Choosing the right moving method is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the moving process. Fortunately, we’re here to make it easier. Whether you’re looking to take on a do-it-yourself move or prefer to not lift a finger, there’s a moving option to fit your needs and budget. For the most part, moving options fall into three different categories: DIY moving, hybrid moving and full-service moving. Within these categories, there are plenty of different ways to move, including using a truck rental, moving container or full-service moving company. Keep reading to learn more about all of your moving options.
Here are the three main ways to go about moving to a new home.
With a do-it-yourself (DIY) move, you quite literally do everything yourself. From packing your belongings and loading them onto the truck to renting a moving truck and driving it to the new home, you are responsible for all the moving parts and details when it comes to moving. While you’ll certainly save money by doing the move yourself, you’ll lose a lot of time and energy. Unless you’re a professional mover, there’s also a good chance you could accidentally break or damage your belongings. Of course, the upside to DIY moving is that you have complete and total control over your move – and you won’t have to pay for full-service movers. The DIY moving option is the most affordable way to move to a new home but also the most tiring and time-consuming.
Hybrid moving is a mix of DIY moving and full-service moving. It’s an excellent option for those who don’t mind doing some of the move themselves. In terms of cost, hybrid moving options fall somewhere between the DIY moving option and the full-service moving option. With a hybrid move, you might use a portable moving container to move to a new home. You’ll pack your own boxes and load/unload the container yourself, but the moving container company will handle the transportation for you. You could also pack your belongings on a freight trailer. Another hybrid moving option is renting a truck and hiring labor-only movers to handle the loading and unloading. Hybrid moving options tend to give you flexibility with your move and are less expensive than full-service movers.
The crème de la crème of moving options is hiring full-service movers to handle your move from beginning to end. With full-service moving, you won’t have to do any of the work unless you choose to do so. Full-service movers take care of the heavy lifting, loading, unloading and transportation for you. They can even pack and unpack your belongings if you opt to add this service. Many full-service movers also offer temporary and long-term storage for those who need it.
While full-service moving is certainly convenient, it’s not cheap. The average cost of a long-distance move with full-service movers is nearly $5,000. However, many who opt for full-service movers will tell you that the convenience is worth the price.
Full-service moving professionals also know what they’re doing when it comes to packing and lifting furniture and boxes. Your items are more likely to arrive at the destination in good condition when using professional movers. Overall, the full-service moving option is the most efficient and convenient way to move, but it’s also the most expensive.
Here are several options for successfully carrying out a DIY move, hybrid move and full-service move.
Rent a moving truck
Want total control over your move? Prefer to do it all yourself? Then renting a moving truck could be the right solution for you. Using a truck rental to carry out a DIY move also offers plenty of cost-saving benefits. In fact, renting a moving truck could end up saving you thousands of dollars on a move. While costs vary depending on the company, time of year and distance traveled, you’ll likely be able to move across the country for around $1,000 using a truck rental. You also won’t have to work around a moving company’s schedule and will be able to move on your own timeline.
Average cost: A 15-ft. truck rental costs around $1,425 for an interstate move of 1,000 miles.
Who should rent a moving truck: Renting a moving truck is perfect for anyone willing to take on a DIY move. Those who want full control over the moving process and/or who are on a tight budget should consider using a truck rental to move.
Moving options: For a do-it-yourself move, you’ll need to rent a truck from a reputable truck rental company or borrow a truck from a friend. Several truck rental companies also offer add-on moving supplies and labor-only movers to assist with the lifting. Check out our truck rental center to compare the five best moving truck rental services in the industry.
Hire a full-service moving company
Without a doubt, the easiest way to move is by hiring professional movers to do everything for you. From packing your boxes and loading them onto the truck to moving heavy furniture and assisting with oversized items, professional movers can handle any job. To hire a professional moving company, we recommend obtaining quotes from several reputable movers in your area. To find licensed and insured moving companies, check our extensive network of reputable and reliable movers. These professional movers will survey your items and give you a quote. Once you’ve scheduled the move, the moving company will show up at your house on moving day with their moving truck and handle all of the loading and unloading logistics. While hiring a moving company is certainly the most hands-off approach to moving, it’s also the most expensive. Expect to pay several thousand dollars for a long-distance move.
Average cost: A long-distance move costs around $4,890 (distance of 1,000 miles). These estimates are based on a two-to-three bedroom move of approximately 7,500 pounds.
Who should hire a full-service moving company: Those with a flexible budget should consider hiring a full-service moving company to handle the move from beginning to end. Anyone who lacks time and energy to move is also a perfect candidate for using a professional moving company.
Moving options: To find the best full-service moving company for your move, we recommend obtaining at least three quotes from reputable moving companies. Fortunately, we make this easy for you. We match your move details with the best and most qualified movers in the industry. Need moving supplies, storage and other packing assistance? Fortunately, most professional movers offer these services as well.
