Considerations for Doing a Self-Move

Considerations for doing a Self-Move

A do-it-yourself move can provide a savings on relocating.  The following are suggestions and considerations if you are contemplating a self-move.

The Cost of a Self Move

The following costs need to be considered when evaluating the savings of moving yourself:

  • Cost of the truck.
  • Cost of renting the pads and blankets needed to wrap and protect your furniture.
  • Cost of renting a box dolly or ‘refer’ dolly.
  • Cost of insuring the shipment.
  • Cost of fuel.  The average truck gets 7 miles per gallon.  If you are moving 1400 miles you will use 200 gallons of gas, or about $300.00.
  • Cost of towing a car if you plan to do so.
  •  Additional time to travel. The trucks are limited to 65 miles per hour and will go much slower when climbing mountains.  Your miles driven per day in a truck are going to be much less than if you are in your car.  This will likely increase your traveling costs.
  • Will you load the truck yourself or hire local labor to do it?

Often these costs can exceed the cost of moving professionally. If this is the case for you, now is the time to look into different moving companies. Mergenthaler offers No Obligation In Home Estimates to assess how much your move would cost.

Going Forward With Your Self Move

If you decide that a do-it-yourself move is right for you we have the following suggestions to help make it a successful one:

Your Rental Truck

Check out the truck you rent before move day.  Make sure it is a recent model, not an older vehicle.  Movers frequently receive calls to finish a move across the country when the customer’s rental truck broke down.

It is a good idea to rent a diesel engine truck rather than a gas engine truck.  Gas engines tend to have more problems and over-heating.  Diesel engines will usually get better gas mileage, run better and maintain speed climbing.

Protecting Your Belongings

Make sure you have enough pads and blankets to protect your belongings.  Cardboard boxes and other items will rub the finish off of wood furniture and so will the white-washed walls of the truck.

As you load the truck plan carefully how everything is going to fit.  Heavy items that can withstand weight should go on the bottom.  We call this base.  Items such as dressers, washers or dryers, etc.  Medium weight items that can withstand smaller amounts of weight should be loaded next.  We call this mini-base.  Items such as night stands, well packed boxes, etc.  On top go chairs, boxes with fragiles that cannot withstand weight, and other lighter weight items.

Anticipate Spacing Needs

Make sure you have enough room.  In a 26 foot moving van you will fit about 8000 pounds to 11000 pounds if loaded very tight.  That is equal to about a 1500 square foot home.  If you have 4 or 5 bedrooms or more than 2000 square feet of furniture it is likely you won’t be able to fit everything into the moving van.  If you have a lot of overstuffed furniture you are going to need more van space as well.  Couches cannot be put on end, so they are loaded on their feet.  It is very difficult to load anything on a couch on it’s feet that won’t cause damage.  Mattresses, overstuffed chairs and large plastic toys are also difficult to load around.