A DIY Long Distance Move Might Not Be EZ
“DIY” culture is so widespread, you no doubt memorized long ago what those three letters represent. But just because your favorite TV home-décor-show host adores the abbreviation doesn’t mean it should be applied to every activity.
Take tires, for instance. Adding air? That’s a DIY-er. Rotating and balancing? Go pro. Painting a playroom? You got this. Spreading a roller across a vaulted ceiling? Call the handyman.
Which brings us to moving cross country.
It’s one thing to move a studio apartment and its miniaturized inventory of items across town. It’s quite another to pack up three stories’ and 10-plus years’ worth of possessions and haul them coast to coast. Most people thinking about accomplishing a long-distance move on their own likely have saving dollars as a top-of-mind consideration. Why else would someone risk the safety, efficiency and emotional drawbacks of a self-move? Of course, costs aren’t necessarily purely financial. Many factors go into calculating the true cost of moving.
Lift with your legs
Pinched-nerve jokes aside, do you value your well-being? Happy not to suffer severe back pain? A pro mover can spare you the discomfort of an injury occurring during a DIY long-distance move. Employees of residential moving companies are trained in proper lifting methods and immediately recognize items requiring teamwork. Even the pros, with all their training, suffer injuries. So, consider how well you’ll do (even reinforced with a crew of best friends) without proper training and day-in and day-out real-life experience. Plus, suppose one of your friends is injured helping with the haul? Will you be held financially and legally responsible? Could be a considerable ka-ching!
Time is tight
Pulling up stakes, packing up your possessions and embarking on a long-distance move aren’t steps taken lightly. Do you want the physical part of your pending cross country move occupying your time day and night? Would you rather spend those hours with family and friends you might not see again for several months or more?
How about tackling the paperwork, bill-transfer tasks, mail-forwarding duties and other “administrative” elements linked to a move? Then, of course, there’s the 9–5 job of working at your regular occupation while also trying to be an off-hours amateur mover. Relying on a pro mover can free you up to focus on a move’s additional “stuff” and avoid the disruptive impact of a DIY approach. The relief you feel from leaving it to the pros also might help you stay focused on your to-do list and not forget to tackle a task (or two) when creating your cross country move checklist. Did we mention possible time missed from work? Could be a considerable ka-ching!
Take a load off
Pro movers make moving easy in many ways, including helping you enjoy a stress-reduced move through handling the scheduling, coordinating resources and employing efficient transportation and packing solutions. Can you match the efficacy of a moving company that has years of experience behind it? Think about it: Is a pulse-racing experience your thing? Do you relish anxiety? Children feed off their parents’ cues. If you’re stressing, it’s likely they will be as well. Also, committing to a schedule with a third party, such as a long distance mover, can help you avoid the procrastination that might compromise a cross-country move.
Safeguard your stuff
When it comes to the move’s material element, the name of the game is transporting your possessions intact. Are you confident in your knowledge of how to pack fragile items for shipping? Should you go the on-your-own route, you’ll be on the hook entirely for any damage that might occur from improper packing, incorrect loading or on-the-road difficulties. Could be a considerable ka-ching! Full service movers, on the other hand, employ highly efficient packing methods, meticulous loading maneuvers and professionally trained drivers (many whom have spent decades behind the wheel). Still, accidents happen. With a moving company working for you, your possessions are protected not just by proper transportation methods but financial reimbursement should a mishap occur. Own priceless antiques, fine art or other high-value items? Specialty moving services are available that use a customized moving plan to safeguard these precious possessions.
Back to cost. Let’s take a quick tally of what’s needed for a DIY cross country move:
- Truck rental
- Packing supplies (boxes, tape, markers, tarps, wall protectors, etc.)
- Lodging along the way
- Bribes to family and friends
- Food and beverages for family and friends
- Forever indebted to family and friends
Based on renting a 26-foot truck (enough for a 3–4 bedroom home) starting in Boston and ending in San Francisco, National Van Lines’ survey of three top truck-rental companies yielded estimates ranging from $2,340 to $3,000. Of course, trucks require fuel, and gasoline isn’t cheap, so figure on adding somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,260 to the truck-rental total. Don’t forget to account for tolls on our nation’s highways, too. A packing kit for a 3–4 bedroom home probably would cost $200–$650. Depending on the drive time involved, you might need to stay at a hotel for a night (or more). Family and friends might answer the call for assistance on the packing-and-loading side, but what about the unpacking-and-unloading process? (It’s always easy bringing things downstairs vs. the reverse.)
How much does it cost to hire pro movers? How much does it cost not to?
At National Van Lines, we make long distance moving easy. As a national moving company, we’ve been helping families move memories for 90+ years. Contact us online or call 877-590-2810 for answers to your questions plus a FREE moving quote.
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