Not long ago, it was easy for consumers to see the difference between moving themselves, and hiring professional movers. When they picked the DIY option, they did all the work themselves — packing, loading, driving and unloading; when they hired professionals, they left everything to them. Newer services today blur the line somewhat.
Some moving services offer you-pack-we-drive options today, for example, that give you two or three days to load a trailer or shipping unit. Once you’re done, the moving company does the driving. This kind of service can appear to take away much of the downside of the DIY move — you don’t need to get stressed about doing a lot of heavy lifting in a short period of time, and you don’t need to drive a large moving van that you do not possess enough experience to take control of.
While these services are a definite improvement, however, they still do involve serious risk.
Hurry or no hurry, injuries are still a possibility
The body doesn’t take well to sudden spurts of extreme activity. While getting a lot of time to do your heavy lifting does help take away the panic, it still does greatly stress the body. Trip-and-fall incidents, finger crush injuries in narrow doorways, back injuries and aggravated hernias are common. If you are bringing friends in to help, it can be hard to forgive yourself, should any of these things happen to them.
Your belongings are not as safe
It takes a great deal of time to figure out how to pack things properly, and stack them correctly. One of the most basic mistakes one can make is to pack boxes so that they are heavier than 30 or 40 pounds each. It’s a sure-fire way to throw one’s back out to do so.
It can also be a challenge to know what kind of things to pack together, or to know what the right kind of padding is. Many people, for example, go with bubblewrap for glass, when paper actually offers far superior protection. Stacking boxes in the trailer can take some planning, as well. It can be hard to accurately judge how high you can stack boxes without causing damage to fragile contents.
You don’t actually save that much
One important reason why DIY often seems so much cheaper is that people simply neglect to take account of every relevant piece of information. IRS-allowable deductions for moving expenses are one of the biggest . Deductions make professional moves far cheaper than they may seem. As long as you’re moving for job-related reasons, and the move is far away enough, you can claim a deduction. There are other oversights, as well. It’s important to take keep in mind how doing all the work on one’s own usually results in time off work because of tiredness, or medical expenses.
DIY moves certainly do save you a certain amount of money up-front, but they exact a cost in other ways. It’s a good idea to truly consider the price that you pay.