Moving Yourself vs Hiring Movers – Which is Better?
When you plan a move, one of the most crucial questions relates to hiring a moving company vs. do it yourself, following the scope of work, your budget, and expectations from a moving day.
As a rule, when you sit to do some counting, you easily find out that hiring a professional moving company isn’t that cheap. That’s why when analyzing all the details for a future move, you typically have important questions to consider: Should I hire movers or do it myself? Is hiring a moving company worth it?
Actually, there is no clear answer. Since every customer and, obviously, move is different, there are a lot of issues that matter and influence which option or moving model to choose.
If you need to make a decision, it’s always better to write down all the variables that influence it as a list. Think about your priorities and expectations for a future move alongside all pros and cons of moving yourself vs. hiring movers.
Concerning hiring movers, take into account all the pros that you’ll have in case of choosing this option:
Pros of Hiring Movers
- No Moving and Lifting by Yourself. If you decide to hire professional movers, you can forget about lifting heavy furniture or boxes with fragile items. Movers assume primary responsibility for your stuff, and you can just relax and observe how your belongings disappear in one place and appear in another. Besides, you avoid possible muscle stretching, back pain, and total exhaustion.
- Save Your Time and Energy. Hiring a moving company, you free up your time for more pleasant things. Professional movers take all the responsibility and allow you to relax and save energy for something more important for you.
- Professional Care. Choosing a reputable mover leads to the full pack of services that assure professional care. If you choose a full-service mover, trained professionals will pack your belongings with special attention, cope with extremely fragile or heavy items, load the truck carefully, deliver everything, and unload the truck. For example, SOS Moving can even disassemble and reassemble the furniture if necessary.
- Liability. When you hire a professional moving company, it is responsible for all your belongings that refers to insurance coverage. It reimburses the client in case of any damages or breaks caused by a moving company.
- Building Insurance. Professional movers provide a Certificate of Insurance (COI) that protects buildings in case of damages. You have to know that some buildings require COI while some don’t. When a moving company has COI, movers are allowed to move stuff in, out, and within the building.
- Professional Packing and Unpacking. Depending on your belongings, packing and unpacking may require professional assistance. It refers to specific packing supplies and techniques. In addition, some specific belongings like furniture or equipment have to be packed in parts that add difficulties to the moving process.
- Less Stressful. Of course, the pre-moving stage is very stressful and time-consuming. To make sure you choose a legitimate mover, you spend some time checking top companies, their reputation, licenses, insurance, reviews, and request estimates. But it’s just 30% of the overall process because moving itself requires even more deduction, planning, and, additionally, physical work. That’s why if you put convenience and no stress in the first place, the answer to the question “Is hiring movers worth it?” is definitely YES.
Cons of Hiring Movers
- Higher Cost. According to Forbes Advisor, the national average cost of a local move is about $1,400, with a range from $800 to $2,500. For a long-distance move, the average cost of movers ranges between $2,200 and $5,700. Plus such variables as the scope of work, bad weather conditions, seasonality, etc. As a rule, you should also tip your movers which makes the final bill even larger. Yeah, quite expensive services. The cost of moving for both local and long-distance moves could be really high.
- Less Flexibility. Hiring movers from a reputable company always means an agreement and detailed scope of work that should be accomplished. You could lose control of many stages of your move: you may not be able to control exactly how packers pack your belongings, how smooth the way to a new place is, etc. However, movers will follow your word if you communicate it beforehand. Also, since you plan your move in advance and book early, unpleasant things such as rain can happen. Depending on a contract, canceling a move will cost you your deposit if not done early enough.
- Delivery Can Take More Time for a Long-Distance Move. While a local move can be finished within one day, a long-distance move can take weeks, especially when several stops are planned or a moving company has a schedule for interstate moves. In this way, you have to be patient and wait knowing that you don’t have to do the driving.
- You Can Get Scammed. Unfortunately, scams happen in the moving industry. Double-check everything before hiring a moving company: licenses, insurance, DOT number, complaint history, and reviews.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Move
In some cases, moving by yourself can be a better option for you. For example, you don’t have much stuff to move, you’re limited in your budget, or you have physically strong friends ready to help.
Concerning DIY move, take into account all the pros that you’ll have in case of choosing this option:
Pros of DIY Move
- Saving Money. When you hire movers, the cost of your move will be pretty high. If you have a low budget and don’t plan to spend a large sum, DIY is a better option for you. Of course, any move means expenses that relate to moving supplies or renting a truck, but if you’re ready to self moving, you’ll definitely save money.
- Control Over All the Processes. If control and extreme attention to all the belongings are crucial for you, you’d better choose DIY moving. You can have complete control over every stage, from packing to delivery. You can choose the best boxes, packing materials, and a truck to keep your stuff 100% safe. You can pack the way you want. Besides, you’re flexible in time frames. You can cancel a move because of bad weather, accomplish it in one day or one week. It’s totally up to you.
Cons of DIY Move
- Heavy Lifting and Moving. Be ready for heavy lifting if you choose a DIY move. If you aren’t physically strong, and you don’t have strong friends, then it can be a real problem for you. In addition, such difficulties as stairs or narrow doorways can happen. And, of course, you are not a professional mover, so at worst, you can damage walls or furniture.
- Spending a Lot of Time and Energy. Although you save money choosing DIY, you spend your precious time because moving requires devotion and hard work. Both the planning stage and moving day will take your energy and time.
- Full Responsibility. When you hire a reputable moving company, your mover should offer insurance for accidents or situations in which your belongings could be damaged. In contrast, if you do it yourself, all responsibility falls on you. You don’t have any insurance, just your deduction and attentiveness to accomplish a move. Besides, some accidents that require professional movers may happen. For example, your favorite sofa can’t fit the doorway, or you don’t know how to assemble your running track.
- You Should Plan Everything by Yourself. Your moving day should be thoroughly planned step by step, and usually moving companies take over it. But if you choose DIY, you should plan all day from the start to the very end. Buy moving supplies, pack everything, choose and rent a moving truck, drive it, choose the best route, and prepare a new place for unloading stuff, cleaning, and unpacking. If you aren’t good at planning and logistics, think twice before you decide either move yourself or hire movers.
- Truck Driving Skills Needed. When you decide to move by yourself, take into account renting a truck and, of course, driving. Driving a truck is different from driving a car, so if you cannot do it yourself, you have to hire someone. And, of course, you’ll have little trust in an unfamiliar driver.
Hybrid Move Options
In case you don’t plan to spend a lot of money, you don’t have a lot of stuff, or your move is super local like moving to the next street, you can choose a partially DIY moving. In fact, neither you nor your friends don’t have professional moving skills, so you can hire a mover or a packer to assist you on some stages. Planning your move, you have to think about the most important phases for you and manage additional help.
There are companies that have outsourcing movers for different kinds of work. Such movers are usually paid by the hour, and it’s the cheapest way to hire movers. For example, you can pack moving boxes and hire movers to load and unload a truck. You can hire movers for packing & unpacking, assembling & reassembling furniture as well. Besides, you can also hire moving container services that deliver all the belongings but leave loading and unloading for you. In this case, you can both save some money and be on the safe side, referring to the most crucial parts of your move.
A Guide to Help You Decide
If you don’t know whether to move yourself or hire movers, we have a special guide with all the questions that should be considered to make a decision:
How Far Are You Moving?
Of course, logistics matters. If you plan a local move, you can handle it yourself, depending on the scope of work and the difficulty level. But if you need a long-distance move to another state or even country, you can’t handle it without a professional moving crew.
How Much Time Do You Have?
If you’re limited in time, it’s better to hire full service for your moving day. Due to thorough planning and professional movers, a move will be accomplished according to the time frames you have. In contrast, when you have plenty of time and the scope of work you are ready for, do it yourself.
How Much Stuff Do You Have?
You have to hire movers or do it yourself depending on how many belongings you have and if they can be easily moved. Take a list of all the furniture, equipment, large heavy items, antiques, or computers you have to move to prepare necessary moving supplies and plan the moving process. In this way, decide if you can do it yourself, you should hire a moving company, or use a hybrid method and hire professional movers for particular tasks.
What’s Your Budget?
Budget is an important factor that influences the decision to move yourself or hire movers. According to Forbes Advisor, the national average cost of a local move is about $1,400 with a range from $800 to $2,500. For a long-distance move, the average cost of movers ranges between $2,200 and $5,700. And it takes average moves without specifics.
In contrast, DIY is a good choice when you want to save money. However, it doesn’t mean that you’ll spend the minimum. Take into account moving supplies, renting a truck, something to “lure” your physically strong friends, and maybe hiring one or two movers for specific tasks. Anyway, it’s impossible to avoid expenses, so plan a move according to the budget you have.
Can Your Friends or Family Help You?
You can’t handle a move by yourself unless you’re a professional mover and have plenty of time. In this way, you need physically strong friends or family to help you. Think about all the people who will be ready to help on your moving day and decide whether you need professional help or even hire a full service.
Is Your Goal to Save Money or Time?
Set your priorities and decide whether you’d like to save money or time. Of course, you have to spend much more time when handling the move yourself, but it costs more financially. In contrast, hiring a professional moving will save you time due to accurate planning and professional care. Is it worth it to hire movers? Should I hire movers or do it myself? These details will help to answer all these questions.
When You Should Hire Full-Service Movers
Let’s outline the key points that indicate you need full-service movers. If you don’t have much time, prefer less stressful moving, and aren’t limited by money, full-service movers are for you. Professionals will handle everything: planning, preparation, packing, lifting and moving, and unpacking.
If you finally choose a professional moving company, make sure everything is clear for you to know the process step by step. Take your time to choose a reputable moving company, research its licenses and complaint history, and watch out for suspicious signs and red flags. Check all the details, damage coverage policies, and emergencies, and assure you’ll get everything you pay for.
When You Can Move Yourself
There are the components of a successful DIY move that mean this option is for you. Moving by yourself suits you if:
- you plan to save money
- you’re ready to plan everything and take full responsibility
- you don’t have so much stuff to move
- you have a local move
- you have physically strong friends or family ready to help
Every move is different, and everyone focuses on their opportunities to handle it. Think about all the variables that influence a perfect moving day personally for you and choose either hiring professional movers, DIY, or hybrid move.