How much does a self-move cost?

The decision to perform a self-move rather than to hire a professional moving company to handle your house move should always come after a careful comparison between the two major types of relocation scenarios. It’s important to note that while there are general pros and cons of each method, the unique circumstances that are present in your individual moving instance may actually tip the scales in favor of a DIY move over a move assisted by professionals. In fact, the question of whether to move on your own or hire a professional mover is one of the major dilemmas you will have to solve in the very beginning of your moving adventure.

There are multiple important factors to be considered while deciding which way to go /distance, time, price, complexity and even risks/, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that you have reached the informed decision to move by yourself, and therefore let’s focus entirely on the true price of a self-move.

How much does moving yourself really cost? To answer that tough question, we need to look at the few major components that make up the average cost of moving out on your own. While exact calculation of your future self-moving costs is not really feasible due to the high degree of unpredictability that accompanies a residential move, you can still get a pretty good idea what your DIY moving budget will look like before you are forced to loosen your purse strings.

A rented moving truck

You should know up front that moving without any professional assistance is usually a preferred and logical option if you’re moving locally – a short distance move within the same city or within the state of origin that doesn’t exceed 100 miles. And unless you have borrowed a pickup truck from a good friend, you’re going to have to deal with the first of many expenses when performing a self-move – renting a moving vehicle of the right capacity from a truck rental company. The truck rental price will be calculated based on the size of the vehicle, the rental period, the booking date and the current availability of moving vehicles, so to get an accurate price quote, you’re going to have to get in touch with a reputable truck rental company.

Also, consider any additional fees and surcharges that go together with renting a truck, as well as the required insurance which will all cost you extra.

Required moving equipment

Another expense that will add to your DIY moving costs is the need of renting suitable moving equipment to perform an efficient and most importantly – safe self-move. A moving dolly (aka an appliance dolly) is a must have piece of equipment that will help you wheel out safely your heavy household items such as furniture, kitchen appliances and so on. Moreover, consider burdening your DIY moving budget with furniture blankets, furniture pads and moving straps.

Packing supplies

Full service movers usually calculate the price of the required packing materials in the final moving estimate you get so you won’t have to worry about that additional expense either. However, having chosen to attempt a DIY move, you will need to include the costs of packing supplies into your budget. As you probably suspect, the large number of cardboard moving boxes of various sizes will be your largest expense but the good news here is that you can try to find moving containers cheaply or even for free from local large businesses /supermarkets, bookstores, etc./ or friends who have moved house recently. Apart from plenty of moving boxes in good condition, get hold of bubble wrap and clean packing paper for your fragile items, as well as tape and a set of marker pens.

Hidden self-move costs

As opposed to the obvious DIY expenses mentioned above, don’t forget to factor in the hidden costs of moving on your own. These hidden DIY move costs include but are not limited to additional moving insurance, road taxes and tolls, food and lodging on your way to your new home, fuel surcharge /if you return the rented moving truck with less fuel than required, you run the risk of getting charged extra/, cleaning fee /if you fail to return the truck in the clean initial condition/ and so on.

Even more hidden self-moving costs

When trying to figure out how much a self-move costs, it won’t be fair to exclude any possible and highly unexpected money pits. Personal injuries due to insufficient inexperience or improper equipment when handling heavy household items without professional assistance can really hurt you and your savings account as well. Regrettably, mechanical problems or accidents with the rented truck while on the road can never be ruled out either. After all, how often do you drive a big moving truck loaded up to the brim with household items along unknown roads?

Considering all the DIY moving costs explained above, you are advised to get accurate moving cost estimates from a few local movers and see whether it’s actually worth the efforts, money and risks to attempt a DIY move at all. Local movers are known for their flexibility, so it’s always a good idea to check out how much local movers cost /with many example approximate costs/ in order to be able to see the larger picture and make the best informed decision under the presented circumstances.

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