Rent a moving container
Need temporary storage before, during or after a move? Consider renting a moving container to move. This hybrid moving option is a great alternative to renting a moving truck and doing the entire move yourself. It also gives you the added bonus of a storage unit throughout the moving process.
Moving containers are typically made of weather-proof steel and can be left outdoors for long periods. Large moving containers can hold a three to four-bedroom household, while small moving containers typically hold the contents of a one to two-bedroom home.
Compared to using a professional moving company, moving containers are much less expensive. However, they are still pricier than renting a truck for a DIY move.
Here’s how it works: The moving container company will drop off the container at your doorstep several days before the move. Customers are then given time to load the container. Once everything is inside the container, the company will pick it up and transport it to your new home. Customers will then unload the container. This type of hybrid moving option is a great way to save money when moving to a new home.
Average cost: A long-distance move with a moving container costs around $2,500. A local move with a moving container costs anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
Who should rent a moving container: Those who need storage before, during or after the move should consider renting a moving container. This is a great hybrid moving option if you’re willing to take on part of the work (loading and unloading the container).
Moving options: We recommend comparing different moving container companies to find the one that fits your needs and budget. Popular companies include PODS, U-Pack, 1-800-PACK-RAT, Zippy Shell, SmartBox, U-Boxes, Go Mini’s and COWS. Find the best moving container company for your needs.
Use a freight trailer moving company
If you can’t pay for a full-service moving company but lack the time or energy to move your belongings long-distance, try using a freight trailer moving company. Freight trailer companies are ideal for larger, cross-country moves.
Here’s how it works: Similar to a moving container, the freight trailer company will drop off the trailer at your doorstep. Customers are given a certain amount of time to load the trailer. Once they’re finished, the company will pick up the freight trailer and deliver it to the destination. Customers are then given a certain amount of time to unload the trailer. This hybrid moving option offers a less expensive alternative to a full-service moving company. It’s also intended for long-distance moves only – not local moves.
Average cost: A long-distance move costs around $2,000. Unlike other moving services, the price of moving with a freight company is based on the number of linear feet your household goods take up inside the trailer.
Who should use a freight trailer: Freight trailers should be used by those moving long distances (more than 50 miles). They are also well-suited for large moves. Anyone moving a three to four-bedroom home or larger across the country should consider using a freight trailer.
Moving options: Several freight moving companies to consider include ABF Moving, U-Pack, Estes SureMove and Old Dominion Household Services. These companies will drop off the trailer and let you pack it up yourself. If you prefer to have someone else do the heavy lifting for you, then consider hiring labor-only movers to help with the loading and unloading.
Ship your belongings
Moving long-distance but don’t want to drive your belongings? Try shipping them instead. From boxes and furniture to mattresses and bikes, anything you own can be shipped using a number of shipping resources. When shipping items, customers have two options: they can either pack and ship their belongings through a mail courier, or they can hire a professional to handle the shipping from beginning to end. For specialty items, it’s best to find a shipping service that specializes in moving your specific item. For example, if you need to ship a piano, make sure you hire a white-glove service that specializes in moving this valuable object.
Average cost: Shipping costs vary widely depending on the shipping service you choose and the item you’re shipping. For reference, the average cost of shipping a TV is $100.
Who should ship their belongings: Shipping services are best suited for small moves, such as college dorm room moves, studio moves and one-bedroom apartment moves. Small moves are considered shipments under 2,000 lbs. Shipping belongings is also a perfect option for anyone who needs to ship only a few items. An example would be someone who needs to ship their tv to another home.
Moving options: To ship belongings, you can use a mail courier service, such as USPS, UPS or FedEx, to mail your item to the new home. For larger items, consider finding a shipping partner on uShip’s online marketplace or using Ship Smart, a shipping service specializing in small shipments of household goods.
Not looking to spend big money on a full-service moving company, but also not up for the work that DIY move requires? Fortunately, you can compromise by hiring labor-only movers to help with loading and unloading the moving truck, container or trailer. Combining moving assistance with one of these move methods is perfect for those moving on a budget without the manpower to move themselves.
One of the most reliable online marketplaces for finding moving day labor is HireAHelper. Moving.com’s Moving Help and Labor finder makes it easy to find and book movers who specialize in loading and unloading services. All you have to do is enter your zip code and your moving date on our website to find moving day labor through HireAHelper.
Choosing how you’re going to move is only one important component of the move planning process. Fortunately, our comprehensive Move Planner can help you with the rest by providing customizable moving checklists, personal tasks list, helpful recommendations, email reminders and plenty of coupons to get you organized prior to moving. Best of luck and happy moving!