Two things about moving are true: Moving is a lot of work, and moving is expensive. The fact that it is a lot of work is a big part of the reason that moving is expensive. Think about what goes into moving a family. You’re paying for the labor of moving crews on both ends. If you’ve elected to have your home packed, you have both a labor and a supplies cost. You may have to pay for storage, too, involving another set of labor costs to unload and reload a truck. And then you’re paying for someone to drive your belongings for point A to point B. On a long distance move, you’re also paying for fuel, and for a driver who’s licensed to handle commercial trucks.
Moving is not just a lot of work, it’s also hard work. And it takes skill. Your stuff is heavy, and lifting the wrong way can cause injuries. Moving large items up stairways and around corners can be difficult. Packing a truck takes skill. Moving are used to this hard work, and can do it faster and more easily than people who aren’t used to it. In addition to labor, you’re also paying for experience.
There are ways to reduce the costs of your move. Don’t move heavy items like appliances, weight sets, large grills and the like; sell them with your home or during a yard sale. The more you eliminate from the move, the lower your labor and transportation costs will be. But don’t get rid of items you need or like just to reduce your moving costs: You may end up spending more replacing items than saved on the move.
If you take on parts of moving yourself, you may pay less, but you’re absorbing the labor. Because you’re unaccustomed to it, it may make your move harder. If you have the time and energy to pack yourself, and you can do a good job of it, then you’ll come out ahead. But if you don’t really have the time and don’t do it well, you may have additional costs in lost time and replacement items that hiring packers could have alleviated.
So moving is hard work, and moving is expensive. Each household will need to prioritize costs versus their own labor and evaluate what the right mix is for them. But given what moving entails, no one should be surprised that it’s expensive.