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A Self-Service Move -- You Pack and Load, They Drive

Want to move yourself -- but are less-than-thrilled with the notion of driving a big truck through narrow streets, not to mention parking it?

Try self-service moving.

A full-service mover takes care of everything for you, and a do-it-yourself move leaves you completely on your own. A self-service move strikes a middle way: you pack, load and unload the truck, but you leave the driving to someone else.

So you save on a full-service move, but you save yourself the hassle of renting a truck, picking it up, driving it and returning it.

There are two basic types of  self-service moves. The first involves the use of a commercial trailer, which is moved from your current residence to your new residence. The second type of self-service move involves the use of special containers that you pack your items into – the containers are then picked up and shipped to your new home.

If the company gives you an empty trailer for your items, you pay for the linear feet or cubic feet that you use.

If you work with a special container for your items, the amount you pay depends on the number of containers you use and how far the containers will travel. These containers are a good option because you know only your stuff will be in the container; with other options, the trailer can be used by other people who are moving.

Ask the companies how your items will be transported and how their pricing works. They can give you a good estimate based on the size of your residence and the types of items you will be transporting.

A Self-Service Downside

Many people grossly underestimate the amount of time and expense involved with packing their own stuff. Moving is a specialized service and many items require special packing techniques and supplies to offer the maximum protection possible when transporting items. In any long-distance move there is some risk of damage.

Also, self-service moving is normally only available when you are transporting your household goods out of state because the companies handling the service are licensed with the Department of Transportation (DOT), which oversees interstate moves.

Your Next Move:

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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