Cost Comparison: Is It Even Worth It To Self-Move?

Moving can and should be an exciting time, but no one will deny that it’s also pretty chaotic. The more you can prepare ahead of time, the less crazy you’re likely to feel when the Big Day finally arrives. One of the biggest stressors for any move is the budget. Whether you choose to DIY or hire moving help, there are a range of different expenses to consider. In order to help you decide whether to try and move yourself or hire professional moving help, we’ll break down the most common moving expenses for you.

 

Transportation Options

This is one of the biggest concerns during any move, whether you’re moving next door or moving across the country. Unless you are literally moving next door, odds are pretty good that you’ll need to arrange for some kind of extra transportation to help haul all of your household goods. Those options typically include:

 

Car Moves  

This may option may have the lowest upfront cost, but that’s barely scratching the surface. Keep in mind that you’ll likely need a trailer to haul the furniture, which means A) your vehicle will need the appropriate hitch/trailer hook-ups, and B) your vehicle will need to have the towing rating appropriate for the weight of the trailer plus everything you’ll be loading onto it. Most standard vehicles aren’t powerful enough to handle that weight. But even if your vehicle has the capacity, you’ll still be stuck going 30 mph down the interstate — and nobody wants that, really. Car moves are a decent option for moving your kid home from college at the end of the school year, or maybe moving a small studio apartment. Otherwise, be prepared to make several dozen trips.

 

A Moving Truck Rental

This is the kind of truck you rent then load up and drive yourself. When most people start planning to DIY a move, this is the path they take because it seems the most cost-effective. However, it’s important to look at the fine print and do some math. A truck rental company may give a flat rate per day, but you’ll want to consider additional expenses like gas costs, additional insurance, and mileage fees. Also, be sure to check for additional fees if you go over the stated mileage or time, and look for fees for dropping off the truck at a different location than the one it was picked up from. Don’t forget, unless you’re moving locally, you’ll also have to figure out how to transport your vehicles to the new house.

So, while the upfront cost of a moving truck may look low, but when you add in the additional costs and fees, the total price for renting a truck on your own will quickly climb into the hundreds.

 

A Moving Company

One big perk of working with a moving company is that the cost includes the moving truck and all the related expenses. While the price tag might look larger upfront, keep in mind that it includes all the other smaller fees that a rental truck company will charge you, like mileage, gas, and insurance. When you hire professional moving help, you can also rest easy because we’ll take care of the driving. That means you can drive your own vehicles to the new house, but it also means you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of a larger truck — something that is limited when renting a truck because of the need for a commercial vehicle license.

 

Other Moving Considerations

While transportation is, arguably, the single biggest expense that comes with any move, it’s certainly not the only one. When you choose a DIY move, you’ll also need to consider the cost of things like packing materials and moving equipment. Can you and your makeshift moving crew handle the pool table or massive sectional without breaking anything? Add in the limitations of a rented moving truck, and space will be at a premium, so you’ll also want to hone your 3D Tetris skills or you may find yourself with a full truck and several boxes still to load. Some of the benefits of hiring professional moving help include things that aren’t always quantifiable. Consider:

 

Effort and Time

When you move yourself, you’ll be responsible for every step of the moving process. That means renting the truck, but also picking it up, loading it, driving it, unloading it, and dropping it off — and that’s just the actual day/days of the move. In the days or weeks before you pick up the truck, a majority of your free time will need to be dedicated to packing everything carefully.

 

When you hire professional help, you also get the benefit of time. We’ll handle the packing, loading, and driving. That means less time taken away from your busy schedule to handle all the little details of a move. You won’t need to take time off work or lose your evenings and weekends to packing and planning — all that extra time can be worth its weight in gold.

 

Antiques and Breakables

Often the biggest concern with moving is how to protect your treasured family heirlooms, antiques, and other breakable items. Fine china can be packed carefully in padded boxes, but what about an ornamental glass sculpture? Breakables, antiques, and oversized items (including furniture) are some of the items most often damaged or destroyed during a move.

One of the greatest hidden savings that you get when hiring professional moving help is the reduction in damage to household goods, which means less you’ll have to pay out of pocket to repair or replace things that get damaged during the moving process.

 

Medical Expenses and Insurance

This is the category of expenses that we genuinely hope you won’t need to be concerned with. However, it’s important to keep in mind that muscle strains and back issues are pretty prevalent injuries among those who choose the DIY move. Professional moving help has the experience and equipment to minimize damage to your household goods and to the movers themselves. Not only does this mean your move will go more quickly, but you won’t have to worry about paying for the emergency room visit for that friend who throws out their back helping you out.

 

On top of that, you’ll want to look into how your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance will cover everything during your move. Policies vary on whether they will cover items in transit, and how much coverage they’ll provide. When you work with a moving company, you can trust that they’ll have insurance to protect the movers, but they’ll also have insurance coverage to help with damage done to household goods or the home itself during moving.

 

 

DIY Vs Professional Help

While the basic costs may make it look like renting a moving truck or trailer is less expensive, that’s not the only expense that you’ll incur while moving. You can reasonably expect the average move with professional moving help to cost around a month’s rent, and, surprisingly to many, you can expect a DIY move to cost about the same — if not more. But, in addition to the cost difference (which isn’t as different as you might think), hiring professional moving help grants you something even more valuable: peace of mind and more time. When you’ve got movers handling the heavy lifting, you can focus on helping your kids handle goodbyes and moving to a new home.

 

Here at PNW Moving & Delivery, we are your Tacoma-area professional moving help. We’ve got an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and years of experience to back it up. Connect with us today to get a quote for your upcoming move!