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If you're considering a move to Spokane, you might be wondering just how you can make the move, plus how much it may cost you. We recently made the move and kept receipts, just so we could break down the cost of moving to Spokane from another state.
According to Spokane news station KREM, the most popular states people are moving from are California, Oregon, Texas, and Colorado – as well as all the people from Seattle! Spokane is a vibrant city with tons of outdoor activities, so it makes sense that people are flocking to the Lilac City.
We moved to Spokane from Arizona, which is farther away than all of the states listed above – except for Texas. Therefore, the moving costs associated with our move may be a bit less for you, especially if you're moving in-state or from Oregon. Both of those moves are much closer to Spokane, so you should see a corresponding savings.
Our Journey Moving to Spokane
There aren't many options to get from Phoenix, AZ to Spokane, WA. You can go through California, which will add more time on to your trip but be arguably more scenic, or you can go through Utah and Idaho.
We won't go too much into pros and cons of each choice – there are reasons to take it slow and make some stops in California, and there are reasons to take I-15 N. Taking the I-15 through Utah and Idaho was a total of 1,300 miles and roughly 20 hours (not including rest and gas stops).
It took us three days going at a moderate pace (roughly 6-8 hours of driving per day) to go from Phoenix, AZ to Spokane, WA and, overall, the terrain is pretty flat. We moved to Spokane in the summer, which meant we avoided most storms and encountered no snow.
However, one thing to keep in mind is wildfires. If you're moving in July-August and even September, keep an eye on road conditions and fires in the area you're traveling. We only encountered one fire in Idaho on our way up, which luckily did not derail us, but it can be a serious concern.
What's the Best Way to Move to Spokane?
Everyone's move to Spokane will be a little different. We're going to cover the three options we considered when making our move to Spokane, starting from the most expensive option to the cheapest option. We'll also list the pros and cons for why you may want to consider or avoid using one of these options.
Keep in mind, if you're moving to Spokane from Seattle, your moving costs will be a lot cheaper! The beauty of moving intrastate means lower mover costs (if you choose to hire movers) since it's a much shorter drive for them. Moving to Spokane from Seattle will definitely be among the cheapest moves, compared to moving from Texas, Arizona, California, etc.
The Expensive Way to Move to Spokane: Hiring Movers
Your most expensive way to move to Spokane will likely be hiring movers. We used the following criteria to determine move cost using the Moving.com's Moving Cost Calculator:
- 2-3 bedroom house
- Full service moving (packing, loading, and moving)
- Estimated moving distance of 1000 miles (Phoenix to Spokane)
The total for this move came to $5,700-8,200. The difference in price is likely attributed to what you're moving (a lot of heavy or antique furniture, a piano, etc.) plus the actual move itself (we only had to input zip codes, you would likely get a more solid quote when you booked and gave exact addresses). Number of flights of stairs is also another factor, as movers typically charge by the hour and moving up and down several flights of stairs will add on time.
If you chose to do all the packing yourself, and just have the movers load and move, your estimate drops to $4,000-5,600.
Pros and Cons of Hiring Movers
Hiring movers is convenient – you don't have to worry about loading the moving truck, driving to your destination with all your stuff, or unloading when you get there. You get to pack up a suitcase and drive yourself in your car, or fly up and greet/direct the movers when they arrive. It is less stressful than doing all the packing, loading, and moving yourself.
Hiring movers is good for:
- People who don't want to (or can't) load a truck and drive it themselves
- People looking for the convenience of having someone else handle all the loading, driving and unpacking. You just show up and direct the movers once they arrive!
- People not concerned by the cost of hiring movers
Just make sure your insurance covers the cost of moving! Also, read over the fine print in your moving contract and make sure it clearly states when the movers are arriving and what is covered if something breaks or disappears in transit.
The cons of hiring movers include:
- Less control of when you can move and when your things arrive – when hiring movers, you're somewhat at the mercy of their schedule. They'll let you know when they can come and load your stuff up, and they'll give you an estimate of when they will be delivering your stuff – but you won't have the total control of knowing when your things are at all times
- Cost – hiring movers will be one of the pricier options listed here
In the Middle Cost of Moving to Spokane: PODS
You've probably seen them around: those big storage containers parked in front of someone's home, preparing for a move. Known as Portable On Demand Storage, PODS are an excellent moving option, especially if (like us) you need temporary storage between moves. You can load up your PODS at your own pace, then have it shipped to where you're living, and keep it stored until you need to unpack it.
Depending on how long you keep your PODS, prices will vary. Long distance moves start at $800, according to Moving.com, but the price increases depending on where you're moving from and to. When we called for PODS pricing (moving from Phoenix, AZ to Spokane, WA), we were quoted $3,000+.
