Handy Looks at Packing & Unpacking Costs When Moving

Young couple unpacking cardboard boxes at new home.Moving house.


When shifting to a new residence, you can save a lot of money by packing and unpacking products and furniture by yourself. However, if you can afford it, it is better to hire professionals to reduce the workload and speed up the process even at the expense of spending some money. According to Handy, professional packaging service includes disassembling furniture, wrapping delicate and common items properly, securing them in protective padding, labeling and sorting boxes, and much more.

The Costs

Given below are some cost estimations of packing and unpacking when moving based on several different criteria:

  1. Cost of packing service by the number of bedrooms and area size – Depending on the size of your house, it can cost you anywhere between $270-$2,200 to hire a professional packing service. The approximate cost for packing items in 1 bedroom (400-1,000 sq. ft) is between $270-$550, 2 bedrooms (700-1,250 sq. ft) is $540-$900, and 3 bedrooms (1,250+ sq. ft) is $1,000-$2,200.

On average, you can expect to pay about $400, $725, and $1,500 for 1 bedroom, 2 bedrooms, and 3 bedrooms respectively. With houses with 2 bedrooms but an area of more than 1,550 sq. ft, the cost can range from $1,000 to $2,200.

  1. Cost of packing service by the hour – The cost to hire a professional packer can range from $25-$40 per hour. This only includes the cost of labor and doesn’t include the cost of packing materials. Typically, you will need to hire at least 2 pros for 2-5 hrs. to pack items in 1-2 bedrooms with 400-1,250 sq. ft. The total price can range from $100-$400 in this case.

For 3 or more bedrooms with an area of 1,250+ sq. ft, you can hire 3-4 pros and even avail a discount. The total time taken in such cases ranges from 6-12 hours and the typical cost is between $480-$1,440.

  1. Cost of packing based on items, packing materials, and box size – Buying boxes and other packing materials can cost about $170-$250 for a single bedroom, $340-$500 for 2 bedrooms, and $510-$740 for 3 or more bedrooms.

The packing cost per unit of items:

  • That can be fitted in small to large boxes is between $1-$2.
  • Such as glassware and dish boxes are about $15.
  • Such as TV or picture boxes is about $25.

Additionally, you have to spend:

  • $10-$25 for bubble wrap, packing paper, stretch paper
  • $12 for tape dispensers
  • $3-$4 for tape rolls
  1. Cost of unpacking service – Most homeowners take about 6 months to empty or unpack all their things by themselves. However, you can hire a pro for $100-$1,140 and unpack everything in about 12 hours or less. Note, this is separate from the packing costs listed above.


According to Handy, you may have to pay additionally for loading, unloading, assembling, and assembling complicated pieces such as pianos, televisions or similar electronic items, waterbeds, and cribs. Not everybody can afford such expenses and it is perfectly normal to ask for help from friends or family members during the moving process to save money and time.