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Do-it-yourself moving

Once you decide to move, the first thing you should establish is whether you are going to hire professional movers to help you or do it yourself.  Because moving doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to hire an NYC moving company in order to relocate your personal belongings. There’s also do-it-yourself moving – an option people have been choosing these days due to one reason or another.

You should weigh all moving options and choose the one that works best for you. Factors that may affect your final decision are your financial situation, time, the complexity of the move, etc. Generally, if you are moving across the street or across the town a self-move can be a good decision. On the other hand, long-distance moves do require professional assistance.

Why do people opt for do-it-yourself moving?

If planned properly, do-it-yourself moves can save you some money compared with the opposite case when people hire professional assistance. And in today’s world where there never seems to be enough money, the financial aspect is usually the deciding factor. For your information, we have pulled statistical data on an average cost of a move, and you might be surprised (not to say shocked) by the results:

  • $4,300 – the average price of a long-distance relocation
  • $2,300 – the average price of a local move
A pink piggy bank to dig into for do-it-yourself moving.

You have to be very careful when calculating the cost of do-it-yourself moving.

So if you are not in the greatest financial situation at the moment, your choice is quite clear. But as mentioned before, another important factor people take into consideration when deciding whether to have a DIY move or hire professional help is the distance itself.

Let’s say you are moving from Hoboken to Los Angeles or vice versa. You are certainly not going to attempt moving by yourself as there is almost no way you could relocate to another part of the USA without any help whatsoever. So you are most likely going to pick up your phone and get in touch with Hoboken movers. On the other hand, you most likely won’t contact those same movers if you are moving just down the block.

Now, let’s for a second go back to the financial aspect of things. A lot of people ask themselves will do-it-yourself moving turn out to be such a huge money-saver in the end. And the answer to that isn’t as straightforward as it seems.

The real cost of a DIY move

Moving is never as cheap as we expect it to be. For long-distance moves, the cost of moving by yourself is determined by the distance between your current and new home. In this case, a DIY option might be even more expensive than hiring a team of professional movers who will get the move done for you efficiently and smoothly.

On the other hand, if you are moving on your own to a nearby location, you are actually more likely to save some money. In order to calculate the final bill, take into consideration the following costs:

  • renting a moving truck
  • purchasing additional insurance 
  • purchasing or renting moving supplies
  • environmental fees (environmental fees in NYC are around 1$ for those who rent the moving van) 
  • fuel 
  • taxes and tolls 
  • hotel and meals

People usually assume that DIY moves are much cheaper, but they fail to calculate properly all expenditures like truck rental, packing material and supplies, traveling and fuel costs, tolls, taxes, hotels, food, etc.

A chewed up pencil on a notebook.

Sit down and write down all the expenditures related to DIY moving you can think of.

Many people who have moved on their own realize that it is actually worth spending some extra money on hiring an NYC moving company that will do the job efficiently and professionally for you. DIY option usually costs you more than you have expected, so keep it simple and carefully calculate all the options.

Tips on how to prepare for a DIY move

Believe it or not, moving without hiring professional movers can go smoothly if planned wisely. So whether you are moving to Brooklyn, relocating to Hoboken, or transferring to Manhattan, here come some helpful guidelines for a smooth move.

Get a head start

Start preparing for the move as soon as possible, because packing in a rush may result in multiple moving mistakes and several items being seriously damaged during the transport. With do-it-yourself moving, you really don’t have the luxury of being late. After all, you are the only one your relocation depends on. So if you don’t start on time, not only are you setting yourself up for an immense amount of moving stress, but you are also most likely compromising your moving day safety as you will be in a huge rush, and nothing good ever came out of that.

Renting the moving truck is the most important part of do-it-yourself moving

After all, it’s the vehicle that will carry all of your belongings from point A to point B, so it’s only natural that it will take the crucial aspect of your DIY relocation. So rent the moving truck. Determine the distance and the size of the truck you will need for the move. In order to make sure that the truck is spacious enough, rent one that can accommodate up to 15% more than the number of your belongings. Call several rental agencies and ask for the estimates. If you are moving during the peak season, make sure to make the reservation early enough. Also, during the high season, you are likely to pay more for the service.

A sketch of one person giving keys to another one.

Seal the deal on time and rent a moving truck with a reliable agency.

Rent or buy moving supplies

A lot of times when people opt for professional movers, they also pay for their packing services NYC. However, since you are in the midst of do-it-yourself moving, you won’t have anyone else to rely on but yourself. That means that you will have to pack your items but, before that, you will have one other important task and that’s to rent or buy moving supplies like blankets, moving pads, dolly, straps, ropes, etc. Just remember that you will need a lot of protective packaging in order to protect your precious items.

Rid yourself of your excess items

Make it your task to de-clutter before moving. A lot of people find it hard to decide what to do with the surplus items, but you have three very good options: give away, donate or sell unused items. Remember, the more items, the bigger truck you will need, which will cost you more.

Supply yourself with moving boxes

Get as many free moving boxes as you can, but don’t use grocery cardboard boxes at all costs. Small or midsize boxes are more convenient for packing and loading than huge boxes. Also, label all of the boxes, so you can easily keep track of the content of the boxes. In essence, whether you decide to buy these containers or get them for free, make sure they are sturdy. They are supposed to protect all of your items after all, so they are a worthy investment.

Think in terms of insurance

Purchase appropriate moving insurance. Check whether your household insurance agency covers the move. In some cases, this kind of insurance is usually enough. But whatever you do, don’t attempt do-it-yourself moving without some type of coverage. There is a good chance that some of your items will get broken, damaged or missing, and you will be thankful for having insurance once that happens.

A calculator on a piece of paper.

Think about the right insurance policy for your upcoming relocation.

Properly load the moving truck

And here comes a very important part of do-it-yourself moving. The part that greatly decides whether you are up for success or failure. The way you place items inside the moving truck will determine their safety, so it goes without saying that you should be careful with this step. Use rope and straps while loading to tie down the boxes. Remember to load heavy items and large boxes first. Boxes with lighter items like pillows and bedding come on top of the heavier ones.

Find some volunteers that would help you

Don’t let the name do-it-yourself moving fool you! No one can handle relocation with their own two hands. This is just too big of a task for one person to undertake singlehandedly. So if you don’t want to hire residential movers NYC, we strongly suggest you assemble a team of helpers you can trust. Ask your friends, family, and coworkers for help. Whether they help you with packing, decluttering or the heavy lifting doesn’t matter – every bit of help will be much appreciated during these times.

Stay focused and organized

Alas, arguably the most important thing about do-it-yourself moving is staying focused and having a good plan. With a good plan in place, we have no doubt you will be able to tackle this complicated yet completely doable task. In case finances aren’t the problem, we suggest you reconsider the entire situation.

Sometimes paying more for professional movers is completely worth it as it saves your time, energy, and effort. However, the final decision is completely up to you. If you do opt for a DIY move, create a watertight plan and stick to it no matter what! In that situation, we have no doubt complete success is in store for you! From our Dumbo Moving and Storage NYC team, we wish you good luck!