There’s no doubt about it, moving is expensive. Of course, you want to save money wherever you can, but rest assured that hiring a professional moving company is not an area that you want to skimp on. If you call around for a few quotes, you might get worried that you can’t afford professional help. What you may not realize, is that do-it -yourself moving usually ends up costing you just as much, if not more.
Rental truck costs
Consider that the cost of renting a one-way moving truck in the summer can be $3,000-$5,000, and it could be more if you are moving from north to south. You are not guaranteed a truck, but must hope that one will be available when you need it. You also need to ask yourself if you’re really up for the arduous chore of driving a fully-loaded truck.
Fuel costs for rental trucks add up quickly as the vehicles generally get 5-7 miles per gallon. The cost of fuel is not included in rental costs and a move of 1,000 miles could easily cost an additional $500-$800 in gasoline alone.
There is also the issue of truck dependability. Hopefully, your rental truck has been well maintained. Otherwise, a breakdown could leave you stranded in a strange city waiting on repairs or, worse, a replacement truck which means you’ll have to unload everything in the original truck and load it all again into the new one.
You’ll also need to factor in the costs of lodging along your route as it’s a slow slog driving a loaded moving truck across country.
As you will be the packer, loader and driver during a do-it-yourself move, any damages incurred will be all on you. Also, as your goods will not be professionally packed or loaded, there is no guarantee that everything will fit into one truck. Do you really believe you can pack and load your items better than a professional mover?
But the costs don’t stop there. In addition to emptying your wallet, moving affects many other aspects of your life.
You are not a professional mover for a reason. It’s difficult, physically exhausting work. Not only are professional movers probably better suited physically for lugging your sofa down three flights of stairs, but they receive training on proper lifting techniques. They are also insured. If you drop your entertainment center on your foot, your medical bills are your responsibility. If your professional mover is injured carrying something heavy, the moving company’s insurance will take care of it.
Have you ever helped a friend move? It’s not a very fun way to prove your loyalty. When you ask your friends to help you out for free, they can feel like you are taking advantage of them. Most friends will agree to help, but later regret it and possibly resent you for asking.
There are so many things you need to take care of when you move, that it can be easy to get overwhelmed. When you hire professionals, it frees you up to take care of all of those things without worrying about the actual move itself. Pay your utility deposits, register the kids for new schools, or submit your change of address form. There is no shortage of errands to choose from. Hiring movers lets you relax a little bit and use your time more efficiently.
Another way do-it-yourself moving eats into your time is when you don’t have all of the right tools for the job. When you hire a professional moving company, they bring everything they need with them. You don’t have to worry that moving day will come to a screeching halt while you run to the closest store, just to overpay for a tiny Allen wrench to take apart your kids’ bunk beds.
Not only is moving expensive, but it’s stressful. When you choose to do it yourself, the stress level skyrockets. In addition to countless surprise costs, there are a lot of skills and equipment involved that you just may not have. Have you ever pulled a trailer through the mountains in the dark? After you’re exhausted from trying to play Tetris with all of your worldly possessions? Leave the loading and driving to the professionals and you can rest easy knowing that all of your things will get to your new home safely.
While do-it-yourself moving may seem like a great way to save money, don’t fool yourself. Hiring a professional will not only save you time and money, but you’ll still have your health, friends, and sanity when it’s all over!