• Like

  • Follow
Bookmark and Share

Do-It-Yourself Moving: Cheaper Than a Moving Company?

If you're on a tight budget, one of the easiest ways to save on your moving costs is to do it yourself. And most times a do-it-yourself move IS definately cheaper than a full-service move.

However, many people underestimate just how much work -- and how much money -- a do-it-yourself move entails. This story is intended as a checklist of the costs you can incur when moving yourself, and help you decide whether a do-it-yourself move is for you.

The major expense in moving yourself is renting a truck. However, most people focus on the per-day charge and neglect the additional costs in renting a truck.

First, there's gas, or more often, mileage. You might pay per mile, and you'll be needing to return the truck when you're done, so double the most distance when figuring these costs. For padding, you might also consider doubling it further in case you have to do extra trips -- always overestimate the size of truck you need, you never know how much stuff you have until you try to move it. Also, budget an extra day in case you find you need to keep the truck for longer than you planned. (And don't forget tolls you'll face on the road.)

Second, if you want to rent a dollie, tie downs, ropes or other equipment to help you move, be sure to include that cost as well.

Although you want to do it yourself, you might opt to hire people to help them with the move. And if you're relying the kindness of friends and family, figure in the costs of a gift as a token of appreciation, or at least spring for dinner and/or lunch.

Some of the other downsides of moving it yourself:

  • You don't do this for a living, so you will be more prone to accidents -- hurting your stuff, or worse, yourself.
  • How much time will it take? Time is money, and if you can spend your time more fruitfully at your job making money, then maybe saving a few dollars moving yourself doesn't seem as attractive to you. Or if you're super busy at the office and would rather spend your time relaxing and recharging than moving boxes, consider this as well.
  • Are you sure you can move every item that needs to be moved? If you have specialty items like appliances or large pieces of furniture, are you sure you can move them on your own or with your friends and family?
  • Is your move covered? Moving companies are required to provide a minimum of coverage by law, and they should have Worker's Compensation coverage as well. If someone gets hurt help you move, will you be covered?

Not thrilled with moving yourself but don't want to spend the money on a full-service moving. Try self-service moving. Basically this a mix. You pack your stuff and load it into a moving truck, but then a professional drives the truck to your new home, and you unpack the truck.

Rate This Article From 1 (Lowest) to 5 (Highest)

In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

Relocation.com's survey was recently featured on the front page of USA Today. The headline entitled "Moving in Hard Times" highlighted our results that moving and relocating behaviors were only moderately influenced by the economy.


Our lifestyle survey found that Americans are seeking smaller homes and a suburban lifestyle. These riveting results were recently featured on USAToday.com in an article entitled "American dream shrinks as smaller homes gain favor."

"This user-friendly site includes a blog and a subscription-only newsletter, too"

The Washington Post

"Relocation.com provides you with all the tools you need to get quotes quickly from movers in your area."


The Business Week