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Moving Yourself Versus Hiring Professionals

Published by Chris Townsend

Everyone has the thought at least one time while they plan a move about how much cheaper it would be to do everything on your own. The larger the move, the less economical it would be to try and rent a truck and move your boxes without assistance from a professional moving company. Before you make your final decision on what you want to do in terms of moving, start by making lists and doing your research.

The List AKA Inventory

It has probably been a while since you have taken a good hard look at the items you have accumulated over the years. We don’t pay attention to the number of things we have stashed in every nook and cranny of our home until it is time to move. It is during this time that we reevaluate the items we have and how much we actually need them. Regardless of how items are shipped when someone moves, it is a good idea to make sure that an inventory is taken of all items so that everything can be accounted for.

movers with truck near me

movers with truck near me

What things should I include in my inventory?

An inventory is a list of items you have in your home that you need to pack for a move. This inventory should be detailed enough that you can find items in boxes and their condition before the move. An inventory can be composed of simple descriptions or as elaborate as photographs.

When creating your inventory, go from room to room listing the items and what boxes they will be in. This will not only help you keep track of your belongings, but it will help you with documenting the condition they were in before the move occurs. You can also use this inventory to list the things you want to sell, donate, or trash.

Doing your inventory is the perfect time to start lightening your load. There will be items that you can get rid of before moving. By getting rid of items that are not essential, you can make the load size smaller. If you are using a professional transport company, weight is essential when moving.

The Research Phase

Moving your own belongings isn’t always the most cost-effective solution. Hiring a professional company to do it for you may be too expensive for your moving budget. Whatever your circumstances are, researching and quoting prices are the next step in the moving process. You may be surprised to find out that a professional shipping company may be a lower option.

What should I look for when obtaining quotes?

Whether you are getting a quote from a professional transport company or you are getting the pricing for a rental truck and materials, the first step is to decide which will be more efficient. Find out what is included in each option you get prices for. Use these quotes to compare before committing to your method of moving.

If you are looking for information on moving your items yourself, you will need to get the pricing for the following:

  • Truck rental
  • Cost per mile for the rental truck
  • Car towing trailer
  • Rental deposit
  • Fuel costs
  • Packing materials
  • Rental truck insurance
  • Moving workers

These probably aren’t the only random charges you will encounter. Things happen during the moving process, and unexpected expenses can come up. It is better to be over-prepared than not prepared enough when you are moving.

If you are looking into a professional transport company to take care of all your needs, you should be looking for the following:

  • Ask for the company’s US Department of Transportation number and motor carrier number through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Licensing information for the company
  • The price of how much it would cost to load the transport vehicle and get it to the new destination.
  • Having professional movers to come in and pack your belongings
  • Additional insurance offered by the company

Before you decide on your method of transporting your household belongings, there are some other fees that you might want to consider. It is possible that you could use a storage unit, either during the process or after. These often require a security deposit and monthly fees. If you are moving to somewhere that you cannot fit all of your belongings, you will want to check this out.

You have to decide if you will be shipping your vehicle or driving it to your new location. If you choose to ship it and your household belongings to the new locations, professional shipping companies have the best package deal.

The Costs of Moving

Whether you plan on moving on your own or hiring a professional company to do it, you have to take a hard look at what each option will cost. Do you rent a moving truck and ask friends to help? Do you rent a moving truck and hire professional movers to do the heavy lifting? Do you just hire a professional to take care of everything from start to finish?

There are many things to think about when you are moving, and it can become overwhelming. The average costs of renting things for a move you execute on your own will vary depending on the size of the home you are relocating.

For a local move:

  • Truck Rental: $132 to $336
  • Cost per Mile: $0.69 to $0.79
  • Car Towing: $130 to $350
  • Truck Rental Deposit: $0 to $150
  • Fuel Costs: $5 to $20

For long-distance moves:

  • Truck Rental: $500 to $1,700
  • Cost per Mile: Included (up to a certain number)
  • Car Towing: $130 to $350
  • Truck Rental Deposit: $0 to $150
  • Fuel Cost: $400 to $600

These are the minimum amounts you could pay out of pocket for these self-service options. This does not include the price of packing materials that you will need. The prices of these costs are approximately $510 to $740 for a three-bedroom home. These costs would be on top of the rental costs of transportation.

