Buy or DIY: How to Decide Whether to Hire Movers or Do It Yourself

Guest Post courtesy of Jeremy Cook.

If you’re preparing to move from one house to another, you may be convinced that you can do it yourself. Maybe this worked in the past as you moved between apartments or out of your parents’ house. So why should moving from one house to another be any different?

Unfortunately, even if you feel like you live in a fairly junk-free environment, you’ve probably acquired a lot of stuff in adulthood. If you’re a parent, you’ve likely added a huge assortment of toys, furniture, and other accoutrement to your growing load of things to move. Even being a dog or cat parent can come with additional challenges.

If you’ve got a move on the horizon, follow the steps below to decide whether you’ll do it yourself or hire a pro.

A professional mover carrying a box

1. Assess your needs

Take a look around your house and think about what it would realistically take to move everything. How much heavy furniture do you own that will require major manpower to move? How many boxes do you think it’ll take to contain all of your belongings? How big of a truck will you need and how far will you need to drive it? Perhaps get a second opinion on how difficult this task will be. Consider also what you will leave behind by selling, donating, or simply throwing things away.

There are many companies out there ready to help if the task seems overwhelming, but they may not be cheap. On the other hand, having someone show up and literally do the heavy lifting for you can save time, injury, and perhaps a friendship or two!

2. Compare costs

The DIY route isn’t necessarily free. You may need to rent a truck or trailer as well as a tow package if you have a vehicle to move. Factor in the cost of fuel and consider how much your time is worth loading and unloading the truck. Will you need to take time off work to get the job done?

If you choose professional movers, the price and services offered from one company may not line up with the next one. Some will send a person to your house to visually assess what possessions you have and provide a firm price to move your stuff, while other movers simply give an estimate based on a moving inventory you complete yourself. How they move your belongings can vary as well. One company might load your items in with other people’s while a different company will dedicate a truck solely to you. This can affect the amount of time it takes them to arrive at the destination as well as the price.

3. Evaluate your help

If you are considering managing the move yourself, take into account what resources you have available and what might make the process more difficult. If you have young children or pets, not only do they require more stuff, but they can’t help with the move and they require supervision during this time. If you have family or friends in the area, perhaps they can help with the move and supervision — but how much assistance are you comfortable asking for?

Consider what kind of shape you and your potential helpers are in as well. If your kids make up most of the offensive line of the local high school football team, perhaps moving yourself is the right choice. If elderly parents or young kids are helping, an injury can negate any savings from doing things yourself.

The great thing about hiring a mover is they will show up with the manpower required to load, transport to your destination, and unload all of your stuff. Professionals know how to manage a move safely and efficiently, and they have the right equipment for the task. You may have to help at times, but for the most part they will take care of everything on move day. Many will even pack your items for a price.

4. Weigh the pros and cons

In the end, you can save a lot of money by moving yourself, but there are other costs to consider. Once you’ve weighed the potential risks and rewards, you should be able to decide what is right for you.

How will you choose to make your next move?

About the Author
Jeremy Cook writes about his life as an engineer and soon-to-be father of two for eBay.com, a great destination for any expecting parent. He recently moved to a new house two states away with a small child, a pregnant wife, and a dog.

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