Whether to Hire Movers or Do It Yourself

should i hire movers or move myself illustration with movers on the left and diy move on the right

Deciding whether to hire professional movers or rent a truck and move yourself is a big decision. The bottom line is, hiring movers will cost a significant chunk of change. There are a number of factors to determine whether hiring a moving company is worth it for you or if you can get away with moving yourself. Here is when you should hire movers and when you can move yourself.

But first, check out our quiz:

Should I Hire Movers Quiz


quiz result displaying text "you should hire movers" layed over two two movers moving a pad wrapped piece of furnitureWe suggest you hire movers. Click here to get free moving quotes.

quiz result displaying text "you can move yourself" laid over image of family moving themselvesYou can potentially move yourself with the proper preparation. Click here to view our DIY moving tips.

#1. Are you moving 3 or more bedrooms?

#2. Are you moving 60 or more miles away?

#3. Do you have to move any of the following: exercise equipment, solid wood furniture weighing 100+ lbs., pool table, piano, valuable artwork, 60″+ TV?

#4. Is your move time sensitive?

#5. Can you lift 60 lbs. or more?

#6. Do you have at least two people to help you move who can also lift 60 lbs. or more?

#7. Are you or a friend willing to drive the moving truck?

#8. Have you moved yourself or a friend before?


When you should hire movers

When the size and scope of you move is large, you should consider hiring movers. If you meet some or most of the following, you should strongly consider hiring movers:

1. You are moving lots of stuff 

If you are moving a family or 3+ bedrooms, we suggest considering hiring movers. The more you have to move, the more grueling of a task doing it yourself will be.

2. You are moving a long distance

Moving a long distance or cross country means you need to load everything in one trip. You don’t have the luxury of taking multiple carloads. In addition, there is a higher risk of damage to your items in transit. The professionals will properly pack and secure your items so they can travel safely down the highway. If you are moving 60 miles away or more, you should hire cross country movers.

Related article: 5 Cheapest Ways to Move Cross Country, With Estimates

3. You have items that are difficult to move 

There are certain items that require complex disassembly/reassembly, extra protection, or are simply very heavy and difficult to move. Examples of items include large furniture, exercise equipment, pool tables, and pianos.

4. You want the job done right, and right away

If you had an urgent issue like a burst pipe emergency or pet infestation, you wouldn’t think twice about hiring a pro. That’s because you know they’ll be able to act quickly, effectively, and safely.

Moving is no different. Professional movers will move your items in a fraction of the time that it would take you to do it yourself. They do it on a daily basis and have the proper equipment, experience, and muscle size to get it done quickly & safely.

Moving yourself is stressful, the last thing you need is a deadline to hit or worries about safety to you and your belongings.

5. You are not in good physical condition

If you plan on moving yourself, you should make sure that you can comfortably lift at least 60 lbs. If you are not physically capable of this, it will be worth it to hire movers.

6. You don’t have plenty of help 

Lets be honest, the term “moving yourself” does not mean moving all by yourself. Unless you are the Incredible Hulk, you will still need help moving large items. We suggest at least three able-bodied friends or family members to be able to move yourself. If you don’t have this, call a pro.

7. You do not want to drive the moving truck

A big advantage of hiring movers is they drive your belongings in their vehicle, meaning you can travel in the comfort of your own car. If you are not comfortable with driving a large moving truck or hauling a trailer, you may want to hire a relocation expert.

8. You have never moved yourself before 

There are certain ins and outs of moving that you can only learn from experience. If you have never moved yourself or a friend before, or don’t have basic handy skills such as assembly/disassembly, it is worth it to hire a moving company.

When you can move yourself

On the other hand, you can perform a stress free do it yourself move if the scope of your move is small or simple:

1. You don’t have much to move

The less you have to move, the easier a do-it-yourself (DIY) move will be.

2. You are moving in-town 

If you are moving a short distance, it will make a DIY move much easier by eliminating the risk of damage to your items in transit and letting you take multiple trips.

3. Your items are easy to move

Boxes, light furniture, and items that are not of extreme value will make moving yourself much more feasible.

4. You are on a loose time schedule

It will take you much longer to move than you think. Trust us, you always have more than you think you do. If you are planning a DIY move we recommend having at least three or four days to allow you to chip away at the task, rather than rushing.

5. You are in good physical shape

If you can lift a decent amount of weight and are in good cardiovascular shape this will aid in your DIY move big time.

6. You have helpers

We suggest having at least 2 or 3 able-bodied moving helpers. Be sure to keep your fridge stocked too.

7. You are willing to drive the moving truck

If you are willing to drive the moving truck or haul the trailer, then you have another advantage for moving yourself. Be sure to make wide turns and arrange transporting your personal vehicle as well.

8. You or a member of your crew have moving experience

If you have moved in the past, then you know what to expect. You or one of your helpers should know at least the basics of how to load a truck and how to assemble/disassemble items such as beds and dressers.

The bottom line

Whether or not you need to hire movers depends on the size and scope of your move, your physical ability, and the amount of help you have. If you meet the criteria for being able to rent a U-Haul and move yourself, it could be a great way to save money. However, there are many times that the expense of hiring the pros will be well worth it. If you do choose to move yourself while you are in over your head, the indirect expenses such as time and damage to your items could cost more than hiring movers.