Everything You Need for a Successful DIY Move
Relocating from one location to another can be a costly process. Even so, most people choose to hire one of the best moving companies in their area to help them with this monumental task. The fact is that hiring movers makes the whole process significantly easier. That said, performing a successful DIY move will allow you to cut down on your moving costs at the expense of your own time and energy. And, since an average long-distance relocation “clocks” at around $5,000 these days, more and more people are choosing to relocate on their own. However, for the most part, this means that you will handle the entire relocation process independently. If this is your first time relocating, don’t worry, as we will walk you through all the steps.
Why perform a DIY move in the first place?
To put it simply, there are two main reasons why you might want to conduct a DIY relocation. Money and safety. Hiring moving services from a professional moving company can get very expensive really fast, after all. In addition, by performing a DIY move, you don’t have to worry about common moving scams. Of course, there may be other reasons why you wish to undergo a DIY relocation, but these two are usually the most significant ones.
How to organize and execute a successful DIY move
Organizing and executing a successful relocation is all about being prepared for what’s to come. Depending on the scope of the relocation effort, you might need to start planning way ahead of the moving day. In other words, the more complex the relocation, the sooner you want to plan for it. To organize and execute a successful DIY move, you will need to go through the following steps:
- Plan a timeline
- Choose your transportation method
- Obtain the necessary moving supplies
- Learn how to pack ahead of time
- Figure out if you need a temporary storage option
- Create a moving checklist
- Ask your friends and family for help
Even though you are planning a DIY relocation, it might be a good idea to look into moving companies in the area, just in case. If you research and compare moving companies ahead of time, you will be “covered” no matter what. This might take some additional time off your hands, but it will provide you with a safety buffer. You never know what the future brings, after all. It is entirely possible that you find that your DIY relocation simply is not viable due to one reason or another.
That being said, let’s presume that you are going through with a DIY move. Let’s explore each stage in more detail so you know what to expect.
Planning a timeline for a successful DIY move
One of the benefits of organizing a DIY move is that you can do so on your own schedule. However, this also means you will be in charge of the entire timeline. You will need to carefully plan and coordinate your relocation if you want to avoid chaotic situations. Careful and meticulous planning is extra important if you are planning a long-distance moving process. Ideally, you will want to start formulating your plans at least six months in advance. That will give you enough time to organize everything according to your specific situation.
The things you will want to plan include choosing the exact time and date of the relocation, donating items, choosing the transportation method, etc. Each task needs to be given enough thought, with some tasks deserving even more of your time. The transportation method, for example, is a prime example of this. It is so important that we “took it out” of the planning process and given its own category.
Choosing the transportation method
There are two primary DIY transportation methods available to you. The first one is to simply rent a moving truck. The second option is to rent a moving container. Both options have their pros and cons.
Renting a moving truck is usually the least expensive option, but it is also the most inconvenient one. A truck that you drive to your new home on your own will provide you with full control over your relocation schedule, but you will need to load, drive, and unload it on your own. All of this is a lot of work, and that work is one of the reasons to hire professional movers in the first place. Most people simply can’t afford to spend the time and energy that a DIY relocation requires.
If you are willing to spend a bit more money on your relocation (and work less), renting a moving container might be a better idea. This option is somewhat more expensive than renting a truck but far more convenient. You will still need to load and unload the container, but you will not need to worry about driving it to your new destination. Depending on the distance between your old home and the new one, you may be able to “save” yourself a lot of time and energy by not driving a truck the whole way. And that time and energy can then be refocused on the other aspects of the move.
Obtaining moving supplies
Once you figure out how your belongings will arrive at their destination, it is time to plan for their safety along the way. And this means that you need to pack them properly. Needless to say, the packing process will require you to purchase packing supplies. You can spend a small fortune on these alone, so you might want to carefully consider your needs. Here are some of the supplies that you will definitely want to include for your DIY move:
- Corrugated boxes
- Wardrobe boxes
- Plastic bins
- Heavy-duty packing tape
- Plastic wrap
- Moving blankets
- Labeling markers
Obviously, the more items you have to pack, the more materials you will need. That is why you may want to make an inventory list of all your belongings before you go on a shopping spree. And if you are planning a nationwide family relocation, you may want to include additional packing materials for the trip ahead. All in all, packing supplies may account for most of your expenses.
