Published on 27 Jan 2021 in interstate moving, moving, budgeting by Mark Zappia

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers image

An interstate move is a huge undertaking. Not only can it feel incredibly intimidating to pack up your household, find a new home, and locate new providers for all your services, you may find yourself worried about the cost.

How much does it really cost to make an interstate move?

Depending on the size of your household--with a strong focus on the number and weight of your possessions, rather than on the actual number of people in your household--it can cost an average of between $3,000 and $6,000 to make an interstate move. Keep in mind that if you have more expensive needs, including pet moving costs, it can further raise the cost of your move.

Take a look at this cost breakdown that will give you a better idea of what it will actually cost you to move interstate.

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

Removalist Services

Removalists can provide vital help throughout your move, especially if you have a tight timeline for managing your move or you know that you will have a gap between leaving your old property and moving into the new one. From packing up your goods to unpacking again at the other end, a removalist can make the process much easier. Depending on what services you need, a removalist can take care of:

  • Providing boxes and other packing materials, especially for specialty items
  • Packing up your household
  • Loading and unloading
  • Transporting your possessions
  • Storage, if needed
  • Unpacking, including piecing furniture back together and ensuring that your possessions end up in the right locations in your new home

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

Working closely with a removalist can help streamline your move and significantly reduce the stress associated with your move. It does, however, bring with it a significant price tag, which you must take into consideration when planning your move.

Average Cost: While this can vary wildly (it's a big continent), a typical three bedroom house moving from Darwin to Adelaide would cost an average of $2700.


Sometimes you may be facing down more packing than you can handle on your own. Many people don't realize that many removalists offer a stand-alone or add-on service for pre-packing where they will come into your home. Walk through with you to understand your priorities. Then they will pack up your belongings with the care required and with materials especially suited to protect them.

Average Cost: $800-$900

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers


If you're working with a removalist, that removalist may automatically provide insurance that will help cover your possessions. You do not want to work with a removalist who does not offer insurance (or you want to make sure that you purchase insurance on your own) since even the most careful removalist can run into errors along the way.

Typically, insurance is based on the average value of your household goods and the items you want to insure. Make sure you take out enough insurance to cover any expensive items moved by another company or service, including:

  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Collectables

If you'll be driving your vehicle, you may want to transport small, expensive items, or irreplaceable ones, yourself, rather than placing them in moving boxes with the rest of your possessions. On the other hand, if you're planning to fly to your destination, if you don't have room in your carry-on luggage, you may want to keep those items with the rest of your possessions rather than checking them.

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

Average Cost: $330-$2200. The actual cost may vary based on how much you're insuring and how long the insurance needs to cover your possessions.


You may not always be able to move straight out of one property and into another during an interstate move. In fact, there are many reasons why you may have a gap between moving out of your current property and into another one. You may need to make a fast move, without time to find a new property before you head to your new destination--especially if you need to move to help an ailing family member or to take a job very quickly. You may need to give the former owners of your new property time to pack up their possessions and make their move. You may even have plans in between your move: for example, you may choose to take a temporary vacation.

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

While you wait to move your possessions into your new home, you may need to consider investing in storage. Most people managing an interstate move find it is most cost-efficient to work with their removalist to manage storage as well as transportation of their household goods. In many cases, removalists will offer less-expensive storage than working with a private storage facility, especially if you only need short-term storage. Working with your removalist can also reduce the number of times you have to move your possessions, which can cut down on stress, decrease the risks of breaks and dings, and keep your possessions safer. Many removalists will offer climate-controlled storage options that can help protect your possessions.

Average Cost: $140-$220per month. If you're working with a removalist, rather than a storage facility, you may note lower costs.

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

New Utility Hookups

When you move to a new home, you will need to take care of putting down new deposits for utilities. Since these providers are not the same ones you used in the past, they may ask you to put down a deposit that will help cover initial expenses, including hookups. You will need to manage gas, electricity, and water, as well as your internet bill.

Average Cost: $100-$400

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

Flights and Rooms

You may not want to drive your vehicle across the country, especially if you have a particularly long distance to reach your destination. Flying out with your family can prove much more convenient, especially if you have young children or need to make a faster move. Often, flying, rather than driving, can cut days off of the time needed to complete your move.

Those flights, however, do not come without expense.

