How Much Does a DIY Move Cost?

How Much Does a DIY Move Cost?

Moving can be an expensive and stressful task. Good thing you don’t have to pay the big bucks to move! In this post, I’m going to help you determine how much a DIY move will cost you so that you can make the best decision for your budget and needs. Let’s get started!

The Cost of Renting a Truck

Renting a truck and making a move on your own can be affordable compared to hiring professional movers, and you’ll have the flexibility to do it on your own schedule. Before you rent a truck, be sure to know how much a DIY move will cost.

Most rental companies that cater to do-it-yourself movers charge based on the size of the truck, the number of days you use it, and the distance drove. Most companies only offer daily or weekend rates for moving trucks; if you need the truck for more than a few days, look for companies that offer weekly or monthly rates.

The Cost of Packing Materials

Once you have sorted out what needs to be packed away, it’s time to calculate the cost of moving supplies and materials. Many people assume that it will be cheaper to pack their belongings themselves rather than hire a professional moving company, but you will still need plenty of supplies. Remember that buying these bags, boxes, and tape can add up quickly. Calculate the cost of all materials before loading up your cart at the store.

Typically, you will need boxes – specifically designed for carrying fragile items – bin liners, removable tape and packing paper or bubble wrap for fragile items. If possible, try to source complimentary packing materials from friends or local businesses, such as retailers, who receive regular shipments in boxes that can be reused for your move instead of purchasing new supplies. Make sure any containers used are strong enough to support the weight of the contents inside them and are suitable for long-distance transportation. Depending on how many items need to be relocated, pots and pans can also be wrapped in newspaper or bubble wrap before travelling to avoid dents or scratches during transport.

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Double-check with your mover before packing any sensitive equipment or specialized items like artwork, furniture or antiques. Some movers may not accept such valuables if they do not own sufficient wrapping and packaging supplies themselves.

The Cost of Gas

Gas costs can make up a significant portion of the cost of moving your items yourself. The amount of gas used will depend on the size and weight of the items you are moving and how far you need to travel. To get an accurate total cost for your DIY move, it is essential to estimate your gas expenditure accurately. Here are some tips:

  • Calculate the distance between your current home and your new home. Do this in advance, so you know how much fuel will be required for the entire journey.
  • Find out what vehicle you will use to move your belongings, as a bigger vehicle might use up more fuel during transportation.
  • Consider renting a truck with better fuel efficiency if it’s within your budget, as this could save you money in the long run.
  • Research prices for gasoline at different locations beforehand so you can choose a fueling spot with lower costs.
  • Make sure you have budgeted enough for several trips back and forth if necessary.

The Cost of Insurance

One of the expenses associated with a DIY move that you may want to consider is purchasing property or liability insurance. This can provide you with financial protection in the event that any of your possessions become lost, stolen, or damaged during the move. The exact cost of coverage depends on your chosen plan and moving distance, but it is typically based on a percentage of the value of your belongings.

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Many providers offer flexible pricing and additional discounts if you purchase insurance and other moving services together. You should also consider getting quotes from multiple providers to find the best coverage at the most affordable rate. Additionally, checking whether your homeowner’s insurance policy covers moving expenses before making a purchase is essential. Be sure to read all fine print for details on what is covered and what isn’t.

The Cost of Storage

Whether you’re planning a DIY move for a short-term stay or a long-term one, the cost of your storage needs will likely be one of the most significant factors in calculating your overall moving expense. Long-term storage can become particularly expensive, so it’s essential to compute these costs accurately. Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

  • Short-term Storage: Generally speaking, short-term storage will be less expensive than long-term storage. This is because most facilities offer discounts based on the length of your reservation. These discounts vary significantly by the provider, so shopping around and comparing rates between multiple providers is essential to get the best price possible.
  • Long-term Storage: The cost of long-term storage can start to add up quickly. If you’re looking for an affordable option, consider climate-controlled storage units with adjustable temperature and humidity levels – these tend to be less expensive than other options and may make all the difference when it comes time to pack away your fragile belongings.


To conclude, the cost of a DIY move will depend on the size and distance of your move. If necessary, some costs are fixed and must be considered in your budgets, such as van rentals, supplies, and motel stays. Other costs may be variable, so it would be beneficial to research the options in advance to ensure that you find the best deals.

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