you can visit Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, or 1-800-PACK-RAT at one of their facilities closest to you. 1-800-PACK-RAT has a limited service area, so if you want to ensure availability for your move, we suggest calling them directly.

Mobile moving apps can be a simple and easy way for you to keep track of your moving services, but not all moving companies offer them. Of our picks, only Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines have apps that allow you to track your shipment, submit claims, and contact your movers directly. We tested both applications and found them to be quick and easy to use—signing up took under five minutes. We gave additional points to these movers because their mobile apps enhance customer convenience and provide real-time updates about their move. 

Overall, Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines tied for first place in this category, with 1-800-PACK-RAT following close behind and Moving APT and U-Pack tying for last.

Scheduling Score


Pricing for Small-Load Moves

The chart below shows data we gathered from 14 full-service, partial-service, and self-service movers. This cost data shows price ranges for DIY and full-service moves across distances ranging from less than 1,000 miles to more than 2,000 miles. Partial-service moving companies typically charge somewhere between self-pack and full-pack prices.

Distance
Self-pack
Full-pack
<1,000 miles
$2,500–$3,600
$2,850–$4,230
1,000-1,500 miles
$2,900–$4,500
$3,250–$5,130
1,500-2,000 miles
$3,200–$4,500
$3,550–$5,130

We gathered and analyzed 84 cost estimates from 11 moving companies using key factors like inventory weight and move distance. We used this data to calculate an average cost per move. All estimates were binding, meaning the provider can't increase the price later.


Our Top Moving Companies for Small Moves

Based on our research and analysis, we believe the companies below are the five best movers for small moves. While each company’s overall score is important, we prioritized pricing when choosing our top companies for small moves. 1-800-PACK-RAT is our top choice for small-load moves because it’s the most cost-effective mover on our list and offers 8-foot moving containers suitable for small moves.

Each provider on our list has at least a B+ BBB rating and offers portable storage containers for your convenience. Since small moves often require minimal labor, we’ve included both full-service and partial-service movers so you can choose which services you need. Pricing varies substantially between providers, but so do service offerings. Balance cost against value when deciding on the best choice for you.

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

4.2
Overall Score
#2 out of 7 reviewed companies
BBB Rating: A+
Cost: $2,547
Deposit: Varies
Visit Site
Limited Time:

Save $50 off my move!

What We Liked

  • Offers 8- and 12-foot container sizes to suit small moving needs
  • Provides great value for services with the lowest average cost on our list
  • Offers short- and long-term storage options

What We Didn't Like

  • Outsources packing, loading, and additional moving services to third-party providers through HireAHelper
  • Has a minimum rental period for containers, so you may pay for more time than you need

Our Scores

We rated 1-800-PACK-RAT 4.2 out of 5 stars due to its comprehensive service offerings and stellar reputation. However, it scored low in the “Item Protection” category.

Customer Support Score
3.6 / 5
Reputation Score
4.7 / 5
Value Score
5 / 5
Services Score
5 / 5
Item Protection Score
2 / 5
Scheduling Score
4.1 / 5

Our Review

1-800-PACK-RAT stands out as the most affordable mover on our list. It costs over $1,000 less than our second-cheapest recommended mover, U-Pack. We like that it still provides excellent value for your money, offering flexible service and storage options so you don’t have to overspend on things you don’t need.

1-800-PACK-RAT’s container-based approach means you pay for a storage container rather than actual moving services. This makes it more budget-friendly than full-service moving companies like Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines. You can choose from its 8-foot, 12-foot, and 16-foot containers, which can be dropped off at your property and picked up at a later date for transport. 

The company transports your items but outsources packing, loading, and other services, so you can pick and choose what you need. 1-800-PACK-RAT works directly with HireAHelper, so you can research your movers before hiring them for additional services. While it does take some extra work to hire a third party, it can save you money in the long run since you can choose exactly which services you need. 1-800-PACK-RAT also offers long-term, self-storage solutions in case you need to store your portable container for an extended period of time.

1-800-PACK-RAT has a similar “you pack, we drive” model as U-Pack, but 1-800-PACK-RAT’s reputation for reliability gives it a slight edge over its competitor. 1-800-PACK-RAT’s containers are entirely made of steel, while U-Pack’s ReloCubes are made of steel and aluminum, making them less durable.

