Should You Move Yourself, or Hire Movers?

Before you decide to DIY your move, learn about the benefits and reprecussions of moving yourself compared to hiring a professional moving company.

Molly Henderson

Molly has been writing about the moving industry for more than 10 years and knows exactly what makes a mover great.

 ·  4 min

You’re tight on time. You’re even tighter on money. Should you hire professional movers for your next move or should you go the DIY route?

When it comes to the long-term, professional movers are usually the way to go. 

That may not be what your wallet wants to hear, but the peace of mind provided by a professional moving company is priceless. There are other instances in which a DIY move could be better, however, so we’re going to take a look at the differences below.

Before you start reading our tips on moving by yourself vs hiring movers, check out these links to learn more about how to take the pain out of your upcoming move:

Is It Cheaper To Move Yourself or Hire Movers?

Is DIY moving cheaper in the short-term? Yes. Cheaper in the long-term? Probably not.

Hiring a mover looks different for every person depending on income, the size of the house/apartment, and the size of the family. If you’re moving just a few blocks away and don’t own that many belongings, a DIY move is likely the superior option. Having a large family can take the hassle of shifting a hundred boxes yourself.

Cross-country moves, however, are much more complex. When you take into account details like owning a boat or an elaborate wine collection, the final number for your budget becomes even more extravagant. If you’re worried about accidentally damaging or losing your belongings, a professional moving service can give you some peace of mind.

It’s understandable to be confused on whether you should start moving by yourself vs hiring movers. The average mover will have you possibly paying for:

  • Personal property insurance
  • Exercise equipment fees
  • Alcohol moving fees

In short: local moves with few belongings and a small family size will likely fare fine with a low-cost DIY move. Cross-country moves or having a large house, however, will benefit mightily from a quality moving service. 

Keep in mind that services in the moving industry also vary in cost depending on the type you choose.

The types of moving companies and options you can choose from include:

  • Professional moving services
  • Truck rental
  • Freight
  • Moving Container

For those that can afford to spend a little more, packing services are a handy resource to get your house in working order as quickly as possible. Professional packers swift and skilled, able to properly wrap up and label all your belongings in less time. 

Is It Worth Paying for Movers?

For most people, it is absolutely worth paying movers to take the exhaustion out of the transition. Beware, however, of moving scams.

There are a few unscrupulous moving services that prey on stressed and naive movers. They tend to hike up their prices at the last second, don’t often work with contracts, and can even steal your belongings. This is why we put together a list of today’s best moving companies so you can rest easy.

To reduce the risk of scams, make sure you:

  • Verify the moving company under FMCSA
  • Request a contract and read it carefully
  • Read recent, verified customer reviews
  • Ask friends and family their thoughts if they’ve worked with them before
  • Trust your gut (if you don’t feel comfortable, there are always other moving companies)

We’ll teach you how to avoid moving scams so you’re not losing money on your way to a new life.

Why Might Someone Choose To Hire Movers Rather Than a DIY Move?

Movers are experienced professionals able to lend you a physical hand and help you budget. For people who are stressed out with a thousand things on their plate, this help is invaluable. 

Have you ever moved somewhere and lost several boxes because you were juggling too many obligations? Do you worry about how to properly move a mobile home or a boat? Professional movers are ready to tackle the hurdles of your life, no matter how big or small. 

Some movers even find themselves in a tricky situation where they have to break a lease sooner than usual. A professional moving service can absorb the hassle of packing and moving at the last second.

Someone might also choose to hire a full-service moving company if they don’t want to be the one to drive the moving truck, especially if it’s a long distance move.

Why Is Hiring Movers So Expensive?

Movers provide you several valuable skills in one package. As the ever-popular saying goes: you get what you pay for. 

They move your heavy equipment and furniture, with additional oversight on tricky materials like alcohol or exercise equipment. They give you resources for legal coverage in the event of damaged or lost materials. They can even provide you help with budgeting gas, food, and hotel stays for cross-country moves. 

That’s not to say movers can do everything. Some won’t transport alcohol for safety reasons, while most won’t transport plants or cleaning products. Double-check with your moving service and get a list of what they will or won’t move before the big day.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring Professional Movers?

Movers are a reliable resource that smooth out the hitches of your transition. The majority of Americans move for house-related reasons, making the home both a place of safety and a place of stress.

The benefits of hiring movers include:

  • Smoothly moving heavy furniture and equipment, which especially important if you have a bad back or mobility issues
  • Guarding your belongings from point A to point B
  • Helping you with surrounding details like gas, food, and lodging 
  • Help you move complex belongings like a car, boat, mobile home, or bulky items
  • They’ll handle the hard work of moving heavy items. 
  • You can spare your family members from moving heavy boxes and potentially injuring themselves.
  • Give you free time to focus on your lease or saying farewell to friends
  • They’ll bring their own packing materials

This is more than enough for most people to hand the moving process over to the professionals. On the other hand, some still are too tight on money or too nervous about past bad moving experiences to move away from “do it yourself” moving.

The benefits of DIY moving include:

  • More control over moving and/or packing personal belongings
  • Saving money in the short-term
  • No concerns about stolen or mishandled items

When it comes down to it: moving by yourself vs hiring movers boils down to your unique needs.

DIY moving is fine if you have few belongings and are moving within your city or town limits. The professional moving route, on the other hand, is ideal if you have a large home or are moving cross-country. Even a small move can benefit from reducing heavy lifting on your part.

Make sure to plan your moving budget as soon as possible to avoid any nasty surprises at the last minute or additional costs. Moves may be challenging, but they can be simplified into working parts just like any other task. 

Molly Henderson

Molly has been writing about the moving industry for more than 10 years and knows exactly what makes a mover great.

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