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Hiring a mover vs. DIY


During the past few years, the rate of people who move has remained pretty stable, hovering right above 11 percent of Americans. And while one in nine people move each year, moving, no matter how it’s done, is stressful. Regardless of how recently you’ve organized or done some serious spring cleaning, going through every single one of your belongings is a huge commitment and very time-consuming. There are a few things to consider when figuring out how to go about moving, and deciding whether to do it yourself or hire a moving company. Here are some factors to consider.


  1. Cost
    • Packing up some boxes yourself seems like it would cost less, after all, it’s free labor, right? The drawback here is the time spent on packing, organizing and loading boxes will likely take much longer than what it would take a moving company, and your time is extremely precious. It’s worth examining the cost-benefit to determine the best spend of your time and money.
    • Supplies can add up, and buying countless boxes from a moving company can be quite the investment, and that’s before you buy too few or too many boxes – estimating how many cubic feet your things will take up is no easy task.
  2. Liability
    • You’re paying for good service, as opposed to relying on your friends to show up early in the morning like they said they would. Should something go wrong, most moving companies have insurance policies that protect your items should they be damaged, lost or broken during the move. Check before you book a certain company about their policies, whether it be damaged goods, no-shows on moving day or late arrival of the moving truck at the new house.
  3. Supplies
    • They have a truck! No need to ask neighbors, family members or all your Facebook friends to borrow their truck for the day (or weekend). They’ll also bring moving dollies, gear to protect your furniture and walls from dings and dust, and most importantly, moving guys. When other people are doing the heavy lifting, you can stand off to the side, with the tough job of wielding a marker, labeling boxes, and directing.
  4. No heavy lifting
    • Moving men have likely moved more houses than you, and likely know the best way to get a sofa through a narrow front door or move a bed downstairs. They have back braces, experience and other strong men to lift the other side. With an average of 25% of Americans annually reporting some sort of back pain, there’s no reason to take that risk of adding yourself to that list.
  5. Professionals with resources
    • Driving plans get delayed for a few days because of weather? A hiccup in the move-in schedule for the new house? Most moving companies have storage capabilities and facilities where your belongings can wait or be held in case of an emergency, or even long-term. Otherwise, if the worst happens, you’ll be frantically searching for a storage facility that will accept short-notice and short-term while driving through unfamiliar towns.


Whether it’s a short- or long-distance move, it’s worth considering the use of professional movers. Be realistic with yourself and your capabilities before committing to move your own stuff yourself. Saving the money might be worth it if you don’t have many valuables or are confident in your furniture-moving talents, but otherwise, it might be worth it to call a couple companies for quotes.

Matt Lawler

Matt Lawler is an Internet marketing specialist from Tempe, Arizona where he attended Arizona State University. Whenever he can step away from the computer, Matt enjoys playing sports, traveling and exploring the great outdoors.