Is Moving Yourself Worth the Trouble? How to Weigh Your Move Options

"What do you think?" "What can we afford?" "I think we need some help!" Just a few of the questions you might be asking as you consider a new move.

“What can we afford?” “I think we need some help!” Just a few of the thoughts you might be having as you consider a new move.

Moving yourself might seem like no big deal, but is it really worth the trouble?

A do-it-yourself move basically requires renting (and driving!) a moving truck, packing your possessions, loading the truck, and then unloading everything at your new home.

The experience can be both mentally and physically stressful. It’s not an undertaking to be taken lightly.

You have move options. If you are able and willing to spend more money on the move, you can hire a moving company to handle much of the stress and strain of the experience.

Which is right for you? Here’s a quick way to weigh your options and think through the details before you make your next move.

List the costs
As you begin your move planning, it’s a good idea to create a moving budget and see if all the numbers add up. You can use an online moving calculator to estimate costs, and call a few moving companies to get a quick quote over the phone.

Be sure to price a variety of moving services. Full service will include packing, driving, loading and unloading. Self-service usually means you pack and load the truck, and then the mover drives the vehicle for you. A do-it-yourself move is least expensive, but you have to rent the truck, pack it and unpack it. (Don’t forget to include the cost of boxes, packing materials and gasoline for a rental truck.)

Once you’ve figured out the services that require actual cash from your wallet, add the less tangible costs to your list. These are things like vacation time away from work, how comfortable you feel asking your friends for moving help, and the added stress for you and your family. Though these factors don’t have a dollar sign attached to them, they can be equally as important. Try ranking them on a scale of 1 to 10 to assign weight.

Consider your priorities
Once you know the rough costs for your move, it’s time to think about and list your priorities. It doesn’t matter how small any of the particular details you list. It’s your move, and your priorities are important.

The moving question seems to come down to money versus convenience, but there may be other crucial factors, as well. Time may be more valuable to you than money. You may not be physically able to conduct a move on your own. Sometimes personal relationships take the lead when making moving decisions. Remember to factor in the little things about moving that irritate you: if, for instance, you hate to pack, dislike long drives, have a bad back, or live with excitable pets, for instance.

Compare the lists
Now comes the moment of truth. You’ve listed out all the factors which will contribute to your move. Then, you’ve assigned priority values to these concerns. When you see how your priorities stack up to the costs, the answer is often crystal clear. This exercise also helps take the emotion out of the decision, so you can make a smart move that you feel comfortable with across the board.

Moving yourself can get a great way to save money, but it can also add responsibility and stress. Before you book your rental truck and stock up on moving boxes, weigh your options carefully to see whether the extra effort is worth the trouble!

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

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