If you want to save a bit on moving supplies, you may want to start searching for deals sooner rather than later. You can also get free moving boxes from your local convenience stores. And if you can find people who have recently moved into your area, they might be able to provide you with some of their surplus moving supplies.
Learning how to pack
Most people think that packing is easy. The truth is that it is only easy if you know how to do it. If you have plenty of experience packing your home for relocation, feel free to skip this step. Otherwise, you may devote some time to learning how to properly pack your belongings. If you don’t know how to pack, you may end up with numerous broken items when you arrive at your new home. There’s a lot to learn, though. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Pack large items in small to medium-sized boxes.
- Use plenty of padding
- Roll your clothes
- Wrap large furniture in moving blankets
- Fragile items need plenty of protective materials
When you get to pack your belongings for the relocation, you will want to start with the items you will not use before the move. Anything non-essential can be packed as soon as one month before the move. In fact, a successful DIY move is pretty much all about doing things before the moving day. The sooner you finish packing, the better.
Temporary storage solutions
If you happen to be moving into a smaller property, you might find that not all your items will fit from the “get-go”. You might need some time to renovate or to create additional storage space. If this happens to be the case, you are going to need a temporary storage solution. Luckily, there are many temporary storage options for moving that you can utilize. The simplest solution is to rent a storage unit for the time being. And if you have a spacious backyard, you may find a portable storage unit ideal. Either way, you will want to research your options ahead of time. You don’t want to be paying a lot more money for storage simply because you don’t have a choice, after all.
Creating a moving checklist
Every relocation, DIY or not, will involve a gazillion of small tasks. And the best way to stay ahead of those tasks is to organize them into a moving checklist. There’s a good reason why virtually every moving guide on the planet recommends creating one. A moving checklist will help you stay organized and remind you of the tasks that you are yet to finish. It may also provide you with an endorphin boost as you complete the tasks.
To create a moving checklist, you must write down each task as you think of it. You will most likely need to update the list regularly as you complete tasks and think of new ones. Another benefit of having a clear and concise moving checklist is that delegating tasks becomes much more manageable. Not to mention that it will help alleviate the mental challenges of moving by providing you with the necessary direction. All in all, a moving checklist is all but essential for a successful DIY move.
Asking friends and family members for help
If there is one thing that you can count on in a DIY move, it’s that there is going to be a lot of work involved. Trying to accomplish everything on your own may be highly stressful and tiring. And, to tell the truth might even be impossible in some cases. But hiring a professional mover to take some of the workload off your back defeats the whole purpose of a DIY move.
That is why you may want to turn to a (mostly) free source of labor – Friends and family members.
How to make your DIY move a bit easier
Even though you are performing a DIY move, you may want to consider making it easier on yourself. There are two easy ways in which you can do so:
- Professional moving labor
- Moving equipment
While both of these ways will put a slight dent in your moving budget, they are worth it on most occasions. Let’s see why that might be the case.
Professional moving labor can help you in a pinch
If you have packed your items correctly, you can hire day laborers to load and unload your belongings. You may find that these services are not really all that expensive, considering the amount of work. The average rate for a day laborer is about $15 an hour, and you might earn more than that if you spend time working instead of loading/unloading. Unskilled day laborers require some supervision, of course, but that is a small price to pay for not lifting heavy items for a prolonged period of time.
Moving equipment may be essential for a successful DIY move
Regardless of whether you are hiring professional help or doing the work on your own, professional moving equipment will make it a LOT easier. Heavy items such as refrigerators may all but require the use of a moving dolly, and couches and chairs might need furniture pads to prevent floor-scratching. You may also need moving straps, blankets, and other equipment. The good news is that you don’t need to purchase any of it! You can rent moving equipment quite easily from The Home Depot, for example, or one of the truck rental centers in your area. This will inevitably increase the cost of your relocation, but it will be worth it in time and energy savings.
Performing a successful DIY relocation comes down to knowing what to expect and preparing for it. If you want to know more about how to relocate, where to find the best professional movers near you, or are in need of moving tips and tricks, you can find all of that (and more) in the Consumer Opinion Guide. Our expert moving articles will provide you with all the knowledge you might need for a successful DIY move!