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When Not to DIY for Your Move

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A DIY move can be a cost-effective alternative to hiring movers. But is it a wise method for every move? In some circumstances, a DIY move can be impractical, difficult, or even unsafe. Read on to find out when you shouldn't do it yourself for your move.

You have a large home

If you have a four or five-bedroom home, you will have significantly more items and furniture to pack and load. If you are handling all of the moving tasks yourself, you will have to dedicate a large portion of your time to your move. Full-service movers can pack up and load the entire contents of a large home in one day--a process that could take you months to complete.

You have a lot of difficult items

If your moving inventory consists of many fragile breakables, delicate glassware, china, artwork, antiques or other difficult items, professional assistance is vital to avoid damage. Specialty movers have the highest quality supplies and are trained in the most efficient packing methods to protect these belongings. They are also knowledgeable in the best ways to load the truck to ensure your possessions remain stationary and secure during transit. Specialty items like pool tables, grandfather clocks, and pianos require proper disassembly and extra care for transport to ensure their delicate inner workings and mechanisms are not disturbed. Attempting to relocate these items on your own could cause costly damage exceeding any money you saved with a DIY move.

You're moving cross-country

If you are moving long-distance, a DIY move can become less economical. While still likely more affordable than hiring movers, the savings may become less worthwhile when you consider the decrease in convenience. Rental truck agencies charge a flat fee per day depending on the truck size required (typically ranging from $20 to $40). Additional charges are incurred per mile traveled (usually about $1 a mile), and you are responsible for fuel costs. If you are traveling across country, you may need the truck for up to a week--that comes to $140 to $280 in daily charges and up to thousands in mileage costs alone. You will also have to consider food, lodging and transport for your vehicle. Savings are not as significant for a long distance DIY move, and may not be worth the hassle of driving a cumbersome moving vehicle for days on end.

You have a lack of free time

When you're moving, there are a multitude of items on your to-do list--a DIY move only adds more to your plate. You will not only have to pack all of your possessions, but load all of the boxes, lug all of your heavy furniture and appliances to the truck, and possibly take time off work to drive the truck to your new home. If you are a full-time professional, have children, or a number of outside commitments, a DIY move may not be tailored to your busy schedule. Additionally, if you have to take unpaid leave from work for your move, the money you save on a DIY move may not be worth the lost wages.

You have no one to help

Do you live alone? Do you have a lack of available friends and family nearby to assist you? While it is known as a "do-it-yourself" move, handling the process all by yourself can be daunting. Carrying heavy items often requires at least one helper, especially when going down stairs or lifting them into the truck. Those will small builds and inexperience with lifting heavy items should definitely not attempt to handle a DIY move alone. Improper lifting, carrying and loading techniques can result in severe injury and serious damage to your items.

You are not comfortable maneuvering a large vehicle

Are you accustomed to driving a sports car or compact vehicles? Have you never been behind the wheel of a large truck? Driving a rental truck is not an easy task, and if you are not comfortable it can be dangerous. The truck will also be weighed down with the contents of your entire home, making steering and handling the vehicle even more difficult. Improper maneuvering of the truck can not only create a safety hazard, but cause damage to your goods during transit.

You have to move a vehicle

If you have a vehicle to transport in addition to your shipment, it will have to make it to your new home somehow. If you are responsible for driving the moving truck, someone else will have to get your car to your destination. If your move is local this may not be as difficult, but if you are moving long distance you will have to hire auto transport services. Compare the combined costs of renting the truck and hiring auto shippers with hiring professionals movers and driving your own vehicle to determine which method is best for you and your budget.

When is a DIY move a good idea?

  • Your move is local. If you are moving within the same city or to a nearby region, renting a truck can be a affordable option. Your move can easily be completed in one day, and your mileage charges will be low. You may not even spend much on fuel--just be sure to replenish whatever you used before returning the truck.

  • You have a small home. If you live in a small home, condo or apartment, you will have a manageable load to transport. It will take less time to pack up and load the truck so you can complete the task quickly and avoid taking time off work.

  • You have a lot of helpers. Do you have a lot of strong friends that owe you a favor? A big family to pitch in? A DIY move can be a cinch with a large group of people lending a hand. You will have assistance with lugging heavy furniture out of your home, hoisting it into the truck, and perhaps even driving your vehicle while you take the truck to your destination.

Hiring professional movers

If you have decided a DIY move is not for you, you can begin comparing quotes from professional moving service today! Just fill out our fast and easy quote form and receive up to seven free, no-obligation quotes from movers near you!

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on February 14, 2014

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