Moving From Los Angeles to Chicago: Movers, Costs, and Benefits

There’s a lot of ground to cover between LA and Chicago. Check out this guide to get off on the right foot, and learn more about the best LA to Chicago movers.

Los Angeles is expensive, gridlocked, and full of aggressive homeless people. It’s also full of psychotic influencer wannabes and crappy food trucks (sorry, even that one).

LA people are getting so desperate, they’re moving to CHICAGO of all places. But the more you think about it, the more it makes sense: It’s cheaper, it’s got great public transport, and all the bums are moving to California anyways. If you’re tired of Los Angeles but you still want big city life, Chicago is the polar opposite you’re looking for.

If you’re ready to move from LA to Chicago, iMoving is here to help. We’ve got over 1,000 vetted and verified movers to choose from, and by keeping all the shopping and booking entirely online, we’re making LA to Chicago easier than ever.

But if you’re still on the fence, don’t worry: Read on to learn more about your move, and meet some of our favorite LA moving companies.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Movers from Los Angeles to Chicago?

It’s gonna cost you between $1,638 to $14,145 to move from Los Angeles to Chicago. Why such a big window?

When long distance movers math out your price, the two main factors they look at are the distance you’re traveling, and the amount you’re transporting. Moving prices can vary wildly, and it’s all because every move is different.

There’s about 2,015 miles between LA and Chiraq. While this does mean you’ll be putting plenty of distance between yourself and Los Angeles, it also means you’ll have to shell out extra cash for the extra long distance.

On the other hand, you can save some serious cash when it comes to the physical size of your move. Try to get rid of your excess stuff before shopping for a quote. This way, you won’t get charged for transporting all those extra pounds. If you don’t use it, don’t move it.

3 Best Movers from Los Angeles to Chicago

You’ve seen the price, and you’ve marked your calendar. But do you know who’ll be doing the heavy lifting? Take a look at some of our top LA to Chicago moving companies:

1. Best Quality Movers

2. Southbay Moving Systems

3. Pro Movers


Best Quality Movers

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  • Experienced Professionals
  • Specialized Services
  • Customer-Centric Approach

Best Quality Movers brings a lot to the table. A decade of moving experience, professional moving crews, and plenty of familiarity with moves that start in LA… the list goes on (and it includes low-volume moving!) Their impressive list of services means you’ll get a completely custom relocation, tailored just for you.

Best Quality Movers has a ton of helpful services, but the one we like best is their small delivery service. Most moving companies have a minimum weight requirement, so if you just need some help with that dresser that won’t fit in your trunk, you’re SOL. Thankfully, Best Quality can step up and take care of it.


  • Ten years of industry experience
  • Punctual and professional
  • Car hauling available
  • Storage available
  • Can handle small deliveries


  • Video interview required for detailed quote
  • Mainly based in SoCal

Southbay Moving Systems

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  • Trained Team
  • Customized Solutions
  • Specialized Commercial Moving

Southbay Moving Systems is up in Northern California, but that doesn’t stop them from helping out with LA moves on the regular.

This is great news for students and seniors, since they offer some sweet deals every now and then. In fact, this is great news for anyone who likes clean trucks and movers with a solid Google rating!

Southbay Moving Systems is one of our west coast favorites. They operate all over California, and all over the country. With 30 years of experience under their belts, Southbay knows how to deal with moves of all shapes and sizes - and we’re always impressed by their Google reviews, too.


  • 30 years of experience
  • Clean and tidy trucks
  • Well-rated on Google
  • Senior moves available
  • Student moving services


  • Video interview required for detailed quote
  • Mainly based in Central California

Pro Movers

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  • Transparent Pricing
  • Storage Solutions
  • Specialty Moving

Pro Movers keeps their whole operation in-house. This means you won’t have to deal with any third parties - whether it’s the packing, loading, hauling, or even just calling customer support.

They’re also super dedicated to keeping your stuff safe. Their efforts have paid off; just check their Yelp reviews!

We’re big fans of in-house moving companies. You get a lot of peace of mind when you know that they’re the ones who’ll show up for the job, and it’s an added layer of security, too.