See 1-800-PACK-RAT Review

Customer Reviews

1-800-PACK-RAT has 2 out of 5 stars based on 387 customer reviews on the BBB website. This is average compared to other providers. We noticed that many moving companies have low ratings across review sites. We believe this is because people tend to go online to leave negative feedback more than positive.

Happy customers praised the company’s reasonable pricing, timely deliveries, and friendly customer service. Many mentioned that 1-800-PACK-RAT representatives were courteous and prompt, and the company connected them with professional movers for additional services. One customer mentioned that she highly recommends 1-800-PACK-RAT as they easily moved all contents of her one-bedroom apartment. 
Negative reviews primarily focused on mechanical issues, such as forklift complications and broken-down transportation vehicles. 1-800-PACK-RAT responded to the majority of these comments and mentioned that the customers received compensation for the inconvenience.

Over 1,000 customers reviewed 1-800-PACK-RAT on Trustpilot, earning it 2.8 out of 5 stars. Several reviews mentioned its convenient storage services and speedy pod deliveries. Many reviewers said they were repeat customers, which we like because it shows 1-800-PACK-RAT has a loyal client base.

Most Affordable: U-Pack

3.7
Overall Score
#10 out of 10 reviewed companies (View All)
BBB Rating:
A+
Cost:
$3,705
Deposit:
None
Visit Site
Limited Time:

Book my move today!

What We Liked

  • Offers quick and easy online quotes
  • Charges only for the space you use during your small move
  • Doesn’t charge out-of-pocket fees for fuel

What We Didn't Like

  • Has limited availability for local moves (under 150 miles)
  • Doesn’t offer fragile-only packing, furniture assembly/disassembly, or appliance handling

Our Scores

U-Pack earned a 3.8-out-of-5 star rating in our review. It did well in the “Reputation” and “Value” categories, but it doesn’t offer the best item protection or scheduling options. 

Customer Support Score
4.3 / 5
Reputation Score
4.4 / 5
Value Score
4.4 / 5
Services Score
3.4 / 5
Item Protection Score
2.8 / 5
Scheduling Score
2.3 / 5

Our Review

U-Pack is known for its “you pack, we drive” service model. Similar to 1-800-PACK-RAT, the company delivers a moving trailer or ReloCube (a portable storage container) to your location, and you’re responsible for packing and loading your belongings or outsourcing the work to a third party. Once all your items are in the trailer or ReloCube, U-Pack handles the transportation. Upon arrival, you or your hired movers must unload your belongings.

We like this model because it provides more affordable moving options for small moves. Full-service moving companies like Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines offer pricey service packages and have stringent weight requirements, whereas U-Pack gives you the ability to pack and load at yourself and at your own pace.

U-Pack also has a positive reputation for customer satisfaction. It advertises background-checked movers and it’s a licensed carrier, earning it high marks in our “Reputation” category. Its straightforward service model and transparent pricing give it a leg up over some of the other providers on our list. You can request a quote through its website without having to speak to a representative over the phone.

See U-Pack Review

Customer Reviews

U-Pack has been in business since 1997 and has an A+ rating from the BBB. Its customer reviews are also positive, with an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars out of 200 customer reviews.

Several reviewers mentioned the convenience of U-Pack’s a la carte services, like packing and loading. They also mentioned the value of having a dedicated moving coordinator to help streamline communication and have a smooth moving process. Most of the movers on our list have moving coordinators, but 1-800-PACK-RAT doesn’t.

U-Pack’s Trustpilot rating is on the lower end at 2.7 out of 5 stars from 225 customer reviews. While many customers said U-Pack did a great job with their moves, others were dissatisfied with late deliveries and extended delivery time frames. Delayed deliveries may be caused by extenuating circumstances outside of the moving company’s control, like poor weather.

Best Customer Service: Moving APT

4.2
Overall Score
#7 out of 10 reviewed companies (View All)
BBB Rating:
B+
Cost:
$4,683
Deposit:
Varies
Visit Site 855-910-1001
Limited Time:

Rates in 30 seconds!

What We Liked

  • Has a large broker network, making it easy to find movers
  • Offers white-glove moving services at a more affordable rate than AVL and NAVL
  • Has flexible scheduling options for small moves with time constraints

What We Didn't Like

  • Has varied quality of service depending on which company is contracted for your move
  • May tack on additional broker fees, unlike the other movers on our list

Our Scores

Moving APT scored 4.2 out of 5 stars. It offers valuable service offerings and item protection, but its scheduling options are more restrictive.

Customer Support Score
4.3 / 5
Reputation Score
3.9 / 5
Value Score
4.2 / 5
Services Score
4.5 / 5
Item Protection Score
4.3 / 5
Scheduling Score
2.3 / 5

Our Review

Moving APT is a broker that works with a network of moving companies to meet various customer needs. This is good for small moves because you can decide exactly which services you want to pay for and which ones you don’t, helping you customize the experience to your needs and budget. You get more comprehensive service than with 1-800-PACK-RAT and U-Pack, but you may have to pay additional broker fees.

Moving APT offers traditional valuation coverage (released value and full value), but for more extensive coverage, you’ll need to buy insurance from a third-party provider. We like that Moving APT offers item protection services, such as crating, storage, GPS tracking, and antique/specialty services. Other providers, such as 1-800-PACK-RAT or U-Pack, don’t offer these services, so Moving APT is a great choice If your move requires careful handling of fragile items. Other movers on our list, like Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines, also offer comprehensive services and liability coverages, but Moving APT averages about $1,000 less.

See Moving APT Review

Customer Reviews

Although Moving APT isn’t BBB accredited, we didn’t dock points for this because it doesn’t directly speak to the company’s products and services. The company has a B+ rating from the BBB and an average customer rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars, according to 16 reviews. This isn’t a huge sample size and may not fully reflect customers’ experiences. However, of those 16 reviews, 10 are four stars and above. 

Customers mentioned that their movers handled loading and unloading with care and their belongings were left in perfect condition. They also commended Moving APT for completing deliveries on time and making their moves less stressful.

Negative reviews mentioned poor encounters with some of Moving APT’s subcontracted carrier companies, citing that the workers were unprofessional and careless while loading the truck. We believe that these issues can come up with any broker, given the vast number of movers they work with. Moving APT vets its carriers through an application process, but some movers can slip through the cracks.

Moving APT has a rating of 1.3 out of 5 stars on Yelp based on 172 customer reviews. Happy customers raved about Moving APT’s competitive pricing, while some mentioned similar concerns about its carrier partners.

Best for Vehicle Relocation: Allied Van Lines

4.9
Overall Score
#1 out of 10 reviewed companies (View All)
BBB Rating:
A+
Cost:
$5,370
Deposit:
None
Visit Site 877-960-3186
Limited Time:

Book my move today!

What We Liked

  • Offers a full suite of moving services for convenience and customization
  • Has excellent item protection beyond required valuation options
  • Provides specialized handling and packing services for fragile items, such as electronics

What We Didn't Like

  • Costs more than other movers, which may be hard to justify for small moves
  • May enforce minimum space requirements, which your small move might not meet

Our Scores

Allied Van Lines received 4.9 out of 5 stars making it the highest-rated moving company on our list but not necessarily the best choice for small moves. It scored highest in the “Service Offerings,” “Item Protection,” and “Scheduling” categories but fell short on “Reputation.”

Customer Support Score
4.4 / 5
Reputation Score
3.9 / 5
Value Score
4.7 / 5
Services Score
5 / 5
Item Protection Score
5 / 5
Scheduling Score
5 / 5

Our Review

Founded in 1928, Allied Van Lines is a long-standing moving company that completes long-distance, cross-country, interstate, and international moves as small as studios and one-bedroom homes. We like that it has 24-hour customer service, offering you support whenever you need it during the moving process.

We also like that Allied Van Lines is customizable. The company creates a “Personal Moving Plan” to suit your moving needs. If your small move includes high-value items or delicate furniture, you can choose add-on services like specialized handling and fragile full-service packing. Additionally, Allied Van Lines can move electronics and appliances.

What we don’t like about Allied Van Lines is its price. Through gathering quotes, we determined that the average cost of a two-bedroom move across 500–800 miles with Allied Van Lines is $5,370, making it the second-most expensive mover on our list. This may be more than you want to spend on your small move. 

Allied Van Lines also has a slightly high truck-out-of-service percentage, with 26.8% of 571 inspected trucks deemed out of service compared to the national average of 22.26%. Finally, Allied Van Lines has a minimum space requirement of 300 cubic feet, which may be difficult for you to reach for your small move. Even if your belongings don’t take up the full amount of space, you must still pay for 300 cubic feet.

