Florida is well-known as one of the retirement capitals of the country. But it attracts people of all ages with its pristine beaches, diverse culture, and booming aviation industry. In fact, more people moved to Florida than any other state last year.1
But not everyone who moves to Florida stays. Plenty of folks are moving out of Florida every day, too. All of this movement makes the state the beating heart of the moving industry. That means you’ve got a lot of Florida moving companies to choose from.
Whether you’re moving to Florida to retire in a tropical paradise or moving out of state for a job, school, or to live in a place with four real seasons, this guide will help you figure out all the logistics. We’ll cover your moving options and what you can expect to spend when moving in the Sunshine State. Keep reading, or use these links to jump to specific sections:
- Top questions for planning your move
- Florida moving costs: Local and in-state moves
- Costs for moving north from Florida
- Comparing Florida moving companies
- Florida storage
First up, we’ll go over a few pre-move questions, which will help you get focused on your specific moving needs and preferences.
Sorry, but we’ve got a bit of homework for you. Try to get a handle on the following questions before you start contacting Florida moving companies for quotes.
Questions to ask yourself when moving in Florida:
- How much stuff are you moving (how many bedrooms/boxes/big items)?
- What’s your budget and timing?
- Do you want safe and secure storage?
- Are you looking for contactless moving to reduce risks of COVID-19 spread?
- How much work are you willing and able to do yourself? Do you have friends or family who can help?
- Are you moving to an area that has narrow streets or parking restrictions?
Now that you’ve got the basic parameters of your Florida move figured out, here’s a quick look at your main moving options and cost estimates to help you get the job done. (Admit it, you need a little help, even if you’re just renting a truck.)
What are your Florida moving options?
Let’s take a closer look at the different kinds of Florida movers.
Florida moving options:
- Traditional full-service mover
- Moving container service
- Rental truck company
- A combination of the above
Later, we’ll get into more detail on the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to different kinds of Florida movers. But first, let’s talk money.
Read on for “Florida Moving Costs,” or click here to go back to the top.
How much does a local move cost in Florida?
Not every move will take you to a strange and distant land. Sometimes you’re just moving into some new digs down the street or a bigger house across town. If your Florida moving journey is a local one, here’s a ballpark idea of what you can expect to pay.
Local Florida moving costs*
|Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
Of course, every specific location will have its own price. Tampa moving companies may charge a bit more, or a bit less, than Miami moving companies. But they should all be in the same ballpark.
Popular Florida Moving Routes
Florida is the third most populous state in the nation (just behind California and Texas), and it has plenty of large, urban centers. That means there are a bunch of popular moves that people make in and out of Florida, and between different parts of the Sunshine State.
We’re going to go through the details of a few of these popular routes, beginning with in-state moves.
Moving to another Florida city
There are several major migration routes for those who are staying in the great state of Florida. We’ll be looking at the moving costs and logistics of the following routes:
- Tampa to Orlando and reverse
- Miami to Orlando and reverse
- Jacksonville to Miami and reverse
Let’s dive into it.
Moving from Tampa to Orlando
Are you looking to trade in the stunning beaches of Tampa Bay for the magic allure of Orlando? Well there’s more to O-Town than just the theme parks. It boasts the largest university in the nation (the University of Central Florida), the booming Orlando real estate market, and, of course, tons of sunshine.
If, on the other hand, you’re heading west to Tampa, you can still get your theme park thrills at Busch Gardens. Plus you’ll be in the center of a vibrant and diverse culture full of great food, fun nightlife, and tons of major sports teams.
But you probably already know why you’re moving, so let’s talk numbers. How much will hiring an Orlando moving company cost you?
Costs of moving from Tampa to Orlando (and vice versa)*
|Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
Moving from Miami to Orlando
Whatever your reasons for the move, you’ll find your money goes a lot further in Orlando than Miami, with a 21% lower cost of living. If you’re moving the other direction, you’ll find Miami has a more diverse economy, meaning more job opportunities. Plus, the cost to move may be a few hundreds dollars less, as fewer Floridians relocate from Orlando to Miami than the other way around.
Let’s take a look at the estimates for making this move.