Plus, they’re old hands at SoCal moving, so you know their teams will know their way around the LA area and beyond.


  • SoCal specialists
  • Highly-rated on Yelp
  • In-House moving teams and trucks
  • Dedicated to extra TLC
  • 24/7 Support


  • SoCal specialists

How Long Does Moving Take?

Long distance moving takes between 1 and 21 days, but for the LA to Chicago route, you’re looking at a 5 day minimum. Under federal law, your driver can’t clock more than 400 miles of interstate travel per day.

Aside from rules and regulations, you may end up waiting longer if you’re only moving a small amount of stuff. Movers don’t like to send half-empty trucks all over the place, so for greater efficiency they’ll bundle multiple smaller moves in the same truck. (Don’t worry; they’ll keep everything separated and secure.)

Bundling moves may be great for your price, but you’ll have to wait while your movers deal with pickups and deliveries along the way.

What Factors Affect the Cost of a Los Angeles to Chicago Move?

Moving from LA to Chicago will cost you from $1,638 to $14,145, but there’s a lot that goes into your final price. Take a look at these factors, and see how you can save big on the big day.

1. Distance

When your movers are running the numbers, the distance is probably the most important factor. More miles means more money, and since LA and Chicago are about 2000 miles apart, you’ll have to prepare your wallet accordingly.

2. Size

Notice how we said “probably” about the distance being the most important factor. That’s because in the moving game, the physical size of your move is also a major player.

Movers will assign either a weight (in pounds) or a volume (in cubic feet) to all your stuff. Try to donate, sell off, or throw out all your unwanted belongings to save some cash.

3. Packing

Packing is an optional expense, and if you’re trying to be cheap, you can pack by yourself. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Packing is a huge pain: it’s time consuming, it’s frustrating, and NOBODY likes going to Home Depot that much (plus, they never have the right-sized boxes). Shell out for packing, and the pros will make it easy.

4. Insurance

Movers are required to offer a base level of insurance coverage, so that’s pretty cool. You know what’s not cool? The fact that the base coverage is only good for $0.60 per pound of damaged goods.

Break a 4-pound laptop? Enjoy your $2.40. If you want to get the full value of your broken items, you’ll have to pay for full-value coverage.

5. Storage

You’re moving long distance. There’s no easy way to tell whether all your stuff is going to fit in your new place - let alone plan out where everything is going to live once you get there.

If you want some extra square footage and extra time, you’ll have to pay for storage. Be on the lookout: Some movers offer 30 days free!

6. Furniture Assembly/Disassembly

Some stuff is just too big to box up. In these cases, your movers will have to show up with tools and special equipment to disassemble your extra-large items. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but it sure makes life a lot easier when you can pack things flat.

7. Specialty Moving

We’ve been in the game for a while, so we’ve seen a lot of weird moves. Some people need to transport their family heirlooms or antiques.

In other cases, they need pianos, pool tables, or even vintage motorcycles crated up and hoisted out the window. This all requires extra planning, prep, and - you guessed it - money.

8. Access Fees

Here’s a fun experiment for you: Try to draw a line from your front door to the sidewalk. Does the line run into any obstacles on the way? Think about staircases, elevators, gates, and long hallways, to name a few examples. All of these obstacles are going to be tough for your movers, and they’ll charge you extra for the extra excitement.

9. Gratuity

This one isn’t included in your quote, but we’re gonna include it here anyway. Tips are a big deal in the moving industry. 15% to 20% is a good figure, to be divided up across your whole team. Don’t forget the driver!

Why Do People Move from Los Angeles to Chicago?

When you tell all your LA friends that you’re moving to Chicago, they’ll probably roast you and tell you you’re going to get shot or something. But here’s why you’ll get the last laugh:

  • It’s cheaper: Come on, you’ve been living in LA long enough to know how expensive the city is. Chicago is way cheaper than Los Angeles, not just in terms of rent and home values, but also just about everything else.

  • It’s experiencing a renaissance: Sure, make all the Chiraq jokes you want (and believe us, we’ve made a few), but Chicago is getting better every day. You can be one of those gentrifiers that everyone in LA complains about.