Even though you could get boxes for free from the back of your local grocery store, this may not be the best idea. There are some restrictions with boxes, especially with professional transport companies. The types of boxes that you buy for moving are often more sturdy and are made to accommodate the items they are intended for, like dishes or stemware.

Professional Moving Costs

A professional transport company bases its moving fees on how far the move is. Local moves are typically made via set rates. These set rates include two moving professionals (depending on the size) and are usually rated for up to eight hours.

Long-distance moves are governed by laws as well as the preferences of the professional transport company. Once a move goes over state lines, the Department of Transporation requires that cargo be weighed to ensure that trucks are within the correct weight limits allowed on the highways.

Packing professionals can make moving less frustrating. These professionals come in and pack your belongings for you. These professionals charge anywhere from $25 to $40 (or higher) per hour for their services. Their services help keep the move organized and your belonging safe. Plus, these professionals bring their own packing materials and are included in the rates.

Professional moving companies are required to carry at least minimum liability insurance for the cargo that they transport. The insurance can vary, and some will offer insurance that is higher than the minimum liability. You will need to be sure and verify that the company you want transporting your belongings has the correct insurance coverage. If you need more coverage for your belongings, you can seek additional coverage through your professional transport company, or you can seek out a third party.

What additional expenses can I expect during a move?

There will always be expenses you did not plan for when you are moving locally or even across the country. These expenses are not always something you think about in a moving budget.

When you are moving, whether it be locally or long-distance, you have additional expenses that are a part of the moving process (but not necessarily moving-related). These are expenses that require attention and budgeting, just like the standard moving expenses.

  • Additional Transportation Concerns
    • If you are moving a car in addition to the moving truck, you should use this time to make sure that you add in the costs of maintenance for the vehicle.
  • Temporary Lodging
    • If you are moving a long-distance, like across the country, mapping out the places where you could seek temporary lodging along the way can help you be prepared for those overnights or just when you need rest from driving.
    • If you are using a professional moving company for a long-distance move, you could end up arriving before your items do. This can end up being uncomfortable if you don’t have furniture in your new home. Hotel or motel accommodations will need to be made.
  • Food and Beverage
    • During a move, whether you are doing it on your own or through a professional moving company, you are going to need to factor in meals while you do not have kitchen access. It is even kind to offer such items to the crews who are helping you move, whether they are professionals or just your friends and family.
  • Child and Pet Care
    • In your budget, you should include a budgeted amount for your family. If you do not have someone to help with your children or pets during the move, you will need to budget an amount for these services.

What extra expenses can I expect from a professional moving company?

To ensure that you are paying all of the fees necessary when using a professional transport company, you need to make sure you are reading your quote thoroughly. This quote should include all of the fees that the professional company requires you to pay.

So what fees can you expect?

  • The Moving Company Fee
    • The fee from the moving company should include any fuel charges that the company is going to charge. Labor fees are going to fall under this category as well for the moving specialists. If you have not decided which company you are going to go with for the move, make sure that you add the highest quoted amount to your budget for your move.
  • Any Additional Insurance
    • If you are not comfortable with the liability insurance that the moving company provides and you feel you need more coverage on your items, you can ask about additional insurance and the cost to add it. Even if you do not go through the moving company for additional insurance, you can still seek out third-party coverage. Make sure you opt for it in the time frame required, or else you won’t be able to get the coverage.
  • Additional Heavy Item Services
    • Some items are too heavy and are outside of the threshold for traditional moving and require additional labor or equipment. These need to be addressed with the moving company so that you can receive an accurate quote.
  • Claims or Damage Costs
    • You should always assume that something will be damaged during transport. Make sure you are adding in a five percent contingency rate on the moving fees you are quoted.

Choosing a Company You Can Trust

Even though you have the decision to make on how you execute your move, finding a company you can trust will be ideal. Three Movers has over 30 years of experience in the auto transport business. Our company has moved household goods, businesses, heavy machinery, vehicles of all shapes and sizes, both domestic and internationally.

When you are looking for a transport company that can do it all, call Three Movers for a free quote that can help save you money. Three Movers offers many different transport options with different pricing schedules attached. When you need to relocate, let Three Movers get your things where they need to go.

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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