You found a new place. You’ve given notice at your current one. You’ve started to sort through your stuff and get prepped for the big move. You’re well on your way to starting a new chapter in a new place. It’s all very exciting, isn’t it?

Chances are, it’s also a bit stressful.

Amidst all of the daydreaming about your new space, you also have to return to the practicalities. If only you could click your heels together and be in your new home. Unfortunately, you’re not Dorothy, and there isn’t a friendly witch that will come and make things easy on you.

One of the major decisions regarding moving is whether you’ll go for it alone or hire help. Moving alone can be tempting, especially if you’re on a budget. But before you decide, make sure you understand the pros and cons of moving without a service.

The Pros

For many, the temptation to move without a service comes down to freedom and cost savings. You’ll be able to move at your own pace when you don’t have movers showing up on a specific date and time.

Your Own Timeline

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Depending on your personality type, this may be long in the cons section. Moving on your own timeline has its upsides, but it can also allow a lot of space for procrastination.

As a plus, you’ll be able to move at your own pace. Not done cleaning up yet? No problem, you can always just leave a bit later. Need to slide your move out a few days? No one to tell except the truck rental agency. Want to take a long lunch break in the middle of the day, or stop off at your favorite park on the way out? No problem! It’s up to you.

Save Money

If you’re looking to save money, it makes sense to cut costs where you can. Moving without service can often save you money (though it should be noted, that’s not always the case!)

When you consider opting for a DIY move, it’s best to add your expenses. Get quotes from moving companies to see how they stack up to moving on your own. There is a chance you’ll save money, but you may be surprised at the costs involved in doing it with your own truck. Make sure you consider the costs for extra equipment and supplies, like dollies, blankets, straps, etc.

Pack How You Want

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Full-service movers will pack and unpack everything for you. If you go that route, this is a moot point. If you’re packing yourself, though, consider other aspects.

If you’re moving on your own, you can pack how you want. After all, you’re the one responsible for the safety of your items. This is good news for procrastinators, as you can just start stuffing things in boxes at the last minute if you need. (We don’t recommend that, of course, so have a look at our packing tips to help you out.)

The Cons

Moving without service isn’t all plus sides, of course. If it were, no one would hire a moving company, right? Consider the cons of a DIY move before you make a decision.

You’ll Work Harder

One of the most underestimated aspects of moving without service is the amount of effort it takes. After all, a professional mover can make it look so easy. In reality, though, moving is arduous work.

The job isn’t done once you’ve sorted, purged, packed, cleaned, and prepped. If you’re moving on your own, you now have a lot of work to do in actually moving. You’ll need to disassemble furniture, haul all of your stuff out of your house, carefully pack and secure the truck for transport, then do it all again in reverse.

It Will Take Longer

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Estimated 5 hours for the move? Add a few hours to that.

A professional moving company has performed a lot of moves and can accurately estimate how long it will take to get from your old home to your new one. We don’t know your life history, but we’re guessing many of you aren’t professional movers. Things won’t flow as smoothly as picking up the truck, zipping to your house, loading the boxes in over the course of an hour or two, unloading smoothly, and relaxing on the sofa.

Moving teams are methodical and have it down to a science. Try as you might, you won’t be as swift and efficient as them.

It May Stress You Out

When you hire professionals, you get to outsource a bit of the project management aspect of moving. When you’re doing it alone, you’re stuck with all of the nitty-gritty. If you’ve pulled in favors to get help on the day, what will you do if someone backs out at the last minute?

Of course, we hope nothing goes wrong along the way. The reality is, that sometimes things do. It’s harder to have backup plans when you’re attempting a DIY move – you don’t exactly have extra equipment and team members to support you.

Expect the Unexpected

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Ultimately, DIY moves are full of surprises. Surprise fees, surprise effort, surprise timelines. The biggest downside is the unexpected cost, particularly for those going for a DIY move to save money.

The cost adds up and isn’t as simple as a low hourly rate. You need insurance, gas, equipment like dollies, pads, straps, and other bits and pieces. You also run a greater risk of damage to your body or your items, which will cost you to repair. Don’t forget that you also incur the emotional cost of pulling in favors with friends and family to get the job done.

Categories: Move Planning, Moving Tips