See Allied Van Lines Review

Customer Reviews

  • Vehicle shipping
  • Affordable pricing
  • Mobile app
  • Claims process

Allied Van Lines has an A+ BBB rating but an average of 1.14 out of 5 stars, according to 57 customer reviews. Trustpilot reviews were a little better, with an average of 2.3 out of 5 stars, though this is based on a small sample size of 12 customer reviews.

Positive reviews centered on punctuality and professionalism, with one customer commending Allied Van Lines for its courtesy and communication. The customer said her foreman took the time to answer all her questions and the team worked together to load her items onto the transportation vehicle.

Negative mention damaged and missing furniture and a tedious and difficult claims process. Numerous reviewers said they felt they were under-compensated for their damaged items. However, many customers also noted that they packed their own belongings. Allied Van Lines says that it’s not responsible for damage caused to items that its movers didn’t pack themselves, so this could be a misunderstanding between customers and the moving company.

Best for Claims: North American Van Lines

4.8
Overall Score
#2 out of 10 reviewed companies (View All)
BBB Rating:
A+
Cost:
$5,969
Deposit:
None
Visit Site 877-483-9424
Limited Time:

Book my move today!

What We Liked

  • Offers full- and partial-service moving options, allowing you to customize your small move needs
  • Sells packing supplies to help with your move
  • Has flat-rate pricing and binding estimates, so your cost won’t increase

What We Didn't Like

  • Provides comprehensive service packages geared more toward larger moves
  • Is more expensive than any other mover on our list

Our Scores

We gave North American Van Lines 4.8 out of 5 stars. North American Van Lines goes above and beyond in terms of service offerings, item protection, and scheduling, but its reputation lags behind other providers on our list, and its services can be pricey.

Customer Support Score
4.4 / 5
Reputation Score
3.6 / 5
Value Score
4.7 / 5
Services Score
5 / 5
Item Protection Score
5 / 5
Scheduling Score
5 / 5

Our Review

North American Van Lines provides a full suite of moving services, from packing and unpacking to specialized handling of delicate items. Its extensive range of offerings ensures that small moves can benefit from the same customizability as larger relocations. We also think North American Van Lines stands out for its item protection, as it offers more than the required two coverage options. The only other mover on our list that does this is Allied Van Lines. 

North American Van Lines offers flexible scheduling, making it a great choice for small moves that require quick turnaround times. You can receive a quote in person or over the phone, and North American Van Lines has a mobile app you can use to track your shipment and make claims. It also has a bigger network  than other small-load movers on our list, as it operates in all 50 states and offers international moving services.

While North American Van Lines’ moving costs are higher than those of our other recommendations, its comprehensive services make it a great choice for you if you want movers who will handle every aspect of your small move from start to finish. As a full-service mover, North American Van Lines completes packing, loading, transportation, and more, but if you want to save money and complete those yourself, you may want to hire a different mover on our list, like 1-800-PACK-RAT or U-Pack.

See North American Van Lines Review

Customer Reviews

  • Extensive services
  • Flexible pricing
  • Claims experience
  • Inconsistent service

North American Van Lines has an average customer rating, with 1.2 out of 5 stars on its BBB page based on 34 reviews. One customer said the company was excellent at communicating throughout their move and took care of their belongings. They also said that their belongings were received on the first day of their projected delivery window, earning the company a 5-star review. 

Unhappy customers said they paid more than their originally projected quote due to overweight loads, which is a common complaint across companies in the moving industry. This means their inventory ended up being over the estimated weight, so they had to pay more than their initial quote. This could be due to brokered moves or a breakdown of communication between the moving company and the customer regarding items to be moved.

The Trustpilot reviews for North American Van Lines reiterate similar sentiments to those on the BBB website. The company received 2.2 out of 5 stars, according to a small sample size of eight customer reviews.

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FAQ About Best Moving Companies for Small Moves

How do you move a small amount of things?

You move a small amount of things by hiring a moving company or doing it yourself. Many movers provide flexible and cost-effective solutions for small moves, including portable storage containers and a la carte moving services.

What is the most cost-effective way to move?

The most cost-effective way to move is to do it yourself or hire a partial-service mover. A DIY move is a self-managed relocation in which you handle all parts of the move yourself, including packing, loading, and driving. If you work with a partial-service mover, you can pay for moving services (packing, loading, etc.) a la carte.

What is a “snap move”?

“Snap move” is another way to say “small move.” It typically refers to a relocation that involves moving a minimal amount of belongings, often just a few pieces of furniture and boxes.

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