Moving yourself might seem like a good plan at first, but when you think about everything you have to do before, during, and after the move, it can cost you more to do it yourself than to hire a professional moving company.

If you move yourself, here’s what you end up spending your time and money on:

  • Packing all of your belongings
  • Renting a moving truck
  • Loading the moving truck
  • Driving the moving truck to your new home
  • Unloading the truck
  • Unpacking all of your belongings

Besides the cost of moving boxes, your moving truck, insurance and moving day expenses such as meals and gas, there is also the endless frustration with the things that pop up while you are moving. It could end up being one big headache. You can reduce the stress by hiring a professional mover to do it for you.

Hiring a Moving Company vs Moving Yourself

The first thing you should do before anything else is to plan a budget. In fact you should make two – one for moving yourself and one for hiring a moving company. What will each part of the move cost? How does renting a truck compare to hiring the mover? Be sure to add fuel and meal expenses.

Call at least two moving companies for a quote. Three is better. You want true apple to apple comparisons so ask a lot of questions and take notes. Compare your DIY moving budget to the one in the middle.

Once you get side-by-side comparisons on the cost, consider what it will cost you to take vacation time from work (that’s an expense too).

Moving Stressors

Along with budget considerations you should factor in the stress levels of the following:

  • How many friends will be willing to help you
  • Will they be careful moving your things
  • Will they show up on time
  • What will they have to do rearrange their lives to help you out
  • What kind of stress will be added to your family
  • Will the kids be helping or will you have to find a sitter (another expense)
  • The weather – hot and humid, raining, snow or freezing cold
  • Obstacles – stairs, elevators, too small doorways
  • Traffic
  • Time to travel back and forth to your new home
  • Health issues – your health or the health of a loved one you care for


Now assign a number to each of them so you know how those stressors compare to each other. A ranking system will put things into perspective for you. Will these stressors take time away from or interfere with your move?

After you’ve gathered all your information, sit down and consider all the factors. When you look at how taxing and expensive it can be to move yourself, you’ll likely discover the better choice is to hire a professional mover.