Hidden Costs When Moving Yourself

DIY MovingMoving from one home to another can get pretty expensive. A lot of people think that if they move themselves, than they will automatically save a ton of money. It’s true that hiring a moving company will cost money but don’t be fooled. DIY moving can get pretty pricey as well.

I personally like to do things myself, but it’s important to be realistic. If your new home is close to your old one, moving yourself will most likely be a cost efficient option for you. However, if you are traveling far, consider all of the following costs before you take it on yourself. Also, be warned, there are liabilities you should know about before they set you back and drain your wallet.

Here are some things to consider:

Time off: If you’re like me, when you get home from work you want to relax. But, when you’re preparing for a move every free minute counts. Many people take time off of work when the move gets close so they can focus all of their energy into packing and preparing for moving day. Do you have enough vacation days left to take off some time?

Travel: If you are planning on driving to your destination, regardless of whether or not you used a professional moving service, both gas and toll costs are an obvious expense. But, if you are driving a UHaul or a packed van, the size of the vehicle and the extra weight of all of your household goods will require that you use more gas. If you are moving yourself, be sure to leave some padding in your budget for gas expenditures. Further, depending on how far you are traveling, you will need to factor in hotel and meal costs. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming they will get as far in a UHaul as they will in their car. It almost never works out that way. UHaul’s are big vehicles that you may not be accustomed to driving. As such, you will probably drive slower than you normally do in your own car. Be realistic about time restraints and be prepared to stop on the road for the night. When you do stop, you will want to park the van somewhere safe and take all necessary precautions to avoid a break-in while you are sleeping.

Supplies: A moving company will supply you with boxes, tape, packing blankets, and other necessary tools to protect your belongings. If you are moving yourself you will have to pick up supplies on your own. Be prepared to pay for protective wrapping paper, bubble wrap, sturdy boxes, packing tape, labels, markers and furniture padding. Plus, you may need to rent hand trucks/dollies to move large appliances. You will also need a truck.

Storage: This one won’t pertain to all DIY movers but some will need to consider buying or renting a storage unit. Be sure to do your research. Many units will require additional insurance, which is another cost you should consider when planning your moving budget.

Liabilities: Liabilities are last on this list, but certainly not least. If you are planning on having friends over to help you pack and load, you need to consider what you will do (and, more importantly, what your friend will do) if he or she gets hurt. Will you cover the hospital bills? Will your friend sue? You are 100% liable for injury in a DIY move. You may be able to purchase coverage on your own. Of course, hiring a professional moving company eliminates this liability.

When you are considering a DIY long distance move, it’s really important to be realistic about what the entire move entails from a financial, time and risk perspective. Budget out what you think it will cost you – and round up. Add in dollar amounts for the amount stress and time that will be involved. Finally, have a conversation with everyone who is helping you about injury liabilities.

Do you have experience moving on your own? What other costs may be involved?