Hiring Movers vs. Doing it Yourself: Pros and Cons

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty 91362

Should I Hire a Moving Company or Do it Myself?

Are you trying to decide between hiring a professional moving company or doing it yourself? Buying a new home can be a very stressful experience, though how much stress you face will depend on the choices you make. One of these choices is how you move your possessions into your new home.

Hiring movers will be the easier option, but moving on your own could cost you less. There are many things to consider, we'll review the pros and cons of hiring movers and doing it yourself. Whatever choice you make one of the first things you'll need to figure out is where to get moving boxes. Packing will be one of your first steps so finding appropriate moving boxes will be a critical exercise. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has an excellent resource on finding places to get moving boxes, both free and paid.

The Benefits of Moving Yourself

Saving Money

If you don't have much extra cash after buying your new home, moving without hired movers could save you some money. If you have some help from friends, you should be able to get your furniture moved for less. Unless you are moving from a small apartment, you'll probably need to rent a moving truck nearby. You should have at least a few options to choose from. Make sure you do your homework so you get the best deal possible, as well as the kind of vehicle that will suit your move.

Controlling Your Move

If you do things yourself, you will have complete control over how things are done. You can pack in your own time, taking extra care over your fragile possessions. Who will take better care of your possessions, other than yourself?

DIY moves give you more flexibility, allowing you to move when it best suits you and the situation. Keep in mind, however, that trying to do it on your own when moving a long distance can be extremely challenging.

When you are moving out of state one of the first things you should do is make a checklist and follow it. Part of the process will be making sure you want to do the move on your own without the help of professionals.

The Downsides of a DIY Move

Hard Work

One of the most significant downsides of moving yourself is its hard work! Moving your furniture is going to be a tough job if you aren't used to it. You will likely need help to move larger items of furniture, and it can be easy to underestimate the amount of work needed. If you have to move items up or down a staircase, you could quickly run into problems that will slow down your move.

There will be a greater chance of damaging walls as you maneuver furniture through doorways and downstairs. If you have a lot of items to move, will you have enough help from friends to make it possible?

One thing you should make sure you get done well in advance of the move is to get rid of all the junk you no longer want. Doing so will make maneuvering what you do want to keep easier.

Delays Are Possible

Perhaps furniture will need to be dismantled to get it out of the house, or a large item could get stuck in a doorway. Without the experience of professional movers, this could become a major issue. You could potentially find yourself struggling with one item of furniture for hours. If you can picture this happening then you know it isn't going to be pleasant. Your blood will be boiling. There is a reason so many people dread the thought of moving day.

Extra Expenses Involved

Will you have enough time to move all your furniture? If you don't, there are going to be extra expenses and stress. You will have to pay extra fees if you don't return the rented truck at the agreed time.

The cost of renting your moving vehicle could be higher than it first appears. You will often have to pay for the miles you drive as well as the gas you use. There are going to be extra insurance charges that aren't included in the advertised prices. On top of that, you may need to hire extra equipment, like dollies, to help your move.

Planning Your Move

Taking care of your move yourself is going to require more planning. It isn't quite as simple as just renting a truck. You need to consider how to pack the truck and the order to load your items. If you get this wrong, you could find that when you unpack, items have been broken because they were incorrectly placed in the truck. One of the bigger moving mistakes is not planning properly.

The Advantages of Hiring Movers

Leave it to the Professionals

When you ask a professional moving company to help, you can leave all the difficult things up to them. They know what they are doing, have the right equipment, and the experience to get the job done. This should mean that there is less chance of damage being done to the home, or your possessions, during the move.

You don't even have to worry about the packing either if you don't want to. Hiring movers will save you a lot of stress on moving day as well, which will always be a difficult day regardless.

Speed in Getting The Move Done

Movers are going to be able to get the job done faster than you ever could. Your possessions will be packed into their truck faster and more efficiently than you would have been able to achieve. A professional moving company should arrive on time, getting the job done in the time they promise, and this will be less stressful for you.

The Disadvantages of Using Movers

The Cost Involved

It isn't going to be cheap to hire professional movers, particularly if you are moving long distance. The cost of moving can quickly run into thousands of dollars, even for a local move. Don't forget that proper etiquette is to give the movers a tip as well if they have done an excellent job, which will increase your overall cost even further.

The resource at Maximum Real Estate Exposure provides some sound advice for providing a moving gratuity as well as some other helpful tips when you're strapped for cash.

Schedules Are Not Always Flexible

When you use a moving company, you will have to fit in with their schedule. They may not be able to pick-up your possessions at the most convenient time for you, and you could be waiting longer than you want to get your stuff back. If you are moving across the country, they might have other stops on the way which delays the arrival of your items.

Expect that moving dates you desire to be less flexible in the Spring and Summer. These are peak moving times where a lot of people move from one place to another.

Final Thoughts on Hiring a Professional Moving Company vs. Doing it Yourself

While you could save money by moving yourself, the costs might not be as low as you imagine. Hiring professional movers is likely going to be more costly, but should save you time and stress. Hopefully, you can now weigh the pros and cons of moving yourself vs hiring a professional mover.

Take the time and think things through carefully. If you decide to move without assistance and want to change your mind it could be difficult to get a professional at the last minute.

Other Active Rain Real Estate Moving Resources

See more valuable moving information in these excellent articles found at Active Rain.

  • What to know about a PODS moving container - the largest and most recognizable portable storage container company is PODS. Having a POD can be wonderful to either get excess stuff out of your home as part of your decluttering efforts or even for temporary storage. See what you need to know in this helpful article.
  • Tips for updating or canceling a change of address - are you going to be moving and have already filled out a change of address form? Do you now find those original plans changing? if you answered yes to these questions then you will want to update or cancel your original request. See how to go about doing it.

Use the additional information to help plan your move in advance.


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With three decades of experience, Bill Gassett is an authority in the real estate sector. Bill writes informative articles for numerous prestigious real estate sites to help buyers, sellers, and fellow real estate agents. His work has been featured on RIS Media, the National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, Realty Biz News, Credit Sesame, and his own authority resource, Maximum Real Estate Exposure. Reach out to Bill Gassett for his real estate, mortgage, and financial expertise.

Comments (3)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill - I have done both.  And you're right there are advantages/disadvnatages to each method.  Timing.  Expense.  Convenience.  Each move is different.  It's good to understand the different aspects.  

May 13, 2020 06:50 AM
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

So true Michael Jacobs - moving can be a real challenge if you've never done it before.

May 13, 2020 02:24 PM