Deciding whether to hire a moving company or do it yourself is usually the first question you answer when planning a move. Although both options have their pros and cons, the decision will ultimately come down to your specific circumstances. We've outlined the moving options and provided information that may help you decide which approach will work best for you and potentially save you money on your move to your new home.
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Pros: Hiring a professional moving company that provides their own rental truck, in theory, is the most seamless way to move. With this approach, you hire a reputable moving company that will provide quality service. On moving day, they will pack up your belongings (if packing service is part of the agreement), load the moving trucks, drive and unload the boxes at the new location. This practically eliminates the heavy lifting and can make the move a lot easier, especially if your new home is across the country or a long distance away.
Cons: Most of the time, hiring a professional moving company with a rental truck is the most expensive way to move belongings from one location to another. There is also the chance that your household goods could get lost or broken. If you decide that hiring professional movers is the route you’d like to take, we strongly recommend you do your homework by comparing multiple moving companies, get free moving quotes, and reading customer satisfaction reviews so that you have a solid idea of who you will be trusting with your belongings and you can avoid scams. You can also check to see if the moving company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Moving on your own with a truck rental
Pros: If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you could save on moving costs by moving on your own or with a few friends and family members. In addition to cutting back on the costs of moving, you also can watch your belongings more closely, therefore reducing the likelihood of damage to your things. You also have more freedom, peace of mind and flexibility regarding your timeline. For example, some moving companies will let you return the moving truck within a generous time frame, allowing you to move to your new house at a more comfortable pace. This can also be a great option for smaller moves, such as a one-bedroom apartment.
Cons: Have you driven a moving truck before? Many people do not have experience driving a large vehicle of this size and may need a passenger to help check for cars when switching lanes. If you do not have an additional person to help you, you may find it difficult to maneuver the highways in the truck. And if you’re staying the night in hotels, have you added those costs into your breakdown of pros and cons? These are all details that should be taken into account when trying a DIY move. You may also need to think about the safety of your truck packed with your belongings staying in the hotel parking lot at night.
Moving on your own without a rental truck
Pros: If you are making a local move, you may be able to make multiple smaller trips by yourself in a pickup truck or similar vehicle. A lot of people have furniture and bulky items that will not fit into a small truck, but for many college students, young adults and renters who do not have many belongings, this is a viable option and worth it to save extra cash. If you are able to make this happen, you will put in a lot of muscle and sweat but will ultimately save yourself quite a bit of money.
Cons: First of all, if you want to move on your own, you will need to already have access to a vehicle that will fit your belongings. Secondly, you will need to make multiple trips and exert a lot of energy moving your things from one place to another, not to mention unpacking. People grossly underestimate the time and energy that both packing and moving require. This option will take a lot of work.
How you approach your move will be determined by your circumstances. For example, if you are planning to go cross-country and across state lines for a bigger move, you will probably want to go with a full-service moving company that has experience in larger, long-distance moves. However, if you are moving within your current city, it may be most cost-effective to move yourself. Overall, choose the option that fits your situation best, whether that's pricing or a hassle-free moving process.
It depends on your situation and how much budget and time you have to move. If you're short on time, you can hire movers to handle the entire move, and some companies offer damage insurance. If you have more time and are concerned about pricing, a DIY move may be in your best interest.
How much does a moving company cost?
A moving company on average costs at least $1,000 for a local or long-distance move. Typically, cross-country moves cost an average of $4,800. There are a variety of factors that can affect the cost of relocating with a professional moving company, including the size of your move, storage, and fuel costs.