Cost of moving from Miami to Orlando (and vice versa)*
|Direction of move||Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
|Miami to Orlando||$1,620-$3,432||$1,250-$1,799||$328-$505|
|Orlando to Miami||$1,620-$3,432||$1,150-$1,559||$328-$505|
Moving from Jacksonville to Miami
So Jacksonville isn’t hot enough for you? At 350 miles, this route spans nearly the entire length of Florida, and you’ll find quite a difference in temperature and lifestyle as a result. Be prepared to shell out a lot more bucks just to live in Miami, as NerdWallet estimates MIami’s cost of living is 21% higher than in Jacksonville. Ouch. But you’ll likely find more job and business opportunities in Miami, and you’ll definitely experience a lot more diversity.
If you’re moving in the opposite direction, you’ll obviously appreciate how much further your dollar will go in Jacksonville.
Now let’s take a look at the cost of moving between Jacksonville and Miami.
Costs of moving from Jacksonville to Miami (and vice versa)*
|Direction of move||Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
|Jacksonville to Miami||$1,620-$3,432||$1,250-$1,599||$328-$505|
|Miami to Jacksonville||$1,620-$3,432||$1,350-$1,799||$328-$505|
Read on for “moving north from Florida,” or click here to go back to the top.
Moving North from Florida
Florida has everything you could ever want, unless what you want is crisp autumn days, mountains, a white Christmas around a wood burning stove. . . you get the idea. Florida just isn’t the place for some folks. Take a look at some of the most popular routes for those heading north from Florida to help you get an idea of the costs and logistics.
Moving from Florida TO NEW YORK
If you’re leaving Florida for a change of scenery, then the Northeast — and the New York City area specifically — is a great option. Instead of Disney World, you’ll get Times Square. Instead of warm beaches, you’ll get cool city streets.
Florida is like visiting your sweet grandma who gives you cookies, but NYC is like visiting your cool uncle who’s in a band. Alright, that’s enough with the metaphors, you get the picture. So, how much will moving actually cost you?
Moving to the Big Apple can come with a big price tag. Here’s a look at the average moving costs* for going to NYC from three major Florida cities.
|Route||Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
|Tampa to NYC/Long Island||$1,920-$4,100||$1,800-$2,250||$1,107-$1,706|
|Orlando to NYC/Long Island||$1,920-$4,100||$1,700-$2,150||$923-$1,424|
|Miami to NYC/Long Island||$2,200-$4,632||$2,000-$2,650||$1,107-$1,706|
Even if you’re moving to a different part of New York — or Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or another Northeastern state for that matter — the pricing should be within the same general range. The same goes for leaving south Florida — moving costs from Ft. Lauderdale will be about the same as from Miami. If you’re seeing prices that are significantly higher or lower, be sure to check with other movers.
Moving from Tampa to Atlanta
Not everyone who wants to escape Florida wants to leave the realm of southern hospitality.
Here are the numbers on the 456-mile move from Tampa to Atlanta, which is a popular route for those looking to join the city’s prosperous workforce. There are also plenty of beautiful, forest-blanketed mountains nearby — in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee — that are perfect for retirees who want to escape the Florida heat.
Costs of moving from Tampa to Atlanta (and vice versa)*
|Route||Full-Service Movers||PODS||Rental Truck|
|Tampa to Atlanta||$1,745-$3,800||$1,400-$2,300||$630-$972|
|Atlanta to Tampa||$1,745-$3,800||$1,949-$2,650||$630-$972|
Even if your move isn’t taking you directly from Tampa to Atlanta, the cost shouldn’t be too far off for other moves to the South, like Jacksonville to Nashville, or Orlando to Birmingham.
Now that we’ve talked about the hard numbers, let’s discuss what the real logistical differences are between full-service movers, moving container companies, and rental trucks.
Read on for “pros and cons of Florida moving companies,” or click here to go back to the top.
Using a full-service company for your move in Florida
You’ve filled up your home with awesome stuff, from big screen TVs to children’s toys. All that stuff can get overwhelming when it comes time to move. But if you’re willing to hand over a chunk of change, you can get full-service Florida movers to help.
Full-service movers can do everything for you, from the packing to the loading to the driving. You can just sit back and watch Netflix (or you can watch their every move anxiously to make sure they handle your prized possessions with care).
The biggest catch with full-service movers is, naturally, the price. Going full-service can cost you as much as a decent used car or a European vacation. Yikes. The other issue is there can be a higher damage and loss rate with full-service movers on long-distance routes because they often pile your stuff into a larger truck along with other customers’ belongings, which can mean multiple loading and off-loading.
So, if you opt to go this route you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a reputable company. Here are a few steps you can take before hiring a mover.
- Make sure the company has proper licensing and good online reviews.
- Ask about the company’s scheduling and cancellation policies. Do they offer refunds?
