Moving is one of the most stressful things that we are forced to do in life. In the course of one day you are forced to bring all of your earthly possessions from one place to another. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and generally unpleasant all the way around. I thought it would be worth looking into the difference in cost of moving yourself versus hiring professionals. For our purposes, I am basing my costs on a two-bedroom apartment, fully furnished with two adults. No matter how you choose to move the actual stuff, some costs are going to be universal, let’s start with those.
– Boxes: 40 (10 per room) U-Haul lists a cost of $1.33 per box = $54
– Tape, bubble wrap, etc.: $40
– Drink of choice (you will need it): $30
Total: $124 (This is going to be our base cost of packing expenses.)
Now to the big question: Will you and your loved ones be putting in the time and physical labor, or are we hiring a team of professionals to do the heavy lifting? I am going to assume that everyone can find a few friends to enlist if they need them.
Expenses for a DIY move:
– Packing supplies: $124
– U-Haul or similar truck: $30 to rent and $30 gas to refill: $60
– Food and beverage for your team: $100
There are also things that could bump up your costs as well. If your current or new town requires street permits for the truck, add about $40. If one of your friends drops your TV, add about $300.
At the end of the day, for a DIY move, you are looking at an average of $300, and an entire day of your time.
If you do decide to hire a moving company, keep in mind that they offer a variety of services at different costs. For these purposes, I priced for the labor, truck, and insurance. I spoke to someone at Gentle Giant in Somerville and gave them my base information for our move. Be aware that moving companies price on a scale depending on the day/time of week, month and season. Peak moving season is from May- September. You will find the most favorable rates on a weekday (ideally –Monday – Thursday), in the middle of the month, during non-peak season.
The bracket I was quoted for our move (including all insurance) would be $1400 (Mon- Thurs, middle of the month) -$1950 (first weekend of month). This quote was obtained during peak season (July).
Hiring a Professional:
– Packing supplies: $124
– Let’s just say we managed to get the best rate; Movers: $1400
– Tip for the movers: $200
This is a considerable amount more that the $284 DIY price, but you have to consider the cost of your time and sanity. I have moved in this area several times, with and without the help of movers. If you don’t mind putting in all the legwork, doing it yourself will save you a LOAD of money. I will honestly say, however, that when you factor in the price of your time and having to navigate the Boston metro area in a U-Haul, the cost of movers may very well be worth it. The choice is, ultimately, yours to make.
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