  • Lots of job opportunities: LA has plenty of work, that’s true - but in Chicago, you can find a job that actually keeps you afloat. There’s plenty of different industries in the windy city, from finance to healthcare and tech. Go nuts.

  • Less traffic: Let’s be honest, you’re probably reading this while you’re locked down on the 405. If you’re tired of traffic (like everyone else in LA), Chicago has great public transport.
  • Still a big city: This isn’t moving to Iowa or Nebraska or something. Chicago is still a big city, and you’ll still be able to find plenty of hustle and bustle to keep you occupied. Speaking of, there’s actually lots to do in Chicago…

Things to Do in Chicago

Los Angeles is pretty packed when it comes to activities, but don’t write off the Windy City. Chicago has plenty of cool sights that are worth checking out, and there’s always something new going on.

  • Millennium Park: Chances are, when you do a quick Google search for Chicago, you’ll see a huge metal sculpture that looks like a bean (aptly nicknamed “the Bean” by the locals). It’s in Millennium Park, which also has plenty of greenery and open space.

  • Boat Tours: The Chicago River actually has water in it! You can hop on a boat and ride up and down the river, and learn a little something about your new hometown while you’re at it.

  • Street Festivals: Chicago winters are no joke. Fortunately, the summers make up for those -30º cold snaps. Once the weather gets nicer, there’s entire streets full of open-air concerts, vendors, and good eating.

  • The Art Institute of Chicago: When the weather doesn’t cooperate, there’s plenty of indoor activities. The Art Institute of Chicago is a great example. Check out all the classics, as seen in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

  • Wrigley Field: In keeping with the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off thing, you can also go to Wrigley Field to catch a ball game. Of course, you’ll have to root for the Cubs, but that just comes with the territory.

Los Angeles to Chicago FAQ

The cost of living in Chicago is a lot cheaper than LA. For reference, a Zillow search for the median Chicago home price comes up with about $300,000. LA is about $1 million - and we all know you’ll have to pay extra to live someplace decent.

Aside from the home prices, Chicago is also much cheaper in terms of daily expenses. Gas in LA is about $5 a gallon, and in Chicago it’s almost a whole dollar cheaper. Plus, you can use public transit to really save on gas.

The cheapest way to move long distance is always to DIY the whole thing. Would we recommend it? Not really. After you factor in the price of a truck rental, gas, food, and lodging, you may as well just shell out a little extra and let the pros deal with it.

And if you’re missing work (and paychecks) to deal with your move? Forget it. Full service movers are more expensive, but you really get what you pay for.

Movers won’t move anything that can damage their trucks. This means nothing flammable, nothing perishable, nothing pressurized, and nothing alive.

That should cover all the bases, but moving companies all have their own specific lists. Be sure you read up on local laws before you hit the road, too. Some plants, animals, or firearms may not be legal in your destination.

We recommend tipping your movers between 15% and 20% of the total cost of your move, to be divided up between your whole moving team. Moving is a tough job, and unless explicitly declined by your moving company, they’ll be expecting a gratuity.

Never pay full price for a move that hasn’t happened yet. Think about it. If you give them all your money and they haven’t even shown up, where’s the incentive to even finish the job? Down payments are a different story, and anything from a couple hundred bucks to a few percent of your final price is perfectly fine. But if a mover asks for the full price up front, walk away and find another moving company.

Moving from Los Angeles to Chicago? Tell us more and let’s get packing!

That wraps things up for our guide to LA to Chicago moving! Hopefully you learned a thing or two about what to expect from your move - and what to expect from your new hometown.

If you’re ready to get started, iMoving is ready to help. Tell us more about your move, and shop, compare prices, and book your LA to Chicago movers today!

Harrison Gough

Harrison has been writing for real estate and moving companies for the past three years, but his knowledge isn't just from behind a desk. Having moved over a dozen times himself, sometimes with professional help and sometimes on his own, he's learned firsthand what makes moving smooth and what makes it stressful. When he's not writing, he's looking into ways to make his next move simpler.

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