Bottom line: Apartment moves typically have smaller-sized loads and require less haul time than houses, so you have you more options when deciding on your move method—be it a full-service mover, a moving storage container, or a van and truck rental.
Move.org’s top three apartment movers
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Moving apartments? Apartment moves are a whole different animal than full-home moves. For starters, you probably have less stuff packed into a two-bedroom apartment than you might in a two-bedroom house which means you also have more flexibility in the kind of help to choose from.
Also, apartment moves may require you to get a little crafty in navigating stairwells and potentially long hallways.
So whether you need a full-service moving company to maneuver your futon through a pesky narrow doorframe or a moving truck to put that futon in, we’ve put together the best small moving companies to help you with your apartment move.
We narrowed the best moving companies for small moves into three different categories:
Read on to see if you should roll up your sleeves and rent a truck or container or fork over some extra cash for full-service movers.
If you’re still torn between hiring a moving company and doing it yourself, our
Should I Move Myself or Hire a Mover? article breaks down DIY moves, full-service moves, and everything in between.
Full-service moving companies
If you have a load that’s too large to move on your own, if you’re on a time crunch, or if you need help carrying your furniture up and down multiple flights of stairs—if you live in a fourth-floor walk-up, for example—a full-service moving company is the best place to start.
Although hiring a full-service mover is the most expensive option on our list, it’s also the most convenient. Plus, with add-ons like packing and storage services, it allows for customization. You can scale back the services you don’t want so you don’t have to break the bank—or your back.
Move.org’s pick: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK
The folks at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK live by the mantra “Movers Who Care,” and with a reputation of killer customer service backed by consistently positive reviews, we believe them.
The company also takes its service offerings to the next level: For example, they will pad wrap your apartment’s walls and doors to prevent furniture from scuffing so you’re more likely to get your full security deposit back.
- 380+ locations
- Pickup and delivery services
- Great customer service
- Affordable prices on local moves
- No quick options to get a quote
Why TWO MEN AND A TRUCK is the best full-service moving company
With over 380 locations across North America—covering a total of forty-four states—TWO MEN AND A TRUCK can lend you a hand no matter which ZIP code you call home.
Affordable local moves
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK prices its long-distance moves based on the overall weight and mile count. Meanwhile, it prices local loads by the hour.
If you have a studio apartment-sized load, this is great since you could probably pull off the move in a couple hours anyway.
Fair warning, though, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK’s quote generator isn’t as seamless as we’ve seen elsewhere—it forces you to jump through one too many hoops before giving you a concrete estimate.
Pickup and delivery services
In addition to your move, you can opt for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK’s door-to-door pickup and delivery service on any item you order to your new area.
So if you need your new sectional picked up and delivered to your new home, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK saves you a trip to the store (and from having to ask your friend with a pickup truck for help).
Check out our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK review to learn more.
Moving storage containers
If you’re down to do your own packing and hauling but need something to move your belongings in, renting a moving storage container is a great option—especially if you’re moving long-distance and don’t want to drive the truck yourself.
Move.org's pick: PODS
Portable On Demand Storage (a.k.a. PODS) is a key player in the moving container game. With its wide availability and sturdy containers, PODS is the happy medium between full-service convenience and DIY costs.
- Container sizes for all types of moves
- Wide availability in 44 states
- Sturdy, weatherproof containers
- No pay-for-use policy
Why PODS is the best moving storage container company
3 container sizes to choose from
Most container companies take a one-size-fits-all approach, but PODS has three size options: seven feet, twelve feet (for local moves only), and sixteen feet. Each container holds anywhere from one to four rooms, so you can find a combination of containers that matches your load.
Plus, since PODS is in all but six US states you have plenty of locations to choose from. So if your location doesn’t have the container size you want it’s likely another location nearby will.
The only thing we don’t like? Unlike other companies, PODS doesn’t offer an option to pay for only for the space you use.
Sturdy, easy-to-pack containers
Simply put, PODS containers are as strong as moving containers come. They’re waterproof and built on a steel frame foundation, which is a stark difference from other containers on the market that are made of wood.
PODS containers have easy-to-use roll-up doors and clear roofs, so they’re naturally lit during the day, which means no more rummaging around in dark corners with a flashlight.
With PODS—as with any other moving container company—you can expect to pay more than you would for a rental truck but less than the cost of a full-service move.
Want to know more about PODS? Give our full PODS review a read.
Moving van and truck rental companies
If you’re prepared to pack and haul your belongings yourself and just need something to transport your stuff in, a moving van or truck rental is the way to go—as long as you’re okay getting behind the wheel.
Move.org's pick: U-Haul
U-Haul is one of the most recognizable names in the moving world in part because its services are available almost everywhere. And with a wide range of truck sizes it’s also a great option for small local moves.
- Lots of truck sizes
- Good for small, local moves
- Wide availability
- Misleading prices
Why U-Haul is the best moving van and truck rental company
Trucks from coast to coast
Boasting the largest moving rental truck company fleet, U-Haul has more than 20,000 locations stretching from coast to coast. Much like PODS, if the closest U-Haul location doesn’t have your truck size available you’ll more than likely be able to go to the closest location and find what you need there.
6 truck sizes to choose from
U-Haul offers a whole host of truck sizes to choose from, beating out the industry standard of only small, medium, and large sizes. And U-Haul’s in-between sizes keep you from overpaying because you can match your truck’s capacity more closely to the load you’re moving.
Here’s the full list of the truck sizes U-Haul offers:
- 10-foot truck
- 15-foot truck
- 17-foot truck
- 20-foot truck
- 24-foot truck
- 26-foot truck
The 24- and 26-foot trucks don’t apply as directly to apartment moves since most apartments don’t have more than four bedrooms, but when you’re estimating your load it’s worth considering extra stuff you might have lying around in storage.
Feel free to give our U-Haul review a read if you want to know more.
Things to look for in small load movers
A company’s availability in your area for your moving dates determines whether or not you can do business with them. Usually, moving companies will have a page on their website that lists their locations, offerings, and operating hours.
Truck or container size options
There’s no sense paying for the largest available truck on a smaller job like a one-bedroom apartment. The more options a moving company offers beyond just small, medium, and large sizes the more opportunity you have to get the most bang for your buck.
For apartment moves, long-distance moves are normally more cost-effective than local moves since local moves charge by the hour. And since apartment moves have smaller loads than full-home moves, paying by the hour can work in your favor.
If you’re making an apartment-sized long-distance move, expect to pay significantly more than a local move. Rates for long-distance moves are based on the combined weight of your load and mile count.
Most moving companies charge extra based on how many flights of stairs movers have to hike. Every company handles this differently, so asking around and comparing prices can help you find the company with the most reasonable costs.
Let us know which apartment mover you choose!
Did you decide to go full-service or rent a truck or container? No matter your method, we’d love to hear about your experience. Let us know in the comments section below, and while you’re at it feel free to call out a small moving company you think should have made the list.
Want more insider knowledge? Check out our article on how much it costs to move.