Why Moving Yourself Might Not Save You as Much Money as You Think

If you ever find yourself at a dinner party where the conversation lags, bring up the topic of moving. Specifically, bring up the nearly universal experience of moving yourself. Talk about the truck rental, recruiting a few friends to load the shoddily-packed boxes and poorly wrapped furniture, just to hope everything ends up in the same shape as it started. If you bring that up, you’re guaranteed to hear lots of stories. If I’m at the party, you’ll hear about the dresser that went flying down a freeway for several yards, with just a few scratches to show for it. You might hear stories of books being packed on top of dishes (don’t do that). You might hear stories of sprained ankles and strained backs. My dresser story really did happen. It wasn’t my last moving disaster. There was that time I rented a truck for a long-distance move, only to find that it was too small for the furniture that barely filled my studio apartment. I had to leave my bed behind and replace it once I arrived at my destination. Shortly after that, I began my career in the moving industry. One of the first things I figured out was that for many if not most people, moving yourself is simply not worth it.

Moving yourself is not as cheap as you think

Truck rental prices sound alluring. For approximately $20 a day, you might be able to rent a 10 foot truck. I had a 10 foot truck when I left my bed behind. 10 feet is tiny. Add to the rental fee gasoline, mileage (extra on local moves), insurance, moving supplies, your time and your friendships and it doesn’t seem like such a bargain. The average truck rental cost is about $1,550, and that’s if you don’t consider your time to be worth money. Overall it’s cheaper to rent a truck for local moves than for long-distance moves.

Moving yourself is a lot of work

It probably doesn’t need to be said that moving yourself is a lot of work. It takes weeks of planning and packing. Your gym membership might not prepare you for the toll the heavy lifting takes on your back. Trust me when I say your friends don’t want to help you move. There are those who will do it begrudgingly. Even your friends who wear smiles through the process aren’t enjoying it.

Doing it yourself might take longer than you think

Most moves come with very strict deadlines. You have to be out of your old place by a certain day, often by a certain time. Unless you plan your move perfectly, it’s easy to go past that deadline. If you hire movers on the other hand, they will send the proper number of people to get you moved out on time. Better yet, hire movers to pack for you. Everything will be done within a couple of days instead of a few weeks. Before assuming that moving yourself is cheaper and better, price some of the better Bay Area movers. We think you’ll find the prices surprisingly comparable to doing it yourself and a whole lot easier.