Don't forget: with PODS, you have to pack and load the PODS yourself, then call to have it shipped to your moving location. Once it arrives, you have to unload yourself as well.
Pros and Cons of Using PODS
Using PODS can be a good option because it gives you more flexibility to pack up your things at your own pace, instead of being confined to a movers' schedule. You also have the convenience of having someone else do the actual moving for you. PODS are a good option if:
- You're okay with packing and loading yourself, but you want someone else to ship your items
- You need short-term storage between moves
The downsides of PODS moving are similar to the concerns associated with movers, including:
- Scheduling – depending on how many other people are moving, you might not get a firm date of when your PODS will be delivered. In worst case scenarios, your POD may end up arriving before you do – or much later than you do
- Broken or misplaced items – as with all moves, make sure your insurance covers your items while in transit. Read over the fine print for your PODS to see what reimbursement rates are for broken or lost items
The Cheapest Way to Move to Spokane: UHaul
Everyone knows about UHaul – if you don't have a moving story associated with UHaul, your parents or friends probably do. For the purpose of this article, we'll be talking about using a UHaul truck, not any of the other moving options. We ended up using UHaul to move ourselves from Phoenix to Spokane.
Our nearly-cross country trip from Phoenix to Spokane ultimately came to $1,100, although UHaul's initial quote online was $600-800. UHaul is an excellent moving option if you're willing to pack and load the truck, drive it to your destination, and unpack everything by yourself.
Since we didn't mind moving ourselves, that was the option we went with since it was the most affordable and offered the most control over our belongings. UHaul also ended up being the most economical way to make such a big move to Spokane, so it's something to consider if you're looking to move to Spokane on the cheap.
Pros and Cons of Using UHaul
Using UHaul (or another “move yourself” moving company) offers the most control over your belongings and the move itself, but there are non-monetary costs associated with that control. UHaul is a good option if:
- You want the flexibility of packing, loading, and moving yourself
- You want to know where your belongings are at all times and when they will arrive
- You would prefer to pack and load/unload yourself – if something breaks in transit, you know it's on you and not a mover
Things to watch out for when using UHaul:
- What you're quoted online will probably not be your ultimate price – depending on how long you need to keep your UHaul and what insurance/protection you buy, your price will likely increase
- You are beholden to a certain number of days – when we rented our UHaul, we had 7 days from pick up to load our stuff, drive it to Spokane, and unload everything. Moving from Phoenix to Spokane is a 3 day drive as it is, so in order to stick to our rental agreement price, we had to hustle!
- Insurance is all on you – no matter which moving option you choose, insurance is a big concern. However, when you're moving yourself, it's even more important that you're aware of your surroundings, where you park, etc. There is less flexibility in parking/sight-seeing when you have a UHaul filled with all of your belongings
Another pro (or con, depending on how you feel about it) is the ability to take your car with you. You can purchase a hitch to connect your car to the UHaul, or if you're driving with a spouse, friend, etc., they can follow behind in your car. Bringing your car along will be significantly cheaper than shipping your car, so it was a pro for us. This could be a con if you're moving yourself/don't feel comfortable hitching your car to the back of a UHaul.
Our Total Cost of Moving to Spokane
Of course, moving isn't just packing, loading, and shipping/driving your belongings. It's also getting yourself or your family there – whether that's driving or flying. Here's the total breakdown of our move to Spokane:
- Gas: Driving the UHaul and our VW Passat for three days, 1300+ miles cost around $500
- Hotel: For three nights on the road, it cost us just under $400 (we mostly stayed at La Quinta's, since pets stay free and we brought our dog with us)
- Food: Food costs can vary dramatically depending on your diet, if you get free breakfast from your hotel (which we did) and where you want to eat. We kept it bare-bones and mostly ate at Subways along the way. Our total food costs came to $200.
- Movers: Yes, we hired movers once we arrived in Spokane! We used Spokane Pro Movers as they had high ratings and availability to move us in on the date we needed (pro-tip: Spokane is up-and-coming! Book movers as soon as you have move-in dates!) It took them 4 hours to move us from our storage unit to our 3rd-floor apartment, and cost $525.
Overall, it was probably an average cost move. We didn't hire movers from start to finish, which saved us money, but we did hire movers to get our belongings up three flights of stairs, which cost more than doing it ourselves. Your move may be cheaper or more expensive depending on which options you choose, but either way – you won't regret it once you're here in Spokane!
Looking for a place to stay in Spokane when you get here? Take a look at rental options in Spokane or stay locally at a nearby Airbnb: