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Your Options for a DIY Move

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Considering a do-it-yourself relocation? While this method can save you cash, it can also add stress, extra work, and possible injury if not executed properly. The following guide will shed some light on the DIY moving options available to you so you can determine what's best for you, your lifestyle, and your move.

Renting a truck

One of the most common DIY moving methods is renting a truck to transport your belongings. This option puts you in charge of the entire moving--packing, loading, driving, and unloading.

  • Is renting a truck right for you? Cost and convenience are the two major factors to consider when determining if a truck rental is the optimal choice for your DIY move. If you have a busy schedule and live alone, taking the time to load all of your own goods and drive the truck to your new home may not be feasible. Additionally, if you are moving long distance, you will not only require a significant amount of time off from work, but it may not be worth the costs. Rental truck agencies charge a flat fee per truck size, but also additional costs per mile and for fuel. If you are going far, the truck expense added with unpaid work leave may make this DIY option less appealing.


  • How is pricing determined? Pricing for most truck rental agencies is determined by the size of truck required plus the miles traveled. Prices will vary, but usually a 10-foot truck is about $19.95 a day, a 14-foot to 17-foot is $29.95, and a 24-foot to 26-foot is $39.95. This means the more days you keep the truck, the more you will pay. Mileage costs also vary by company and even time of the scheduled move, but typically range between $0.79 a mile to $1.29 a mile. Don't forget to factor in fuel costs--you are expected to rent the truck with at least a half tank of gas, which is what you are provided when you pick up the truck.


  • What size do I need? The size truck you'll need will depend on the size of your home and the volume of your belongings. Call the truck rental agency for to better estimate the truck required for your moving inventory.

Portable storage and "You Load, We Drive"

Portable storage units are a perfect option for those that seek a partial DIY move. Combining affordability with convenience, this self-service moving method can be effective if you are on tight budget and even tighter schedule. Other services will provide a moving truck for you to load yourself, but employ a professional driver to transport the shipment.

  • Is portable storage right for you? Companies offering portable storage will deliver the unit to your home, where it will remain on your property until you have finished loading your goods. Once you are ready, you simply call the company and a driver will pick up the unit and deliver it to your new location. Eliminating the task of driving a cumbersome moving truck, portable storage puts you in charge of the loading and leaves the rest up to the pros.


  • How is pricing determined? Most portable storage companies do not charge you for mileage--instead, you a charged a flat rate for use of the unit for up to a month. Pricing will vary depending on the company, and you should always inquire about the possibility of extra fees before making your reservation.


  • What size do I need? Just like a moving truck, the size unit you'll require will depend on the size of your home and the volume of your belongings. Available sizes include 7-foot (holds one room), 12-foot (holds two to three rooms) and 16-foot (holds three to four rooms). For assistance in determining what size would best accommodate your needs, contact the portable storage company for a more accurate assessment.

Moving labor services

If you need a little help with your DIY move, you can always hire what is known as moving labor. Moving labor services are movers with a truck--they can give you a hand with the loading and unloading if you have rented a moving truck or portable storage unit.

  • Is moving labor right for you? If your busy schedule (or frail build) is unable to accommodate loading your own boxes and heavy furniture, moving labor can be a lifesaver. Additionally, if you are moving alone, and have no friends or family available to assist, paid labor will help you complete the loading process quickly and without mishap.


  • How is pricing determined? Moving labor services charge by the hour--when you receive a quote, make sure someone visits your home to survey your goods and accurately provide an estimate.


  • Where can I find moving labor? You can begin comparing quotes from reliable moving labor services in your area today at Movers.com!

Using your own vehicle

If you are moving a very small one-bedroom or studio apartment, you may be considering packing up your stuff in your vehicle (or a friend's truck) and heading off to your new home. While this is most likely the cheapest option, it can sometimes be unsafe for both you and your goods.

  • Your belongings will not be secure. Packing as much as you can into your car, especially for a long distance move, can result in poorly packaged goods and broken belongings. For your possessions to arrive safely at your new home without damage, they should be properly positioned and secured--not crushed together in a small space.


  • Your vision may be compromised. If your car is over packed, your view may be obstructed. If you do decide to pack your own vehicle for your move, it is imperative to make sure you can see clearly in each of your mirrors.


  • It's bad for your car. Piling a significant amount of weight into your car can damage the vehicle. If the weight you're transporting exceeds the suggested limit, you can damage the transmission, put a strain on the springs, wheels and suspension system, overheat or scrape the undercarriage after hitting a pothole. Your steering could also be affected, which can cause unsafe driving conditions.


  • Should I ever move in my own vehicle? If you have a large truck (or access to one) and you are moving locally, this method can be safe and simple. Ask a few friends to help and take multiple trip if everything does not fit safely the first time around.

Considering full-service movers instead?

If you have come to the conclusion that full-service moving is the best option for you, you're not alone!

Millions of people move each year and opt to hire full-service movers. If you are seeking a reliable full-service moving company to service your relocation, simply fill out our fast and easy quote form today! You will be contacted by up to seven professional movers in your area with FREE, no-obligation moving quotes!

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on February 18, 2014

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