Making a do-it-yourself move to save money is a great idea - IF you do it in a way that actually saves money and is not overly stressful. Here are some tips.
First, estimate how much work it will be for you, and be honest about whether you're up for it.
Compare the cost of a full-service move against what you'll save doing it yourself. Is the savings worth it? Could you use the time you spend moving more fruitfully in other endeavors - at your job, playing with your kids, or just relaxing and taking a break from your busy lifestyle?
When renting a truck, most people focus on the per-day charge and neglect the additional costs: gas, or often, mileage. You'll need to return the truck when you're done, so double the distance when figuring costs.
Also, if you underestimate how big a truck you'll need, you might need to make extra trips. Factor those in. And budget in an extra day in case you need to keep the truck overnight, and factor in toll expenses as well.
When using a truck rental, you'll also want to rent a dolly, hand trucks, tie downs, ropes or other equipment to make your move easier and keep things safe on the truck. This costs extra, of course, but these items are crucial.
A few of the more important ones: leave no dead spaces in the truck, otherwise there might be shifting during the trip. If you don't use the entire truck, be sure to use tie-downs to keep things from moving toward the back of the truck when it's moving. Pack heavy items on the bottom, lighter items on top.
It's smart to have one person decide where things will go on the truck, rather than have many individuals load things on the truck, which can become chaotic.
The box will quickly become too heavy to lift. Heavy items should go in small boxes.
Make sure you get moving blankets from your moving company, and then wrap them around furniture and other items to protect them during the move. Use packing tape to secure the blankets to the furniture.
These are friends or family who are helping you - you don't want them to get hurt on the job!
Make sure you understand any truck restrictions in your new and old neighborhoods, as well as the parking situations. That money you save on a do-it-yourself move could be washed away with a few parking tickets.
It's much better to take a few more minutes moving than to hurt someone, or damage your goods.
Truck rental companies can be notorious for not honoring reservations. Even if you have a reservation, try to be early to pick up the truck just in case.
Whether you're moving yourself or just packing yourself and using professional movers, you'll want to know a few solid packing techniques. There are a couple good reasons why: You want to keep yourself sane during packing, and you want to protect your possessions ...