or Do it Yourself ?
If you are considering an interstate move, there are a few variables that you should consider when you are calculating the actual cost comparison of moving yourself versus allowing a mover to help you.
Do-It-Yourself Moves include:
When you're moving from state-to-state, you have to provide exact details to the truck rental agency such as origin, destination, exact dates, etc. Prices can vary depending upon the equipment available. Rental truck rates can vary depending upon the time of year that you're moving (rates are higher between May and September). Rental agencies also run on a supply and demand theory; if you're moving at the beginning or end of the month, you may find that the supply of trucks available to you is sparse. In most cases, you will be charged a rental deposit. There are also charges for additional miles (10% or more) over and above the original estimate. These charges don't include state taxes. All other charges are additional.
The Time and Space Continuum:
In most cases, your time is the most valuable thing to you. You'll need one or two days to pack and one or two days to unpack in addition to your drive time. Professional moving services are adept at maximizing the available space in a moving vehicle. When you move yourself, you have to make sure that you optimize the space or you'll end up needing a larger truck.
Are you towing your vehicles behind the truck, or are you going to be driving them to your new destination? Trailer packages from rental agencies can cost an additional $200.00, plus $50.00 or so for insurance. If you drive your own vehicle you have to factor in the variables such as wear and tear, gas, mileage, etc.
Insurance charges are an additional possible $10.00 per day on the rental vehicle. Charges include such things as vehicle damage, cargo damage (to a certain dollar value), and medical and life insurance. Cargo damage insurance protects your household goods from damages incurred during a vehicular accident; any other types of damages are not covered! If the truck or vehicle you are renting is stolen, then it is your responsibility. Moving trucks are often targets for thieves.
In order to protect your belongings, you will need to rent padding at about $10.00 per dozen. A four bedroom home would be about 2 dozen pads, which equates to $20.00.
An appliance dolly, utility dolly, or furniture dolly is most often needed to move large boxes, furniture, miscellaneous items, etc. Each dolly you rent may cost you an extra $5.00 - $10.00 apiece.
Your Valuable Time:
During a self-move, you and your family are responsible for every detail; some details are more time-consuming than others. The major tasks are packing and unpacking. You also have to factor in who will be driving the rental vehicle, the family vehicle, etc. The best thing to do in this case is to figure your hourly wage and multiply that by the number of hours you estimate your move to be. Make sure you add about 10-12 more hours for incidental last minute details. Figure in packing time, move preparation, picking up the moving vehicle, load time, drive time, hotels, food expense, gas, unloading time, etc.
Packing and Unloading:
Most self-moves include the hunt for available boxes. In order to ensure your valuables are protected properly, purchase specialized boxes for your belongings - wardrobe boxes, dish boxes, boxes for artwork, etc. Packing materials such as tape and bubble wrap are also essential elements for securing your belongings. The average cost for new packing materials for a three bedroom home is $900.00. [Source: AMC's Transportation Fact Book]
Mileage charges are most often included in your rental agreement. Depending on your agreement, you may get stuck with additional mileage charges. In most cases, additional mileage charges are $.40 per mile for each additional mile driven.
Your rental vehicle will be full of gas when you pick it up. When you return the vehicle, you must refill the gas tank or you will be charged a price that is higher than the normal price of gasoline. An average 26-foot, 5-speed, fully loaded diesel truck will average about 10 miles to the gallon. On a 1200-mile trip, you will consume about 120 gallons of gasoline, at an average price for diesel fuel of $1.35 per gallon. [Source: AMC's Fuel Survey] Your total gasoline costs will be about $150.00 for the trip.
Large items such as refrigerators, grandfather clocks, washing machines, and ranges may all require special care before you can move them in the proper way. It is possible that you may need to hire trained specialists to make sure your items are handled properly. These specialists will increase the costs of your move significantly.
You'll have to rely on your perfect timing to make sure that your new home is available at the time of your arrival. If it is not, you’ll have to find a safe place to store your belongings until you're ready to occupy your new home. This requires you to unpack all your belongings for storage, then load them and unpack them once again when it's time to move into your new home. Many times, these storage units aren't suitable to protect your belongings properly. There are security issues, no insurance coverage, and no protection from fire or other types of dangers.
First of all, you must protect yourself. If you have any physical condition, then a self-move is definitely not the way to go. Back injuries, pulled muscles, leg strain, etc. can all happen easily if you don't lift properly. If you have small children, you may incur childcare expenses during the moving process. You may have to call on good friends to help you with your move or your children, and this will certainly cause them inconvenience.