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Ask the Expert: Can I Move Myself?

Editor's note: Karen Tooley is a certified moving consultant with over three decades' experience in the moving industry.

Question: How do I know when a move is too big to handle on my own?

Answer: In an effort to save money, many people opt to move their own household goods with a rental truck. However, there are many issues to consider before making this choice.

• How large is your home?  Depending on the size, you might have to have a large truck that could require a special license to drive. 

• Is your furniture heavy and hard to load? Bulky and heavy furniture requires extra labor to load the truck properly for safe transit.

• What is the distance between your origin and destination?  If you are moving within the same city, it may be possible to make several trips to complete your move.  However, if you are moving long distance, it would only be feasible to move yourself if all of your goods could be moved in one truckload.

• Do you have enough help to load and unload your goods?  Folks often rely on family and friends to help them move.  Depending on the size of your move, you won't always have enough help. 

• What is the value of your furniture?  When you have to rely on family and friends to help, consider the value of your goods.  If something gets broken or damaged it will not be possible to have the items repaired or replaced by the people who are helping you move; with a full-service moving company, you have a basic level of coverage through valuation protection and it's easy to buy more.

• Do you have enough time to do it yourself? Depending on your reason for relocating, you may not have enough time.  Employment dates, mortgage closings and dates to vacate your residence are all factors to consider when trying to decide if you want to move yourself.  It will always take longer to move yourself than it will take for a professional mover to perform the job -- it's their full-time job. 

It takes a lot of planning and organization to relocate families. Consider all of the factors when you weigh using a professional moving company our doing it yourself.  Very often when you consider the truck rental, fuel costs, hiring labor if needed, and your time, it may not be that much of a savings in comparison.

Your Next Move:

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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