What it Costs to Move Yourself

If you’re considering moving on your own to save a few bucks, make sure that you consider all the costs before you make your decision. It might seem that moving yourself will be cheaper than hiring a professional moving company but when you add up the costs along with the time commitment needed to be your own mover, the benefits of saving can quickly be outweighed by the cons of having to do everything yourself. Here are three costs to consider before you decide to move yourself.

Image of a self moving couple with a moving company.

1. Packing Materials

In order to pack your belongings, you will need materials such as boxes, packing paper and tape. The amount of materials you need will depend on how much stuff you need to pack.

How much packing materials will I need to buy?

In general, if you’re packing a 3-to-4-bedroom house you’ll need 100-plus boxes, a good amount of paper, and several rolls of tape. Those materials can start to add up if you purchase them on your own at a retail store.

Packing Tip

One way to save money is to use recycled boxes from big box stores, grocery stores, etc., and to collect paper from any mailers you receive or discarded newspapers from family and friends.

2. Time to Pack (and Unpack!)

For a 3-to-4-bedroom house, it might take several days to sort and pack if you do it yourself. A professional moving crew may take only a few hours to a full day. If you work full time you may have to take vacation time to pack. And don’t forget about the unpacking and set up once you’ve reached your destination.

How much does it cost for you to pack yourself?

It will cost about $24 per hour of packing for a person that makes $50,000 annually. If it takes you eight hours a day to pack, you’re spending close to $200 per day.


When you do the math you see that you’ll easily be spending $700 to over $1,000 to do your own packing. A professional may charge around the same amount or maybe just a little more, freeing up your time to focus on other tasks associated with your move.


Ask potential moving companies about their packing and unpacking services so you can compare the real cost to the cost of hiring professionals.

3. Renting a Truck

Once you’re packed and ready to load you’ll need to rent a truck. The base cost to rent the truck depends on the size you need to fit everything.

How much does it cost to rent a moving truck?

It’s generally a flat fee, but there are fees such as mileage, gas, and damage protection to think about. And if you need the truck for longer than a day in order to unload your belongings or if you are moving long distance the cost will increase greatly.


Always ask about additional fees for rental trucks (mileage, gas, one-way trip, etc). You never want to be surprised by the bill at the end of a trip.

How much does it really cost to move yourself?

When all is said and done the cost to do everything yourself starts to add up quickly. Not to mention the stress and emotions that go along with moving. Hiring a professional will help to minimize your risk and reduce the physical and emotional stress involved with moving yourself. Contact Andrews Moving today for a no-cost, no-obligation quotes on professional moving services.

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