Moving Yourself

by Jon Nunan

See if We Have Top-Rated
Moving Contractors in Your Area

Related Articles

  • Find Top-Rated Pros

While there are many reasons to move, there are only two ways to get the job done: hire movers or do the job yourself. Unfortunately, both have some pretty noticeable drawbacks. If you have the money to hire movers for the entire process from packing to unloading, the decision is a relatively easy one; however, since many of us will find that our budgets are far more accommodating is we handle some (or all) of the moving process on our own, the following DIY moving tips are sure to come in handy whether you're moving across town or across the country!

5 Great DIY Moving Tips
1. Pack Systematically: There's no substitute for efficiency, and the most important DIY moving tips are the ones that help make your move a smooth one. Always pack one room at a time, and never leave packed boxes unlabeled. Start your packing about a month before you plan to move; this will give you plenty of time to have everything ready by moving day and separate the "must haves" from the "better off withouts!"

2. Reserve Your Truck Early: Truck rental companies are busy places. While you might be able to reserve your truck a week in advance, there's nothing to lose by making your reservation 3 or 4 weeks prior to moving day! No matter when you make your reservation, always make sure to contact the rental company the day before you need the truck to make sure that everything is still in order.

3. Give Yourself Extra Time: Moving is a huge pain, and though we would all like o get it over with as quickly as possible, there's plenty that can go wrong and make the move a little longer than planned. The farther away you are moving, the more extra time you'll need. Figure out how long your move will ideally take, and add an extra day or two to the time you'll be taking off. Even if everything goes off without a hitch, you'll appreciate the extra time you'll have to unpack and get to know your new surroundings.

4. Leave the Piano to the Pros: One of the best DIY moving tips is actually going to require a little professional help. While many homeowners are fine moving heavy boxes, there's a reason why certain moving companies specialize in handling pianos and pool tables. Both of these items are extremely heavy and awkward, and each can be severely damaged if handled improperly. The price of moving a piano often includes set-up, and many piano moving companies keep a tuner on staff to make sure that your instrument will be ready to play when you move in.

5. Unpack Promptly: After a big move, it's natural to want to put off unpacking in favor of a little R&R. This, however, is a mistake. Getting everything unpacked and put in place quickly might seem like a nuisance, but in the long run, it is far more convenient. Finishing your unpacking quickly means you won't have to search through box after box for the next month or two every time you want something specific; it also means that you'll be able to truly relax in your new space faster. Additionally, because unpacked boxes sometimes end up being put in a storage area and forgotten, you'll actually have less clutter by getting everything out in the open early. Plus, you won't end up spending money to replace items that you think are lost, but are actually in a box somewhere in the attic!

Money-Saving Moving Tips
Since the choice to move yourself rather than hire movers is typically a financial one, you'll want to spend as little as possible to make the difference count. These money-saving moving tips are good ideas for anyone looking to move as cheaply as possible without sacrificing quality or efficiency.

1. Park Smart: If you are moving/traveling on multiple nights, make sure to park your truck smartly. Find a wall where you can back the truck right up close, so anyone who opens the rear door will not be able to pull anything out. Think of it as a preventative measure that could save you thousands!

2. Don't Drive at Rush Hour: Moving trucks use a lot more gas than your average car, and the longer you are on the road, the more it will cost you. For short moves, avoid rush hour all together; on longer moves, plan meal breaks during busy traffic hours.

3. Stop All Services Early: Many are the homeowners who get stuck with a bill from a previous residence because they forgot to discontinue service. Cable, newspaper delivery, lawn care, and many other services can continue after you have left, leaving you with a bill that you can do without.

4. Talk to Your New Neighbors: The place you're leaving was well known to you. You knew the cheapest internet provider, the gas station with the lowest prices, and the most affordable restaurants. This new area has plenty of deals to be had, as well, and your neighbors will likely be able to set you on the right track.

5. The Most Important Money-Saving Moving Tip: Compare Prices! Every service you'll spend money on during your move will have a competitor or two. Some truck rental companies will have better prices than others; one carpet cleaner will have a package that better suits your needs and budget. Moving is expensive, no matter how you do it! Take the time to compare prices on every piece of equipment and every necessary service your move will require, and you may end up saving hundreds!

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.