- Find out if there are any extra fees for stairs, extra-heavy items, or other factors.
- Figure out if there are any storage units available in case you need to store your stuff while you wait to close on your new house.
- Ask if they use subcontracted labor.
Pros and cons of full-service movers
|No heavy lifting||Expensive|
|No driving a huge truck||Schedules can be rigid|
|Less hassle if you choose a good company||Potential for more damage and loss|
|Extra services available||Potential for added fees|
Using PODS moving containers
If you’d rather save the money you’d spend on full-service movers for other moving expenses, then you should consider doing a self-move. DIY moves involve a little more work on your part, but they can offer flexibility, autonomy, and a huge cost savings.
One of the simplest ways to go DIY is with a moving container service such as PODS.
Here’s a basic rundown of how PODS works when you’re moving in Florida.
- Your container(s) is delivered to you.
- You can take your time loading (you rent the containers by the month).
- You have the option to hire professional moving help by the hour to help with the heavy lifting.
- PODS picks it up and takes it to a secure storage center or your new place.
- When you’re done unloading, PODS picks up your container.
One thing to consider when you’re moving with PODS is parking: you’ll want to have a driveway, parking lot, or street parking space for your moving container. If you’re moving to a tight urban setting, like NYC, then you’ll want to double check that there’s sufficient space.
Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of using a moving container for your move to Florida (or out of Florida).
Pros and cons of moving and storage containers
|Less expensive than full-service movers||Usually more expensive than rental trucks|
|No driving a huge truck||Parking space required|
|Flexibility to set your own pace||Tight deadlines can be a motivator|
|Option to hire hourly moving help with loading and unloading||You take care of your own loading and unloading|
|Built-in storage options|
Using rental trucks
All of the DIY diehards out there will probably want to rent a truck when they’re moving in Florida. With a truck, a few friends, and a little courage, you can do a move for just a couple hundred dollars (depending on how far you’re going).
If you do decide to go with a rental truck, be sure you’re prepared for a long day (or two). Also decide if you’re up for the challenge of driving a machine that’s twice the size of your SUV. Unlike PODS, which will deliver your stuff directly to your new place, you’ll have to drive it yourself through tight city streets and high-speed freeways.
Here’s a recap of the main pros and cons of renting a truck when you’re moving in Florida.
Pros and cons of rental trucks
|Usually cheapest option for local moves||Subject to high late fees|
|Easy online pricing and reservations||Most stressful option|
|You set the schedule||Driving and parking a huge truck|
|Wide availability||No storage available|
If you can’t decide which type of move is best for you, why not choose more than one? You can combine several options into a hybrid move. Here are just a few examples of what hybrid moves can look like:
- Rent a moving container from PODS for items you want to handle yourself or plan to put in storage. Then hire full-service movers to pack and transport the bigger items, like your sofa, tables, and beds.
- Hire labor to help pack and load your moving container. It’s basically like a full-service move at that point, but more flexible.
- You can load all of your big items into a single moving container and have it shipped, then transport all of the leftover odds and ends in a small moving truck or van.
You may not be looking forward to handling all the logistics of your move, but it can be a lot easier when you’re doing a move that works for you. This is the beauty of a hybrid move: you can make it your own!
Read on for “Florida storage,” or click here to go back to the top.
Your stuff doesn’t have to hold you back from your dreams — whether it’s living on a sailboat, remodeling, or getting the maximum sales price on your home by making room for attractive staging. staging your home perfectly.
Storage can help you free up extra space, downsize, or bridge the gap between moving out of your old place and moving into your new one. So, what will some Florida storage space cost you?
Here’s a peek at the average monthly cost of a 10’x10’ storage unit in different parts of Florida.2
- Jacksonville storage cost: $86
- Tampa storage cost: $93
- Orlando storage cost: $86
- Miami storage cost: $123
But traditional storage units aren’t the only option if you want somewhere to put your extra stuff. When you move with PODS, for instance, you get a full month of storage included.
The other benefit of storing your stuff with a moving container company like PODS is that you only have to load (and unload) it once, rather than hassling with packing it in a truck and then transferring it to your storage space. Just load the container at your home, send it to storage, and then have it delivered back to your place (or to your new home) when you’re ready.
We hope this guide to moving in Florida has helped you figure out how you’ll make your move as smooth and low-stress as possible. Safe travels!
Easton Smith works as a freelance writer and researcher, reviewing technology trends and the moving industry.