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

You may also need to consider lodging when you reach your destination. If you fly, chances are, you will arrive at your destination well before your possessions. Even if you drive, in some cases, you may be able to move faster than the large moving truck. You may not want to move into your home until your possessions make it to you, especially since you may not have had room on your flight for items like bedding and cookware. In the meantime, you will need to pay for your accommodations, often in a hotel. The cost of your flights and hotel may vary based on:

  • Where you stay
  • The quality of the hotel
  • The distance of the flight
  • The city you're moving to
  • How long you stay

Average Cost: Flights and rooms for your family cost an average of $2000. However, that number may change dramatically, depending on how long you spend in a hotel or what type of hotel you choose. You may also see increased costs if you want to check extra luggage or intend to fly first class.

Pet Transport

Your pets are important members of the family. During your move, you want to make sure that they, too, reach your new home safely. At the same time, you may not want--or may not be able--to move your pet in your family vehicle or on your flight. Working with a removalist can help you manage all the details of pet transportation, including:

  • Arranging for vaccinations and exams before your move, including knowing which ones your pet needs in order to legally move to a new area
  • Quarantining your pet at the border, if needed
  • Transporting your pet safely and comfortably

Depending on how long you will need to wait before moving into your new home, you may also need to board your pet or pets for a period of time. Multiple pets can obviously significantly raise the cost of boarding or transporting your pet.

Average Cost: $250-$500 per pet.

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

Boxes and Moving Materials

In some cases, you may choose to have your removalist provide boxes and moving materials for your big move. In others, however, you may try to purchase your own moving materials. While there are plenty of places to get free boxes, you'll need to start collecting early in order to take full advantage of those opportunities. You may also want to consider the cost of packing materials, tape, and other vital supplies to help keep your possessions safe.

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

Not only should you consider the cost of the boxes used to pack the majority of your household goods, you should also consider the potential cost to safely package fragile or oddly-shaped items. Your removalist may be able to recommend special packing materials that will keep your possessions safer. You may, for example, want special boxes and crates to help you move expensive paintings or pictures.

Average Cost: $200-$250

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

Rubbish Removal

When you move out of your former residence, you may need to remove unwanted rubbish from the property. For a final move-out, this may include items that you no longer want, including broken furniture or old or outdated possessions that aren't worth donating. You may need to schedule additional rubbish pickup to deal with large items.

Average Cost: $150-$250. You may expect to pay more if you have a large quantity of rubbish or if you have multiple large items.

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

Tips for Saving on Your Interstate Move

During an interstate move, you don't want to skimp on the important things, but you also do not want to find yourself spending more than necessary. Try some of these tips to help you cut costs while still keeping stress to a minimum throughout your move.

1. Look for free boxes where you can get them.

Consider checking out liquor stores and big box stores, or talk to friends and family members for a source ofcheap or free boxes.

2. Talk to your removalist about what services they include.

Often, a removalist can offer a package deal regarding many of your moving services. Whether you need to make a fast move to your destination or have plenty of time to plan, talk to your removalist about the services they offer ahead of time. The more services you can include in your package, the less you may have to pay other providers. Bundling those services is frequently less expensive than paying a different provider for each one.

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

3. DIY what you can (but don't stress about what you can't).

If you want to save costs on your interstate move, consider what you can handle on your own. A DIY move is often much less expensive than hiring someone else to take care of all of your moving tasks for you. You may also want to consider taking care of your own packing, but bring in a removalist to take care of loading and unloading. At the same time, however, keep in mind that you get what you pay for--and working with a removalist is an excellent way to keep costs reasonable while still reducing stress as you move.

4. Reduce the volume of your household possessions.

Most removalists calculate costs based on the weight of your household goods. The more goods you need to move, the more it costs. Likewise, if you know that you'll need to store your possessions long-term, it may cost more to store your possessions if you have a high volume of items that need to be stored.

Consider cleaning out some of those possessions before your big interstate move. Throw away broken items, especially those that you have not repaired for some time. Donate items that you no longer need. Clean out your closets, weed through your holiday decorations, and go ahead and get rid of items that you know will not fit in your new home or with your new decor. Taking care of those things up front, rather than trying to handle them at the other end, can help make your move easier and reduce your costs. Just remember not to get rid of items that you will have to rebuy later!

Interstate Moving Costs: Breaking Down the Numbers

An interstate move can prove expensive, especially if you have a large household filled with goods that you need to manage. By working with a skilled removalist, however, you can keep your costs lower and manage your move more effectively. Contact us today for a free estimate of the cost of your interstate move.